TWELVE Episcopalian bishops travelled from the United States to
Cuba last week, days before the Presidents of the two countries had
an historic meeting in Panama City. The meeting of Barack Obama and
Raúl Castro took place on the fringes of the Summit of the
Americas, on Friday. It was the first formal talk between the
leaders of the two countries in 50 years, after the beginning of a
thaw in relations in December.
Vatican Radio reported on Saturday that Pope Francis and the
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin had played a
part in "brokering secret talks" between the two countries.
The 12 bishops arrived in Cuba on Tuesday of last week, at the
invitation of the Bishop of Cuba, the Rt Revd Griselda Delgado del
Carpio. The visit follows a vote last year in the Cuban Church's
synod, by 39 votes to 33, to take steps to return to its former
affiliation with the Episcopal Church in the US, which was severed
at the time of the Cuba revolution, 54 years ago.
"The feeling was that, because of the embargo and negative
relationships with the United States, it was not appropriate to
make this relationship," the Bishop of Western New York, the Rt
Revd R. William Franklin, told the WBFO radio before his
The bishops, who were consecrated in the same year as Bishop del
Carpio, had been invited "as a way of building unity in her Church,
so that they could move from division over this vote to