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The 2012 papal visit: a view from Havana.

Pope Benedict XVI's call for changes in Cuba and the world should also focus on churches, say members of Cuban civil society who, independently of their beliefs or ideologies, recognized the impact of the pope's visit to this socialist nation.

Convinced many people "will not yet fully comprehend" the real importance of Benedict's Mar. 26-28 visit, Rev. Raimundo Garcia told IPS that the Catholic Church is demonstrating its power of renewal "amidst very complicated circumstances."

"It is evident that Cuba increasingly does not match the image that many have of it being frozen in space and time," the retired pastor of the Presbyterian Reformed Church Presbyterian Reformed Church may refer to:
  • Presbyterian Reformed Church (Australia)
  • Presbyterian Reformed Church (North America)
 in Cuba said via email.

Garcia, who's also director of the Christian Center for Reflection and Dialogue in Cuba, acknowledged what he called the church's "capacity for dialogue" with the government. "This might be the right time to reach out," he said.

Fourteen years after Pope John Paul Pope John Paul is the name of two Popes of the Roman Catholic Church:
  • Pope John Paul I (1978), who named himself in honor of his predecessors, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. Reigned for only 34 calendar days
  • Pope John Paul II (1978–2005), the only Polish Pope.
 II's visit--which was considered a turning point in relations between the Catholic Church and the Cuban state--Benedict found a society that is increasingly heterogeneous, Catholic intellectuals Roberto Veiga and Lenier Gonzalez acknowledged in a joint response to questions from IPS.

Espacio Laical, a magazine of the Havana archdiocese's lay council, editorialized that by outlining "how much remains to be done to achieve a better country," Benedict promoted truth and life, marriage and the family, freedom and justice, dialogue and social inclusion, forgiveness and reconciliation.

This proposal, the magazine's editors added, consists of the need for "a methodology of relating to and accompanying an extremely diverse society, in which movements are taking shape that defend agendas related to religious, environmental, immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. , sexual orientation, gender and political issues."

They also cited the need to include both Cubans on the island and in the diaspora.

"Some emigres do not want any ties with their homeland or political groups, on either end of the spectrum, and do not agree with dialogue and consensus as a methodology for building the country," the two editors said in their response.

The word "dialogue" is at the center of many analyses on this issue, including among communists and sexual rights activists like Dr. Alberto Roque roque: see croquet. , who published an article on his blog,, questioning whether or not the Catholic Church also "perceives itself as part of the world" that must change.

- INTER PRESS SERVICE Inter Press Service (abbreviated: IPS) is a global news agency. Its main focus is the production of independent news and analysis about events and processes affecting economic, social and political development.  
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Geographic Code:5CUBA
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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