Benedict meets Hugo and Fidel
POPE Benedict XVI met with former Cuban president Fidel Castro overnight, last day of a trip to bolster the Roman Catholic church’s relationship with the communist government.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed the two leaders had met for about 30 minutes at the Papal Nuncio’s residence in Havana.
He did not go into detail about what they discussed, but said it was the first meeting for the pontiff, 84, and the 85-year-old revolutionary.
Yesterday, the pope celebrated Mass in Havana’s Revolution Square for hundreds of thousands of cheering worshippers and well-wishers including Fidel’s brother, President Raul Castro.
Raul, 80, assumed power in 2006 when Fidel stepped aside during a health crisis after ruling the communist island for nearly five decades.
“Cuba and the world need change, but this will occur only if each one is in a position to seek the truth and chooses the way of love, sowing reconciliation and fraternity,” the pontiff said during the Mass.
“The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom.”
Last week, Benedict said Marxism “no longer corresponds to reality” and argued that Cuba could be helped by looking at new models.
The pontiff’s calls for openness prompted Cuban Vice President Marino Murillo on Tuesday to rule out any political opening.
“In Cuba, there will be no political reforms,” said Mr Murillo, who is in charge of carrying out the economic reform program ordered over the past few years by Raul Castro.
strange that when the pope visits leaders. he is regarded as the leader..they know the boss..anyone get any pictures of hugo or fidel kissing the ring?