Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, began a two-day visit to Cuba this week at the invitation of Archbishop Dionisio Garcia, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Cuba.
Archbishop Garcia told AFP that although the cardinal’s visit is of an ecclesial nature, it will surely have significance for Cuban society. “Any improvement in relations between persons, the family,” and in between the U.S. and Cuba, “must be supported.”
In addition, the prelate noted that Cardinal George's visit will also “contribute to the relations” in between Cubans living in the U.S. and those living in the country.
Archbishop Garcia added that, “Between bishops there is always an exchange about our respective churches and realities. So we will discuss what we are doing.”
Cardinal George arrived in Cuba three days after a visit by the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, who spent five days in the country meeting with officials from the Church and the Castro regime. Cardinal George will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Santiago and will celebrate a Mass at the cathedral there. He will also visit the local community and the cemetery of St. Ifigenia, where Cuban national hero Jose Marti is buried.