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Thousands of Cubans pack papal Mass

Sunday, September 20, 2015 - 01:50

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Havana's Revolution Square, the symbolic heart of the Cuban revolution, offering both spiritual and political messages for tens of thousands in attendance. Gavino Garay reports.

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With its giant portrait of revolutionary leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the backdrop of Revolution Square in Havana is unmistakably Cuban. Tens of thousands converged on the plaza to catch a glimpse of the Catholic church's holy father hold Sunday Mass. Pope Francis warned of the dangers of power and ideology, but his homily also carried messages that both committed Communists and the government's critics could claim as their own -- like helping those in need. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "To serve means to care for the vulnerable in our families, in our society, of our town. It's your people who are suffering, helpless, and in despair who Jesus asks you to take a look at, and invites you to without question to love." Awaiting his holiness since the crack of dawn, pilgrims who packed the square were moved by his presence. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PILGRIM, MIRIAM DIAZ, SAYING: "Hoping for a great message from Pope Francis, a message of peace, to bring together the entire universe." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARGENTINE PILGRIM, JULIO BAEZ, SAYING: "This is a privilege to be with a Pope who fights against poverty, who's seeking an end to the blockade. For us it's an honor that he's Argentine, but not just Argentine, Latin American." The Pope may also visit the retired, elderly Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, who is rarely seen in public. It's his first ever visit to the island nation and comes not long after former Cold War enemies, the U.S. and Cuba, restored diplomatic relations for the first time in over 50 years... a historic breakthrough that the Vatican helped negotiate.

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Thousands of Cubans pack papal Mass

Sunday, September 20, 2015 - 01:50