Pope Francis meets with Fidel Castro after mass in Cuba

(AGI) Havana, Sept 20 - Pope Francis visited Fidel Castro athis home in Havana on Sunday after holding mass in the Cubancapital's Revolution Square. Their "informal and familial"meeting lasted 30-40 minutes, Vatican spokesman FedericoLombardi told reporters. Castro's wife and children, as well asthe Apolostic Nuncio to Cuba, Giorgio Lingua, were also there,he added. His Holiness and the former Cuban president discusseda number of issues, including the environment, after which PopeFrancis gave Castro a copy of his environmental encyclical,Laudato Si, Father Lombardi said. Lombardi himself was presentfor the meeting between Castro

(AGI) Havana, Sept 20 - Pope Francis visited Fidel Castro athis home in Havana on Sunday after holding mass in the Cubancapital's Revolution Square. Their "informal and familial"meeting lasted 30-40 minutes, Vatican spokesman FedericoLombardi told reporters. Castro's wife and children, as well asthe Apolostic Nuncio to Cuba, Giorgio Lingua, were also there,he added. His Holiness and the former Cuban president discusseda number of issues, including the environment, after which PopeFrancis gave Castro a copy of his environmental encyclical,Laudato Si, Father Lombardi said. Lombardi himself was presentfor the meeting between Castro and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 atthe Nunciature in Havana. "On that occasion, President Castroasked Benedict for some books he was interested in, so Francisbrought various books on top of his encyclical and theapostolic exhortation 'Evangelii Gaudium'," Lombardi explained."In particular, he brought two works by Alessandro Pronzato, aPiedmontese priest known for being a spiritual writer: 'Vangeliscomodi' and 'La nostra bocca si apri' alo sorriso', whichdiscusses humour in the Christian lifestyle. He also giftedCastro with a book and DVD on his teacher, Jesuit FatherArmando Llorente." "While the meeting in 2012 revolved aroundFidel's questions to Benedict," Lombardi said, "this time itwas Castro offering Francis his answers with a copy of 'Fideland Religion', a 1977 book of interviews by the Brazilianpriest, Frei Betto. Castro's dedication made the gift all themore precious: 'To Pope Francis on his visit to Cuba, withadmiration and respect from the Cuban people'." (AGI). .