HAVANA — Pope Francis visit to Cuba starting this weekend “will confirm the good state of relations” between the Holy See and the Cuban government, officials wrote in an editorial in the state-run Granma newspaper.
“He will notice our patriotism and the arduous and fruitful force of our nation to exalt the human person, justice and culture; for a better world that is not just possible but essential,” the editorial said.
Pope Francis will visit three cities from Sept. 19-22, celebrating Mass in the capital, Havana, and the eastern city Holguin before a visit to Santiago de Cuba. From there, he will visit the Minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. In Santiago de Cuba, he will celebrate Mass, then travel to the United States.
The editorial said Pope Francis will meet with bishops, priests, religious, seminarians, laypeople, families and young people.
“We will listen to His Holiness with respect and attention, showing that we are an educated and noble people that, as dignified hosts, will introduce him to our history, culture and traditions,” the editorial said.
Pope Francis will find a country “immersed in the process of updating its economic model, committed to defending its national sovereignty and to preserving the social gains to achieve the greatest good for all, without exclusions.”
Named after the boat that carried ex-President Fidel Castro and his rebels from Mexico to the island in 1956 when they launched the Cuban Revolution, Granma is the official organ of the Communist Party.