Cuban Priest: Church in Cuba is very creative despite prohibitions

Fr. Rolando studies communication in Rome. He hopes to return to his native home, Cuba, and communicate more effectively the life and activity of the Church. However, he will not have it easy.

FR. ROLANDO MONTES DE OCA
Cuban Priest

“The Church in Cuba faces difficulties. For example, it does not have a stable media presence and it has only been gradual. Bishops have been on the radio only two or three times a year. We want the opportunity to communicate the church’s activity but now it is not recognized.”

However, when there are big problems, there are bigger solutions. This priest speaks of a Church, which despite prohibitions, has not been discouraged. On the contrary, these limitations have led to creative projects like these mission houses. Faced with the difficulties imposed by the communist regime to build churches, homes have literally become domestic churches.

FR. ROLANDO MONTES DE OCA
Cuban priest

“It is difficult because churches cannot normally be built. Three have been inaugurated, but we’ve asked for many years to build churches in towns where they do not have them. ”

“In general, Cuban towns have Christian communities, with or without a church. Even strong Christian communities without a church still receive formation, the Eucharist, and other sacraments from under a mango tree or in similar places.”

The relationship between the Church and the communist government has been developing for 60 years step-by-step, with much effort in dialogue and understanding. However, as Fr. Rolando explains, there is still much to be done in terms of religious freedom.

FR. ROLANDO MONTES DE OCA
Cuban priest
“There is freedom of worship, but religious freedom requires more. We still have a long way to go. I wouldn’t say there’s none, but I wouldn’t say there’s a lot. We are still developing, and there is still a long way to go to achieve religious freedom.”

Along the way, there have been great and important gestures, such as the presence of the pontiffs on the island, and although timid the recent visit of the new President Diaz Canel to the shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. According to this priest, it is evident that the Cuban people are deeply religious. They have Christian roots that atheist Marxism has not been able to eradicate for 60 years.