My title page contents

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Liberating Project by Monsignor Agustín Román (R.I.P.)

Monsignor Agustín Román passed away on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 just days after Father Felix Varela had been declared "venerable" by the Catholic Church during the octave of Easter while Cubans were still celebrating the 400th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin of Charity in Cuba. This modern Felix Varela will be greatly missed. The  Christian Liberation Movement republished the 2001 text written by the Monsignor on their webpage stating that, "Ten years after this prescient call, the prophetic message of Monsignor Roman is more relevant today than ever." We share their sentiment and offer this translation.
Monsignor Agustín Román and Oswaldo Payá (2003)

Lets support the Varela Project
by Monsignor Agustín Román

The Varela Project, conceived and made known by the Christian Liberation Movement from the home territory of the Cuban nation, and inspired by the preaching of God's servant and patriot whose name it bears, comes at a timely and necessary moment. The Varela Project arrives to rekindle the flames of civic renewal, which the Cubans have desired for four decades, and that Cuba has experienced especially after the visit of Pope John Paul II in January of 1998.

This civic renewal is manifested in the emergence, during recent years, of a large number of nongovernmental organizations, such as independent libraries, professional associations, etc. This in concordance to what the Church proposes as activities for the laity in the exercise of their rights.

I am convinced that the Varela Project deserves the support from all who want to see real and nonviolent change in Cuba, for three fundamental reasons:
  • The first is that it does not seek false solutions, as would any one based on the assumption of commitments tothe Cuban government, in alleged concessions or gifts from other governments or entities. The Cuban people claim, through this project, their right to freely exercise their vote and choose through the same their political destination. If those obligated to listen to the voice of the people do not, they will be the only ones responsible for the present stalemate and its consequences in the future.
  • The second reason is that, framing itself within the laws currently in force in Cuba, facilitates the participation of a large number of Cubans who would deprived of their fear to form part of a project that cannot be described as "illegal" or " subversive. " In this manner, without barely trying, the Cuban would be becoming "the protagonist of his history" as specified by the Messenger of Truth and Hope in addressing the youth of our country in Camaguey during the above mentioned visit to Cuba.
  • And the third reason is its inclusive character, covering both the Cubans from the island and those in exile. Only through the paths of union, making good the phrase that affirms "we are one people" is that there may be for Cuba a future of liberty, justice and progress.
Moreover, in the five proposals that this project contains (political amnesty, rights to free expression, free association, free formation of businesses and reform of electoral laws), I see collected many of the approaches that have been formulated by exile organizations over the years.

All this should animate us to support this project, while, as I have always done, sought to collect once more all the most fervent prayers so that, placed at the feet of the Mother of Christ and Our Mother Mary of the Charity of Cobre, come to the Lord Jesus, Lord of Liberty in favor of Cuba and all its children.

Source: The Catholic Voice. March, 2001

Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas on the life and legacy of Monsignor Agustín Román, (in Spanish)

Bishop Agustin Roman reflects on his life (In Spanish)