22-Jan-2001 -- Church News.EWTN.
Rome, 22 (NE) - The Communist regime in Cuba continues putting obstacles in
the mission of the Catholic Church in the island, recently informed Fides news
agency. In a report published last Friday, the agency ran by the Congregation
for the Evangelization of Peoples informed that now "primary schools in the
Cuban capital have informed that children wearing religious objects such as
crosses, medals or scapulars will no longer be allowed to attend classes".
The norm has been issued in spite of the opposition of many parents who walked
to the Ministry of Education to impugn it. According to the note, "the
measure was adopted by the Ministry to avoid religious expressions that may "hinder"
the political-ideological work developed with the students."
Another repressive measure has been given against Catholics by the Public
Health Ministry: This measure bans doctors from prescribing medicines that their
patients could get free of charge from the Church. For Cubans, scarcity of
medicines is one of the gravest problems, even though there has been important
progress in many health sectors. In order to alleviate this situation, since
many years the Catholic Church has gratuitously distributed medicines it
receives from other countries, through Caritas.
The article notes that "the Cuban government is unable provide all the
medicine required." That is why the "sick people massively go to the
Church to try to obtain the products they need to heal their diseases." But
this means "the government loses grip on health-care, an important aspect
in the life of Cubans."