Pope Benedict XVI met privately with Fidel Castro after saying Mass in Havana’s Revolutionary Square — the centerpiece of this trip — before tens of thousands this morning.
During the morning service, with President Raul Castro and leading Cabinet members present, Benedict pushed for reform within the Cuban government.
“Cuba and the world need change, but this will occur only if each one is in a position to seek the truth and chooses the way of love, sowing reconciliation and fraternity,” he said.
Fidel Castro did not attend the Mass — he said he caught the entire visit on the TV — but for a half-hour afterward he met with the 84-year-old pontiff.
Fidel Castro asked many questions and said that he’d dedicated his life to reflection and study. He also reportedly presented two of his sons to the pontiff and asked that Benedict send him books. [more]