Pope Francis Celebrates his Final Mass in Cuba before traveling to the United States

Pope Francis with Cuban President Raul Castro. Observing is VP Miguel Diaz Canel.
Pope Francis with Cuban President Raul Castro. Observing is VP Miguel Diaz Canel.  Photo: sierramaestra.cu

HAVANA TIMES — With Cuban president Raul Castro and VP Miguel Diaz Canel in the audience, Pope Francis celebrated today in Santiago de Cuba his last religious act on the island before traveling to the United States.

Francis arrived this morning to the shrine of Our Lady of Charity on the outskirts of Santiago, one of the sacred places of the Cuban Catholicism, reported dpa news.

After the last public Mass in the chapel of El Cobre, the pope was scheduled to meet with some Cuban families.

Francis will then deliver his farewell speech at the airport in Santiago after spending four days in Cuba, the third visit of a Catholic pope to the island. President Raul Castro will bid farewell to Jorge Bergoglio at the airport.

The Pope begins today a symbolic six-day visit to the United States after being in Cuba. Francis is seen as a key supporter of the historical rapprochement between the two former ideological enemies.

20 thoughts on “Pope Francis Celebrates his Final Mass in Cuba before traveling to the United States

  • How could I demean someone who obviously and sadly, has an inferiority complex?
    I accept your comment about being biased, I detest communism and the “socialismo” of the Castro family regime. I detest dictatorship of left or right and I detest the exploitation of power and control which totalitarian family regimes demonstrate in countries like North Korea, Syria and Cuba. Yes, I have a bias against them, because I have respect for the freedom of the individual – and PLEASE note Rich Haney, for those who disagree with me, unless they are unable to take part in debate without abusing others. You are the person who described me as a “thug” and a “bully”. How could I respect you?
    North Korea is not unfortunately a “tactic”, you raised it in your contribution. North Korea is recognized in the civilized world as being ruled by the most despicable family regime on the planet.
    I am not as you claim, trying to demean you, that is unnecessary, your own words do that!

  • Trying to demean me by using your “North Korea” tactic may seem didactic to you, Carlyle, but in my humble opinion you are far too biased to make any suggestions to anyone.

  • Throughout all the my contributions to the Havana Times, I have not commented upon the Cubana Flight 455. So Rich don’t try to exercise your atrophying mind by trying to put words in my mouth. It was you who introduced Senator Joseph MacCarthy, not I.
    Obviously you suffer from frustration in my refusal to mildly accept being described as a “thug”.
    You are the US citizen, not me. It is factual to state that Senator McCarthy was elected by US citizens. I am far from wishing to be a US citizen not do I envy people being so. But I respect Americans and have enjoyed great hospitality in their country.
    As for being called a “bully” in addition to being a “thug”, that is merely a reflection of your own obvious inadequacy. I repeat, if you cannot take part in discussions where people express various opinions which don’t necessarily agree with your own, without resorting to childish abuse, don’t take part. It obviously is not good for your blood pressure!
    While fuming away, you can always think about the pleasure you could derive by living in North Korea. I don’t think that South Korea would want you.
    As one who has a reasonably successful sporting background , had the pleasure of meeting Tefilo Stevenson and has a friend who ran the 400 metres for Cuba, I have every sympathy for athletes who in pursuit of their dreams have travelled to other countries and been attacked and killed by detestable people – and that applies whether they be Cubans in airlines or Israelies at Olympics.

  • You, Carlyle, are a bully. You have no right to advise other people to cease doing anything just because they might not agree with your right-wing extremism. “Senator Joseph McCarthy was elected by US citizens.” Wow! US citizens, a few times in history, have made mistakes and real Americans should learn from those mistakes. For example, I believe both the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 and its aftermath relating to the terrorists were mistakes. Pumping your chest and your self-proclaimed Americanism is laughable. Disagreeing with me regarding Cubana Flight 455 is unconscionable.

  • So your answer Rich is that as you don’t like the question, throw abuse at the questioner. Why would asking whether you would rather live in North or South Korea be a scare tactic? Which frightens you?
    As for facts, North Korea is a belligerent totalitarian communist dictatorship with the third generation of the Kim family holding power (Kim Jung Un). He like Fidel Castro wished to, threatens nuclear warfare.
    South Korea has thrived under the capitalist system and is a democratic multi-party state with several companies which have been successful in marketing products world wide. Obviously the two countries are very different – so as you mentioned both and as you correctly pointed out, there is still legally a state of war between them, which of them would you prefer to live in?
    Senator Joseph McCarthy was elected by US citizens, reflecting extremism in your country not mine.
    If you find people disagreeing with you to be unacceptable, don’t take part in discussions where there are varying opinions. Go back to school and study tolerance!
    Regarding people fleeing from their native countries, just think about which regimes they are fleeing from and from which countries they seek refuge. Pray tell me why they are not seeking refuge in Russia, China, Vietnam, North Korea and indeed Cuba. The latter was the only country which charged for medical services to combat Ebola in Africa. Cuba according to the 2012 census has less than 5,500 people who were not born there, so a few thousand immigrants fleeing from Asad’s Syria ought to be acceptable.

  • I am a Protestant so my respect for the Pope is based simply on his Christianity. He has no
    more spiritual authority than I do according to the teachings of my faith. Nonetheless, I have not been critical of him on this blog. I have no idea why you have taken a potshot at me in your comment. Santería is a syncretic religion that uses animal sacrifice and blood rituals. It is not accurate to describe it as Satanic worship.

  • You are a Joe McCarthy-type thug, Carlyle. Make your points on facts or at least refrain from scare tactics when someone disagrees with your propaganda.

  • That emagicmtman is exactly the point being “conciliatory”. The Pope in his endeavors is prepared to overlook a predecessors decision to ex-communicate Fidel Castro and to overlook Fidels desire to make a nuclear attack on US citizens. He is prepared to overlook Raul Castro’s history of executions without trial and the fifty six years of totalitarian communist oppression of the people of Cuba. That may be fine and dandy within your interpretation of morality, but not to humanitarians.
    As I wrote earlier, not much wonder that Raul Castro Ruz is m looking smug. I note also that even Diaz-Canel is smiling at his boss managing to manipulate the Pontiff.

  • There are regional conflicts in many parts of the world however I stand corrected. I should have said “longest period of peace from WORLD WAR in modern times”. Now, feel better?

  • Would you rather live in North or South Korea?

  • Let me paraphrase the only American Catholic President. ” ask not what the Pope is going to say. Ask what is going to be said about the Pope”

  • Moses, in case you haven’t noticed the world is en fuego…on fire…creating an unprecedented flight of millions of refugees. The photos yesterday after the Saudis bombed the capital of Yemen, which has been going on daily since March, is typical. Do you mean un-declared wars? The Korean War in the 1950s was un-declared and called a “police action” but I believe it was a war that has yet to be declared concluded, a reason we still have 38,000 soldiers on the border between and South and North Korea. “Longest recorded period of peace in modern times.” Tell that to the millions of refugees fleeing wars as we speak.

  • Of the American networks, I thought NBC had the most unbiased covered of Pope Francis in Cuba. At 6:00 A. M. Monday, not watching Fox News” but monitoring the coverage, I noticed that Fox started the week when a full-screen photo of Pope Francis shaking hands with Fidel Castro as co-anchor Elizabeth Hasselbeck read the tele-prompted sentence: “The Pope staring into the face of evil.” As satirist Jon Stewart opined, Fox “News” is nothing more and nothing less than a right-wing propaganda machine, always implying that the Cuban Revolutionary was/is totally evil while the Batistiano-Mafiosi-American businessmen the revolution chased off the island were/are total angels. Yes, Elizabeth Hasselbeck sort of reminded me of your reference to “Moses and Carlyle” in this forum, which does permit both sides of two-sided stories.

  • By far the most detailed coverage of the Pope’s visit was on the Catholic network (EWTN?), followed by Al Jazeera. Incidentally, some of the EWTN commentators were intolerant and wrong-headed in their assessment of Santeria, calling it “devil worship,” etc., and several were old Miami dinosaurs whose assessments reminded me of those of Moses and Carlyle, while others were more even-handed and conciliatory.

  • To any humanitarian aware of the history of the Castro family regime and the Communist Party of Cuba, of the executions, of the introduction of the CDR, of the repression, of imprisonment without trial, of the expressed desire by Fidel Castro to have nuclear weapons used to incinerate citizens of the US – and thus plunge the world into a nuclear war, the sight of Pope Francis fraternizing with the ex-communicant Jesuit Fidel and as shown in the photograph above, laughing in the company of the current dictator Raul Castro Ruz with his appointed deputy Miguel Diaz-Canel, can best be described as sickening and deplorable.
    The Catholic Church has sadly sunk to a new level of hypocrisy.
    it does not matter what this Pope says in the United States, his position is abundantly clear before he even opens his mouth. This Pope supports, totalitarianism, this Pope supports repressive dictatorship and even worse, supports those responsible!
    Not much wonder that Raul Castro Ruz is looking smug!

  • You are in no position to judge who and what I worship beyond what I have written, even more so as the professed atheist you have claimed to be. I do no entirely disagree with the Pope’s criticism of capitalism. Considering his Argentinian perspective, he has experienced only the most brutal aspects of capitalism and, as a Jesuit, is understandably opposed to its abuses. Idiots may see the world as black or white. But in a democracy like the US, there is room for criticism without any “ass-burning”.

  • Your dislike/jealousy of the US does not change the FACT that my country continues to lead the world through the longest recorded period of peace in modern times. We set moral, cultural and social standards for most of the civilized world. Our economic stability is the only thing that keeps the rest of the world from total caos. We can handle “haters” like you. We just keep selling you our technology for you to use on the internet that we invented to exercise the freedom of expression that we protect. Your “head” comment is unnecessary to make your point.

  • Moses ,
    Were you really a follower of Christ’s teachings about the rich going straight to Hell and the primacy of helping the poor rather than a Christian in name only, you’d be very happy with what the Pope has to say about capitalism.
    But as the Bible says; “Ye cannot worship both God and manna.” and you have chosen to worship/serve wealth and the wealthy.
    Sharing the wealth is both Christian and socialist and /or communist and at the same time is the antithesis of capitalist practice which is to accumulate and not share wealth equitably.
    The Pope acting as a real Christian must really be burning your ass.
    and if only for that , I couldn’t be happier with Francis.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if he did…nor should you. America…a garden of peace, tolerance, and tranquility…a shinning example for the rest of the world… including Cuba. What a joke. Moses, when will you get your head out of your ass?

  • The Pope, through words and deeds, has been seen to have largely turned a blind eye to Castro repression of the Cuban people. It will be awkward if during his visit to the US, he is seen as scolding Americans where more so than he said scolded the Castros. We will have to wait and see.

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