New York Times
April 18, 1961. p. 16.
Cuba Jails Bishop and a Priest on Charges of Holding
By Sam Pope Brewer
MIAMI, April 17--The Auxiliary
Bishop of Havana, Msgr. Eduardo Boza Masvidal, and another priest were
arrested today in their church in Havana on charges of having engaged in
Special to The New York Times
The arrests were officially
announced on the 7:30 P.M. news broadcast from Havana.
Msgr. Boza Masvidal and
the Rev. Blanco Blanco were accused of having held United States currency
illegally and of having hoarded medicines and other items in their church
for the benefit of "counter-revolutionaries."
They were arrested, according
to the announcement, by members of the Committee for Defense of the Revolution,
a group of civilians assigned to hunt down counter-revolutionaries in their
$236 Reported Found
The searchers were said to have
found $236, some medicine and a military cap with a major's insignia hidden
in the church. It is illegal to have United States dollars.
A leader in organizing youth
movements, Bishop Boza Masvidal has strongly opposed the Castro militia
movement among the youth of the Roman Catholic Church.
He has been a leader in
the fight against Communist influence in Cuba and has some conflicts with
the present Government.
Tonight's announcement accused
him of being "a political adventurer in a cassock."
Bishop Boza Masvidal is
a Cuban by birth and has been well-liked in Havana. He was formerly pastor
of La Caridad, the downtown church in a commercial district in which he
was arrested today. He then became rector of Villanueva University in Havana.
He was made Auxiliary Bishop early in 1960. He is credited with an important
role in producing the letter of the Cuban bishops to Dr. Castro Dec. 3
criticizing Communist trends in Cuba and attacks on the Church by the regime.
In an address last June
at Villanueva University, Bishop Boza Masvidal assailed state control of
ideas and declared that "confiscation or arbitrary and unjustified expropriation
The following month, the
45-year-old Bishop celebrated a mass for "all those who fight and suffer
persecution under Communist regimes." The crowd that overflowed the Havana
Cathedral shouted "Cuba, si! Russia, no!" Fights broke out outside.
The Bishop was denounced
on the Government-controlled radio as a "reactionary in priest's clothing."
But he pursued his public attacks on the Communists, and the growing ties
between the regime and the Soviet bloc.
In November, he expelled
thirty students who had charged in a press statement that "Falangist priests"
planned to close Villanueva in agreement with the "Imperialistic United
States." Villanueva is operated by the Augustinian Fathers, whose headquarters
are in Villanova, Pa.
On Dec. 6, a bomb caused
slight damage to the Bishop's church in Havana.
Bishop Boza Masvidal was
born in Camaguey, Sept. 18, 1915.