Cuba: President Castro Meets Cardinal Jaime Ortega in Havana

Discuss Progress of Preparations for Pope Francis’ Visit in September

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Cuban President Raúl Castro met on Monday with Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, archbishop of Havana, to discuss preparations for Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to the island nation.

According to Granma, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, President Castro and Cardinal Ortega also discussed several «issues of mutual interest between the Cuban state and the Catholic Church in Cuba.»

Also present at the meeting were Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of the city of Havana.

Pope Francis will arrive in Havana on September 19th. From there, he will travel to the city of Holguín. Finally, the Pope will go to Santiago de Cuba, where he will visit the Basilica of El Cobre, which houses the statue of Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of Cuba. The 78-year-old Pontiff will then depart for his Apostolic Visit to the United States on September 22nd.

The Shrine has been visited by both St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. (J.A.E.)

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