May 11, 2015


Castro May Return to Catholic Church, He Says After Meeting Pope Francis (DIANE MONTAGNA, 5/11/15, Aleteia)

The visit of the Cuban head of state, his brother's successor, since he became unable through lll health to continue as full-time dictator, is a recognition of the pontiff's contribution. No one, however, excepted such dramatic statements of possible  conversion as Raúl offered yesterday.

"As I've already told my council of advisers, I read all of the Pope's speeches," Castro said. "If the Pope continues to speak like this, sooner or later I will start praying again and I will return to the Catholic Church -- and I'm not saying this in jest."

According to the statement, President Castro also "presented to the Pope the sentiments of the Cuban people as they await and prepare for his upcoming visit the island in September." 

Appearing alongside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Rome following his meeting with the pontiff, Castro said he too would be in attendance to see the pope speak during his September visit to Cuba.

"I promise that I will go to all of his Masses -- and with satisfaction. I left the meeting this morning impressed, very impressed by his knowledge, his wisdom, modesty, and by all the virtues that we know he has," Castro said.

In 1992, the last communist ruler of Russia, Michael Gorbachev, travelled to the Holy Land and visited many of the sites associated with the Lord's life and ministry. When touring the traditional location of the feeding of the multitude, he remarked that he felt "like the last socialist, who has come to honor the first socialist, Jesus." 

Perhaps the (last?) Communist President of Cuba feels that a similar miraculous abundance may form part of his reward for yesterdays' pilgrimage.

Raúl Castro remarked that he himself is a Jesuit "to a degree" having been educated by the Society in his youth. 

Posted by at May 11, 2015 1:05 PM

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