Pope Addressed Dissidents with Raul Castro

HAVANA TIMES, March 29 — Federico Lombardi, director of the Press Office of the Holy See, said Wednesday in Havana that Benedict XVI spoke with Cuban President Raul Castro concerning the situation of dissidents on the island, especially those who are in prison.

“The issue of humanitarian requests received by the Holy See were addressed, but I have no details on how these were approached,” said Vatican spokesman during a press conference at Havana’s Hotel Nacional, reported CNA.

Lombardi said the Holy See also interceded on behalf of a dissident who shouted “Freedom!” during the Mass presided over by the Pope in Santiago de Cuba on Monday.

The priest made no reference to the case of US agent Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence on the island, though an apostolic nuncio in Washington had previously interceded on Gross’s behalf before the Vatican.