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Sostituto: Pope, previously unknown to many, won over Cubans’ hearts

April 02, 2012

The Vatican’s sostituto--the deputy secretary of state who supervises the internal affairs of the Roman Curia--told L’Osservatore Romano that the “most striking” aspect of Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to Cuba is that he “won over the heart of the Cuban people. This became evident when crowds flooded the streets to say good-bye to him.”

“We must not forget that many of them were brought up without knowing anything about the Pope,” said Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who served as apostolic nuncio to Cuba from 2009 to 2011. “Only recently has television been showing news about the Church. Children in parishes--best case scenario--have heard their pastor speak about the Holy Father. Perhaps they have seen a few photographs, but we definitely cannot say that they know him.”

“In fact, at the beginning the people seemed a little self-conscious, almost constrained,” he added. “But after having seen the figure of the Pope up close, nothing could stop them.”


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