CEREMONIA DE BIENVENIDA PALABRAS DEL PAPA FRANCISCO

S.S. Francisco en Cuba
S.S. Francisco en Cuba

AEROPUERTO INTERNACIONAL JOSÉ MARTÍ ,LA HABANA, 19 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2015

Señor Presidente,
Distinguidas autoridades, hermanos en el Episcopado,
Señoras y señores:

Muchas gracias, señor Presidente, por su acogida y sus atentas palabras de bienvenida en nombre del Gobierno y de todo el pueblo cubano. Mi saludo se dirige también a las autoridades y a los miembros del cuerpo diplomático que han tenido la amabilidad de hacerse presentes en este acto. Al cardenal Jaime Ortega Alamino, arzobispo de La Habana, a monseñor Dionisio Guillermo García Ibáñez, arzobispo de Santiago de Cuba y presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, a los demás obispos y a todo el pueblo cubano, les agradezco su fraterno recibimiento.
Gracias a todos los que se han esmerado para preparar esta visita pastoral. Y quisiera pedirle a usted, señor Presidente, que transmita mis sentimientos de especial consideración y respeto a su hermano Fidel. A su vez, quisiera que mi saludo llegase especialmente a todas aquellas personas que, por diversos motivos, no podré encontrar y a todos los cubanos dispersos por el mundo.
Este año 2015 se celebra el 80mo. aniversario del establecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas ininterrumpidas entre la República de Cuba y la Santa Sede. La Providencia me permite llegar hoy a esta querida nación, siguiendo las huellas indelebles del camino abierto por los inolvidables viajes apostólicos que realizaron a esta Isla mis dos predecesores, san Juan Pablo II y Benedicto XVI. Sé que su recuerdo suscita gratitud y cariño en el pueblo y las autoridades de Cuba. Hoy renovamos estos lazos de cooperación y amistad para que la Iglesia siga acompañando y alentando al pueblo cubano en sus esperanzas y en sus preocupaciones, con libertad y con todos los medios necesarios para llevar el anuncio del Reino hasta las periferias existenciales de la sociedad.
Este viaje apostólico coincide además con el I Centenario de la declaración de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre como patrona de Cuba, por Benedicto XV. Fueron los veteranos de la Guerra de Independencia, movidos por sentimientos de fe y patriotismo, quienes pidieron que la Virgen mambisa fuera la patrona de Cuba como nación libre y soberana. Desde entonces, Ella ha acompañado la historia del pueblo cubano, sosteniendo la esperanza que preserva la dignidad de las personas en las situaciones más difíciles y abanderando la promoción de todo lo que dignifica al ser humano. Su creciente devoción es testimonio visible de la presencia de la Virgen en el alma del pueblo cubano. En estos días, tendré ocasión de ir al Cobre, como hijo y como peregrino, para pedirle a nuestra Madre por todos sus hijos cubanos y por esta querida nación, para que transite por los caminos de justicia, paz, libertad y reconciliación.
Geográficamente, Cuba es un archipiélago que mira hacia todos los caminos, con un valor extraordinario como “llave” entre el norte y el sur, entre el este y el oeste. Su vocación natural es ser punto de encuentro para que todos los pueblos se reúnan en amistad, como soñó José Martí, “por sobre la lengua de los istmos y la barrera de los mares”.1 Ese mismo fue el deseo de san Juan Pablo II con su ardiente llamamiento a “que Cuba se abra con todas sus magníficas posibilidades al mundo y que el mundo se abra a Cuba”.2
Desde hace varios meses, estamos siendo testigos de un acontecimiento que nos llena de esperanza: el proceso de normalización de las relaciones entre dos pueblos, tras años de distanciamiento.
Es un signo de la victoria de la cultura del encuentro, del diálogo, del “sistema del acrecentamiento universal […] por sobre el sistema, muerto para siempre, de dinastía y de grupos”.3
Animo a los responsables políticos a continuar avanzando por este camino y a desarrollar todas sus potencialidades, como prueba del alto servicio que están llamados a prestar en favor de la paz y el bienestar de sus pueblos y de toda América, como ejemplo de reconciliación para el mundo entero. El mundo necesita reconciliación, en esa atmósfera de Tercera Guerra Mundial, por etapas, que estamos viviendo.
Pongo estos días bajo la intercesión de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, de los beatos Olallo Valdés y José López Piteira y del venerable Félix Varela, gran propagador del amor entre los cubanos y entre todos los hombres, para que aumenten nuestros lazos de paz, solidaridad y respeto mutuo.
Nuevamente, muchas gracias, señor Presidente.

Notas
1 José Martí: “La Conferencia Monetaria de las Repúblicas de América”, Obras escogidas, t. II, La Habana, 1992, p. 505.
2 San Juan Pablo II: Discurso en la ceremonia de llegada, 21 de enero de 1998, 5.
3 José Martí: Ob. cit., p. 505.

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