Carlos Eire is the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University and a scholar of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic (Counter) Reformation. He is also a Cuban-American.
Eire is an excellent religious historian, but is perhaps known best for his memoirs chronicling his experience as an eleven-year-old boy who in the early 1960s fled to the United States without his parents as part of Operation Pedro Pan. His 2003 memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy won the National Book Award. He followed that in 2010 with Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy.
Last week Eire turned to First Things magazine to criticize Pope Francis's failure to speak truth to power during his visit to Cuba. It is a stinging critique. Here is a small taste:
We should cheer any time a pope mingles with sinners. It’s what Jesus did, and what his vicar on earth is supposed to do, too. Sin and evil need to be confronted, not ignored, and those who are unjust should be urged to repent and mend their ways. Unfortunately, there is little to cheer about when it comes to the mingling Pope Francis did with the Castro brothers in Cuba, and with other heads of state in Latin America who praise and emulate their dictatorship. Pope Francis seems much too comfortable with Latin American dictators and with their symbols of repression.