WASHINGTON (CNS) — Days after the Trump administration announced it was placing new restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, a U.S. archbishop issued a criticism of the policy, saying the transformation of the island — and the survival of the church there — depends on outside contact.
“A half century of rigid isolation has consolidated only one thing: the very political structures U.S. Government policy seeks to change,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military Services in Washington, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.
The U.S. bishops voice “concern that the strengthening of the embargo against Cuba is, ultimately, counterproductive to the development of civil society on the island,” he said in a June 6 statement.
Archbishop Broglio’s statement came two days after the Trump administration announced June 4 that it was putting a halt to what are known as “people-to-people” trips to the island, mainly cultural excursions that bring Americans into contact with the Cuban citizenry and culture on the island-nation.
The restrictions do not affect religious travel to the island, which is one of several ways to visit and often used by members of the U.S. Catholic Church.
“The very survival of the church in Cuba is dependent on the freedom of religious travel and donations from abroad,” he said. “Thanks to the generosity of American Catholics, for decades the USCCB has supported the work of the church in Cuba, providing her with financial, pastoral, and advocacy assistance,” he said. “The Holy See and USCCB have long held that the key to Cuba’s transformation depends not on isolation, but on greater cultural exchange between freedom-loving people on the island and the United States.”
Archbishop Broglio also urged maintaining religious travel to the island and ensuring the ability to send religious donations to the church in Cuba from abroad.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: