International Highlights – Current Affairs Analysis. Sunday, 7 February 2016.
Meeting between Pope Francis and Kirill in Havana: worrying political aspects
In the current context of countries such as Cuba, Russia, China, Venezuela and Bolivia, the promotion of dialogue with wolves and jackals arouses the most painful conscience problems in many of their inhabitants; indeed, this dialogue with wolves, when taken over to the political sphere, can pressure those people who currently resist heroically and peacefully, through loyalty to their anti-Communist principles, against this fraudulent dialogue.
The meeting as announced, to be held in Havana this coming Friday, 12 February, between Pope Francis I and the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill I, brings important religious considerations which the specialists have agreed to comment on; at the same time, this meeting brings political considerations that are equally important. We shall now present, in schematic fashion, some worrying examples within the political sphere.
Pope Francis I returns to Cuba five months after his first visit to the ‘prison-island’, which was in September 2015, a visit which was dotted with statements, gestures and omissions which only came to benefit the regime and strengthen it politically. From the standpoint of the fight for freedom in Cuba, and considering its political and diplomatic aftermath, the result of this trip was regrettable, leaving a bitter aftertaste: the regime had been strengthened, and repression had been intensified.
The choice of Communist Cuba as the venue for the meeting between Pope Francis I and Patriarch Kirill I has also helped to give prestige to the tyrants of Havana as supposedly trustworthy hosts and mediators. According to news sent by AFP from Vatican City, the spokesperson of the Holy See, Father Federico Lombardi, had highlighted, in a positive light, this role of Cuban Dictator Castro as a host and a mediator. It is therefore no surprise that Castro himself stated that he was ‘honoured’ at the possibility of the forthcoming meeting of these two religious leaders in Havana. On the other side, from the political and publicity standpoints, this meeting has the aim to cover up the jaws and claws of the regime. This is what, in a similar fashion, occurs with the publicity use that the Cuban regime makes of the talks between the Colombian Government and the narcoguerillas of the FARC, also in Havana, in the wolf’s mouth: they help to scrape their tusks, as if the Castro regime was a trustworthy host.
Kirill himself has a regrettable past of collaboration with the Soviet regime. In 2009, when he was elected patriarch of Moscow, the Italian periodical ‘Il Giornale’, in a lengthy and detailed news report, revealed that both Kirill and his predecessor had been agents with the notorious Soviet security agency, the KGB. In the article, it was also informed that the new patriarch was also well known within KGB circles as Agent Mikhailov. Only a few months before he was elected, in October 2008, Kirill visited Havana, where he praised dictator Fidel Castro who responded saying that the visitor was an important ally of Communist Cuba in its fight against so-called imperialism.
Apart from his pro-Communist past, Kirill also has an equally regrettable present, with his support for dictator Putin. For example, the Orthodox Patriarch was one of the main people responsible for the fact that Russian Catholics are often considered as second-class citizens, and live in what is essentially a political and psychological catacomb.
Patriarch Kirill, together with Russian Orthodox leaders, show particularly strong hate for Ukrainian Catholics, most of whom, in political terms, continue to keep anti-Communist views. In 2014, when the Ukrainian Parliament deposed their pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, Putin invaded the Crimea and threatened to invade the whole of Ukraine. Kirill did not go as far as to directly justify an invasion, but he did this indirectly, by blaming the Ukrainian Catholics, known as uniates, for the loss of the political power by the pro-Russian leaders in the Ukraine.
In short, we can say that the forthcoming dialogue between Pope Francis I and Patriarch Kirill I, as seen from the standpoint of freedom, could particularly affect the domestic situation in Communist Cuba, favouring the dictatorship once again; and in Ukraine, this could weaken the position of the Ukrainian citizens who had the courage of breaking free from the shackles of the Soviet regime, and politically fighting against the authoritarian Putinist regime, and not allowing themselves to be misled by the religious arm of the Kremlin, which is currently made up by the followers of Patriarch Kirill.
In the current context of countries such as Cuba, Russia, China, Venezuela and Bolivia, the promotion of dialogue with wolves and jackals arouses the most painful conscience problems in many of their inhabitants; indeed, this dialogue with wolves, when taken over to the political sphere, can pressure those people who currently resist heroically and peacefully, through loyalty to their anti-communist principles, against this fraudulent dialogue.