Spokesman reveals Pope discussed Cuban dissidents with Castro

.- Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that Pope Benedict discussed the situation of Cuban dissidents, especially those in prison, during his March 27 meeting with President Raúl Castro.

“The outline of requests, which were humanitarian in nature and which were received by the Holy See (from Cuban dissidents), was discussed,” Fr. Lombardi said during a press conference held in the National Hotel of Havana on Tuesday.

“I confirm that the topic was discussed during the personal encounter, but I don’t have information on the specifics,” he said. 

Fr. Lombardi was responding to questions posed by journalists on whether the Vatican had presented a list of prisoner dissidents, and specifically if the list contained the name of Alan Gross.

Ross, an American who tried to help the Jewish community on the island giving them independent means of technology to access the internet, is currently in prison on charges of spying.

The spokesman confirmed that the Holy See’s delegation had interceded for another dissident who yelled “freedom” during the Mass presided by the Pontiff in Santiago, Cuba on Monday. 

But, he said that could not offer any further details on the subject. “Our interest for the person and for his status exists,” he added.

The plight of the dissidents “is certainly present in the Holy Father’s heart,” Fr. Lombardi added.
He then explained that it was impossible to schedule meetings with dissidents, such as the “Damas en Blanco” (Women in White) because of the time constraints of the trip.

“Let’s remember that the Pope on this trip hasn’t even met with specifically Catholic groups: there hasn’t been a meeting with seminarians, with priests, with religious, or with committed lay people,” he said. “Another group, whether it is inside or outside of the Church, simply couldn’t be fit in the visit.”

However, Fr. Lombardi noted that “when the Pope speaks, he has present the suffering of these people. It’s no coincidence that the Pope speaks of the expectations of all Cubans, in their varied and specific circumstances.”

“If you listen to the discourses, you will see for yourselves how the Pope receives the messages he’s received, and how he responds to these perspectives.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: