Raul Castro probably should've held off on saying this until after Obama normalized relations with Cuba. If Obama hears Raul's a Catholic he may embargo the country. Oh wait, Raul will probably be one of those "social justice only" Catholics so Obama will still be cool with it.
Cuban President Raul Castro paid a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican Sunday to thank him for working for Cuban-US detente and later said he is so impressed by the pontiff he is considering a return to the Catholic church's fold.I understand it's in Raul's best interest not to act too dictator-y right now so this might all be a smokescreen. But we can hope, right?
`'Bienvenido!" Francis said in his native Spanish, welcoming Castro to his studio near the Vatican public audience hall. The Cuban president, bowing his head, gripped Francis' hand with both of his, and the two men began private talks. The meeting lasted nearly an hour, as the Argentine-born Francis and Castro spoke in their native Spanish.
Francis will visit Cuba in September en route to the United States.
After leaving the Vatican, Castro, the brother of Fidel, the revolutionary leader who brought the Communists to power in Cuba, gushed with praise for Francis.
The pontiff "is a Jesuit, and I, in some way, am too," Castro said at a news conference. "I always studied at Jesuit schools."
`'When the pope goes to Cuba in September, I promise to go to all his Masses, and with satisfaction," Castro said at a news conference at the office of Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, whom he met with after the Vatican talks.
"I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the church, and I'm not joking," he said.
It was a startling assertion for the leader of a Communist country, whose crackdown on dissidents in the past had drawn sharp Vatican criticism.
`'I am from the Cuban Communist Party, that doesn't allow (religious) believers, but now we are allowing it, it's an important step," Castro said.