Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
EWTN is being broadcasting the Pope’s visit to Cuba live from Plaza de Revolucion in Havana from 10:00am today on the EWTN channel. Here is the channel finder for EWTN and this is their webpage covering the Pope in Cuba.
Pope to meet with Fidel Castro
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro says he will meet Wednesday with Pope Benedict in Havana, before the pontiff ends his three-day visit to the communist-ruled island.
In a statement published late Tuesday on a government website, the 85-year-old Castro announced he had requested “a few minutes” of the Catholic leader’s time.
A Vatican spokesman says Pope Benedict asked Mr. Castro to officially designate Good Friday, the day Christians observe the death of Jesus, as a national holiday.
The spokesman also said the pope made a “humanitarian request”of Mr. Castro, without saying whether he asked for the release of political prisoners or specifically Alan Gross, a U.S. contractor jailed in 2009 on charges of crimes against the communist state. Read more…
I find this “humanitarian request” to be VERY interesting. Let’s see if Alan Gross is home by Easter.
Archbishop Wenski of Miami gives mass in Havana, mostly to Cuban Americans
In a sermon at the Cathedral in Havana, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski called for Cuba to move away from the “spent ideology” of Marxism without embracing the materialism of the West.
Wenski spoke Tuesday to a packed audience of more than 300 mostly Cuban-American pilgrims, and they gave him a sustained standing ovation. Many in the audience left Cuba as young children or are the sons and daughters of exiles. The Mass was part of a special service in honor of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the island.
Delivering his sermon in Spanish, Wenski called for “soft landing” from Marxism and said the pope and the Roman Catholic Church desire a political evolution that provides dignity to all Cubans, who have been ruled since 1959 by brothers Fidel and Raul Castro.
“However, as Cuba transitions, the Pope and the Church want a transition that is worthy of the Cuban’s aspirations, a transition worthy of man,” Wenski said. “To go from the ideological materialism of Marxism to a practical materialism such as that of many Western societies would not be worthy of man.”
His call for a “soft landing” from Marxism is something he has said before, but those in attendance said it reverberated more strongly being said inside Cuba.
“I don’t think he said anything today we haven’t heard before,” said Carlos Saladrigas, head of the Cuba Study Group, a business-led nonprofit that encourages political and economic change in Cuba as well as more exchanges.
“I think the difference is he put it all together in one overriding speech, and he did that in Havana and spoke in Spanish for all the world’s press,” added Saladrigas. Read more…
It is interesting how political the Catholic Church is during the Pope’s visit.