On the ninth anniversary of the Black Spring of 2003, and in the environment leading up to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba, the Cuban political police have intensified their repressive activities against the Ladies in White.

It is at least paradoxical that State Security acts as if it has the conviction that the ecclesiastic authorities are not going to protest. It gives the impression that an understanding has been reached, or is being reached, between the government and the Catholic church, under which the police have a free hand to repress, and the religious to expand their prerogatives with regards to worship. There will be more processions, more permissions to rebuild churches, seminaries and convents, in exchange for a commitment to look only to heaven.

Luckily, faith does not depend on these blunders. What will be damaged over the long term is the influence of the Catholic church in a future without a dictatorship. At the ninth station of his Calvary Jesus fell for the third time. Judas had already betrayed him, Pontius Pilate had already washed his hands of him, and Peter had already denied him three times before the cock crowed.

19 March 2012