Cuba Permits Construction of First Catholic Church Since 1959 Revolution

Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 12:39 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
For the first time since the 1959 Revolution, communist Cuba has given the go-ahead for the construction of a Catholic Church, reports BBC News.

"The Catholic community is big here but they've never had a church," says engineer Fausto Veloz about the impact the project will have on Santiago de Cuba, where the church will be built. It is the second largest city in a nation in which approximately 53 percent of the population is Catholic.

"I don't know how long it will take to complete but I'm sure we'll do it," Veloz told BBC News.

Veloz plans to recycle 25 tons of scrap metal that was used to construct a stage during Pope Benedict XVI's 2012 visit to Cuba to build the church.

"Reusing the metal means keeping alive the memory of something good for us Catholics. It gives it new life, so it can serve future generations," reports BBC News.

The project, which is expected to cost approximately $350,000, is largely being funded by a Catholic church in Tampa, Fla., according to Fox News Latino.

The construction of a new church is remarkable because the Cuban government to date has only allowed for the refurbishment and renewal of existing churches.

While the Cuban government severely restricts religious practice, there have been some positive signs in recent years.

For example, Cuba's Office of Religious Affairs has loosened some restrictions on faith communities, but the ORA continues to require a license to import religious literature and other religious materials.

The Catholic Church has been able to print periodicals and other information and operate their own websites with little or no formal censorship. The ORA allowed for the broadcast of Christmas and Easter messages on state-run radio stations, according to the State Department's 2013 International Religious Freedom report.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), there are 304 parishes in Cuba.

Orlando Márquez Hidalgo, editor and director of the Havana Archdiocese publication Palabra Nueva (or New Word), told The Christian Post relations are improving and that there is "open dialogue" between the Church and Cuban President Raúl Castro.

"There is an open dialogue, there is not a road map, there is an open dialogue where everything can be included," said Márquez. "They talked about the situation in Cuba and the relationship with the regime, how to improve the relations between the Church and the government."

According to the Brookings Institution, the Catholic Church negotiated the release of 50 political prisoners in 2010-11.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Canadians Fear Government Is Unprepared to Stop Terrorism

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 17:11 PM

Two deadly terrorist attacks targeting soldiers this week have left many Canadians fearing that their country is poorly  . . .

Paul Allen Giving $100M to Ebola Fight

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 17:00 PM

Billionaire Paul Allen says he'll contribute at least $100 million to the fight against Ebola.The Microsoft co-founder s . . .

Federal Judge Dismisses Tea Party Lawsuits Against IRS

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 16:52 PM

A federal judge has dismissed on procedural grounds lawsuits filed by several tea party groups against the IRS, USA Toda . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved