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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Castro and Christianity: It's complicated

Praying for Fidel    (Photo by Julian Ortega Martinez)
Fidel Castro was raised as a Roman Catholic. Baptized as a child, he later announced:  I have never been a believer.

It just goes to show:  Never say never.

In one of his letters from prison, Castro wrote:
This truth should be taught to every human being – that the immortal values of the spirit are above physical life…  God is the supreme idea of goodness and justice.

Now maybe this isn’t chapter-and-verse talk, but it sure does get at some fundamentally Christian teachings.  As Castro’s reign wore on, he revised his atheistic stance to a generic “secular” one.  In 1998, Castro not only welcomed Pope John Paul II to Cuba, but also reinstated Christmas as an “official celebration.”  When this pope died in 2005, Castro attended “a mass in his honor in Havana’s cathedral.”

By 2009, Castro was lauding Christianity for bestowing upon the world “humane precepts… ethical values” and a “sense of social justice.”  He then declared himself to be a Christian “not from the standpoint of religion but from the standpoint of social vision.”


Copyright November 27, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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