In the Catholic Church, Mass is always celebrated, never held or said. Francis, like other Catholic priests, delivers a homily, not a sermon. And a novitiate is a building or a program. A person entering the novitiate is a novice.
HAVANA, Cuba – Pope Francis delivered mass Sunday before hundreds of thousands of people on Havana's iconic Revolution Square, calling Cubans to serve the downtrodden and warning them that "service is never ideological."
The regular bedlam of long ticket lines and spinning luggage machines at the Miami International Airport got an extra charge of emotion on the eve of Pope Francis's visit to Cuba, as hundreds of Cuban Americans prepared to make the hop across the Florida Straits on Friday.
Before he lands in the United States on Sept. 22, Francis will arrive in Havana on Sept. 19 for a four-day, three-city tour of Cuba that will put a spotlight on his political and diplomatic skills as never before. His challenge: to accelerate the process of reconciliation between the United States and Cuba charted by John Paul II and push the Castro government to hasten and deepen the pace of change on the island.
HAVANA — The Cuban government said it plans to pardon 3,522 prisoners over the next 72 hours as a "humanitarian" gesture ahead of Pope Francis' visit to the island beginning next week. But the announcement appeared to rule out pardons for at least some of the dozens of inmates that rights groups consider political prisoners.
The restless boy from Flores is today a restless pope. In the two years since he was named pontiff, Francis, 78, has brought a distinctive rebellious streak to the seat of Saint Peter. Papal observers predicted that he would shake up the Vatican hierarchy. Few expected him to dive into global politics with this much evangelical fervor.