Fidel Castro Meets Pope

Benedict wraps up visit to Cuba
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2012 2:50 PM CDT
In this picture made available by the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro in Havana.   (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict delivered a relatively blunt message during his homily in Havana today—"Cuba and the world needs change"—but that didn't prevent a subsequent half-hour meeting with Fidel Castro, reports NBC News. It's not Castro's first with a pontiff: He met John Paul II in 1998, a trip during which John Paul urged Cuba to "open itself up to the world," notes AP. Benedict had much the same message.

"Cuba and the world need change, but this will occur only if each one is in a position to seek the truth and chooses the way of love, sowing reconciliation and fraternity," he said. And he delivered a line the AP sees as a not-so-subtle jab to Cuba's leadership: "On the other hand there are those who wrongly interpret this search for the truth, leading them to irrationality and fanaticism; they close themselves up in 'their truth' and try to impose it on others." We'll see whether Castro, now mostly retired, blogs about the visit.

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