Benedict XVI: Joyful at Celebrating Holy Mass in Havana
HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 28 (acn) “I
feel great joy in being here with you today to celebrate
Holy Mass during this Jubilee Year devoted to Our Lady of
Charity of El Cobre,” said Pope Benedict XVI as he began his
Mass homily on Wednesday morning at Havana’s Revolution
During the Mass,
—attended by more than 300,000 people, according to
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi— the Pope
acknowledged that the
Cuban people fully enjoys the right to religious freedom.
“It must be said with joy that in Cuba steps have been taken
to enable the
Church to carry out its essential mission of expressing its
and publicly. Nonetheless, this must continue forwards, and
I wish to
encourage the country’s government authorities to strengthen
already been achieved and advance along this path of genuine
the true good of Cuban society as a whole,” he pointed out.
The pontiff expressed his hope that the Church in Cuba can
resume work in
education following the example of Cuba’s 19th-century
Servant of God Fr. Felix Varela.
“Father Varela offers us a path to a true social
transformation: to form
virtuous men and women in order to forge a worthy and free
nation,” he said.
In his homily, Benedict XVI highlighted that “Cuba and the
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
“Dear friends, do not hesitate to follow Jesus Christ (…)
Faith and reason
are necessary and complementary in the pursuit of truth (…)
Let us walk in
the light of Christ who alone can destroy the darkness of
error, and let
us beg him that, with the courage and strength of the
saints, we may be
able, without fear or rancor but freely, generously and
respond to God,” His Holiness concluded.