Pope to visit Cuba in March

HAVANA, Cuba (South Sentinel) — The Vatican and the Cuban government are planning a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and former President Fidel Castro, during the visit by the Holy Father to the Caribbean island next March.

According to the Vatican Insider webpage, Cuban officials and papal nuncio Monsignor Bruno Musaro are organising the meeting. The Pope´s visit to Cuba is scheduled to take place March 26-28, after the Holy Father concludes a brief stay in Mexico, according to the Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The meeting with Fidel Castro is being considered for March 27, in the context of a visit the Pope is to pay to President Raul Castro, brother of Fidel, at the government palace.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro met with Pope John Paul II during his visit to the island in 1998; he also attended several ceremonies. The visit by Benedict XVI to Cuba coincides with the jubilee year proclaimed by the local Catholic Church to mark the 400th anniversary of the find of the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre, Cuba’s patron saint.

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