Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Catholic Church vs. Christianity

"Christianity died at the hands of Catholicism." — José Martí

Martí meant, of course, that prelates like Cardinal Bertone and "Vicars of Christ" like Benedict XVI, more bureaucrats than soldiers of Christ, with Machiavelli's Prince for a Bible and Ovid's Satyricon as a moral guide, had turned their backs on the teachings of Christ and embraced Mammon as God, endangering by their example the very creed that they professed but did not practice. And Marti was right. The leadership of the Catholic Church are warped and stunted men, detached from humanity and contemptuous of it, clinging like courtesans to any tyrant in exchange for an atom of influence, exerted always on behalf of their own parochial interests and never in defense of the tyrant's victims.

Nowhere in the world has the Catholic Church been a greater force for evil than in Cuba. In the 19th century, Pope Pius IX declared Spain's war against the Cuban rebels to be a "holy crusade" and blessed his Catholic Majesty's soldiers as standard bearers of civilization. During U.S. occupation, the Church readily switched allegiance from Spain to the United States, and more interested in preserving her properties in Cuba — she was the island's biggest landowner and landlord — than whether the island became a colony of a Protestant nation, beseeched the Americans never to recognize Cuban independence but to remain there forever as guarantor of her traditional fueros. In the Republican era, the Church allied herself with every dictator of right or left, and at Belén produced the greatest dictator of all, Fidel Castro, and extended her protection to him as he waged a terrorist war on the Cuban people in order to enslave it; and for 50 years, even when the Church herself became an object of persecution in Cuba, she did nothing to oppose Castro but preached resignation and submission to him, becoming Castro's accomplice as she has always been his handmaiden.

But let me not imply that Cuba is the exception. It is generally agreed that the Catholic Church was the most militant in Poland during the time of Communist domination. And yet only last year it was revealed that the hierarchy of the Polish Church, from top to bottom, had been compromised by Communist agents, including the Archbishop of Krakow, John Paul's chosen successor, who resigned after it was revealed that he also had been an informant for the Communists.

Can we expect more of our prelates in Cuba? No, I don't think we can.