Raul Castro says Pope could encourage him back to Church

Cuban President Raul Castro said he is so impressed by Pope Francis that he could be persuaded to return to the Catholic Church.

Mr Castro and his brother Fidel suppressed the church in communist Cuba for more than half a century.

President Raul Castro had a private meeting with the Pope in Rome on Monday.

He thanked the Pope for his mediation role in the recent thawing of relations between Cuba and the United States.

Afterwards, Mr Castro revealed that he admires the Pope as a champion of the poor, and that he reads all of his speeches.

He said: “If the Pope continues to talk as he does, sooner or later I will start praying again and return to the Catholic Church – I am not kidding.”

“When the Pope goes to Cuba in September, I promise to go to all his Masses, and with satisfaction,” he said.

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