Pope Francis agrees to a rare Sunday Papal meeting by greeting Cuban President Raul Castro, who wanted to thank the Pontiff for his help in brokering the U.S.-Cuba thaw. Mana Rabiee reports.
It was Pope Francis who helped broker the historic thaw between the United States and Cuba. And so, on Sunday, Cuban President Raul Castro made a stop over at the Vatican during his overseas trip -- to thank him. Papal audiences on a Sunday are extremely rare, and the two spoke for nearly an hour, unusually long for a Papal meeting which the Vatican said was strictly private, and not a state visit. In helping the U.S. and Cuba come together in talks, the first Latin American pope had leveraged his ties to both countries, writing letters to Castro and President Barack Obama, to help foster December's announcement that the former adversaries will resume diplomatic ties. Francis visits both countries in September. It will be his first visit to Cuba and the U.S. as Pontiff.