Pope Francis Ponders Sept. Visit to Cuba

Pope Francis.  Photo: wikipedia.org
Pope Francis. Photo: wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES — Pope Francis is considering a stopover in Cuba as part of his visit to the United States in September, but the decision is not yet taken, reported the Vatican on Friday.

“The Holy Father has considered the idea of a visit to Cuba during his next trip to the USA. However, contacts with the authorities of that country are still at such an early stage that we can’t talk about it right now,” said Vatican spokesperson Lombardi Federido in response to questions from reporters.

The leader of the 1.2 billion Catholics played a central role as a mediator in the recent diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, who agreed to re-establish relations after more than 50 years.

The Pope is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington on September 23.

Francis will also attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and deliver speeches to the US Congress and the UN General Assembly in New York. The last pope to visit Cuba was Benedict XVI in 2012.