'No to political correctness', says Pope in Cuba

(AGI) Holguin (Cuba), Sept 21 - Faith, in the sense ofauthentical compliance with the Gospel and its values, "iscapable of transforming history", said Pope Francis in hissecond stop in Cuba. In Holguin, the island's third-largestcity and the birth town of the Castro brothers, the Pope talkedabout the changes that can be brought about by faith in hishomily. Thanks to the Pope's diplomacy, Cuba is moving out ofthe international isolation imposed under the United States'embargo and paid at a very high cost by the civilianpopulation, especially the children and the elderly who

(AGI) Holguin (Cuba), Sept 21 - Faith, in the sense ofauthentical compliance with the Gospel and its values, "iscapable of transforming history", said Pope Francis in hissecond stop in Cuba. In Holguin, the island's third-largestcity and the birth town of the Castro brothers, the Pope talkedabout the changes that can be brought about by faith in hishomily. Thanks to the Pope's diplomacy, Cuba is moving out ofthe international isolation imposed under the United States'embargo and paid at a very high cost by the civilianpopulation, especially the children and the elderly who havebeen deprived of prescription drugs. High-ranking officials aredivided between those who are enthusiastic about the Pope'svisit and the prospect of improved social conditions and thosewho fear losing their privileges, especially those who wereresponsible for the arrest of several dissidents before thePope celebrated Mass in Havana. The elderly Fidel Castromanifested a patent interest for the Pope's teachings indefence of the environment and the poor while the more jovialRaul Castro never ceases expressing his appreciation andrespect for the Pope and even followed him to Holguin. PopeFrancis said that the Gospel warns against prejudice, resistingchange and political correctness. "Jesus' love heals ourshort-sightedness and pushes us to look beyond, not to besatisfied with appearances or with what is politicallycorrect," he said when commenting on the Gospel episode on theconversion of Matthew, the tax collector who converted at aglance of the Lord, from which Pope Francis drew his episcopalmotto "Miserando atque eligendo". "How strong was the love inthat look of Jesus, which moved Matthew to do what he did!...Jesus goes before us, he precedes us; he opens the way andinvites us to follow him. He invites us slowly to overcome ourpreconceptions and our reluctance to think that others, muchless ourselves, can change." He went on: "For Matthew and forall who have felt the gaze of Jesus, other people are no longerto be 'lived off', used and abused. The gaze of Jesus givesrise to missionary activity, service, self-giving. Jesus' loveheals our short-sightedness and pushes us to look beyond, notto be satisfied with appearances or with what is politicallycorrect." The Pope added: "We must share his tenderness andmercy with the sick, prisoners, the elderly and families indifficulty. Again and again we are called to learn from Jesus,who always sees what is most authentic in every person, whichis the image of his Father." (AGI). .