Ignoring the Evil of Communism in Cuba
Jorge Zamora, Chile
Some days ago, I visited with a friend who I highly esteemed and with whom I often used to discuss the themes of Christian Civilization. I was surprised when he raised some objections toward my views, showing a completely different face from what I had known before.
In fact, my friend, whose name I will not reveal, was a committed anti-communist Catholic, faithful to the traditional Magisterium of the Church, always proudly affirming his irreconcilable anti-Communist position. I remembered this young man nobly defending the principles that the Church teaches about the Communist sect and proclaiming the need to combat this scourge. In such debates, as a worthy son of the Church Militant, he was always faithful to Catholic principles.
I had lost contact with him for several years when we met recently to talk in a café. To my surprise, when I spoke about the communist tyranny in Cuba, he reproached the position I sustained that true Catholics on the island cannot co-exist peacefully with Communism. He said to me: “To think that Catholics are persecuted in Cuba is not to understand how things really are. All you have to do is read the newspaper to see that things have changed.”
Benedict's representative, Card. Saraiva Martins, left, "thanks" Raul Castro for being present at the ceremony
Next, he showed me a news item from El Mercurio (Santiago, Chile) of November 29, 2008, which reported that Raul Castro, brother of the Marxist dictator Fidel Castro, had assisted at the first beatification ceremony on the island alongside papal envoy Cardinal José Saraiva Martins. (1) The candidate for the altars, Brother Jose Olallo Valdes, was a Hospitaller who lived in the mid-19th century and belonged to the Order of St. John of God.
“Don’t you understand?” my friend asked. “It is obvious that Communism in Cuba is no longer what it used to be. Today Catholics are not oppressed. Instead, there are harmony and dialogue. We should not see ghosts and shadows where they don’t exist.”
To my bitter surprise, I realized that an ‘idealogical transhipment’ had taken place in him – with success. (2) Through a well-articulated process, the influence of a modern pastoral group (whose meetings he frequently attended and whose name I omit) had had the desired effect of moving him away from the authentic rightist position, quenching the flame of the pure combativeness that had burned in his ardent spirit.
It was my duty, as his friend and as a Catholic, to de-intoxicate him of the sophisms that had infected him in that ‘pastoral group.’
I thought that it would be best to remind him of the consequences of an apparently peaceful co-existence between the true Religion and that satanic sect. (3) This seemed particularly expedient considering the pacifying effect of the Mercurio news story on that former idealist.
I told him that I would respond to his objection publicly in print - without mentioning his name - and this is what I am doing now. The response consists of three vital points, which I have taken from the magnificent essay authored by Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira titled The Church and the Communist State: The Impossible Coexistence. (4)
Three important points
Why should a peaceful coexistence between the Church and Communism be rejected by Catholics?
1st reason: The temporal order exercises a profound action of formation – or deformation - on the souls of peoples and individuals. The Church cannot, therefore, accept a freedom that implies silence about the errors of the communist regime, thus creating the impression among the people that she does not condemn them.
The old idols and erroneous ideas of Communism influence all who don't oppose them
2nd reason: By not teaching the precepts of the Decalogue that pertain to private property (the 7th and 10th Commandments), the Church would present a disfigured image of God Himself. The love of God, the practice of the virtue of justice and the full development of the faculties of man and, therefore, his sanctification, would thus be gravely prejudiced.
3rd reason: The Church cannot accept Communism as a consummate fact and a ‘lesser evil.’ Why? Because the need to tolerate a lesser evil cannot lead us to renounce our aim to destroy that same evil.
Once again, Prof. Plinio set out the matter simply and brilliantly.
Why shouldn’t we remain silent before Communism?
Having presented these reasons, I can almost imagine the final objection of my pacifist friend.
“Why not simply remain silent in face of Communism?”
A compromised Catholic clergy walking in the footsteps of the Communist leader...
In the same essay, the response appears:
“The teaching mission of the Church consists not only in teaching the truth but also in condemning error. No teaching of the truth is sufficient unless it includes the enunciation and refutation of the objections that may be brought against that truth. As Pius XII said, ‘The Church, ever overflowing with charity and kindness toward those who go astray, ... but faithful to the word of her Divine Founder who said: 'He that is not with me is against me' (Mt 12:30), could not fail in her duty of denouncing error and unmasking the sowers of lies’ (Christmas Radio Message of 1947, Discorsi e Radiomessagi, Vol. IX, p. 393)." (5)
With this being said, logic obliges me to raise at least three questions regarding the mentioned collaboration of the Communist regime and the Church in Cuba:
1. What does the local Church authority - the Bishops Conference of Cuba - have to say about peaceful co-existence with Communism?
2. Regarding the open display of peaceful coexistence by Raúl Castro and Card. José Saraiva Martins (envoy of Benedict XVI), what should Catholics who know the irreconciliable enmity that exists between the Church and Communism think about such collaboration?
3. On this last point, what does H.H. Benedict XVI say about it?
Three distressing questions that Catholics of sound judgment cannot help but ask themselves. Three responses that can only be inferred by the facts before us, that is, through the apocalyptically tragic silence of the post-conciliar Church before Communism - her lethal enemy.
1. El Mercurio, http://www.emol.com/noticias/internacional/detalle/detallenoticias.asp?i...
2. Unperceived Ideological Transshipment and Dialogue by Plinio Correa de Oliveira
3. Pope Pius XI taught that communism is intrinsically perverse in his Encyclical Divini Redemptoris
4. This essay,The Church and the Communist State: The Impossible Coexistence, was published by Prof. Plinio for the first time in 1963 in the magazine Catolicismo, and later in newspapers throughout the world. It received a notable eulogy from the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities, which called it “a most faithful echo of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church.”
Posted January 7, 2009
Jorge Zamora first published this article in Spanish on his blog
A site to expose Socialism, Communism and the Revolution in the Church
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