CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 13 October 2018

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United States and Cuba sign historic agreement at the Vatican

ROME (SE): On September 18, the day before Pope Francis departed from Rome on a visit to Cuba and the United States of America (US), the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, presided over the signing of an historic agreement between the two nations at the Vatican.

“To be specific, they came here to the secretariat to sign two respective documents in the presence of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who acted almost as a guarantor of the word they have given to each other,” the Vatican Insider quoted the substitute for general affairs to the secretary of state, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, as saying in an interview with Television TV2000.

He explained that Cardinal Parolin was asked by both Cuba and the US to act as a guarantor of their willingness to talk, engage in dialogue and reach an understanding.

“Diplomatic action, words which go beyond their traditional meaning, are meant in the sense of a man and leader who put his word and charisma to work, winning over the two heads of state,” Archbishop Becciu, a former apostolic nuncio to Cuba, explained.

“They expressly asked for the pope to help them. And the pope did not pull back. Then he had some people assist him in fulfilling the desire for dialogue and encounter,” he continued.

He pointed out that the Holy See was always against the embargo on contact between the two nations that lasted for 50 years, adding that he believes that the upcoming visit of Pope Francis will strengthen the new climate that exists between Havana and the Church.

Archbishop Becciu added that during his own time in Cuba the Church had been asked to mediate between the government and the 130 political prisoners who were released, as the government recognised the new role that the Church had taken on in Cuban society as a point of reference for many people.

 

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