Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Castro back into the good graces of the church?
Fidel Castro will be received back into the communion of the Roman Catholic Church during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the island in March, the Italian press is reporting. If true, this is a remarkable story — and one that has yet to catch the attention of editors this side of the Atlantic.
On 1 Feb 2012, La Republicca — [Italy’s second largest circulation daily newspaper, La Republicca follows a center-left political line and is strongly anti-clerical; not anti-Catholic per se but a critic of the institutional church] — reported that as death approaches, the octogenarian communist has turned to God for solace.
The end of the paragraph seems to put it well. As death approaches..... [turn] to God for solace... Death performs us a salutary service when it cuts through accomplishments and legacies, philosophies and ideologies, and forces us to see the very fragile nature of our mortal lives. Castro is larger than life in so many ways (though perhaps only because Americans and events in history have magnified him) but he is also no larger than any one of us when facing age and the prospect of a death soon to come.
I am certainly not the one to judge him and determine his eternal dwelling place (and both Castro and I should be thankful of this). But whatever the events of Cuba's history or his role on the international stage, Castro has become now what many, if not most, will become -- an old man [person] staring into the lonely face of death. Where can we go for comfort except to the Lord of life? This writer is certainly no fan of Castro and is thankful I am not put in the place of deciding Castor's place before the altar, but I cannot help but smile at the prospect of such a man looking at death and clinging to the hope of the Gospel for life. Would that we all would have such a perspective on our mortality that we, too, were driven into the arms of Him who alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life...
Here is more from Dr. Tighe: