Curiosity more than Catholicism behind crowds for Papal visit in Cuba

There are few practicing Catholics in Cuba after decades of official atheism and a strong following of Afro-Cuban religions

(WFLA) – Pope Francis is in Havana, Cuba. Upon his arrival, he spoke to the Cuban people showing his support for these new US Cuba relations. Using that as an example of reconciliation. Meanwhile, Cuban president Raul Castro – more of the same from him asking for an end to the embargo, asking for respect for his socialist government. But, we wanted to go out to the streets, to the people – asking what’s important to them. They say this papal visit is more about curiosity than Catholicism.

A cheerful greeting for Pope Francis making his way through the streets of Havana after his arrival Saturday afternoon. But the anticipation is far from widespread.

Just a day before an important visit here to the cathedral in old Havana. There seems to be less interest in Catholicism and more interest in cocktails.

Rosemarie Banich, a group leader from Miami said, “I don’t know that Cuba was a particularly Catholic country before the revolution. People here are hungry for it.”

A taxi driver is interested in the papal visit for economic not religious reasons. “Work and tourism” he says.

There are few practicing Catholics in Cuba after decades of official atheism and a strong following of Afro-Cuban religions.

One follower has a papal poster on her door. She’ll be at the mass on Sunday. Telling us “No matter how you practice your faith. It’s one God for all.”

So whether it’s curiosity or Catholicism, revolution square will be packed Sunday for that papal mass early in the morning.

Comments are closed.