To those who have supported these measures, I thank you for being partners in our efforts. In particular, I want to thank His Holiness Pope Francis, whose moral example shows us the importance of pursuing the world as it should be, rather than simply settling for the world as it is; the government of Canada, which hosted our discussions with the Cuban government; and a bipartisan group of congressmen who have worked tirelessly for Alan Gross’s release, and for a new approach to advancing our interests and values in Cuba.
Finally, our shift in policy towards Cuba comes at a moment of renewed leadership in the Americas. This April, we are prepared to have Cuba join the other nations of the hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas. But we will insist that civil society join us so that citizens, not just leaders, are shaping our future. And I call on all of my fellow leaders to give meaning to the commitment to democracy and human rights at the heart of the Inter-American Charter. Let us leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, the tyranny of drug cartels, dictators and sham elections. A future of greater peace, security and democratic development is possible if we work together -- not to maintain power, not to secure vested interest, but instead to advance the dreams of our citizens.
My fellow Americans, the city of Miami is only 200 miles or so from Havana. Countless thousands of Cubans have come to Miami -- on planes and makeshift rafts; some with little but the shirt on their back and hope in their hearts. Today, Miami is often referred to as the capital of Latin America. But it is also a profoundly American city -– a place that reminds us that ideals matter more than the color of our skin, or the circumstances of our birth; a demonstration of what the Cuban people can achieve, and the openness of the United States to our family to the South. Todos somos Americanos.
Change is hard –- in our own lives, and in the lives of nations. And change is even harder when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders. But today we are making these changes because it is the right thing to do. Today, America chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past so as to reach for a better future –- for the Cuban people, for the American people, for our entire hemisphere, and for the world.
Thank you. God bless you and God bless the United States of America. (Statement by the President on Cuba Policy Changes.)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday offered his congratulations to the governments of the United States and Cuba, as they announced the two countries will start talks on resuming diplomatic relations. A statement from the Vatican Secretariat of State said that in recent months the Pope had written to both Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama, inviting them to “resolve humanitarian questions of common interest”. The Holy See also met with delegations from both countries in the Vatican last October, providing what the statement calls “its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue”. The communiqué says the Holy See will continue to offer support for initiatives on the part of both countries to strengthen bilateral relations and promote the wellbeing of their respective citizens.
Please find below the full communiqué from the Secretariat of State
The Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the Governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history. In recent months, Pope Francis wrote letters to the President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency Mr Raúl Castro, and the President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama, and invited them to resolve humanitarian questions of common interest, including the situation of certain prisoners, in order to initiate a new phase in relations between the two Parties The Holy See received Delegations of the two countries in the Vatican last October and provided its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue on delicate matters, resulting in solutions acceptable to both Parties. The Holy See will continue to assure its support for initiatives which both nations will undertake to strengthen their bilateral relations and promote the wellbeing of their respective citizens.
From the Vatican, 17th December 2014 (Pope welcomes U.S. and Cuban moves to normalise relations.)
Although a more protracted commentary will follow by tomorrow morning, it will suffice for the moment to provide an antidote to this momentous decision, which calls to mind the announcement made by the Great Appeaser, James Earl Carter, Jr., to extend full diplomatic relations with Red China on December 15, 1978, to the warm and cozy feelings that Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro and Jorge Mario Bergoglio ("Pope Francis") have for Communists, who are their ideological soulmates in in the use of revolutionary tactics and propaganda to break down "rigidity," from Pope Pius XI and from the Holy Office under Pope Pius XII in 1949
Writing in Divini Redemptoris, which was issued on March 19, 1937, two days after he had issued his firm denunciation of Nazism, Mit Brennender Sorge, Pope Pius XI forbade Catholics to provide any kind of cooperation with Communism at any time for any reason:
See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error. And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilization in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the godless. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937.)
This condemnation of any kind of cooperation with Communism was reinterred by the Holy Office on July 1, 1949, the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, under the pontificate of our last true pope, Pope Pius XII:
This Sacred Supreme Congregation has been asked:
1. whether it is lawful to join Communist Parties or to favour them;
2. whether it is lawful to publish, disseminate, or read books, periodicals, newspapers or leaflets which support the teaching or action of Communists, or to write in them;
3. whether the faithful who knowingly and freely perform the acts specified in questions 1 and 2 may be admitted to the Sacraments;
4. whether the faithful who profess the materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of the Communists, and particularly those who defend or propagate this doctrine, contract ipso facto excommunication specially reserved to the Apostolic See as apostates from the Catholic faith.
The Most Eminent and Most Reverend Fathers entrusted with the supervision of matters concerning the safeguarding of Faith and morals, having previously heard the opinion of the Reverend Lords Consultors, decreed in the plenary session held on Tuesday (instead of Wednesday), June 28, 1949, that the answers should be as follows:
To 1. in the negative: because Communism is materialistic and anti-Christian; and the leaders of the Communists, although they sometimes profess in words that they do not oppose religion, do in fact show themselves, both in their teaching and in their actions, to be the enemies of God, of the true religion and of the Church of Christ; to 2. in the negative: they are prohibited ipso iure (cf. Can. 1399 of the Codex Iuris Canonici); to 3. in the negative, in accordance with the ordinary principles concerning the refusal of the Sacraments to those who are not disposed; to 4. in the affirmative.
And the following Thursday, on the 30th day of the same month and year, Our Most Holy Lord Pius XII, Pope by the Divine Providence, in the ordinary audience, granted to the Most Eminent and Most Reverend Assessor of the Sacred Office, approved of the decision of the Most Eminent Fathers which had been reported to Him, and ordered the same to be promulgated officially in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given at Rome, on July 1st, 1949. (As found at Decree Against Communism.)
One will note that Caesar Bergoglio, who is taking every measure imaginable to assure that the Jacobin/Bolshevik "interpretation" of the "Second Vatican Council" becomes irreversible before his death, intervened to help free a Jewish man, Alan Gross, who had brought communications equipment into Cuba to aid his fellow Talmudists.
One will note further that both Bergoglio and Obama/Soetoro believe that the "past" must be forgotten, meaning that it is necessary to forget about these images of the wonderful Castro brothers and their guerillas at work to terrorize those they deemed guilty of various anti-revolutionary activities or thoughts:
Fidel Castro questioning a Cuban farmer who was later executed.
The woman behind Castro is Celia Sánchez and sitting next to him is Camilo Cienfuegos.
Even before the triumph of the Revolution, Castro and his gang were prone to murder those who disagreed with them.
In the photo below, taken while still in the Sierra Maestra mountains, Fidel Castro's brother, Raul, is seen getting ready to shoot a young rebel soldier who disobeyed orders.
And more than fifty years after the above photo was taken, Castro and his gang of murderers continue to send to the firing squad, those Cubans who oppose his betrayal of the Revolution.
The three photos above show two prisoners being shot by Castro's rebel forces in the Sierra Maestra mountains.
Castro's reign of brutality began over 50 years ago, and it still continues today.
Priests Juan Miguel Aldaz and Jose Luis Garrigoitia, pray with prisoner Ramon Reytor, minutes before he was executed in the town of Manzanillo, Oriente province.
Finally, at least for present purposes, one will note that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who did not mention the chemical and surgical dismemberment of the innocent preborn when he met with Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro on Thursday, March 27, 2014, despite the latter's complete support for such killing at all times and in all circumstances without any exception at all, never makes any demands upon pro-abortion civil leaders to take immediate measures to stop the slaughter of the preborn.
Everything is all hugs and smiles as a killer of souls, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, gives aid and comfort to those who kill the innocent and who use propaganda to justify their crimes and to denounce their victims in the process.
Then again, takes one to know one.
Aided by its allies in Judeo-Masonry, Bolshevism made inroads into the Catholic Church in the forty years leading up to the "Second" Vatican Council. The then Monsignor Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, was blackmailed by agents of the Soviet Union into betraying priests behind the Iron Curtain who had been sent there by Pope Pius XII. Montini, dressed up as "Pope Paul VI," also betrayed Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty, the Primate of Hungary, in order to "normalize" relations with the Communists who ran Hungary at the behest of Leonid Brezhnev and his fellow thugs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And that great "restorer of Tradition," Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, betrayed the underground Catholics in Red China at the hands of the Chicoms since May 1, 1949 (see Letter to Bishops, Priests, Consecrated Persons and Lay Faithful of Red China and Red China: Still A Workshop For The New Ecclesiology.)
The Castros are the greatest scourges that Cuba, which had been evangelized by Our Lady of Guadalupe herself, has known. They are the very fulfillment of Saint Anthony Mary Claret's prophetic warning to the people of Cuba as to what would happen in they persisted in the sort of wanton immorality that Jorge Mario Bergoglio just shrugs off as meaning nothing as long as one “serves the poor":
On Christmas Day God infused into me the love of persecution and calumnies. . . . I dreamed I was imprisoned for a crime of which I was innocent. . . . To one who would have defended me, as St. Peter wished to defend Our Savior, I said: 'Shall I not drink the chalice my Father has given me?'
"On January 6, 1859, Our Lord made known to me that I am like the earth . . . which is trampled upon, yet doesn't speak. I, too, must be trodden underfoot and say nothing. The earth suffers cultivation. I must suffer mortification. Finally, to produce anything, the earth needs water; I, for the performance of good works, divine grace."
How consoling it must have been to hear Jesus promise him divine love, while tenderly addressing him as: "My little Anthony"--on April 27, 1859! And how he strove, ever harder, to obey his Redeemer's injunction, given at 4:25 a.m., on September 4, of that same year: "You have to teach your missionaries mortification, Anthony," to which, a few moments later, Our Lady added, "Thus will you reap fruit in souls, Anthony!"
And, now conditioned to receive supernatural messages in precise words and audible tones, and when they were precepts, to obey perfectly, he was ready for the most glorious promise and the most portentous revelation of all. "At 7:30 on the morning of September 23, Our Lord told me: 'You will fly across the earth . . . to preach of the immense chastisements soon to come to pass.' And He gave me to understand those words of the Apocalypse: 'And I behold and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth; by reason of the rest of the voices of the three angels who are yet to sound the trumpet.' this meant that the three great judgments of God that are going to fall upon the world are: 1) Protestantism and Communism; 2) the four archdemons who will,in a truly frightful manner, incite all to the love of pleasure, money, reason and independence of will; 3) the great wars with their horrible consequences."
Can we read this prophecy, set down for us a century ago, just when our world was entering upon the "golden age" of industry and commerce, of the scientific achievement that our grandfathers were assured was destined to create a life so good for all peoples that war would be banished forever, and doubt from whence it came? And do we dare to trace it from the Protestant Reformation to the curse of Communism; from the conquest of materialism to the deification of poor weak human reason and self-determination into "the great wars and their horrible consequences"! Upon the clean tablet of Anthony Claret's selfless spirit Our Lord engraved the warning His servant was to spell out for us" the incredible but inevitable graph of the "progress" of one century--our century! (Franchon Royer, The Life of St. Anthony Mary Claret, published originally in 1957 by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1985, pp. 211-213.)
Americans brought Protestantism with them in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War in 1898 and thereafter. Communism followed in its wake sixty and one-half years later.
Our Lady herself called upon Saint Anthony Mary Claret to be the new Saint Dominic of his time in order to spread devotion to her Most Holy Rosary:
On various other occasions during that perplexing year  which had brought him home to Spain, he had been blessed by direct messages--in words--from the Blessed Mother. In October: "Now you know; be sorry for the sins of your pat life, and watchful in the future. . . . Do you hear me, Anthony? Be watchful in the future. This is what I have to say to you." And later: "You must be the Dominic of these times in propagating devotion to the Rosary." (Franchon Royer, The Life of St. Anthony Mary Claret, published originally in 1957 by Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1985, p. 211.)
To the Immaculate Heart of Mary we turn in these trying times as we keep close to this Heart from which the very Sacred Heart of Jesus was formed by means of praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
Let us be joyful, however, that we have reached the days of the O Antiphons in the Sacred Liturgy. We are now in the seven liturgical days leading up to Midnight Mass one week from tonight.
Let me turn to Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year to explain why we have embarked upon a period of joyful expectation as Advent draws to a close and we can gather around the stable once again to welcome the Baby Jesus, adoring Him with His Most Blessed Mother and His foster-father, our Good Saint Joseph:
The Church enters to-day on the seven days which precede the Vigil of Christmas, and which are known in the liturgy under the name- of the Greater Ferias. The ordinary of the Advent Office becomes more solemn; the antiphons of the psalms, both for Lauds and the Hours of the day, are proper, and allude expressly to the great coming. Every day, at Vespers, is sung a solemn antiphon, consisting of a fervent prayer to the Messias, whom it addresses by one of the titles given Him in the sacred Scriptures.
In the Roman Church, there are seven of these antiphons, one for each of the greater ferias. They are commonly called the O's of Advent, because they all begin with that interjection. In other Churches, during the middle ages, two more were added to these seven; one to our blessed Lady, O virgo virginum; and the other to the angel Gabriel, O Gabriel; or to St. Thomas the apostle, whose feast comes during the greater ferias; it began O Thoma Didyme. There were even Churches when twelve great antiphons were sung' that is, besides the nine we have just mentioned, O Rex Pacifice to our Lord, O mundi Domina to our Lady, and O Hierusalem to the city of the people of God.
The canonical Hour of Vespers has been selected as the most appropriate time for this solemn supplication to our Saviour, because, as the Church sings in one of her hymns, it was in the evening of the world (vergente mundi vespere) that the Messias came amongst us. These antiphons are sung at the Magnificat, to show us that the Saviour whom we expect is to come to us by Mary. They are sung twice, once before and once after the canticle, as on double feasts, and this to show their great solemnity. In some Churches it was formerly the practice to sing them thrice; that is, before the canticle, before the Gloria Patri, and after the Sicut erat. Lastly, these admirable antiphons, which contain the whole pith of the Advent liturgy, are accompanied by a chant replete with melodious gravity, and by ceremonies of great expressiveness, though, in these latter, there is no uniform practice followed. Let us enter into the spirit of the Church; let us reflect on the great day which is coming; that thus we may take our share in these the last and most earnest solicitations of the Church imploring her Spouse to come, to which He at length yields.
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter, suaviterque disponens omnia; veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, that proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end mightily, and disposing all things sweetly! come and teach us the way of prudence.
O uncreated Wisdom, who art so soon to make Thyself visible to Thy creatures, truly Thou disposest of all things. It is by Thy permission that the emperor Augustus issues a decree ordering the enrolment of the whole world. Each citizen of the vast empire is to have his name enrolled in the city of his birth. this prince has no other object in this order, which sets the world in motion, but his own ambition. Men go to and fro by millions, and an unbroken procession traverses the immense Roman world; men think they they are doing the bidding of man, and it is God whom they are obeying. This world-wide agitation has really but one object; it is, to bring to Bethlehem a man and woman who live at Nazareth in Galilee, in order that this woman, who is unknown in the world but dear to heaven, and who is at the close of the ninth month since she conceived her Child, may give birth to this Child in Bethlehem; for the Prophet has said of Him: 'His going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. And thou, O Bethlehem! art not the least among the thousand cities of Juda, for out of thee He shall come.' O divine Wisdom! how strong art Thou in thus reaching Thine ends by means which are infallible, though hidden; and yet, how sweet, offering no constraint to man's free-will; and withal, how fatherly, in providing for our necessities! Thou choosest Bethlehem for Thy birth-place, because Bethlehem signifies the house of bread. In this, Thou teachest us that Thou art our Bread, the nourishment and support of our life. With God as our food, we cannot die. O Wisdom of the Father, living Bread that hast descended from heaven, come speedily into us, that thus we approach to Thee and be enlightened by Thy light, and by that prudence which leads to salvation. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Volume I, Advent, pp, 484-485.)
Yes, this era of apostasy will pass. When it does, my friends, rest assured that it will be the working of the same Blessed Mother who brought forth her only Child at Midnight in Bethlehem in piercing cold, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will triumph over the apostasies and sacrileges and blasphemies and errors of the moment just as that same Immaculate Heart of Mary was so filled with joy at the time of the Nativity of her Son, Christ the King. We need to resolve during these final days of Advent to make better preparation for our celebration of Christmas this year, especially by praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits and as we seek to make reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was formed out of her own Immaculate Heart, for our own sins and those of the whole world.
Let us keep close to Our Lady and Saint Joseph in these final days of Advent as we ask them to protect us from the minions of Modernity and Modernism who are, yes, each in their own way, serving to accomplish the will of God now just as much as had Caesar Augustus over two millennia ago.
O Wisdom, that proceedest from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end mightily, and disposing all things sweetly! come and teach us the way of prudence.
Part two will be published tomorrow.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.