Sunday, September 20, 2015

Parsing Pope Francis' Speech on his Arrival in Cuba

Mr President,
Distinguished Authorities,
Brother Bishops,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank you, Mr President, for your greeting and your kind words of welcome in the name of the government and the entire Cuban people. [There is no legally-constituted "government" in Cuba, and the ruling clique responsible for this fact does not represent the Cuban people nor is it entitled to speak for them. The pope can acknowledge the thanks of its chief capo in the name of the criminal enterprise that has hijacked Cuban freedom for 56 years and made the Cuban Church a clinging vassal of the State; he should not, however, presume that Raúl Castro's gratitude for the undeserved legitimacy which the papal visit confers on his regime is something for which the Cuban people themselves should feel grateful]. I also greet the authorities and the members of the diplomatic corps present at this ceremony.

My gratitude also goes to Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, Archbishop of Havana, the Most Reverend Dionisio Guillermo García Ibáñez, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba and President of the Episcopal Conference, the other bishops and all the Cuban people, for their warm welcome. [Archbishop García Ibañez should have been named first because the archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba is Cuba's oldest and therefore he, and not Ortega, is the primate of Cuba (that is, the titular head of the Cuban Church). Of course, the power if not the title has been conferred by the Holy See on Cardinal Ortega, a cretinous collaborator of the Castro regime who denies the existence of political prisoners in Cuba, refers to Cuban dissidents as agents of Miami's exiled "worms" ["gusanera"] and threatens them with arrest by Castro's henchmen when they dare to attend church services or have the effrontery to present him with a list of Cuba's political prisoners].

I thank, too, all those who worked to prepare for this Pastoral Visit. Mr President, I would ask you to convey my sentiments of particular respect and consideration to your brother Fidel [The dictator emeritus of Cuba will later be thanked personally by Francis, who will no doubt reiterate then his "particular respect and consideration." Since Francis' "respect and consideration" is "particular" (that is, distinct from and superior to his respect for other "authorities," etc.). it would not be fastidious to ask on what he bases his "respect and consideration." Is it for the eradication of the Catholic Church from the daily lives of the faithful? Or is it for allowing Catholics to join the Communist Party?]

I would like my greeting to embrace especially all those who, for various reasons, I will not be able to meet, and to Cubans throughout the world. [Those that he "will not be able to meet" (or chooses not to meet) are Cuba's dissidents and political prisoners, his flock's most abandoned sheep. They are so very abandoned that the pope does not even dare to acknowledge their existence at all, though he nevertheless wishes to "embrace" them with his silence. The only hint that he means Cuba's "disappeared ones" is that this unnamed group is classed with "Cubans throughout the world," that is, the one-fifth of Cuba's population that has fled Castro's island-prison. The pope, of course, is free to "embrace" Miami's exiles on U.S. soil, but he will never succor the victims because that would offend his hosts, who seized the property of the Church in Cuba and now have it in their power to return it in exchange for her support. The irony, of course, is that the property that was stolen by Castro & Company was donated by those that the Church now spurns].

This year of 2015 marks the eightieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Cuba and the Holy See [It is ridiculous to mention this historical fact since there is no connection between the Republic of Cuba that existed in 1935 and the Castro dictatorship. It is the dictatorship itself that would be the first to disavow such a connection].

Providence [Is "Providence" another name for Raúl Castro?] today enables me to come to this beloved nation, following the indelible path opened by the unforgettable apostolic journeys which my two predecessors, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, made to this island [he does indeed follow in their footsteps, and, like them, will say nary a word that would offend his hosts, while posing for photographs with them that leave no doubt about his support for the regime]. I know that the memory of those visits awakens gratitude and affection in the people and leaders of Cuba [in the "leaders of Cuba," certainly. Who would have thought that a tinpot dictator could make three pontiffs dance to his tune?]

Today we renew those bonds of cooperation [collaboration] and friendship [opportunism], so that the Church can continue [?] to support and encourage the Cuban people in its hopes and concerns, with the freedom, the means and the space needed to bring the proclamation of the Kingdom to the existential peripheries of society. [The Church needs "the freedom, the means and the space" to "bring the proclamation of the Kingdom to the existential peripheries of society" (whatever that means). The Cuban people, however, do not require (in the pope's estimation) "the freedom, the means and the space" to accept or reject such a proclamation. The Church wishes to be co-equal with the State in the exercise of her fueros (rights). She is not interested in upholding the free-will of the Cuban people. In fact, her interests (like those of the State) are best served by denying the Cuban people any say in their future, as this would lead to the rejection of both].

This Apostolic Journey also coincides with the first centenary of Pope Benedict XV’s declaration of our Lady of Charity of El Cobre as Patroness of Cuba. It was the veterans of the War of Independence who, moved by sentiments of faith and patriotism, wanted the Virgen mambisa to be the patroness of Cuba as a free and sovereign nation. [Pope Francis should have praised the generosity and willingness to forgive of Cuba's veterans at least as much as their "faith and patriotism," since, in petitioning the pope to have Our Lady of Charity declared Patroness of Cuba, they had to overlook the fact that Pius IX and Leo XIII had sided with Spain against the Cuban people during our Wars of Independence (for that sordid history, see here).]

Since that time she [the Virgin of Charity, we suppose, but certainly not the Catholic Church] has accompanied the history of the Cuban people, sustaining the hope which preserves people’s dignity in the most difficult situations and championing the promotion of all that gives dignity to the human person. The growing devotion to the Virgin [as Ochún] is a visible testimony of her presence in the soul of the Cuban people.

In these days I will have occasion to go to El Cobre, as a son and pilgrim, to pray to our Mother for all her Cuban children and for this beloved nation, that it may travel the paths of justice, peace, liberty and reconciliation [while remaining a one-party police state which obstructs all paths to justice, peace and liberty. As for "reconciliation," there is no way of reconciling with unrepentant evil that does not make us its accomplices — a theological premise that the pope should take to heart]. 

Geographically, Cuba is an archipelago [he is right, for once], facing all directions, with an extraordinary value as a "key” between north and south, east and west. Its natural vocation is to be a point of encounter for all peoples to join in friendship, as José Martí dreamed, "regardless of the languages of isthmuses and the barriers of oceans.” [But certainly not regardless of whether a tyrant oppresses his people or endangers his neighbors. Martí regarded despotic regimes as incompatible with human dignity and refused to live under the sway of any tyrant however outwardly friendly or hospitable. He intended Cuba to be a point of encounter for all the free nations of Our America, not the axis for subverting freedom everywhere on the continent. It is an insult to Martí's memory to suggest that Castro's Cuba fulfills what Martí believed to be his country's destiny. It is, if anything, the negation of that destiny and the antithesis of everything that Martí hoped, struggled and died for. (Since Pope Francis likes to quote Martí in support of what Martí would have found reprehensible, I offer him a quotation that cannot be misconstrued and admits but one interpretation: "Christianity died at the hands of Catholicism.")]

Such was also the desire of Saint John Paul II, with his ardent appeal: "May Cuba, with all its magnificent potential, open itself to the world, and may the world open itself to Cuba.” [Fidel Castro closed Cubans off from the world. It is he who created fortress Cuba and imprisoned 11 million people within its walls. Pope John Paul II was right to ask Castro to open Cuba to the rest of the world, that is, to return it to the concert of civilized nations. He was wrong, however, to ask the world (read the United States) to "open itself to Cuba" since this would entail the acceptance of a tyrannical regime as the representative of the Cuban people in perpetuity. For the world to open itself to Cuba necessarily means that Cuba itself will never be opened to the world. You do not promote justice by rewarding injustice, nor endow freedom by underwriting tyranny].

For some months now, we have witnessed an event which fills us with hope: the process of normalizing relations between two peoples following years of estrangement. It is a sign of the victory of the culture of encounter and dialogue, "the system of universal growth” over "the forever-dead system of groups and dynasties.” [Again the pope misquotes Martí in the best manner of those who proclaim him the "Intellectual Author of the Cuban Revolution." Martí is condemning "the forever-dead system of cliques and dynasties," as represented today by Francis' hosts, who have created a system in Cuba that is the very negation of "the system of universal growth.” The "culture of encounter and dialogue" [no such "culture" is mentioned let alone endorsed by Martí] has supposedly scored a victory because "the system of universal growth” has somehow been found to be compatible with "the forever-dead system of cliques and dynasties," Martí is right — the two systems are incompatible and no amount of encounter or dialogue can make them compatible. Pope Francis is wrong to suggest otherwise and worse than wrong to falsify Martí's thought to buttress his own feeble moral relativism. Encounter and dialogue are of no value in themselves if they lead to the adjuration of justice and the embrace iniquity].

I urge political leaders to persevere on this path and to develop all its potentialities as a proof of the high service [Raúl Castro has performed "a high service?" To whom? The Church? Humanity? The Americas? The Cuban people? The pope no doubt means all of the above] which they are called to carry out on behalf of the peace and well-being of their peoples, of all America, and as an example of reconciliation for the entire world. The world needs reconciliation, as it experiences an atmosphere of a third world war that's happening in stages. [So the reconciliation of the U.S. and Communist Cuba will defuse "a third world war that's [been] happening in stages" since the 1960s when Fidel Castro first tried to blow-up the world and failing that transformed Cuba into the epicenter of Soviet-sponsored terrorism in the Third World. The pope believes that ISIS will lay down its arms because the U.S. has made peace with the granddaddy of international terrorists! In truth, the U.S. could have "peace in our time" with ISIS if Obama offered to surrender to these terrorists without prior conditions also].

I place these days under the protection of our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Blessed Olallo Valdés and Blessed José López Pietreira [sic], and Venerable Félix Varela, the great promoter of love between Cubans and all peoples, so that our bonds of peace, solidarity and mutual respect may ever increase. 

[Blessed Fray José López Piteira (yes, the pope misspelled and misspoke his name) was a 24-year-old Cuban-born priest who was killed by firing squad during Spain's Civil War (1936-39). He was one of 4,000 priests and nuns murdered by Spain's Stalinist "Republicans." Because he was a foreigner, he could have been reprieved, but preferred to die with his brothers in Christ. He was the first Cuban to be beatified. Cardinal Ortega did not attend the ceremony in Vatican Square in 2007, nor did any representative or delegation from Cuba. Ortega even said that Blessed José was not a real Cuban ("cubano cubano") because he been raised and educated in Spain (as was that other "non-Cuban," José Martí). A Cuban killed by Communists for his religious beliefs is not the ideal patron saint for the accommodationist Cuban clergy and certainly a source of great personal embarrassment to Ortega. Still, the pope had no choice but to name him among Cubans worthy of veneration. Perhaps he softened the blow by mangling his name. For more on the Cuban martyr, click here].

[As for the Venerable Félix Varela, he was a priest and champion of Cuban freedom, not just the "great promoter of love between Cubans and all peoples." Pope Francis may wish to explain why three successive popes (including himself) have refused to canonize Varela on their trips to the island when this is customary on papal visits elsewhere. For the answer, click here].

Once again, thank you, Mr. President [does he mean Obama?].

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