Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Founding bishop of Catholic magazine in Cuba hopeful closing will be temporary

Havana, Apr 16, 2007 / 10:11 am (CNA).- In statements to the website EncuentroEnLaRed.net, Bishop Emeritus Jose Siro Gonzalez of Pinar del Rio and founder of the Catholic magazine “Vitral” expressed his hope that the closing of the publication would be temporary, and he explained that the lack of resources on the island is real.

After the magazine said it was closing down due to lack of resources, Bishop Gonzalez acknowledged that there were many “difficulties with expenses, paper, ink and many things.”

“Vitral is like by baby…The new bishop doesn’t have the same commitment to the cause as me, as I did the possible and the impossible. He doesn’t. He’s new. He does have the same appreciation. He told me we’ll go on when we have paper…That is what he told me. That’s the way I understood it. To say anything else would be to distort things,” he said, in reference to Bishop Jorge Serpa, who became the new ordinary last January.

Bishop Gonzalez said the problem of resources is real and he dismissed the idea that the closing of Vitral is part of a plan by the Bishops’ Conference of Cuba, as has been reported in some secular media.

“I don’t believe that,” the bishop said. “All of the bishops, the priests, and all of Cuba know that Vitral is a magazine very much focused on social problems, as the Social Doctrine of the Church calls us to be. Vitral is something that interests people in high positions, average people and the poor,” he said.

“Sometimes the paper that is obtained is only for catechesis and for the Church’s internal use. That is the problem. There are many people who would like to distort things about the Catholic Church in Cuba. That’s all it is,” the bishop stated.

Referring to the director the magazine, Dagoberto Valdes Hernandez, Bishop Gonzalez called him “a model layman in the Church. For this reason, the Church, the Conference and the nuncio esteem him greatly. They have always shown great concern for him.”

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