Cuba Bids Farewell to Nuncio

Castro Joins in Thanking Archbishop Becciu

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HAVANA, Cuba, MAY 27, 2011 ( With a solemn Mass Monday in Havana’s cathedral, the Church in Cuba bid farewell to the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, whom Benedict XVI has moved to a key post in the Secretariat of State.

The 62-year-old prelate received the gratitude of President Raúl Castro for his contribution to current relations between the Vatican and Cuba, which he called positive.

Meanwhile Cardinal Jaime Ortega, archbishop of Havana, thanked God for what he called the «fruitful work» carried out by Archbishop Becciu.

After a year in Cuba, Archbishop Becciu was appointed May 10 the «sostituto» of the Secretariat of State.

«Notwithstanding his short time among us, Archbishop Angelo was able to win our affection and our heart,» said Cardinal Ortega.

Cuban officials also attended the Mass.

In his farewell address, Archbishop Becciu expressed his gratitude for the benefits obtained during his stay on Cuban soil, highlighting the reception he received in all the communities he visited. He expressed his hopes that the Cuban people’s yearning for well-being and prosperity will be realized.

According to several local media, President Castro described as «positive» the relations between Cuba and the Vatican when he met with Archbishop Becciu on Tuesday.

During the meeting Castro praised the work carried out on the island by the papal representative. He stressed Archbishop Becciu’s contribution «to the furthering of the existing positive relations between the Holy See and Cuba,» reported Cuban State Television, which broadcast images of the meeting.

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