Church in Cuba says goodbye to Bishop Riverón

Church in Cuba says goodbye to Bishop Riverón

.- After the Mass of Requiem celebrated by Cardinal Jaime Ortega in the Archdiocesan Cathedral, thousands of faithful paid their last respects to Havana Auxiliary Bishop Salvador Riverón Cortina, who was laid to rest at the Christopher Columbus Cementary in the Cuban capital.

Visitation for the Bishop, who died last Sunday at 55 years of age from advanced cancer, took place at the Cathedral of Havana.  Several foreign dignitaries attended the Requiem Mass, including James Cason, head of the US Interests Section, and Jesús Gracia, the Spanish Ambassador to Cuba.

The Cuban government was represented by Carlos Samper of the Communist Party’s Office of Religious Affairs.

A message sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, in the name of Pope John Paul II was read during the ceremony, as well as a message from Isidro Gómez Santos, the Cuban Ambassador to the Holy See.

 Bishop Riverón “was a shining beam of light” whose brief passing “through the Church was filled with meaning,” said Cardinal Ortega during the funeral Mass.

Bishop Riverón was born in Camaguey on July 7, 1948, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1982.  He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Havana on April 24, 1999, by Pope John Paul II.