Breaking: Pope Francis to visit Cuba before US visit this fall

The Vatican today confirmed the rumors that started last week: Pope Francis will indeed visit Cuba days before his trip to the United States this fall.

Francis played a prominent role in President Obama’s decision last December to begin the process of restarting diplomatic relations with the small Communist country ninety miles south of Florida.

Michael O’Loughlin and Ines San Martin from Crux write the following:

While details have not been announced, the stop in Cuba will precede the pope’s three-city tour of the United States in late September, during which Francis will give addresses to Congress and the United Nations, as well as celebrate a public Mass in Philadelphia.

“I am able to confirm that the Holy Father Francis, having received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba, has decided the pay a visit to the island before his arrival in the United States” the Rev. Federico Lombardi told journalists.

The visit could be seen as something of a victory lap for Francis, who was credited by the leaders of both nations for helping to broker an agreement reestablishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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