There are moments when I am deeply disturbed by things that I see around me. This is one of those moments. Cardinal Jaime Ortega is a “man of the cloth.” He is an important part of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and is a leader of the RC church in the Americas. However, he also happens to be a puppet of the Castro regime in Cuba. This is a sad turn of events because Ortega was once a political prisoner of the Castro regime, jailed from 1966-67 for his faith and his willingness to defend his flock.
Sadly, those days seem far behind him.
Over the last few years Cardinal Ortega has endeavored to carry out what some are calling a “propaganda scheme” for the communist leaders in Havana.
Ortega is a perfect example of the hypocritical game played by modernist Vatican officials – in the ongoing dialogue and rapprochement with the Communists, which has often been duplicitous towards dissidents, prisoners and Cubans in exile.
Ortega has shown his true colors again, through the Archdiocese of Havana’s lay apostolate publication, Espacio Laical, which has published a series of wordy, ignorant, convoluted and embarrassing apologies for the Communist regime through its Editorial No. 230 (May 2013) – essentially claiming that there is potential for change in Cuba, within a progressive (socialist) framework.
In the editorial diatribe of EspacioLaical one can find every excuse for rejecting freedom, including the condemnation of “certain individuals” who insist on asking”important centers of power” to “destabilize the government of Cuba” – which could in turn be “fundamentally detrimental to the people of the Island.”
To add insult to injury, the editorial refers to Cuba’s oppressive Communist measures as “inflexibilities”:
“Realmente pueden existir fundamentos que justifiquen ciertas inflexibilidades…”
TRANSLATION: “Actually, there can be grounds that could justify certain inflexibilities…”
Then just a few months ago Ortega continued the campaign of lies by telling a Spanish language Catholic magazine that there were no political prisoners in Cuba, just “common criminals.”
In an interview held in Rome, and published on March 30 in the Spanish language Catholic magazine Nueva Vida (New Life), Cardinal Ortega denied that there were any political prisoners in Cuba. Two months later, on June 5, Cardinal Ortega told Spain’s Cadena Ser radio that “there are no political prisoners on the island; just common criminals.”
“The dissidents, those that are called dissidents, are more present in the foreign press, in south Florida, and in blogs,” he said.
Thankfully, there are other faithful, freedom-loving Catholics who are standing against Cardinal Ortega and his lies.
Bishop Jorge Serpa, who leads Ortega’s old parish of Pinar del Rio, recently stood and directly contradicted Ortega’s comments.
“Yes we do have cases of political prisoners, people serving long sentences for whom I have requested a review — and I won’t tire of doing it — as the representative of the Church,” said Jorge Serpa, the bishop of the western province of Pinar del Rio, in an interview with a Catholic magazine.
Cuba’s government denies jailing political dissidents, but rights activists on the island say it is holding at least 60 of them…
Serpa, who heads the Church’s prison pastoral commission in Cuba, said there are “people who are serving 47, 40 years in prison.”
Bishop Serpa is not the only Cuban calling out Ortega for his lying defense of the communist dictatorship in Cuba.
Elizardo Sanchez, leader of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), contested Cardinal Ortega’s claim that there were no political prisoners left in Cuba. According to the PanAm Post, the CCDHRN identified at least two dozen prisoners serving long sentences for peaceful political activities, 13 of whom were members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Cuba’s largest dissident organization.
The Catholic Register reported that Jose Daniel Ferrer — general coordinator of Cuba’s Patriotic Union (UNPACU) — “wrote an open letter to Pope Francis Sept. 3 asking him to ‘intercede and take up the defense of the rights of the oppressed in Cuba.’”
Damas de Blanco (“Ladies in White”) leader Berta Soler told Reuters that she would like to “discuss with the Pope the need to stop police violence against those who exercise their freedom to demonstrate in public.”
Earlier this summer, she reiterated to the PanAm Post that “the Catholic Church … should protect and shelter every suffering, defenseless person.”
Sadly, it seems that (at least for now) Pope Francis has decided to side with the communism-defending, dictator-supporting Cardinal Ortega, as opposed to the Bishops, priests and parishioners begging for help from the Roman Catholic Church.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com