AMERICA/CUBA - The government of Cuba opens a website for the papal visit

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Havana (Agenzia Fides) - "This are brave people!" Said Esteban Lazo Hernandez, vice president of the Council of State of Cuba, with respect to "a sincere welcome, joyful and well-organized, with full guarantee of safety, order and discipline ", in addition to the services to be offered" to tourists, the press and all those who come to Santiago de Cuba on the occasion of Benedict XVI’s visit, Head of state of the Vatican City. "This is the first news that we read on the website opened yesterday by the Cuban government on the occasion of the Holy Father’s visit. One can find all the information on Pope Ratzinger’s visit on the website, the second Pope to visit the island after John Paul II, in 1998. Besides the official program of the visit, there are articles on current and relevant data for the Catholic world, like the biography of the priest Felix Varela and a video on the Vatican City. Those browsing the website can also download videos on the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba
The visit of John Paul II marked a new beginning in relations between the Church and the state after decades of estrangement. The official Cuban newspaper "Granma" described as "excellent" the relations with the Vatican in view of Benedict XVI’s visit. The Church in recent years has become an important social protagonist and a regular interlocutor of the government. As evidence of this situation, the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, appeared on the state television yesterday, March 13, to talk about the Holy Father's pastoral visit. The newspaper "Granma" has also published an editorial that "welcomes" Benedict XVI during his visit, from March 26 to 28. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 14/3/2012)

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