November 15, 2010

In a ceremony joined by President Raul Castro, Cuba’s Catholic bishops inaugurated the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary Nov. 3, the country’s first major Church-related construction in the half century since the revolution led by Fidel Castro.

Joined by Cuba’s bishops and representatives of the Vatican and bishops from other countries, Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino noted that the late Pope John Paul II blessed the first stone of the new seminary at a Mass during his January 1998 visit to the island.

At that point, then-President Fidel Castro pledged his support for the project, the cardinal said.

“That promise has been faithfully completed,” he said. He added his thanks to the Castros, “that this work was completed properly with the help of the state.”