Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

February 16, 1999, Cuba Free Press.


HAVANA - Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (CELAN), presided at a mass for the gathering of the bishops of the Hemisphere of América on Monday, Feb. 15, in the church of San Juan de Letrán in Havana's neighborhood called El Vedado.

About 30 archbishops and cardinals from across the hemisphere celebrated masses in parishes around Havana and exchanged thoughts with faithful Roman Catholic parishioners Monday afternoon.

In his homily Moreira Neves referred extensively to the Inter-American Reunion of Bishops and the document "Eclecsia en América" that resulted from the Synod of América celebrated in 1997 in Rome.

"During two days we will be reflecting on this document and our responsibilities resulting from its challenges to us as shepherds of the church," said Neves. He said he hopes the text will reach the Cuban laity so that they will know the thinking of John Paul II about América and the officials of government.

The cardinal added that "they have to know this document; it is the word of the Pope and it will be used by all the American episcopates to enable them to construct a united América, diverse in the identity of its people and yet united, for it is one América" in the words of the pope, who spoke of "La América" to say to us: "Only one must be the gate."

Referring to the pope's document he said the bishops of the hemisphere will surely want to put it to work and are looking for ways to prevent it from merely remaining on the paper. They will want to transform it into something full of vitality for América and if this objective is accomplished, América will have a "solidarity" in América.

Moreira Neves said he was happy to celebrate this eucharistic in the church of San Juan de Letrán, started by the Dominican congregation, to which he belonged 55 years ago. The cardinal prayed that Cuba may be allowed to proclaim the Gospel through the teachings of the Holy Father and he assured his listeners that he will carry to the pope the message that the Dominicans send to him.

At the end of the mass, the prefect gave Cuba Free Press an evaluation of the inter-American reunion: "We are very happy with the reunion of bishops from Canadá, United States and many Latin American countries with the Cuban bishops. It is an excellent reunion that studies the Holy Father's document. We pray to Our Lady of Charity of "el Cobre" (the village of Copper) to protect this reunion and to make it plentiful in its fruits."

Regarding the specific influence of the document on the Catholic Cuban and Latin American church he said, "I think it will be an important foundation for evangelization and enable the pope's message to be firmly and summarily applied in each nation so that each church will apply it to its own people." The Interamerican reunion of bishops analized in La Habana the document "Eclecsia en América" and the repercussions of the Pope visit to Cuba in January, 1998.

Efrén Martínez, Cuba Free Press.

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