Catholic Relief Services

Cubans hope pope will accelerate warming with US

Seventeen years ago, a newly named Argentine archbishop laid out his thoughts on the meaning of a papal visit to Cuba.

"Through the presence, the voice and the prophetic mission of the pope, the church offers a path forward to peace, justice and true liberty," Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote. "Not everything will be the same after he leaves."

Millions of Cubans hope those words written about John Paul II's 1998 trip to Cuba prove true when their author, now Pope Francis, flies into Havana on Saturday.

Across the island, Cubans are excitedly looking at the pope's 10-day trip to Cuba and the United States through the lens of his role as the mediator of...