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At the end of the meeting with Francisco, Raul Castro said "will return to pray and the Church"

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Europe
Category:
Politics
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"I am of the Cuban Communist Party, which did not allow believers, but now they are allowing, which is an important step," said Castro

Pope Francis received Cuban President Raul Castro in a private audience that lasted nearly an hour. The visit is linked to the fundamental role of the pope in the historic rapprochement between Washington and Havana, as well as the visit by Francisco to the island in September on his trip to the United States.

The president said that so impressed the pope told a news conference that surely "will return to the church and pray."

"This is a Jesuit and, somehow, I also am, I was always in Jesuit schools and knew very well the Brazilian priest Frei Betto, theologian of liberation theology, and I said: I have heard more Masses you, "he said.

"When the Pope will go to Cuba in September, I promise I'll go all Masses and satisfaction," he said at a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, at the end of a meeting.

He said he left the meeting with Francisco "very impressed by his wisdom, his modesty, and all virtues we know he has."

"I read all the speeches of the pope, review, and if the pope continues, I will pray and will return to the Church, and do not say a joke," he said.

"I am of the Cuban Communist Party, which did not allow believers, but now they are allowing, which is an important step," he said.

Official statement:

In a statement, the Vatican said the "very cordial" meeting lasted more than 50 minutes. He added that Castro thanked the pope for his role in favor of better relations between Cuba and the United States and expressed "feelings of the Cuban people waiting and preparing for his next visit to the island in September."

Castro arrived in Rome from Russia, where on Saturday attended the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The president gave the pope a commemorative medal of the Cathedral of Havana and a painting of a large cross made from the remains of sunken ships, to which there is a migrant praying.

Traslation Belén Zapata