Havana (Agenzia Fides) - From March, 28 to 31, the 159th Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba was held at the Casa de Retiros y Convivencias de El Cobre, which was attended by almost all the Bishops, except those unable to be present due to health reasons, and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giampiero Gloder.
As reported in the note by Father Ariel Suárez Jáuregui, Deputy Secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, sent to Fides, the first day of the meeting was dedicated to prayer, led by Father Camilo de la Paz Salmón, of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba. The Bishops prayed with the Word of God and the texts of Vietnamese Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, SaintTeresa Benedict of the Cross and Edith Stein, and reflected on the theology of the cross and the martyrdom testimony of these brothers in the faith. Contemplating the gift of the priesthood, the Bishops dwelt on the challenges, anxieties and joys of priests in Cuba today.
They shared the complex situation that the country is going through, marked by the growing emigration of many, especially young people, with the consequences that this entails for families and the nation. The Bishops renewed their commitment to continue to accompany priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful so that they can continue to proclaim the joy of the Gospel to the Cuban people.
Likewise, they also decided to strengthen and promote vocational ministry, so that young people, whom the Lord calls, find the environment and the appropriate accompaniment to respond to their vocation. For this reason, they reviewed the progress of the Seminaries in the country, thanking the formators for their work. They continued the debate on the implementation of the Guidelines for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adults, approved the Manual of procedures in this regard, decided to establish a diocesan reference for possible situations of this type and the creation of a Multidisciplinary Team, for the time being of a national nature, which will be in charge of drawing up the procedures in accordance with what was established.
According to the note from the Bishops' Conference, the Bishops also decided that a delegation from the Cuban Church will participate in the World Meeting of Families to be held next June in Rome. In line with their November 2021 Message, the Cuban bishops reaffirmed that they will continue to promote God's truth about marriage and the family, aware that what is based on truth is what guarantees authentic progress and happiness for families and peoples. During the Assembly, the Bishops assessed the progress of the synodal process in the dioceses and discussed the various diocesan Assemblies that will take place in June and from which they expect, with the help of the Lord, a revitalization of the life of the Cuban Church according to the three fundamental axes: communion, participation and mission. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/4/2022)