Pope Francis has declared a special jubilee to help the world encounter the awesome, awful and awe-filled mercy of God. The world prefers cheap grace, and thinks it can get it from the Holy Father. The world — represented recently by Raul Castro and Al Gore — will be disappointed.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

VATICAN CITY - After spending close to an hour with Pope Francis, Cuban President Raul Castro told reporters he is so impressed by what the Pope does and says that he might start praying and could even return to the church.

Published in International

NEW YORK - It used to be that just saying the words “liberation theology” around Catholics was enough to start a schism-level fight, or at least raise a red flag in Rome.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis was scheduled to meet Cuban President Raul Castro at the Vatican May 10, less than five months ahead of the pontiff's visit to the island nation.

Published in Vatican

TLALNEPANTLA, Mexico - The president of the Latin American bishops' conference called Pope Francis' planned visit to Cuba an opportunity for the Church to play a larger role in a country experiencing reforms and re-embracing institutionalized religion.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will visit Cuba in September before his trip to the United States.

Published in International

PANAMA CITY - An hourlong meeting April 11 between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first such personal encounter between the leaders of the two neighbouring countries since 1958.

Published in International

BAYAMO, Cuba - In 2004, with the divorce rate looming around 70 percent in Cuba, the Catholic Church called for a "year of the family."

Published in International

HAVANA - It's a scene all too familiar in the U.S., but not one you'd expect in Cuba: a group of schoolgirls cupping their cellphones with their hands, protecting them from the glare of the tropical sun. Most are looking at pictures or listening to music downloaded on the phone's memory card. Few can access the Internet using their phones.

Published in International

HAVANA - Sitting outside the church where she was baptized, 65-year-old Clementina Torres recalls the time when anyone who publicly admitted being a Catholic in Cuba faced a host of problems. It could mean not getting into the "right" university or program, being taunted by classmates or isolated by neighbours, or it resulted in being fired, demoted or not allowed to advance professionally.

Published in International

ROME - The move to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States has inaugurated "a new time ... for encounter and dialogue" between the two countries and is cause for great hope, said the cardinal of Havana.

Published in International

WASHINGTON - In his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama hit on numerous themes that resonated with Catholic advocates for social justice issues.

Published in International
January 2, 2015

Move forward in Cuba

Following half a century of hostility, and guided by the intervention of Pope Francis, the United States and Cuba have agreed to try to become good neighbours. The detente announced between the two nations on Dec. 17 is welcomed news to end a year that witnessed too much hatred.

Published in Editorial

OTTAWA - A high-profile Cuban cardinal with a French Canadian connection will lend a latin touch to the Canadian bishops annual conference this year. 

Published in Canada

WASHINGTON - In the upcoming movie "For Greater Glory," Catholic actor Andy Garcia plays a Mexican Revolution-era general lured out of retirement a decade later to head the insurgent "Cristero" forces doing battle against their own government's severe curbing of religious freedoms, which included the murder of priests, the desecration of churches, and laws designed to reduce the visibility of the Catholic Church in the overwhelmingly Catholic country.

It is a battle that the Cuban-born Garcia feels strongly about.

Published in Arts News