Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 16, 1998     The Message
PAGE 1     (1 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 1     (1 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
January 16, 1998

Newspaper Archive of The Message produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2020. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

ba visit, pope hopes to rage Church resurgence iS Service bring encour- church to a society crossroads when he 25. to the Caribbean a year of pas- has church i ptimistically of :k." The i  7 ; .... approach : Will bemore nudging confrontational of Christmas one tan- .arrival also fol- of intense media days, the Corn ng down mUnism will of state one of the at the pope said he Cuba's and sup- and united all individuals place and aspirations by age and four m a country that culminate in an Jan. 25 in the Revolu- r for where the shouted Outlined three pope in Cuba: strength. society iso- community. preaching might be overlooked by the media as a "merely" spiritual side of this trip, but it is a priority for Pope John Paul. Drawing on his expe- rience in Eastern Europe, the pope believes it is essential for him to bring a message of Gospel hope, one that tran- scends ideology and politics, to the many Cubans who are disil- lusion6d with both. After a year of pastoral prepa- ration that has included out- door Masses, processions and conferences on justice issues, Cuban Catholic leaders are con- vinced the island is undergoing a gradual religious awakening, and they want to nurse this revival carefully. "The church in Cuba is experi- encing a revitalization: in the greater number of faithful who participate in liturgical and sacra- mental life, in the growing num- ber of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and in the apos- tolic commitment of the laity," Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino said recently. The pope recognizes that Cubans' Christian faith has been tested by decades of political and economic hardship under the 39- year-old regime of President Fidel Castro. The moral fatigue experi- enced under communism cannot be turned around overnight, but a papal visit offers an unprece- dented platform for the church's message. The pope's second goal is to promote a higher-profile role for the church in Cuban society. On the one hand, he will stress that the church -- through its pastoral and soc.ial programs w is work- ing for justice and the common good. His aim is to convince Cas- tro and his possible succes,4ors to accept the church as a partner on ethical and social issues. The pope will also remind the government of the principles of religious freedom. He is likely to highlight, as he did in this year's World Peace Day mes- sage, the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the need for states to abide by those interna- tionally accepted standards. The pope's approach will be more nudging than confronta- tional, Vatican officials say. He wants Cuban leaders to know that recent state concessions on religion are welcome, but still fall short of church expectations. Vatican officials have said the main problem in Cuba is that the relaxation of some religious restrictions are still seen as con- .cessions, not as human fights. That's a point the pope is expected to touch upon in talks and sermons that will be broad- cast throughout the country. In a wider sense, the pope hopes his visit will favor Cuba's reintegration into the world community. The pontiff favors k esday? Wednesday, Feb. 25, and runs until the on Holy Thursday, April 9, accord- Ordo. democratic reforms in Cuba, and he opposes the U.S. embar- go of the island nation. How directly he deals with each of these issues will be of great interest to those inside and outside Cuba's borders. One Vatican official said the pope wants political "evolution, not revolution." But beyond the papal speech- es, the pope knows that his presence can help break down the walls of isolation around Cuba. More than 1,000 journal- ists are expected, in Cuba for his visit, ensuring that the world will have an unprecedented look at the island's people, their problems and their hopes. E St. Theresa eighth grader Adrienne Mayer is participating in the "Ready-or-Not Tot" program, which provides stu- dents with a realistic idea of the demands of parenting. For story and photo, see page 13. -- Message photo by Man/Ann Hughes Vatican downplays discovery of bugging device in Cuban parish By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) Cuban church officials prepar- ing for Pope John Paul II's visit discovered a rudimentary bug- ging device in a parish building, Vatican sources said. The sources said the electron- ic eavesdropping device was found in October in a church building that was not being used to host the pope when he visits Jan. 21-25. They said it appeared to have been in place for several years. The news of the discovery of the device was reported by the Spanish newspaper El Pais Jan. 10. The Vatican press office and a Cuban church spokesman refused to comment on the report, but Vatican sources pri- vately confirmed it in part. The Vatican sources said it was untrue, however, as the Spanish newspaper had report- ed, that discovery of the bug promptedthe Vatican to con- sider calling off the papal visit. They said the Vatican had noted the incident to the gov- ernment, but had not made a major issue of it. According to press reports from Havana, the Cuban gov- ernment acknowledged that the device was planted in the church building, but said it dated to the time of Fulgencio Battista, the dictator who was overthrown in 1959 by the revolution led by Fidel Castro. Vatican sources were skepti- cal of that explanation, saying the bugging device was old, but not 40 years old. E1 Pais said the discovery of the eavesdropping device was one of many sources of preqrip tension between the Cuban gov- ernment and the Vatican. Vatican officials have made several trips to Cuba in recent months and have generally praised the high level of state cooperation in preparing for the visit. In Washington, a Cuban diplo- mat called "ridiculous" the idea that his government wanted to bug the pope during the visit. Dagoberto Rodriguez, first secretary of the Cuban Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Washington, said the pope was not even going to stay in the place where the bug was said to have been found. The Cuban government favors the papal visit, he said. "We thought it was the right thing to do for the Cuban peo- ple and the Cuban church," he added. ,. Jl i i,l,.- ..... , , i i i Q .... Postcard Camp Page 2 ................. Sanctity of Life Mass Page 2 . t i moo lwo**oo Teens for Life ......................... Page 3