Miami’s archbishop, in Cuba, criticizes Marxism
Shortly before Pope Benedict XVI met with Cuban ruler Raul Castro for a courtesy visit and photo op at the opulent Palace of the Revolution on Tuesday evening, Miami’s Archbishop Thomas Wenski criticized the Communist island’s Marxist ideologies during a Mass in the capital city’s oldest cathedral.
In his homily, Wenski invoked Pope John Paul II, who visited Cuba in 1998 and called for more freedoms on the Communist island. Wenski then repeated Benedict’s earlier criticism of Marxism being “a spent ideology.” He urged Cubans to be the “protagonist of their own future,” and closed the homily with reference to “a celebration of reconciliation.”
The Miami archbishop also told worshipers that the pope and the church in Cuba desire a political system that grants dignity to all people. His words were delivered to a full house of more than 300 mostly Cuban American pilgrims on the island for the pope’s visit. They received Wenski’s homily with a sustained, standing ovation.
“We pray that the Cuban people are inspired by the word of God,” he said during his homily. “And that these people build a future of peace.”
Some in the crowd wiped away tears. It was an emotional climax to an emotional day for many of the pilgrims, whose numbers grew to approximately 800 on Tuesday as three more planes arrived from Miami, carrying more pilgrims to join the 300 who had arrived Monday in Santiago, the pope’s first stop. [More]