Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Cuba this September which will be his tenth and longest trip yet. It is common knowledge that the Pope has been making drastic changes within Catholicism, focusing more on charity and addressing the need of the poor rather than critiquing people’s lifestyles. While this change has altered the Catholic Church for the better, many traditionalist Catholics disagree with these methods, which has created a great deal of controversy between Christians over the past few years.
Pope Francis has changed the face of the Vatican over the course of his service and in doing so, has found a friend in both Fidel Castro and current president Raúl Castro. Even though Cuba is officially agnostic, Castro said himself after previous talks,”If the Pope keeps going the way he’s going, I’ll go back to praying and go back to the Church, and I’m not joking”.
The Pope’s friendly relations with Castro could have beneficial effects on Cuba, internally and externally, especially in addressing their past of human rights violations. It will be interesting to see how these positive relations alter the state of Cuba’s government in the future, if at all. This may also have an effect on the United States relations with Cuba due to the fact that Christianity is the dominant religion in the US. Since the Pope’s opinion is therefore held in high esteem with the majority of American people, it is not out of the realm of possibility for a begrudging friendship to form.
Posted by Sophie Terry