Arab Today, arab today dissidents occupy cuba church to press pope
Last Updated : GMT 10:14:37
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Dissidents occupy Cuba church to press pope

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Dissidents occupy Cuba church to press pope

London - AFP

With a papal visit looming, dissidents occupied a Catholic church here in a bold show of activism, demanding Pope Benedict XVI press for political freedom in Cuba, religious and dissident sources said Wednesday. Cuba\'s Catholic church quickly slammed the move as \"illegitimate and irresponsible.\" \"This is a coordinated, planned strategy by groups in different regions around the country. It is not some whim ... it was arranged apparently to create critical situations ahead of Pope Benedict VXI\'s visit,\" said a statement from the archdiocese led by Havana Archbishop Jaime Ortega. The protesters, five women and eight men, are members of the outlawed opposition Republican Party of Cuba (PRC), group member Julio Beltran told AFP. The group entered the Our Lady of Charity church in central Havana late Tuesday and spent the night at the church. By midday Wednesday, they were still on the scene. Police guarded over the area but did not intervene, and the archbishop\'s office said the authorities had promise not to enter the church. The protesters\' demands include unconditional freedom for political prisoners, an end to repression and persecution of regime opponents, access to uncensored news and freedom of travel. Benedict is scheduled to visit Cuba -- the only one-party Communist ruled nation in the Americas -- from March 26-28, 14 years after Pope John Paul II\'s historic visit in January 1998. Roberto Betancourt, a priest at the church, said he received a letter from the protesters, who promise to leave once they received a response from senior church clerics. The local Roman Catholic church, led by Cardinal Ortega, has urged Cubans not to hold political protests ahead of or during the pontiff\'s visit. And church officials slammed use of the church for non-spiritual activities. \"Any acts that seek to turn places of worship into a place for political demonstrations, disregarding the authority of the priest or the right of most people who go there in search of spritual peace or prayer time, certainly are illegitimate and irresponsible,\" the archdiocese statement said. It also said \"similar situations\" have developed around the Caribbean nation of 11.2 million \"but occupiers already have left the churches.\" It did not say how many incidents there were or where they took place. Some Cuban opposition members are critical of church cooperation with the Communist state, which has included mediating the release of political prisoners. But the church is the most influential non-state actor in a society overwhelmingly controlled by the government. After decades of official atheism, the Cuban regime now has more cordial relations with the Catholic and other churches. Most Cubans, however, do not consider themselves practicing Catholics. The pope is scheduled to fly to Santiago de Cuba on March 26, following a visit to Mexico, and celebrate mass in the same town square where John Paul II celebrated services. President Raul Castro will welcome him. The pope will then make a private visit to El Cobre, just outside Santiago, Cuba\'s second largest city on its eastern end. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, a statue of Mary found in the sea off the village and Cuba\'s patroness. Benedict will then fly to Havana, where Cardinal Jaime Ortega will greet him. The pope, 84, is to again meet the president, 80, and may meet his brother, longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro, 85. The pope is scheduled to wrap up the visit on March 28 with a mass in Havana\'s sprawling Jose Marti Revolution Square, where government rallies are routinely held.  

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today dissidents occupy cuba church to press pope Arab Today, arab today dissidents occupy cuba church to press pope

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Laptop ban sparks ire

GMT 09:02 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Laptop ban sparks ire
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes
Arab Today, arab today AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott

GMT 10:30 2017 Thursday ,23 March

AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott

GMT 17:17 2017 Saturday ,18 March

We are all veteran diplomats of culture

GMT 13:58 2017 Friday ,17 March

Christo and Jeanne-Claude winner announced

GMT 19:44 2017 Wednesday ,15 March

Traffic Scientific Forum opened

GMT 17:29 2017 Wednesday ,15 March

3 Gulf mosques win architecture award
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار الثقافة والفنون
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemen children dream of school

GMT 07:25 2017 Friday ,24 March

Yemen children dream of school
Arab Today, arab today MP submits a petition to dismiss university head

GMT 06:21 2017 Friday ,24 March

MP submits a petition to dismiss university head
Arab Today, arab today Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry

GMT 04:51 2017 Friday ,24 March

Salvage of South Korea's Sewol ferry
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni

GMT 07:03 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Merna Waleed praises her work with Soad Hosni
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked

GMT 07:12 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"

GMT 22:00 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Number of unwedded girls amounts to 2.5m

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 07:03 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Spider Venom May Offer Hope to Stroke Victims

GMT 10:18 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Kuwait's tourism industry to be worth

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday