Nuncio in Cuba Appointed Vice-President of Commission for Latin America

HAVANA, OCT. 26, 2003 ( Before leaving Cuba, apostolic nuncio Archbishop Luis Robles repeated John Paul II’s message to Cubans in 1998: “Do not be afraid.”

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The Holy Father has appointed the Mexican archbishop as vice-president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

In a Mass celebrated on Friday evening in honor of the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s pontificate, Archbishop Robles thanked the local Church for its “great heart,” AP reported.

“This is an occasion to repeat the Pope’s message: ‘Do not be afraid. Open the door to Christ. Do not be afraid,'” the archbishop said at the end of the Eucharistic celebration in Havana’s Cathedral.

In response to a question on ecumenical relations and interreligious dialogue, Archbishop Robles said that they must be characterized “by respect.”

The nuncio also appealed for prayers for the Holy Father. “A few days ago the Pope said, pray for me so that I can serve; I allow myself to echo that request and also ask you to pray so that I can serve in this new mission.”

Archbishop Robles arrived in Cuba in 1999 to replace Archbishop Beniamino Stella, who collaborated in the preparation of John Paul II’s historic visit in 1998.

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