Raul Castro Welcomes Pope Benedict XVI in Havana

Escambray

Cuban President Raul Castro and Pope Benedict XVI held a meeting this Tuesday in Havana, during the second day of the apostolic journey of the Supreme Pontiff to the island.

This is the third time  Raul Castro meets the Bishop of Rome, after the official welcome at the Antonio Maceo International Airport, and the celebration of a mass this Monday in Santiago de Cuba. During the ceremony, they both greeted authorities from the Cuban government and the Catholic Church.

Benedict XVI paid a courtesy visit to his host at the Palace of the Revolution.

Raul Castro and the Pope greeted authorities from the Cuban government and the Catholic Church who were present at the ceremony.

His Holiness is visiting the island at the invitation of the Cuban Government and the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Cuba.

This is the third time  Raul Castro meets the Bishop of Rome, after the official welcome at the Antonio Maceo International Airport and the celebration of a mass this Monday in Santiago de Cuba.

In his remarks at the welcome ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, Raul referred to the close relations existing between the Holy See and Cuba, which have developed continuously for seventy six years, based on mutual respect and concurrence on issues of crucial importance for mankind.

This is the second occasion in which a Supreme Pontiff holds talks with the island’s top authorities after the visit paid by John Paul II in 1998.

The three-day apostolic journey of Benedict XVI coincides with the 400th anniversary of the find of Cuba’s Patronese Virgin of Charity.

(Translated by Escambray)

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