The Boot-Licking Cardinal

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Excerpt from Guillermo Martinez's latest column in Sun-Sentinel:

The Catholic Church is supposed to speak up, to protect the poor, the oppressed, the dispossessed, the weak and the sick. Thirty-two years ago, Msgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, was killed by a sniper at the San Salvador Cathedral. Msgr. Romero was a recognized critic of violence and injustice.

In Chile, while Gen. Augusto Pinochet ruled the country with an iron grip, the church was front and center in defending its people and those persecuted by the regime.

Cardinal Ortega is doing the opposite. He is siding with the oppressors of his people so his church will be given a little more space to work in silence. Cardinal Ortega forgets that early Catholics were persecuted for their faith, and even crucified. Now, he, like Pontious Pilot, washes his hands of the crimes committed by Fidel and Raúl Castro in order to side with the oppressors.

However, his most unpardonable sin was to bring up a private conversation with Bishop Roman, now deceased, in which the former South Florida prelate urged Ortega not to speak about reconciliation in Cuba while in Miami, for his words would not be well-received.

That was decades ago and all who knew Msgr. Román knew he, too, preached reconciliation between Cubans, not with the Castro regime, as Cardinal Ortega now does.

Personally, I am sickened by the actions of Cardinal Ortega and all those who still insist in defending him in order for the church to gain a little more room to preach the gospel of Christ in Cuba providing he continues to praise the Cuban Revolution. A revolution that had firing squads execute hundreds, many of whom yelled "Long Live Christ the King" before dying; a regime that expelled hundreds of nuns and priests; who prohibited Catholics from practicing their faith for decades.

I believe in the reconciliation of Cubans on good faith no matter on which side of the Florida Straits they live. What I will not do is lick the boots that oppress my brothers and sisters. And that is what Cardinal Ortega is doing.