Santeria leaders upset that Pope will not meet with them during visit to Cuba
March 05, 2012
Leaders of the Santeria sect are expressing distress that Pope Benedict XVI will not meet with them during his visit to Cuba later this month.
Although the Santeria cult is highly popular in Cuba, the Vatican does not recognize the pagan faith—a melding of African and Caribbean native faiths—as an organized religion. “It is not a church,” observed Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office.
Santeria adherents complained that Pope John Paul II did not meet with their leaders during his visit to Cuba in 1998, although he met with representatives of other faiths.