Thursday, April 16, 2009

Religion thriving in Cuba, Episcopal bishop says

Note: I was there in 2001 and found a very vibrant if isolated church.

The idea of religion prospering in a communist country defies credibility, but, according to Bishop Frank T. Griswold III, the former head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, that’s exactly what’s happening in Cuba.

Griswold, who from 1998 to 2006 was the 25th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, has made three trips to the island nation in the past few years and finds that “there’s no overt hostility to religion.”

“Recently,” he reported, “particularly after the recent hurricanes, the [Cuban] government is realizing that the social services that many of the churches provide [and] rural projects of sustainable agriculture, that all these are positives.”

Griswold, 71, lives in Chestnut Hill, having returned to the community where he served as rector of the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields from 1974-1985. Following his time at St. Martin’s, he served as bishop of Chicago, where he remained until elected the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop at its General Convention held in Philadelphia in 1997.

Griswold went to Cuba to visit a diocese that was originally part of the American Episcopal Church. It is now overseen by the Metropolitical Council, which is made up of the primate of Canada, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and the archbishop of the West Indies.

More here-

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