Posted by: becketfund | November 29, 2008

Cuba: Castro Attends Nation’s First Catholic Beatification

HAVANA – President Raul Castro attended the nation’s first religious beatification on November 29 for Friar Jose Olallo who worked with cholera sufferers and died in 1889, Reuters reported on November 29. Cuban state-run television showed several thousand people packed into a plaza in Camaguey, around 330 miles from Havana, for the ceremony, and the state-run newspaper Granma dedicated the front page of its Friday edition to Olallo’s recognition by the Church. After Fidel Castro came to power in an armed revolution in 1959, Cuba expelled priests and Catholics faced decades of official atheism. Ties improved after Cuba guaranteed religious freedom in 1992 and Pope John Paul II visited in 1998. The beatification is viewed as indicative of Cuba and the Catholic Church’s developing ties.

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