Eloy Domínguez, 45, is the new auxiliary bishop of Havana

Eloy Domínguez, 45, is the new auxiliary bishop of Havana

Cuban priest Eloy Ricardo Domínguez Martínez was elected this Saturday by Pope Francis as the new auxiliary bishop of Havana. At 45 years of age, Domínguez becomes the youngest member of the current Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba.

Born in Havana in 1977, Domínguez graduated in civil law before entering the San Carlos y San Ambrosio Seminary. He was ordained a deacon in May 2011 and in August of that year he received priestly ordination from Cardinal Jaime Ortega.

He attended the parishes of Managua, Bauta, Caimito, San José de las Lajas, Tapaste and Wajay, in addition to the chapels of Playa Baracoa, Guásimas and Corralillo. At the time of his appointment, he was rector of the National Sanctuary of San Lázaro, in El Rincón.

Domínguez is part of the ecclesiastical court of the Archdiocese of Havana and was also a member of the organizing commission for Pope Francis’ visit to the island in 2015.

It was Domínguez who prepared the Pope’s meeting with young Cubans on the esplanade of the Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center in 2015

It was Domínguez who prepared the meeting of the pontiff with young Cubans on the esplanade of the Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center, in front of the old Havana seminary. “The Holy Father comes to speak to all young people, both Catholics and those who are not. When a father speaks to his children, he does not establish distinctions, of creed or ideology,” he assured the press at the time.

The new bishop, who was also assigned the titular see of Nisa di Licia, will receive his ordination from Cardinal Juan García, archbishop of Havana, on October 1. It is the second episcopal appointment made by the Pope in Cuba this year, after placing Juan Gabriel Díaz as titular bishop of Matanzas.

The election of Eloy Domínguez coincides with the trip to Cuba of the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley. The visit, about which the official press and the prelate’s office have not commented, seems to be part of the “probing dialogues” to “shorten the distances” between Havana and Washington to which Pope Francis referred in a recent interview.

O’Malley was in Cuba shortly after the 11J protests and had a cordial approach to the Government of Miguel Díaz-Canel

O’Malley, one of the pontiff’s closest collaborators, was in Cuba shortly after the 11J protests and had a cordial approach to the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel.

“I talked to him [Díaz-Canel] about the ‘demonstrations’ that took place this summer and I appealed to his clemency for those involved in them in a non-violent way”, reported on that occasion the cardinal, one of the main actors in the restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. USA in 2014.

Both in the discreet visit of Cardinal O’Malley and in the election of a new and very young bishop for Cuba, the opinion of the pontiff intervenes, who affirmed his agreement “when that little agreement was made with the United States, which President Obama wanted at the time and Raúl Castro accepted”, statements that have raised a avalanche of criticism also affirming that he has “a human relationship” with Raúl Castro

The efforts to promote a new “thaw” between the two countries and the mediation of the Catholic Church are extremely timely for the “facelift” of the Cuban government, at a time of new crises and citizen protests.

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