Church only wants peace for Cuba, says new CELAM president

Church only wants peace for Cuba, says new CELAM president


This week the Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM) is meeting in Havana, Cuba for their 31st Ordinary Assembly. During the meeting the newly elected president, Archbishop  Raymundo Damasceno Assis, said that the Church only seeks peace for Cuba and that “the people should decide about their future.”

Speaking to the Efe news agency, the archbishop of Aparecida said, “What we desire for Cuba is that it always have peace, prosperity, that the people…can decide about their future, their path in the history of the Latin American continent, always seeking out integration.”

Although he avoided assessing the situation that is currently facing Cuba, Archbishop Damasceno said, “It’s a problem that must be posed to the local Church, we can only accompany from the outside…. We have a very superficial knowledge, at least I do as I am no expert in international politics,” he said.

“The Church is present in Cuba, she is working. The Church in Cuba is alive, her presence is felt in the dioceses and in the parish communities,” and she works to carry out “her main objective, which is a spiritual religious objective but with much life.”

Archbishop Damasceno was elected president during the Ordinary Assembly of CELAM, which was held for the first time in Cuba. He succeeds Cardinal Francisco Errazuriz of Santiago, Chile.