Pope to Visit Cuba During US Trip

Following Speculation, Fr. Lombardi Confirms Pope Will Pay Visit to Island Prior to US This September

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Pope Francis will visit Cuba during US trip this September.

Following about a week of speculation by press, this afternoon, Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed the visit.

In a statement, the Vatican spokesman wrote, “I am able to confirm that the Holy Father Francis, having received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba, has decided to pay a visit to the island before his arrival in the United States for the trip announced some time ago.”

Five days ago responding to the speculation, the Vatican spokesman said the Pope was considering visiting the island, but it was still too early to confirm.

Pope Francis will make his first Apostolic Visit to the United States from September 22-27 to participate in the VII World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Last month, the White House confirmed that the Pope will meet with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Whilte House on Sept. 23. He will then make history as the first Pope to address a joint session of Congress the following day.

On Sept. 25, the Argentine Pope will be in New York City, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly.

Francis’ last stop before returning to Rome will be Philadelphia.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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