Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Benedict in Cuba - Day 3

The Day's Events


  • Pope calls for "Authentic" Freedom in Cuba, by Randal C. Archibold and Rachel Donadio. (New York Times 3/28/12). In the heart of Revolution Square in Cuba, with towering images of guerrilla heroes staring back at him, Pope Benedict XVI called Wednesday for “authentic freedom” in one of the world’s most authoritarian states.
  • Pope, at Mass, calls for full religious freedom in Cuba (Catholic News Service 3/28/12):
    Preaching at Mass in Havana's Revolution Square, location of the headquarters of Cuba's Communist Party, Pope Benedict XVI called for full religious freedom and greater respect for human rights on the island.

    "In Cuba steps have been taken to enable the church to carry out her essential mission of expressing the faith openly and publicly," the pope said during his homily March 28. "Nonetheless, this must continue forward."

    With President Raul Castro seated near the altar platform, the pope said, "I wish to encourage the country's government authorities to strengthen what has already been achieved and advance along this path of genuine service to the true good of Cuban society as a whole."

  • Pope asks Castro for more church freedom, Good Friday holiday, by Cindy Wooden (Catholic News Service 3/28/12). Pope Benedict XVI spent more than 40 minutes meeting privately with Cuban President Raul Castro and asked the Cuban leader for further freedoms for the Catholic Church in Cuba and attention to certain "humanitarian" situations.
  • Ladies in White arrested before pope's Havana Mass, by Francis X. Rocca. (Catholic News Service 3/28/12):
    A few hours before they planned to attend an outdoor Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, members of a Catholic dissident group were reportedly arrested by Cuban police.

    Alejandrina Garcia de la Rivas and Laura Maria Labrada Pollan, members of the Ladies in White -- "Damas de Blanco" -- were arrested before 6 a.m. March 28, said Blanca Reyes, a member of the organization who now lives Madrid, Spain.

In this picture made available by the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano Pope Benedict XVI, right, meets with Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday March 28, 2012. Source: Associated Press

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