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Eyes Wide ShutThe Pope and Fidel Castro met in Havana for what was apparently a fun contest to see which octogenarian could be more passive-aggressive. Fidel was all, yeah mang, saw you on the teevee, then played dumb about why the Mass had changed since he was a child (presumably Castro is aware of the Church’s liberalizing under Vatican II) and followed it with “so what does a Pope, you know, do?” Fidel, proud (former) head of an island nation of (nominal) Catholics is vaguely aware of your quaint little “church.”

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, described the meeting between the Holy Father and the father of Cuba’s communist revolution as “animated” and “colloquial.” He said that the pope told Castro how much he enjoyed visiting the island, and that Castro responded that he’d been following the pope’s trip on television.

The two men also spoke about world’s problems, the environment, and cultural and religious difficulties.


Castro asked the pope why the Mass has changed since he was a child and what specifically a pope does. They discussed economic problems and the pope talked about the challenges of religion being marginalized in society.

Castro brought up their similar ages.

Benedict responded: “I’m old, but I’m still able to do my duties.”

Oh snap, Nazi Pope!


Unfortunately, Cuba also spent a good portion of the week arresting “Ladies in White,” who are, er, ladies in white who demonstrate for the release of political prisoners. (Stop doing that, Cuba.) Your Editrix went to Cuba once, and her friend almost got arrested in the airport on the way in; it took days to figure out that it was because she was in fact dressed in all white, being in the uniform of “California lady of a certain age.” (We think they picked it up from Barbra Streisand back in the ’70s.)

The most surprising aspect of the meeting between Fidel and the Pope is that it only last 30 minutes. It usually takes Fidel that long to say hi. Judging by his body language in the clip below, though, it was one time Fidel didn’t care to talk at someone for 7 or 10 hours. He is almost supremely uninterested in paying his “respects.” Hahaha, fuckin’ Fidel, man. Like Zaphod Beeblebrox, he’s still the Most Important Man in the Universe.

[McClatchy/AP via Washington Post]

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