|Geann Pineda |||Apr 23, 2015 08:24 PM EDT|
(Photo : Reuters) Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 22, 2015.
Pope Francis plans to visit Cuba in September ahead of his trip to the United States.
Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed the trip on Wednesday. He did not disclose the specific date or the length of the visit.
A statement from the Vatican said the Pope will visit the Cuba in response to the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of the island.
Like Us on Facebook
The Pope held a significant role in helping the U.S. and Cuba reach a historic rapprochement. Francis sent letters to both U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro to work on issues that had long separated them.
The Vatican had also been one of the third-party sites where high-level talks were held.
Once the trip takes place, Francis will be the third Pope to visit Cuba, following John Paul II's trip in 1998 and Benedict XVI's visit there in 2012.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez had expressed excitement over the Pope's visit.
"The presence of His Holiness in Cuba will be memorable," Rodriguez said. "He will receive the warmest hospitality of the Cuban people."
Even before becoming Pope, Francis had visited Cuba as member of Benedict XVI's delegation. He also wrote a book on Cuba in 1998 entitled "Dialogues between John Paul II and Fidel Castro".
The book provides his insights on the Cuban society, Marxism, and the U.S. trade embargo. In the book, the Pope criticized socialism, and condemned the U.S. trade embargo that economically isolated the communist island.
After his trip to Cuba, Francis will proceed with his scheduled trip to the U.S. where he is set to visit three cities. The Pope will meet with Obama in Washington on September 23 and speak before Congress.
Pope Francis is also set to visit New York to speak before the United Nations. He will then travel to Philadelphia where the World Meeting of Families will be held.
©2015 Chinatopix All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission
China's former Chief of the Ministry of Public Security, Zhou Yongkang, has been given a life sentence after he was found guilty of abusing his office, bribery and deliberately ... Full Article
China Pork Prices Expected to Stabilize As The Supplies Recover
Elephone P9000 Smartphone is now on Sale on Amazon India
There's a Big Chance Cliffhangers Won't Still Be Resolved When Grey's Anatomy Season 13 Returns
Supreme Court Ruled on Samsung vs Apple Dispute for Patent Infringement
Microsoft Surface Pro 5 Rumors and Release Date: What is the Latest?