Father Reyes called the country out in a social media post.
Father Alberto Reyes, a priest of the Archdiocese of Camagüey, Cuba, charged that there is no religious freedom in the country, since the Office of Religious Affairs controls the practice of the faith and oversees “every movement of the Church.”
In a Dec. 14 Facebook post, the priest pointed out that religious freedom “is not reduced to believers being able to meet in our churches to worship the God who brings us together” but also entails a series of rights that the Church cannot exercise in Cuba.
One of these rights, he said, is the freedom of expression for the members of the Church, since the Office of Religious Affairs of the communist regime constantly calls the bishops and superiors of the congregations “when what a priest or religious says or does bothers them.”
The objective of this office, he pointed out, is “to try to make (the bishops or superiors) the ones who ‘get the priest or religious in line’ while those who are really behind it remain with clean hands.”
“If in my land there were religious freedom,” he added, “the churches would have access to social media, and we could offer our radio and television programs, to make known through them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which we consider the best program of life that exists.”
In his post, the priest recalled that in Cuba the Church is also prohibited from “participating in the educational system and intervening in the formation of the new generations,” so it cannot establish “its own schools that allow parents to choose the education they wish for their children, according to their faith, their beliefs, and their values.”
“If there were religious freedom in my land, the churches would have access to the health system, being able to offer the population more alternatives for health care,” he said.
Father Reyes also said that if religious freedom existed in Cuba, “we would not have to depend on permits to publicly manifest our faith, and we could plan and call public Masses, processions, Stations of the Cross in the streets, Christmas parades … just by informing authorities on the use of public spaces.”Priest Decries Lack of Religious Freedom in Cuba| National Catholic Register