Pope Benedict XVI in Havana Mar 28. Photo by REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Rounding out his Latin American tour, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in Cuba today. There were lots of questions about what the pope would have to say about the plight of the Cuban people and the repressive Communist government. In the end, not much.
The pope said “Cuba and the world need change,” but that need was pretty generic, as was the path to change: “love, sowing reconciliation and brotherhood.” Earlier in his trip, Benedict had been a little more critical of the Cuban government.
the pope focused on the Bible story of three youths persecuted by the Babylonians who preferred to face death rather than denying their conscience and faith.
“They find the strength… of God with the conviction that the Lord of the cosmos and history would not abandon them to death and nothingness,” the pope said.
The pontiff spoke of freedom, but in the context of Christianity.
“The savior is the only one who can show the truth and give genuine freedom,” he said.
He praised the emergence of religious freedom in Cuba, but did not touch on political freedoms.
“It is with joy that in Cuba there have been steps so that the church can carry out its mission,” but the country must continue to strengthen this path, he said.
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