Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Prayer to Blessed Fray José López Piteira


Blessed Fray José López Piteira, imprisoned and martyred at the hands of the Communists for the Holy Faith, we who are your countrymen and brothers in Jesus Christ, beseech you in His name to intercede for us before God the Father. To you, Blessed Martyr, who refused to plead your Cuban nationality to save your life because you desired to die alongside your brothers in Christ, we humbly invoke our own to ask you to save our brothers and deliver our country and church from the scourge of Communism, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This is a prayer for the faithful of Cuba which will never be sanctioned in Cuba or heard in any Catholic church there while Jaime Cardinal Ortega is archbishop of Havana and primate of Cuba. In Cuban churches today only prayers for the health and recovery of Fidel Castro are permitted and none allowed for the deliverance of the Cuban people from Communism and of the Cuban church from its shameful silence of 5 decades.

The disgraceful prelate has gone so far as to say that he doesn't consider Blessed Fray José López Piteira to be a real Cuban ("cubano cubano") because his parents took him back to Spain at age 5. Ortega is apparently unaware that Martí's parents also took him to Spain at age 5. If Blessed Fray José, who was only 23 at the time of his martyrdom, had lived to be ordained as a priest, he would have returned to his native Cuba with hundreds of Spanish priests whom Ortega's master deported in 1962. What really irks Cardinal Ortega, of course, is that the first Cuban to be beatified and the first Cuban likely to be canonized died heroically at the hands of the Communists. Ortega, on the other hand, has lived handsomely and after his manner by never standing up to them, not even when they sent him to an UMAP re-education camp in the 60s. So abject is he in his submission to the State that he declined to attend Fray José's beatification ceremony in Rome, placing himself, as he has always, at the side of the verdugos (henchmen); or, perhaps, the archbishop feared that he might miss the opportunity to give last rites to Fidel or even eulogize him.

A church that does not defend its people and a people who do not rely on it to defend them is yet another legacy of Fidel Castro's rule; but Castro, personally, is not responsible for the moral cowardice of the Cuban hierarchy and clergy. The heroic virtue of the Spanish clergy in the Civil War (1936-39), 8000 of whom died as martyrs for the faith in 3 years, among them the Cuban Blessed Fray José López Piteira, is a living reproach to the passivity, complicity and collaboration of the Cuban church over the last 50 years (and, indeed, throughout its history). Penance after the fact can be expected of it; courage before that fact cannot. We sincerely hope that Blessed Fray Jose's first miracle will be to deliver our country from Communism; but even if he were only to redeem the Cuban church from its sins of commission and omission and transform it into a church militant, it would be enough.


POSTSCRIPT:

[The Latest News] Blessed Fray José López Piteira's canonization is imminent. As a martyr he requires only one miracle to be declared a saint. Such a miracle has already been attributed to him. In May 2006, the Papal Medical Consultative Committee determined that the cure of 6-year-old Daniela Cabrera Ramos from stage 4 of Burkitt's Disease, which is always terminal, could not be explained scientifically or attributed to human agency. The child's parents had prayed to Fray José for a cure. All that remains now is for the Theological Committee to confirm the findings of the Medical Committee and certify the cure as a miracle. The Theological Committee has been waiting for the beatification to make its formal announcement, which is now expected soon. Then the pope will issue a decree authorizing the canonization and we shall have the first native-born Cuban saint.

http://www.conexioncubana.net/index.php?st=content&sk=view&id=6474

4 comments:

Vana said...

Manuel:

Your prayer has moved me beyond words, I will invoke and pray it every day, may Blessed Fray Jose Lopez Piteira heed our prayers, and deliver our enslaved Cuba.

Charlie Bravo said...

The Church in Cuba will never cease to amaze me....
Now, Cardinal Ortega simply erases the most significant monument to Cuban liberty and to the tradition of Cuba as a freedom harbor -tradition to one day return- that is the citizenship by birth-right.
Not happy with that, he simply strips Fray Jose of his ultimate act of love and bravery, as he used his Cuban citizenship as a badge of honor and gallantry, and not as a shield.
Cardinal Ortega will step out the line all that's needed not to contradict or obfuscate his communists masters. Or are they puppet masters?
There are a lot of priests, friars, brothers, and nuns in Cuba who are people of incredible value. They are being ashamed to death by the Red Prince of the Church, Cardinal Ortega. The Church of Cuba will have to undergo a deep reform after freedom is restored in Cuba....
It's also interesting that the Church led by Cardinal Ortega denounces the Church of Spain for pushing for the canonization of a Cuban. It's also interesting that Cardinal Ortega does not speak for Father Varela canonization. Which tells us a lot about the character of Cardinal Ortega, who of course will never be in the same place where Father Varela and Fray Jose are.
Shame on him.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Charlie:

We know why Castro has Ortega in his pocket: the most sordid and miserable of all reasons.

Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel,I did some research on the presence of Ortega at the UMAP camps. My sources in Havana have information only on ONE catholic priest, Father Petit Vergel and one ONE protestant minister. Apparently, there were a few seminarists held in captivity as well, but I haven't been able to obtain a list of names (the church has it in the San Carlos seminar behind the Cathedral) maybe Ortega was (if he was there at all) one of those young seminarists. The reason the Church has not to reveal the list is that some of those seminarists left the church and got involved in other "activities"n according to what my source tells me. It might have been that Ortega was recruited there (if he was ever at the UMAP) as a G2 agent or informant as Silvio Rodriguez the singer was recruited during his stint in the mandatory military service. Maybe one UMAP survivor among the readership can shed some light over this....