Havana (Agenzia Fides) - The commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba (21-25 January 1998) is a good opportunity to give thanks to God and "the life and mission of the people of God within the framework of the synodal journey that has already begun in all the dioceses". The Cuban Bishops' Conference has already started organizing the program for the celebrations some time ago. Details are currently being worked out so that they can be announced in the next few days. The Cuban Bishops' Conference also dealt with the subject at its 160th General Assembly from November 7th to 11th, which was also attended by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giampiero Gloder.
The Standing Committee of the Bishops' Conference reported on the ad limina visit to the Vatican last October, where the bishops met with the Pope and various
Heads of Dicasteries. The report particularly highlighted the climate of fraternal dialogue and mutual listening on all the issues discussed. The special bond between Pope Francis and the people and the Church in Cuba was also emphasized. The President and Secretary General of the Standing Committee also reported on a visit to Germany and meetings with representatives of organizations that support the pastoral work of the Cuban Church.
Another issue discussed by the bishops was the theme and priorities of the planned pastoral program: The parable of the Good Samaritan is intended to provide spiritual motivation to implement the guidelines formulated by the Cuban Church during the diocesan phase of the synodal process. In this context, members of the national reference team for the synodal process were able to inform the bishops about the work of the diocesan pastoral coordinators and the diocesan synodal teams, who met in Havana last September.
In addition to the election of the presidents of the episcopal commissions, the bishops also discussed the guidelines for the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, work in the field of family ministry, the formation plan for the Seminary of San Carlos and San Ambrosio in Havana, the document for the continental phase of the synodal process, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the World Youth Day in August 2023 in Lisbon, to which a representation of young Cuban Catholics will also travel.
The Bishop of Pinar del Rio, Msgr. Juan de Dios Hernández, took the opportunity to share the experiences he had in his diocese during hurricane Ian and all that was done with the support of faithful from different parts of the country, different Caritas organizations, local authorities and some aid received from abroad, to alleviate the countless difficulties that have arisen. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 17/11/2022)