Catholic archbishop, Orthodox leader see significance in Havana meeting

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — The U.S. archbishop who is co-chair of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation and an archdeacon who helps lead Orthodox ecumenical efforts in the United States watched with interest as Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill met in Cuba Feb. 12. Both of them — Catholic Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of…

Pope calls for ‘revolution of tenderness’ in Cuba

SANTIAGO, Cuba (CNS) — Pope Francis called Cuban to a “revolution of tenderness” as he celebrated Mass in the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the country’s patroness. While only about 60 percent of Cubans are baptized Catholics, the little statue of Our Lady of Charity, discovered 400…

Pope visits Fidel Castro before formal meeting with Cuba’s president

HAVANA (CNS) — Although it was not part of his formal program, Pope Francis took time after Sunday Mass to visit Cuba’s ailing former leader, Fidel Castro. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said that after the Mass Sept. 20 in Havana’s Revolution Square, Pope Francis was driven to the ailing 89-year-old’s residence for the…

Pope arrives in Cuba calling for freedom, better U.S.-Cuba relations

HAVANA (CNS) — Pope Francis began his visit to Cuba praying for greater freedom for the island’s people and calling on U.S. and Cuban politicians to continue moving toward fully normal and neighborly relations. Meeting President Raul Castro and speaking before a small crowd at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport Sept. 19, Pope Francis said…

Cuba’s Granma says papal visit will confirm good relations with Vatican

HAVANA (CNS) — Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba starting this weekend “will confirm the good state of relations” between the Holy See and the Cuban government, officials wrote in an editorial in the state-run Granma newspaper. “He will notice our patriotism and the arduous and fruitful force of our nation to exalt the human person,…

U.S. priests: Spiritual costs of Cuban embargo have been high

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. trade embargo against Cuba turns 55 in October, and its effects are clear in the dilapidated buildings, scant food supply of Cuban stores and infrastructure around the island. But what’s not easy to see is the spiritual cost. Trinitarian Father Juan Molina, director of the U.S. bishops’ Office for the…

U.S. Embassy in Cuba reopens, ending 54-year diplomatic break

HAVANA (CNS) — With Havana Harbor’s bright blue waters and a trio of vintage U.S. cars parked along the Malecon framing the scene, Secretary of State John Kerry officially reopened the U.S. Embassy in Cuba Aug. 14, marking the end of more than 54 years of fractured diplomatic relations. Since the United States broke off…

Priest tells Obama about Cuban exiles’ suffering, longing for freedom

MIAMI (CNS) — The priest prayed an Our Father. The president lit a candle. And while gazing together at a revered image of Cuba’s patroness, the priest reminded the president of the suffering of Cuba’s people. “Only in the United States that’s possible,” said Father Juan Rumin Dominguez, rector of the National Shrine of Our…