On the pope’s trip to Cuba… What would Jesus have done?

It is a simple question that Catholics are taught to ask themselves as children: What would Jesus do?

Perhaps no better metric exists by which to measure the actions of the current Vicar of Jesus Christ — Pope Benedict XVI. The Cuban-American community spent the past month anxiously awaiting Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival in Cuba. Would He meet with Las Damas de Blanco, the Ladies in White, one of the Catholic Church’s most faithful groups on the Island?

Would he speak to the Cuban people’s need for freedom and the Cuban government’s many abuses?

Would he be the breath of fresh air for a downtrodden, desperate, and anguished population?

Would he defend the oppressed from their oppressors or would he simply try to pragmatically “create space” for the Catholic Church?

As a Catholic and a Cuban American longing for the freedom of the Cuban people, the hope that I had in the church’s role as a guiding institution in Cuba’s transition has been diminished, if not extinguished. During the Pope’s visit to Cuba, Benedict XVI decided to secure a minimal space for the church rather than defend Cuba’s innocents and its most loyal followers against the abuses they endure daily. Whether this is ultimately in the church’s long-term benefit is debatable.

A legitimate question remains: Is the pope’s decision one that Christ would have made?

The pope broke from the tradition of both Christ and the Church of defending the defenseless in order to meet its short-term goals of “securing space.” What would Jesus have done in a similar situation? The answer seems readily available in the Gospels. [More]


Vanessa Lopez/Miami Herald