Bishop John Manz Visits Cuba; Calls for Ongoing Support of Reforms, Openness

January 15, 2014 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—Bishop John Manz, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and member of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, will visit the Dioceses of Holguin and Santa Clara in Cuba, January 10-17.
 
Bishop Manz will review Church projects supported by the Subcommittee that help provide pastoral care from the Catholic Church. For example, the Diocese of Holguin received help in 2012 to recover from Hurricane Sandy to continue its religious activities including the rebuilding of church structures and to aid with other pastoral projects. The Diocese of Santa Clara has received continued assistance for various projects, including pastoral and spiritual care to students at the National University in the City of Santa Clara.

“It is important that the Church in the United States support the Church in Cuba, especially during this time of changes,” Bishop Manz said. Some changes have permitted Cubans to launch businesses, worship more freely and be able to travel abroad.

“The Church in Cuba wants to make sure that as people open businesses they learn about Catholic Social Teaching and the primacy it gives to the human person in the economy. We also want to support the Church in Cuba as it is recognized in civil society for the insights about the human person that it brings to the table,” Bishop Manz added.

“Of special importance for our Subcommittee is our ability to ensure that our financial support to the different dioceses in Cuba is transmitted smoothly and gets to the beneficiaries promptly,” Bishop Manz said. “The people in Cuba need our help and we will continue to support them in whatever way we can as the Catholic Church has always believed that engagement, rather than isolation, is the best way to improve human rights and move forward in our relations with the island nation” concluded the bishop.

The USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, through its grants program, supports many religious and pastoral projects such as training lay pastoral leaders, marriage and family programs, and projects to foster the public expression of faith in Cuba. This support amounts to approximately $500,000 annually. In Latin America, the subcommittee supported 393 projects in 22 countries, amounting to over $5.5 million in 2013.         
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Keywords: USCCB, Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, Bishop John Manz, Cuba, Diocese of Holguin, Diocese Santa Clara

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