Saturday, September 29, 2007

Archbishop: Religious freedom in Cuba growing incrementally

Sept. 28, 2007, 4:05PM
Archbishop: Religious freedom in Cuba growing incrementally
Associated Press

MIAMI — A Roman Catholic prelate in Cuba said while visiting Miami's
Cuban exile community that religious practice is slowly spreading in
that nation despite rigid restrictions.

Archbishop Dionisio Guillermo García Ibáñez, who leads Catholics in
Santiago, Cuba, said the church has been able to expand its reach,
though it will be years before it achieves goals of even more openness.

"The faith of our community has manifested; it has been reborn," he said
in a recent interview during a visit here. "The Catholic faith in our
community has resurrected."

García didn't attribute eased restrictions to Fidel Castro's decision to
temporarily hand over the government to his brother Raul last year. He
said he has witnessed piecemeal improvements since his 1985 ordination.

Catholics prayed they could hold religious processions in the streets;
García says there have now been more than 90. And they pushed for
Catholic radio broadcasts, which are now allowed once or twice a year.

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