Pope Francis meets Fidel Castro in Cuba

Hola! 438 POPE CUBA_Fidel Castro.jpgWhile in Cuba, Pope Francis met briefly with former Cuban President Fidel Castro, and then held a longer meeting with his brother, current President Raul Castro.


Pope Francis in Cuba called on society to protect its “smallest” and most vulnerable members, including the unborn.


Hola! 438 POPE CUBA_FIdel Castro 5Speaking spontaneously to a group of Cuban nuns, priests, seminarians and bishops, the Pope said that Jesus shines in the lives of hidden and ignored people, such as those who suffer from degenerative diseases.


He also referred to prenatal testing that can forecast illnesses in the womb, leading some parents to “return it, the baby, before it comes into the world.”


Hola! 438 POPE CUBA_FIdel Castro 4Repeating a familiar theme, Francis also called for the church to embrace a “spirit of poverty,” saying that “wealth takes away the best of us.”


“Bad accountants are great for the church, because they make it free, make it poor,” the Pope said. “God wants it to be poor …. Blessed are the poor of the heart, those who aren’t attached to money.”


Francis urged a crowd of young Cubans in Havana to “open yourself, and dream.” “Dream that if you give the best of yourself, you’ll help make the world a different place.”


Hola! 438 POPE CUBA_FIdel Castro 3“Children aren’t loved, they’re killed before being born,” he said. “The elderly are thrown away, because they don’t produce. Some countries have euthanasia. But in some others there a hidden euthanasia. The youth is thrown away because they have no job unities.”


“Conflicts and disagreements in the church are to be expected and, I would even say, needed,” said the Pope. “They are a sign that the church is alive and that the spirit is still acting, still enlivening her.”


Hola! 438 POPE CUBA_FIdel Castro 2In October, the Vatican will host a large meeting of top bishops to discuss challenges facing modern families, including annulments, and outreach to gays and lesbians.


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