HAVANA TIMES — Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) will visit Cuba this coming September before traveling to the United States, confirmed Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi on Wednesday, reports dpa news.
“The pope has accepted the invitation. Cuba will be a stage prior to his arrival in the United States,” said Lombardi. The exact dates will be announced later, he added.
After his visit to Cuba, the Argentine pontiff will travel to Washington, New York and Philadelphia. Francisco, 78, is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on September 28th. He will also deliver speeches to the US Congress and the United Nations.
The pope was instrumental in the recent rapprochement between Cuba and the United States and worked as a mediator between the two historically feuding countries, which agreed last December to resume relations after more than 50 years of rupture.
The last pope to visit Cuba was Benedict XVI in 2012. Previously, his predecessor, John Paul II, had visited the island in 1998.