Francis in Cuba


From an editorial in the Washington Post:

A Cuban dissident is prevented by securiThe pope is spending four days in a country whose Communist dictatorship has remained unrelenting in its repression of free speech, political dissent and other human rights despite a warming of relations with the Vatican and the United States. Yet by the end of his third day, the pope had said or done absolutely nothing that might discomfit his official hosts.

Pope Francis met with 89-year old Fidel Castro, who holds no office in Cuba, but not with any members of the dissident community — in or outside of prison. According to the Web site, two opposition activists were invited to greet the pope at Havana’s cathedral Sunday but were arrested on the way. Dozens of other dissidents were detained when they attempted to attend an open air Mass. They needn’t have bothered: The pope said nothing in his homily about their cause, or even political freedom more generally.

m.5207_pope-john-paul-krakowCare for a contrast? Just look at this picture of Francis’s predecessor, St. John Paul II, embracing Lech Walesea, the leading dissident in Communist Poland. It is possible to reign as supreme pontiff, remaining, fundamentally, above politics — and yet to stand with those fighting for human liberty.

Photo above: AFP/Getty via the Telegraph

Published in General, Religion & Philosophy
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 123 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt

    Ryan M:

    Doug Watt:The Mexican government literally tried to destroy the Church in the Cristero War between 1926 and 1929, and received contributions from the Ku Klux Klan to help it to do so. Then there is the rise of secularism in Europe and the United States.

    … and for anyone who thinks this sort of thing is interesting, Graham Greene wrote the very good, though sometimes uncomfortable to read The Power and the Glory.

    It is a great novel. Thanks for the reminder Ryan.

    • #121
  2. Manny Coolidge

    Ryan M

    Tommy De Seno:It appears you are saying his evangelizing (or the level of it) depends on the group, which I understand.

    I am saying that the manner in which he evangelizes to various groups – taken as a whole – says a lot more about the man than many Catholics are willing to admit. I am also saying that I’ve seen a lot of individualized defenses when it comes to examples, and while each is plausible, the whole picture still seems largely undeniable. I have noticed that whenever I argue with Catholics on this matter (and I’m not lumping them all together; many Catholics agree with what I’m saying), they seem to immediately begin discussing individual instances, which might be defensible on their own. The aggregate is much more difficult to defend, and that was my point (I apologize for repeating myself so much) with the burglar’s toolkit.

    By and large Ryan, you’re right, the Pope is on the left side of the divide.  I think most Catholics (such as myself) don’t see it as extreme as most non Catholics.  We see more nuances from the Pope than non Catholics, and so non Catholics are jumping to the conclusion the Pope is a Marxist.  It’s a question of where on the left spectrum the Pope actually is.  That’s our discrepency.

    • #122
  3. Al Kennedy Inactive
    Al Kennedy


    Pope John Paul II on his 1983 arrival in Managua, wags his finger and publicly reprimands Liberation Theology Jesuit priest and Sandinista Minister of Culture Ernesto Cardenal.

    Pope Francis is a very holy man, but the cardinals who elected him did not focus on his predilection for Liberation Theology.  Before becoming pope his entire life experience was a Peronist Argentina.  This has strongly influenced his political and economic views.

    • #123
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.