National Holiday for Cubans as Pope Calls for ‘Authentic Freedom’ During Huge...

National Holiday for Cubans as Pope Calls for ‘Authentic Freedom’ During Huge Mass in Havana

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Pope photo by M.Mazur , thepapalvisit.org.uk Beneath looming images of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the Virgin Mary, Pope Benedict XVI today stood in Revolution Square in Havana, issuing a ringing call for “authentic freedom” to hundreds of thousands of Cubans.

With President Raúl Castro sitting in the front row (and a meeting with Fidel Castro scheduled later in the day) the Pope asserted in his outdoor Mass, “The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom.”

The Mass was the culmination of a three-day visit to Cuba meant to shore up support for the Roman Catholic Church there.

Cuban government workers were given a day of paid vacation to attend events celebrating first trip to the island for a Pontiff in 14 years.

(WATCH the video below, or READ the story in the New York Times)

Photo by M.Mazur, thepapalvisit.org.uk

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