Perhaps no better metric exists by which to measure the actions of the current Vicar of Jesus Christ â€” Pope Benedict XVI. The Cuban-American community spent the past month anxiously awaiting Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s arrival in Cuba. Would He meet with Las Damas de Blanco, the Ladies in White, one of the Catholic Churchâ€™s most faithful groups on the Island?
Would he speak to the Cuban peopleâ€™s need for freedom and the Cuban governmentâ€™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 â€œcreate spaceâ€ 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 churchâ€™s role as a guiding institution in Cubaâ€™s transition has been diminished, if not extinguished. During the Popeâ€™s visit to Cuba, Benedict XVI decided to secure a minimal space for the church rather than defend Cubaâ€™s innocents and its most loyal followers against the abuses they endure daily. Whether this is ultimately in the churchâ€™s long-term benefit is debatable.
A legitimate question remains: Is the popeâ€™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 â€œsecuring space.â€ What would Jesus have done in a similar situation? The answer seems readily available in the Gospels. [More]