Cardinals with role in U.S.-Cuba deal present at Havana Mass

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September 20, 2015

Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass in Revolution Square in Havana Sept. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-HAVANA-MASS Sept. 20, 2015.

Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass in Revolution Square in Havana Sept. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

HAVANA (CNS) — Pope Francis, celebrating his first Mass in Cuba, was flanked by three cardinals who, with him, have been credited with helping seal the deal between the United States and Cuba to move toward normalizing relations.

Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana was the host of the Mass Sept. 20 in Havana’s Revolution Square. Seated in the front row of concelebrants were U.S. Cardinals Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and Theodore E. McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, who continues to travel the world promoting peace and charity.

In December U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced steps toward normalizing their country’s relations, a move they credited in part to Pope Francis and the Vatican. The authors of a book about the breakthrough said the three cardinals played a role in getting messages to Pope Francis and from Pope Francis to Obama and Castro.

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