icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Pope to conduct Cuba mass next to iconic Che Guevara portrait

Pope to conduct Cuba mass next to iconic Che Guevara portrait
Workers in Cuba are building an altar for Pope Francis' landmark visit next month, during which he will deliver a mass in Havana. The structure will be located to the left of a giant image of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.

The pontiff's visit, scheduled for September 19-22, will include a mass in Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion, AFP reported. The square is bordered on one side by the Interior Ministry, which showcases a 36-meter (118 foot) sculpted outline of Guevara's face.

The image is based on the famous 1960 photograph of Guevara, captured by Alberto Korda. The picture has been reproduced worldwide on posters and T-shirts.

Guevara, a symbol of Marxist revolution, fought alongside Fidel Castro to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1959 Cuban Revolution. He was captured and executed in Bolivia in 1967, at the age of 39.

Pope Francis will not be the first pontiff to conduct a mass near the image, however. John Paul II and Benedict XVI also gave masses near the Guevara portrait during trips to Cuba in 1998 and 2012, respectively. Francis' mass will take place on September 20.

The visit will take place just two months after Pope Francis was praised by Cuba and the US for his role in the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However, Francis has downplayed his role in the historic thaw, saying last month that “we did hardly anything, only small things...there was a desire that had arrived – on the other side also a desire,” AP reported.

"It was the goodwill of the two countries, and the merit is theirs. The merit is theirs for doing this," the pontiff added.

Francis' visit to Cuba will be followed by a US visit to Washington, New York, and Philadelphia. One of his most anticipated events will take place on September 24, when he will become the first pontiff in history to make an address before US Congress.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts