The Cuban Church engages in the debate on the new constitution

While the Cubans are discussing the new constitution project, which will be submitted to a referendum in February 2019, the bishops of the country officially took position at the end of October, asking in particular that the "diversity of political opinions" is taken into greater consideration .

Will the new constitution produce a real change, sixty years after the Cuban revolution? For the moment, nothing is less certain. The draft text, which will be the subject of a referendum in February 2019, is at the heart of an extensive popular consultation since 13 August, the anniversary of the birth of Fidel Castro, and until 15 November. The Cuban Catholic Church has also decided to take part by publishing a pastoral message on the subject at the end of October.

In their text, the bishops emphasize first of all the importance of the next popular consultation. "As pastors, we understand those who think their opinion does not contain", they underline, inviting, despite everything, a "Conscious and responsible participation".

Read: Cuba, Parliament approves the new constitution project

While the draft Constitution preserves the protection of the Communist Party over the Cuban political system, the bishops repent in their message "The lack of recognition of the diversity of political opinions" and note that they would like to see the "Right to life". So, in their eyes, the new constitution should specify that it must be respected "From the conception of the individual to his natural death"while I add "The exclusion of the death penalty".

Against "the ideology of the genre"

Another point of attention of the bishops in their message, the inclusion of "The ideology of the genre" in the new constitution. They deplore the fact that article 40 of the draft text lists three categories as arguments of law: "Sex, sexual orientation and gender identity." It is not necessary, They emphasize, because the "sex" category would be enough to include all members of the society. "

The bishops denounce "The influence of the outside world" in the diffusion of this approach, characterized by a "Strong subjectivity".

Regarding the issue of religious freedom, the Cuban episcopate would like the Constitution to go further "The right to profess or not to profess religious beliefs", must guarantee the possibility of "Living according to the values ​​of the professed faith, expressing them publicly, limiting respect for others". Add to this "The juridical recognition of the Church, of her identity and of her mission, which implies the possibility of making her moral teaching known in accordance with the Gospel, of systematically obtaining access to the media, freedom of teaching and evangelization, the construction of buildings and the acquisition of properties appropriate to its activity, the freedom to associate with purposes not purely religious but also educational, cultural, health or charitable ".

Respect for private property

The bishops also warn of a possible opening to marriage of same-sex couples. The constitutional project thus provides a definition of marriage as "The union of two people".

Finally, they welcome the fact that the future constitution recognizes the "Private property" and consider & # 39; Required & # 39; the institution from the establishment of a "Tribunal of constitutional guarantees, with the mission of safeguarding the rights that are inscribed there".

To read: in Cuba, the Catholic Church expects a relaxation

Marie Malzac

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