The Holy Father Pope Francis has arrived at Cuba and gave some remarks at the Jose Marti International Airport. He urged Presidents Obama and Castro to continuing the dialog and reconciliation between both nations. Cuba where the majority is Catholic. However, the nation has suffered from Communism which has pushed its atheistic beliefs on the people. The Castro regime took possession of many Catholic properties and restricted religious freedom. After Saint Pope John Paul II visited, more freedom was allowed including the celebration of Christmas. Even more restrictions were removed after the visit of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Let us pray for our Holy Father to have a successful and safe trip to Cuba. May the Cross of Christ continue to chip chunks off the concrete of atheism that has held down the Cuban people.
UPDATE: September 21, 2015
Pope Francis addressed the Cuban people the best he could. The Cuban government handpicked who could participate in the Papal Masses and other events. Dissidents were detained before they could even reach any of the events. Pope Francis called for a “revolution of tenderness” in a nation that was built by Catholicism but was over run by atheistic Communism. He challenged the youth to not be afraid of change and to be hopeful. An interesting observation was president Raul Castros’ behavior. He attended every event and was following the Pope like a school friend following the “cool kid.” The atmosphere seemed different. Could Communism be on the way out? Only time will tell. However, the Pope stressed the importance of Catholicism on the island and how it built the nation. Atheism did a lot of damage to the culture and morale of the people. It was the Catholic Church that kept the people’s spirits alive.
Let us continue to pray for the Cuban people and for our Pope who is now in America. God’s grace must work in the hearts of the Castro regime. Where sin abounds, graces abounds even more (Romans 5:20).
You can read the Papal texts here: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/travels/2015/outside/documents/papa-francesco-cuba-usa-onu-2015.html