Alocución de S.E.R. Cardinal Juan de la Caridad García, Archbishop of Havana

By: Msgr. Juan de la Caridad García

Alocution Sunday, September 13.

Thank you to everyone who makes this allocution possible on this Sunday, September 13th.
Today in all the Catholic churches of the world this fragment of the Gospel is read according to Matthew, chapter 18, verses 21 to 35.

We already know from our own experience that forgiving costs a lot of work. When the offense comes from a person we love and have helped a lot in life. And in the face of an offense, vengeance can arise in our people and return evil for evil or the attitude of not speaking to the offender anymore, to which he has crucified us, or not help him more if he needs it. Faced with all these negative feelings and desires, Jesus Christ arises with His teaching of forgiveness.

Gospel St. Luke 23: 34 …

Forgiveness solves everything.
If husband and wife argue, they are offended during the day, at dusk, if they converse, forgiveness is asked, happiness first, lost by the lawsuit, returns to the house and everything is resolved.
If days, nights, weeks, months pass, a grudge grows and sours up life, and the more time passes, the harder it is to regain love first.
When two brothers fight for an inheritance or disagree, the mother, who brought them both into her mother’s womb, suffers the most. She cries more than the one who lost the unjust fight.
Years ago in a street ball game, in a play in which it was not clear whether it was out or still, two ballers hit each other. An old lady passed by the sidewalk and when she saw the lawsuit, she got into the middle of the two who were sashing.
The piñazos of one thrown against the other, gave on the face of the old lady and the piñazos of the other in response, did not go to the contender, but to the old woman’s never.
The remaining platoons, in order to separate those who were sashing, had to take the old lady, in serious condition, to the hospital. The old lady was the mother of the two who wanted to be harmed by a silly argument, but harmed the mother. When there are lawsuits between brothers, the one who suffers the most is the mother. The old woman’s sisters lit candles for Our Lady of Charity and thank God the old woman recovered and the brothers asked each other and the mother for forgiveness.
If you have conflicts in the house, in the ward, at work, in the Church, give the other party a cake and peace, harmony, and fraternity will begin.


A little boy had a very bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost patience he should nail a nail behind the door.
On the first day, the little boy nailed 37 nails behind the door. The weeks that followed, as he learned to control his genius, he nailed fewer and fewer nails behind the door. Until he discovered it was easier to control his genius than to nail behind the door.
The time came when he was able to control his character throughout the day. After informing his father, he suggested that he remove a nail every day that he managed to master his character.
The days passed and the young man was able to announce to his father that there were no more nails left to remove from the door. His father took him by the hand and took him to the door. He said, “You’ve worked hard, my son, but look at all those holes in the door. It’ll never be the same again.”
Every time you lose your temper, you leave scars exactly like the ones you see here. You can insult someone and excuse yourself, but the scar will stay forever. A verbal offense is as harmful as a physical offense.


To correct the brother who has made a mistake, Jesus suggests a pedagogy of recovery, and always the pedagogy of Jesus is the pedagogy of recovery, always recover, always save. This recovery pedagogy is articulated in three passages. First he says in the gospel, “Repeat it between you and him alone,” that is, do not put his sin before all. It’s about going to the brother discreetly, not to judge him, but to help him realize what he’s done.
How many times we’ve had this experience, that someone comes and says, “Look, you’ve been wrong about this, you’d have to change this a little bit. Per far at first we get angry and then we appreciate it because it is a gesture of brotherhood, of communion, of help, of recovery”…
It is not easy to apply this teaching of Jesus, for several reasons. There is a fear that the brother or sister will react badly; sometimes there is not enough trust with him or her… And other reasons. Sometimes when we have done this, we have felt it was the Lord’s way.
However, it may happen that, despite my good intentions, the first intervention fails. In this case it is a good idea not to give up – “to manage, I wash my hands”, no, this is not Christian – not to give up, but to resort to the support of some other brother or sister. Jesus says, “If he does not listen to you, take one or two with you yet, that every matter may be settled by the word of two or three witnesses.”
Even if it appears against the defendant, it actually serves to protect him from false accusers. But Jesus goes further: the two witnesses are requested not to accuse and judge, but to help. Let us agree with you and I and go talk to him who is doing something that is wrong, let us go as brothers and sisters to speak, this is the attitude of recovery that Jesus wants.
Consider an example: when we see a mistake or a defect, a slip of a brother or sister, usually the first thing we do is go and tell others, gossip. And gossip closes the heart to the community, closes the unity of the Church, the great talker is the devil, who always says the bad things of others because he is a liar who seeks to ununite the Church, seeks to drive away the brethren and not to make community. Please, brothers and sisters, let’s make an effort not to gossip. Gossip is a uglier plague than COVID, worse. Let’s make an effort, no gossip, no gossip.


An Indian teacher asks his disciples, “Why do people yell at each other when they are angry?”
“Because we lose our cool, ” said one. “That’s why we scream.”
“But why shout when the other person is by your side?” asked the teacher. “Isn’t it possible to speak to him quietly? Why are you yelling at a person when you’re angry?”
The disciples gave some other answers, but none of them satisfied the teacher.
Finally the teacher explained:
When two people are angry, their hearts go a long way. “To cover that distance they must shout, in order to be heard. The angrier they are, the louder they’ll have to scream to hear each other through that great distance.”
Then the teacher asked, “What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t yell at each other, but speak softly. Why? Because their hearts are so close. The distance between them is very small.”
The master continued. “When they fall even more in love, what happens?”
“They don’t talk, they just whisper and they feel closer in love. Finally they just look at each other and that’s it. That’s right, how close two people are when they love each other.”
Then the teacher said:
“When you argue don’t let your hearts go away. Don’t say words that distance you any more. There will come a day when the distance is so long, they will no longer find their way back.”


Our Father,
you’re in heaven,
sanctified be thy Name;
Thy kingdom come to us;
Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us our daily bread today;
forgive our offenses against You by disobeying your commandments,
as we forgive those who have slandered and harmed us,
don’t let us fall into the temptation of vengeance,
and deliver us from this pandemic and all kinds of grudges. Amen.

God save you Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with you;
Blessed art thou among all women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners and for all the coronavirus sufferers,
now and at the time of our death. Amen.


Below we offer in full the allocution of the Cardinal and Archbishop of Havana, Archbishop Juan de la Caridad García.

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