Cuba Libre?

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Cuba's Catholic have more freedom since the mid 90s, but that doesn't mean the faith is alive and well there.

After a boom following the constitutional change and papal visit, church attendance has leveled off. Of the indicators used to measure church participation in Cuba's largest archdiocese of Havana, only the number of baptisms exceeds numbers in a comparable U.S. diocese. And though Havana's 34,000 baptisms in 2004 represented a sizable number, Becerril noted the special circumstances.

"Most people who bring their children for baptism are not practicing Catholics. They say to me, 'I don't want what happened to me to happen to my child.' They want to be ready if there is another period of repression."

The problem is that only 10 percent of baptized Catholics in Cuba are believed to attend Mass regularly, and, as the priest added, "the older they get, the less they participate." The number of confirmations bears him out: only 740 in all of Havana in 2004, this in an archdiocese of 85 parishes spanning three provinces with a population of over 3 million. The city's 413 Catholic marriages in 2004 was the lowest since 1993. ...full article

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John Schultz

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This page contains a single entry by John Schultz published on March 30, 2006 6:46 AM.

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