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Unrest in Cuba and South Africa on Pope Francis’ mind


AP/Associated Press/East News

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/18/21

The Holy Father was back at the window overlooking St. Peter's for the July 18 midday Angelus.

Pope Francis expressed his concern at conflicts in Cuba and South Africa, urging peace in the countries in appeals made after he led the midday Angelus.

The Pope was back at his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square for the midday prayer, after last week having led it from the Gemelli hospital, where he had colon surgery.

In South Africa, protests in response to the economic and health crisis affecting the country have resulted in the deaths of 212 people. Former president Jacob Zuma has been jailed for incorruption during his term (ending in 2018) and supporters have taken to the streets. The political unrest is exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic.

Pope Francis joined with the South African bishops in calling on those responsible to promote peace and come to the aid of those in need.

“May the desire that has guided the South African people, the rebirth of harmony among all its children, not be forgotten,” he said.


As well, the head of the Catholic Church had a word for the Cuban people “in these difficult times,” in particular “those families suffering most.” He asked God to help the Cuban people build “an ever more just and fraternal society in peace, dialogue, and solidarity.”

“I urge all Cubans to entrust themselves to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary of Charity of Cobre,” he said. “She will accompany them on this journey.”

Major demonstrations against the regime in power have taken place, against the backdrop of the economic and health crisis. The protests are unprecedented since Fidel Castro’s revolution in the 1960s. Fidel’s brother, Raul, retired earlier this year, leaving Miguel Díaz-Canel at the helm of the Communist party.

Floods in Europe

As well, Pope Francis reiterated his prayed for all those affected by the severe flooding in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

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