Cuba returns Catholic church property

If you live long enough, sometimes things come full circle. The Havana Times reports that the Cuban government is returning to its rightful owners property taken after the 1959 revolution.

Says the Havana Times report:

The return of property from the churches seized by the Cuban government after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959 is more and more a fact.

This week, we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our podcast, NCR in Conversation. Catch the latest episode here.

"At this time, the correct word is 'process,' because it is an initiative begun some years ago that has not stopped," says from Havana Msgr. José Félix Pérez, associate secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba.

"With this step we can rehabilitate places for services and pastoral action in cities where the religious communities had to meet in private homes or uncomfortable spaces," the prelate says. "Thus, we have gotten back chapels and temples in Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Camagüey and Havana, in addition to Cienfuegos."

"In the past 50 years, the Catholic Church has not had the wherewithal to build new temples and places of worship, so we greet this decision with much gratitude, because it is a way to recognize that the Church needs these sites (buildings and spaces) and that, with those acts, a better relationship between Church and State is enabled," Pérez says.

Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.

We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.


Looking for comments?

We've suspended comments on for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.