April 18, 2008, - 10:09 am

Ex-Cuban Political Prisoner: Pope, Vatican Enabling Cuban Totalitarianism

By Debbie Schlussel
Although I am not Catholic, one of my heroes–Armando Valladares–is. Valladares, author of the moving, must-read “Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag,” has in important piece in today’s Wall Street Journal.
He writes about the Vatican’s decades-long enabling of Castro’s torture and oppression of Catholics (and other Cubans). Sadly, under Pope Benedict XVI, that repression and enabling continues.


Armando Valladares on Vatican’s Enabling of Cuban Oppression

In the late ’80s, when I worked on Capitol Hill during college, I had the memorable opportunity to hear this very inspirational, brave, heroic man–Valladares–speak and to meet him. The unspeakable torture he endured for over two decades in Cuban prison, merely for expressing mild distaste with Communism, gives him an important–but, sadly, not unique–platform from which to criticize the Vatican’s blind eye to repression and persecution of Catholics (and so many others) in Cuba. In his book, Valladares wrote of how his Christian faith enabled him to survive and get through it all.
Today he is shocked that such prominent Christian leaders turn the other cheek while their followers are oppressed in Cuba:

The Catholic Church has taken a hardline position against right-wing dictatorships. But in Cuba, the Church has been silent – or worse – ever since 1960, when Fidel Castro expelled hundreds of Catholic priests because they alerted their parishioners of the communist danger surfacing in government circles.
In one especially shameful episode in the 1980s, Ventura, Cipriano and Eugenio Garc??a Marin and their mother entered the nunciature in Havana to ask for political asylum. Two days later they saw several priests get out of a black limousine. They were special troops from Castro’s political police who entered the Holy See’s diplomatic mission with the authorization and complicity of the pope’s diplomats in Havana. The three brothers were executed, and their mother was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Cardinal Tarsicio Bertone’s visit to Cuba this February was a different kind of outrage. In statements by the Vatican secretary of state, published by L’Osservatore Romano shortly after the cardinal’s visit, the cardinal is quoted saying, contrary to historical fact, that Cuba’s Catholic Church is not a “persecuted Church.” He also described Cuba’s universities as “renowned centers of higher education.” In reality, they are sophisticated factories of atheism and apostasy. . . .
The Vatican’s diplomatic behavior helps prolong the agony of my sisters and brothers in Cuba, and creates a grave problem of conscience for loyal Cuban Catholics who expect better from the pope. It in no way diminishes their veneration to express respectful disappointment and even disagreement with the Vatican. . . .
Both the pope and President Bush have immense responsibilities before God and the Cuban people.

Read the whole thing.
**** UPDATE: Reader Louis, a Cuban-American, writes:

Great article about the Vatican’s blind eye to Cuba. My parents are from Cuba, and my Father told me how JESUITS helped the revolution! Castro was trained by Jesuit priests when he was younger I believe. . . . So that could be why Rome is silent. If they speak up the truth will come out of yet another travesty they helped. The Jesuits, in general, were so bad in Cuba that my father nearly lost his faith in God.

Definitely a tragedy.

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7 Responses

Infiltration of the Catholic church by left-wing activists and homosexuals will eventually destroy all churches from within because people have become more concerned with being “politically correct” than just correct.

eloopd on April 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

Shalom Debbie All
I am not Jewish and I am not christian anymore because of what the christian religion really is, a pagan religion.
The “Pontifex Maximus” or Pontiff for short is a pagan leader of pagan festivals
Can anyone of you name me 1 ritual or festival celebrated in the catholic or christian sect that is found in the early 1st-3rd centuries scriptures?
I suggest you read 2 books, first read FOSSILIZED CUSTOMS by Lew White then read THE TWO BABYLONS by Alexander Hislop.
I also recommend you go to http://yadayahweh.com/ and read how the 1st-3rd centuries scriptures differ from the dcriptures of today.
As an interesting historic note, Constantine’s conversion occurred precisely 300 years before Satan would inspire Muhammad to lead Muslims in jihad against all mankind. Men of similar character (actually, lack thereof), one was to corrupt the message of Yahushua while the other was to repudiate it. One religion was for the confused, the other for the comatose. Both arose and thrive by oppression in milieus of ignorance and indoctrination. No informed rational person could possibly tolerate either.
And that is the lesson for us today, in this era in which evil has a Trinity. In addition to the religion of the confused (Catholicism) and comatose (Islam), we have a religion for conceited collectivists. The religion of man is known by many names: Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Secular Humanism, and the New World Order. It parades under the slogans: Human Rights, the Rights of Man, the Dignity of Man, Humanism, Reason, Enlightenment, Political Correctness, and Social Democracy. These manifestations of evil – Confused, Comatose, and Conceited – share many things in common. The leaders of all three strive to control people. Their modus operandi is deception and indoctrination. They prevail because the populous is ignorant and apathetic.
Conquering people is the antithesis of the message taught by Yahushua but it is consistent with that of the Nicolaitans – the people and principles Yahushua hates. Moreover, there are no “crosses” in Scripture, so there must have been another basis for Constantine’s symbolism. The Greek word stauros, meaning “upright pole” was changed to the Latin crux, for “cross” by the Roman Catholic Church in their Vulgate to serve Satan and legitimize Constantine. The first religious use of a cross was for Tammuz, the Babylonian Son of the Sun. Catholics still celebrate his birthday every Christmas.
Crosses attached to or superimposed on circles were the most common Satanic symbols in pagan religions. The Egyptian Ankh, the Hindu Swastika, the Druid “Peace Sign,” and the Roman Chi Rho are all examples. The scientific symbol for “woman,” a circular sun with an external cross, was first used in Babylon to designate the “Mother of God.” The biological male designation, a circle with an arrow emanating from it, is also of Babylonian origin. It signified the sun, represented by the circle, sending a ray, represented by the arrow, out to Mother Earth, impregnating her at the Festival of Ishtar, celebrated on the Sunday nearest the Vernal Equinox. True to the faith of Constantine, Catholics celebrate the Sun’s achievement each year on Easter Sunday, nine months before the Sun God’s nativity on December 25th.
There are several explanations for the origin of the cross in Satanic sun god lore. It represented the first letter of Tammuz’s name. And the sun “crosses” the equator at the Vernal Equinox, the day the Babylonians believe the sun impregnated mother earth giving birth to Tammuz nine months later at the Winter Solstice. Pagans celebrated Easter Sunday by baking sun-shaped rolls with crosses cut into them. The custom continues with the baking of Hot Cross Buns today. Constantine, and his “Sign of the Cross,” ritualistically imitated by all Catholics today, elevated the Satanic symbol to universal acclaim.
As bad as all this is, it only gets worse. The High Priest of the astrological fertility cult the Magi brought from Babylon to Pergamos held the title of “Chief Bridge Builder,” meaning “the one who spans the gap between mortals and gods.” In Latin this title is written “Pontifex Maximus” or Pontiff for short. In keeping with the arrogance of the Caesars, it was adopted by Constantine in 325 CE. The emperor also called himself “the Vicar [the person who is authorized to perform the functions] of Christ.” This too was contrary to Scripture because Yahushua alone is the bridge between man and God. He said, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Messiah Yahushua.” (1Timothy 2:5)
In short, the ìcrossî is a satanic symbol and a graven image rooted in the Babylonian, Egyptian, and Roman sungod religions. Yahushua suffered on an upright pole, symbolizing Him standing up for us so that we could stand with Him. Yahwehís only tangible symbol is the seven light Menorah, because it embodies His plan (six, the number of man, plus one, the number of God, equals seven, signifying perfection within the concept of oil (symbolizing the Spirit) and light (symbolizing Yahwehís nature, eternity, and enlightenment)).
Christmas, Easter, and Lent are all sungod festivalsóall based in Babylon and Rome. On the Sunday nearest the vernal equinox (celebrated as Easter Sunday today) when the sun crosses the earth at high noon, its rays were said to impregnate Mother Earth (Ishtar/Astarte/the Madonna/Queen of Heaven/Mother of God), yielding the birth of the son of the sun nine months later (Tamuz/Nimrod/Isis/Adonis/Bacchus) on the winter solstice (celebrated as Christmas today). The forty days of Lent are derived from the 40 days Tamuz, the son of the sun in the Babylonian religion suffered prior to his death. Yahwehís festivals include Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Sevens, Shouting a Warning (Taruwíah), Reconciliations, and Shelters (Tabernacles). They form the basis of His prophetic timeline and the basis of His plan of redemption. Catholicism made celebrating them illegalópunishable by death.
Sunday is the day all good pagans worshiped their sun gods. Yahwehís set apart day was and remains the Sabbath. It symbolizes the foundation of Scripture: six plus one equals seven.
The concept of the Madonna and Child is based entirely on Babylon as well. Yahweh considers it an abomination to pray to a dead person and to worship in front of a graven image. The first Madonna was named Ishtar, the basis of Easter. She was the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. These are counterfeits for the role of our Spiritual Motheróthe Set-Apart Spirit.
In fact, the religion of Christianity as a whole is a counterfeit, based more on Babylonian doctrines than on Scripture. Constantine, the founder of Catholicism and thus Christianity, was and remained a sungod worshiper. He simply applied somewhat Scriptural names and concepts to his religion which was Mithraism. That is why he said he ìsaw the sign of a cross superimposed on the sun,î and said he heard ìunder this sign conquer.î

INFINITE on April 18, 2008 at 11:58 am

INFINITE in terms of lunacy, that is. Shalom to you, moonbat, take off your tin foil hat and smell the coffee. You have been seduced by the oldest hoaxes around. Judaism, the foundation of all truths in the world, is the basis and prefigurement for the Catholic faith. Is that a cult, also?
Maybe it’s time to put down those Dan Brown books.

CapitalistGig on April 18, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Actually, itís Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
This cardinal is certainly highly reputable.
Now if Armando Valladares has a concern about statements Cardinal Bertone has made, he really should take it up with the cardinal first, and privately.
As Jesus clearly commanded.
I mean, if Armando is Catholic.
The only Cubans that seem to be concerned about changing Cuba are the exiled Cubans of Miami. They even describe themselves as ìchildren of lightî while referring to resident Cubans as ìchildren of darknessî.
Obviously dispositions like these are not a ìmeeting pointî for either side.
The Church certainly has to be careful about negative public statements while Fidel is still around. Native Cuban Catholics would certainly suffer again, as before, like in the early days of the Revolution.
The primary duty of the Church is to spread the Gospel, win converts and maintain the flock.
Not to change existing political structures.
Rulers and ways to rule come and goÖ and the Catholic Church has seen a lot of them goñ
Still, the Cardinalís remarks could be a little more balanced in light of continuing shortcomings in regard to religious freedom in that country. And human rights. And poverty. It certainly isnít all sweetness and light in Cuba. And Castro sees the beauty and success of a Revolution where nobody else does!
Cuba is a complete and utter failure by modern, worldwide, and objective standards.
Communism has never been easy to root out because atheism is also a strong, although an evil religion, but also because ìfaithî isnít given to everyone, as Jesus has disclosed. And even people of good will, have at times been duped by Stalin’s illusion.
StillÖ the Catholic Church is Godís kingdom on earth, and into eternity, so the expectations of her are quite high, both from believers and unbelievers!
And we know the callingÖ to that degree of perfection, really comes from God, no matter who utters the expectation.
Godís work isnít done in Cuba, but the initial push for significant change must come from within Cubans themselves.
Like in Poland two decades ago.
There was Lech Wałęsa and MANY OTHER Poles who pushed for change and won.
And so far I ainít seeing it from Cubans.
JESUITS helped the Cuban Revolution?
Well, now we know why Rome, has to suppress the Jesuit order, from time to time.
ënuff said.

The Canadien on April 18, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Another disturbing thing about the Pope’s visit is his praise of the United Nations, which he says is fighting for human rights all over the world. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who he is talking about.
It seems like most of the liberals are focussing on the inappropriate behavior of a few priests, and many of the conservative talk show hosts address little more than the pageantry of the Pope’s visit.
Meantime, much of what he is saying, as in this post, illegal aliens, etc. is, when you get right down to it, a hostile agenda, although I have great respect for the role the Catholic Church as played in this country for things like fighing Communism, abortion, promoting decent values, and so on.

c f on April 19, 2008 at 6:40 am

As a Catholic and a Cuban-American I agree completely with Valladares and his column about the church. I do want to address the commenter who mentioned the Jesuits though. Fidel Castro was in fact educated by the Jesuit fathers in Cuba at a school named Belen (Bethlehem in Spanish). I don’t think the Jesuits knowingly trained Fidel to become a dictator. Belen produced many fine graduates including Roberto Goizueta who later went on to be become the chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola company.
The position of the church in pre-castro Cuba was decidedly anti-Batista. Of that there is no doubt. But the church has suffered greatly under Castro. He expelled most of the priests and nuns including those who ran his alma mater which Castro expropriated.
I mention this, because today it is those same Jesuit priests that are making a stand against the greater church albeit diplomatically.
Here is a link to recent letter sent by the Superior of Jesuits in Miami Florida to Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.
Thanks Debbie.

Henry Louis Gomez on April 20, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I am a Jesuit-educated Irish-American Catholic. Yes, there are many moonbats that have infaltrated positions in the Catholic Church. However, please be careful not to fall into the trap that mainstream Catholics believe this, or that mainstream Jesuit educational facilities foster this type of anti-American sympathy. This has been going on for years. Does anyone remember Liberation Theology? This is basically Marxist/Leninist teachings woven into Catholic doctrine. Thankfully, the late Pope John Paul discredited and disavowed this perverse doctrine.
Catholics need to pay close attention to the congregations they attend. I was at a Christmas mass one year where the priest quoted Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine to chastise America’s obsession with “guns and violence.” However, lets remember that there are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, and the church is a “big tent” with views all across the political spectrum.

JasonBourne81 on April 21, 2008 at 2:14 pm

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