POPE LIKELY TO SHIFT TO PASTORAL MESSAGE ON 1ST DAY IN CUBA

by NICOLE WINFIELD AND MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN | ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  published on September 20, 2015

HAVANA — Pope Francis opens his first full day in Cuba on Sunday with what normally would be the culminating highlight of a papal visit: Mass before hundreds of thousands of people in Havana’s evocative Revolution Plaza.

The morning Mass kicks off a busy series of events for Francis, including a formal meeting with President Raul Castro and a likely encounter with his 89-year-old brother, Fidel. Francis will finish with an evening vespers service in the San Cristobal cathedral and meet with Cuban young people.

Young and old turned out in droves Saturday to line Francis’ motorcade route and welcome a man that many credit with helping bring about the thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States.

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