Pope’s Cuba Dates Coming Next Week

By Circles Robinson

A scene from Havana's Neptuno St. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Dec 8 — Cuba will receive its second visit from a Pope this coming spring and the exact date for the trip will be forthcoming next week, reported AP on Thursday.

Pope Benedict XVI, 84, will join John Paul II (1998) as the only pontiffs to visit the Caribbean island nation.

The occasion of the trip coincides with the 400th anniversary of the appearance of the Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre image, the patron saint of Cuba.

The mending of fences between the Cuban Communist Party/government and the Vatican has taken place over the last two decades.

The Catholic Church now plays an increasingly active role in national affairs, including thorny matters such as the recent release of political prisoners.

Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega is a supporter of President Raul Castro’s attempt to make reforms in the country’s economy and end several restrictions on the population.