“Fidel Castro admired John Paul II”

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Fidel Castro sincerely liked John Paul II, the late pope who is set to be put on the path to sainthood, the Vatican’s number two said in a book, extracts of which were published on Sunday.

The Cuban revolution icon read the pontiff’s main writings and even poems before John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Cuba, L’Osservatore Romano newspaper said, quoting Tarcisio Bertone’s testimony for a book A Great Heart. Homage To John Paul II, which is a compilation of interviews.

Mr Bertone, currently Cardinal Secretary of State to Pope Benedict XVI, said the deceased pontiff returned with ‘very positive’ impressions after the visit (of Cuba)

‘Fidel Castro showed a sincere affection for the pope who, it must be remembered, was already ill. John Paul II told me that perhaps no other head of state had prepared for his visit in such a precise manner.’

Cuban hero Armando Valladares holds forth (in Spanish) on this issue here.

1 thought on ““Fidel Castro admired John Paul II””

  1. I have little respect for the church. It’s an enormous, archaic, grasping, cold institution with a hierarchy that resembles a monarchy. It’s history is full of intrigue, political assassinations, wars-of-power, and thousands of deaths including the INQUISITION with the feared Auto-Da-Fe. It sanctioned slavery and has stood idly by while millions of injustices were committed. If you fashion yourself after Christ and you are supposedly God’s Vicar on Earth with INFALLIBILITY [JOHN PAUL II adhered to this doctrine] then you don’t go around kissing up to castro and giving his horrible regime a shot in the arm as the late Pope did with his visit.

    To me, he is not a saint. I’m sick and tired of the church with all of their idolatry. I will not kneel or pray to him, nor do I think that he was an especially nice man. If he is in heaven, he is not in a special place, nor is he any more worthy of heavenly respect than a kindly neighbor who may have died last year. In fact, I believe that any Joe Schmoe who lives a descent life is probably in a “better” place in Heaven than the Pope.

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