Pope exhorts US and Cuba to push detente further

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People react as Pope Francis arrives at the airport in Havana, Sept 19, 2015. Pope Francis begins a nine-day tour of Cuba and the United States on Saturday where he will see both the benefits and complexities of a fast-evolving detente between the old Cold War foes that he helped broker. Photo courtesy Alexandre Meneghini

People react as Pope Francis arrives at the airport in Havana, Sept 19, 2015. Pope Francis begins a nine-day tour of Cuba and the United States on Saturday where he will see both the benefits and complexities of a fast-evolving detente between the old Cold War foes that he helped broker. Photo courtesy Alexandre Meneghini

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HAVANA (Reuters) In his speech, Francis urged further backing for Cuban Catholics "so that the church can continue to support and encourage the Cuban people."

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  • Fran

    Again, religion getting involved with politics, completely unnecessary, as there should be a separation of church and state; which separation has not happened here.

  • Betty Clermont

    “The United States’ UN ambassador has tweeted criticism of Cuban authorities over reported detentions in advance of Pope Francis’ visit to Havana. Ambassador Samantha Power’s tweet: HR activists, @DamasdBlanco & even homeless reportedly detained before @Pontifex visit; disappointing business as usual for #Cuban govt
    … Opposition groups in recent days have been reporting increased detentions of dissidents.
    … Cuban officials are offering a day’s pay, snacks and transportation to encourage state workers to line the pontiff’s route from the airport to the Papal Ambassador’s home. University students also have been recruited.” (AP)

  • Fran

    Be Brave,

    I have no idea what is in the Constitution, never having read it. I regularly read the Bible for its wisdom, principles, laws, commands and hope from God, which is definitely superlative to the Constitution and all of man’s laws.

    I did not make my statement based on the Constitution, but because Jesus and the first-century Christians did not get involved in politics and/or war. (See John 6:15; 17:16; 18:3; Daniel 2:44; “The Rise of Christianity,” (London, 1947, E.W. Barnes, p. 333; “History of Christianity,” (New York, 1891), Edward Gibbon, pp. 162,163); “On the Road to Civilization, A World History”, (Philadelphia, 1937), A. Heckel & J. Sigman, pp. 237, 238); “The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries,” (New York, 1848), Augustus Neander, p. 168).

    The Catholic Church in this case chooses involvement in politics; but I, a theocrat, choose not to, following the stand taken by Jesus and early Christians.

  • Fran

    Be Brave,

    Before ascending to heaven, Jesus gave his disciples clear instructions on carrying their ministry, but did not include any political advice (Matt. 28:18-20). His disciples continued to live by his instructions to “pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God” (Mark 12:17). But where did they draw the line as to what belongs to the State (Caesar) and what things to God?

    The apostle Paul viewed participating in politics as stepping across the line. “Paul was willing to use his Roman citizenship to demand protections of the judicial process due him, but he engaged in NO lobbying on the public issues of the day,” states the book, “Beyond Good Intentions — A Biblical View of Politics” (1988), by Doug Bandow.

    What guidelines did Paul give fellow Christians? The same book adds: “His letters to believers in such important cities in Corinth, Ephesus, and even Rome, betrayed no interest in secular political squabbles.”

  • Fran

    Be Brave (continued):

    Christians living decades after Paul kept the division between obligations to God and State. They remained “respectful” toward political powers but refrained from political activities. “Beyond Good Intentions” states about them: “Though they believed they were obligated to honor the governing authorities, the early Christians did not believe in participating in political affairs.”

    Some 309 years after Christ’s death, things changed. Theologian Charles Villa-Vicencio says: When the political structures were changed under Constantine, Christians apparently flocked to participate in the civil service and army and to accept political office”
    (“Between Christ and Caesar”. The result: At the end of the 4th century C.E., that “blend” of religion and politics became the State religion of the Roman Empire! It continues today.

    As a side note, my “brothers in faith” in Korea are serving time in prison for refusing to kill their fellowman in war.