Here & Now Here & Now

Support the news

The Long-Fraught Relationship Between Cuba And The Catholic Church05:46
Download

Play
Pope Francis waves as he  arrives in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience at the Vatican on September 2, 2015.  (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis waves as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience at the Vatican on September 2, 2015. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Pope Francis begins his whirlwind tour of North America on Saturday, when he arrives in Cuba. He'll spend four days on the island before flying on to Washington, D.C. The relationship between the Catholic Church and the Cuban government has been fraught for decades, since communist Fidel Castro took power and declared Cuba an atheist state.

It's still not easy to be Catholic on the island, though tensions have been thawing in recent years. The relationship between the current pope and Cuban President Raul Castro seems warm - after a private meeting between the two in May, Castro said he was so impressed with the pope that he was considering a return to the church.

Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd talks with Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, a professor of religious studies at the University of Miami, about that shifting relationship between the church and Cuba, and what to expect from Pope Francis' visit.

Guest

This segment aired on September 17, 2015.

Support the news

Support the news