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At Mirror of Justice, Eduardo Penalver has reflections on a recent trip he made to Cuba.

(1) Anyone who doubts the wisdom of the Church’s opposition to communism need only visit Cuba for a short while to become a believer.  There can be no doubt, as Leo XIII recognized (along with every Pope to write a social encyclical thereafter), that Marxist economic systems leave insufficient room for individual dignity and self-expression in the economic sphere.  Moreover, the centralization of virtually all employment leaves dissenters with few options.  The Church’s dual criticism of the injustice of unfettered capitalism, and the inadequacy of the Marxist solution, continues to strike me as incredibly wise.


(3) The Church’s stance with respect to the Castro government is an interesting one.  The Archdiocese of Havana has taken a non-confrontational approach to the regime.  In light of Pope John Paul II’s strong opposition to communist regimes in Eastern Europe, I find the hierarchy’s acquiescence in dictatorship in Cuba to be somewhat disappointing.  While those of us on this blog might disagree about the value of greater lay participation in Church governance, I think we can all agree that there is no excuse for dictatorship in secular government.  No doubt the global Church has more pressing issues, but it would be nice to see the official Church in Cuba take a more prophetic stance in favor of liberty and justice.  (And, to give credit where it is due, some diocese in Cuba have done precisely that.) 

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