Fidel Castro to Get Private Session with Pope Francis

By Progreso Weekly  (taken from Digital Religion).

Fidel Castro with Benedict XVI during his visit to Cuba in 2012. Also present Fidel's son, Antonio Castro.
Fidel Castro with Benedict XVI during his visit to Cuba in 2012. Also present Fidel’s son, Antonio Castro.

HAVANA TIMES — The Vatican diplomatic structures and Cuba have already agreed to a private meeting between Pope Francis and the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, during the tour of the Pope to Cuba (19-22 September).

Notimex sources confirmed the request of the meeting was advanced by Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) and welcomed by the Cuban side, although there are still details to be arranged.

The meeting also depends on the health of Castro who turned 89 on August 13. Fidel also met with the popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI during their visits to Cuba in 1998 and 2012.

A meeting between Francis and Fidel will probably not appear on the official agenda. However, there is room on the schedule after Francis lands at the “Jose Marti” International Airport of Havana in the afternoon of Saturday 19 September.

After an official welcoming ceremony, the pope has no other public activities that afternoon.

The following day, after an open air Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution, Francis will pay a courtesy call on President Raul Castro at the Palace of the Revolution.

The Pope will be in Havana until Monday Sept. 21, when, in the morning, he will leave for Holguin and from there to Santiago de Cuba, where on Tuesday 22 will take off for the United States.

Fidel Castro’s first greeting with a Pope came on November 19, 1996 when the then Cuban president was received by John Paul II in the Vatican. The private meeting lasted 35 minutes and laid the groundwork for the visit of Karol Wojtyla to the island two years later.

The Polish Pope carried out a pastoral visit to Cuba from January 21-26, 1998 with stages in Havana, Camaguey, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.

In March 2012, Pope Benedict XVI met with Fidel at the headquarters of the apostolic nunciature in the capital. The senior Castro was no longer the president and accounts refer to a long and cordial conversation.

33 thoughts on “Fidel Castro to Get Private Session with Pope Francis

  • “While the majority of the world is capitalist, our economic system is not the blame, human selfishness and arrogance is.” Anthropological understanding has clearly shifted towards the view that Homo Sapien Sapiens have lived in societies utilizing an economic system resembling gift economy with little to no hierarchy and relatively less conflict for 95% of the existence of the species prior to the neolithic revolution

    Learn to read!

  • I listen to the judgement of the people of Cuba for much of the year – taking care to ensure that the eyes and ears of the CDR are not in the offing.
    I liked your joke referring to a glass of milk. Where would a Cuban get a glass of fresh milk?
    The judgement of the people of Cuba will only be known when they have free open multi-party elections and freedom of the media. Until then, they will have to continue to whisper, hoping that the CDR doesn’t hear them.

  • …and your proof of this?

  • Anthropological record? Oh, do please tell!

  • Trading ones individual freedom for some absurd notion of economic equality is a rejection of free will, God’s greatest gift. To correct the selfishness of a few, the rest of us need to give up individual choices ? No, a free market controlled by government regulations to keep the rent seekers and crony capitalist out gives the most people the best chance at a self directed life. Cuba is unleashing a wave of small business people with it’s reforms, a beautiful thing to see happen.

  • The man has been measured. The judgment of the people is in, just listen to the whispers of the people with the empty glass of milk.

  • Oh god, that is a pile of horse shit right there,
    you are just spewing what every wallstreet banker wants us to believe,
    while our anthropological records show that your statement is BULLSHIT

  • Did you just compare Jesus, Son of God, Prince of Peace, etc. to the Beasts of Biran, the Brothers Castro? Hahahahaha!

  • The Cuban way is a great success and although there has been a rough and rocky road it has always been rightchous and just and now with so little pure land sea and air left it turns out a saving grace for all who can muster the strength and intestinal fortitude to follow such a difficult path as only Jesus himself would dare to walk down. Jesus was by far the most enraging and difficult man to deal with by design and likewise provided the most profound change like the prophets who came after him.
    Thank You

  • Nope. I won’t be in Cuba then.

  • You’re brutal IC! Are you attending the Pope’s Mass?

  • You write like a Holy Man NJ! I once met a recovering addict who was sober for years and asked him how he maintained his abstention from drink. He told me a few things he does but one was right before he goes to bed, he has ten names on an index card that lists the people he hates or hated the most and then prays for forgiveness. I don’t subscribe to that philosophy but I think if one follows the most important message of Christianity it
    is to forgive your enemies. The hardest of all to do.

  • I share your concern for the ecosystem. But the impact that human beings have had on the environment has little to do with capitalism and everything to do with human nature. Have you been to Havana? Up until recently there has been very little capitalism in Cuba but the ecosystem sucks. While the majority of the world is capitalist, our economic system is not the blame, human selfishness and arrogance is.

  • Ops…too late.

  • Mistakes? That’s a really big “my bad”

  • There is an assumption in proposing that he has a soul?
    Re-read the contribution from Manuel Tellechea above!
    Fidel Castro Ruz has held power and control over the people of Cuba for over half a century, but he fortunately doesn’t have the power to sell the soul of the Cuban people. Let us hope that in the future it is they who determine their own future, not a communist dictator.

  • Castro may have been wrong about socialism, but capitalism is destroying the world’s ecosystem. Of course, you can only see as far as your profit driven myopia will let you.

  • Fidel would have become a ‘Hitler’ had he had the military resources. He urged Khrushchev to initiate nuclear war against the US, for goodness sakes! He shares the same megalomaniacal characteristics as Hitler lacking only the capacity to actualize his intentions.

  • He must not sell his soul and the very soul of the Cuban people to a world of capitalists.

  • What a wonderful summation!

  • The difference between Hitler’s megalomania and that of Fidel Castro Ruz is that Fidel only initially killed a few hundred of his fellow Cubans – many without trial.
    But Terry I am going to enter your comment “He’s just a man who has made a few mistakes throughout his mission to unite Cuba as a nation.” into the competition for misleading statements of the year.
    Let us hope that at some time in the future, the surviving people of Cuba are freed to determine whether Fidel’s “accomplishments” out-weigh his “errors”. As long as the Castro brothers are in power and control, that opportunity will continue to be denied.

  • I was unaware that educational degrees granted by religious run institutions were invalidated

  • Fidel is not Hitler. And to imply otherwise is more than a bit ridiculous. He’s just a man who has made a few mistakes throughout his mission to unite Cuba as a nation. His positive accomplishments far out-weigh his errors. Hitler was a genocidal megalomaniac… not so Fidel.

  • Definitely not a “meeting between God and the Red Devil.” More like a meeting between two red devils.

  • Fidel Castro also confiscated all Catholic schools and universities in Cuba and invalidated the degrees that they had granted. Ditto for Catholic hospitals and orphanages, Catholic publications and radio stations. He banned religious processions and the celebration of religious holidays, including Christmas and Three Kings Day. He placed a fifty-year moratorium on the construction of churches. He forcibly expelled hundreds of priests and nuns and caused the Archbishop of Havana to seek refuge at a foreign embassy. — For all of which he was excommunicated by John XXIII.

  • Haha, obviously this was in jest, Mr. Goodrich. No one really thinks that way. Christianity has more to do with communism, have you ever taken a look at the Vatican? Fidel wants to help the poor? Say that to the 35 year old Cuban man, who never had a steak until he came to the USA. The only thing Castro is interested in is power and glory. Mr. Goodrich you only have the right to to voice your opinion because you live in a democracy, try voicing your opinion in a communist country. Better yet you have a computer or cell phone, thanks to Capitalism! Hahaha you are too funny or ignorant! Mr. Goodrich, tis better to be thought of as a fool, than to speak and erase all doubt!

  • We all make mistakes. He was a larger than life figure, so his errors are of an outsized magnitude.

  • Carlyle, it’s a difficult world we live in and religious institutions make it even more so. I’m not a practicing Catholic, tried at one time to convert to the Church of England but that’s another blog, but let’s see how this plays out. I like the Pope and if it benefits the Cuban people all the more power to him. In any case, your post vs. Moses’ makes Moses look like the Old Testament Moses!

  • Just how much crow does that old man have to eat? After the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro declared Cuba an atheist state and exiled priests or sent them to “reeducation camps.”  But in 1991, he began to backtrack and changed Cuba from an atheist to a secular state. Once having closed churches just as he had plowed over golf courses, he is now witnessing church buildings being constructed and restored at a faster rate than his brother can build houses and luxury golf resort hotels are in the planning stages.He was wrong about religion. He was wrong about golf courses. He was wrong about private businesses. He was wrong about socialism.

  • The wealth of the Catholic Church is immense and the scandals involving the Vatican and protecting it from any form of accountability have been the subject of countless radio, press and TV programs. No doubt many free enterprise businesses envy it’s immunity.
    The wealth of the Castro family has also been the subject of much conjecture – with estimates running from millions to billions of dollars. Publicly RAFIN SA as the 27% shareholder in ETECSA the Cuban monopoly telephonic system is known (but not in Cuba).
    There is therefore some justification for those who suggest that Christianity in the form of the Vatican State and socialism/communism in the form of the Castro family regime have much in common.
    A further link is both the current Pope and Fidel Castro Ruz being Jesuits. A distinction they share with Stalin.
    That the Vatican and the Castro family regime have mutual interests is undeniable. Christ enjoined: “Love thy neignbour” and “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” Fidel Castro sought – but fortunately failed, to incinerate his American neignbours.
    Will Raul Castro Ruz take the opportunity to re-join the Catholic Church and endeavor to build his public image by so doing?

  • It is never too late for a death bed confession, is it – especially from one who has been excommunicated from the church for so many years? Amen.

  • A meeting of two men noted for their well-grounded beliefs in wanting to help those in poverty .
    One does it because it’s what Christ said was paramount in following him.
    The other does it out of love of humanity and based upon the mutual aid concept which is intrinsic to humanity .
    I’m sure our counter-revolutionary nutbags will think it’s a friendly meeting between God and the bright red Devil.
    Christianity has a lot more in common with socialism and communism then it could ever possibly have with capitalism but not if you listen to the U.S. Christian ( send us all your money) Right.
    THIS Pope has said that the selfishness of free enterprise capitalism is the problem something the R.C. Church has rarely done in the past when money was more important than truth and Christian morality to all the other Popes save perhaps the fat jolly one from years ago .
    As the Bible says, “Ye cannot worship both God and manna (money).”
    Hypocrites do give it a try though.

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