Connect to share and comment

Cuban TV to broadcast Good Friday mass for first time in over 50 years

Following a visit by the Pope last week, state-run television will show the service in Havana.

Cuba good friday 12 04 06Enlarge
The archbishop of Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega will deliver Good Friday mass at the capital's cathedral. The service will be broadcast on state television for the first time since the 1959 revolution. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

State-owned television in Cuba is to broadcast a Good Friday mass for the first time in over 50 years, following a request from the Pope who visited the Caribbean nation last week.

The AFP news agency attributes the information to Orlando Marquez , who is the spokesman for the archbishop of Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega.

"Cardinal Ortega will celebrate the mass at the cathedral and the event will be broadcast live by Cuban television's education channel," Marquez is quoted as saying.

Caribbean 360 reports that Cardinal Jaime Ortega has referred to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit as a “springtime of faith”, as it also led to Friday being declared a public holiday for the first time since the 1959 revolution.

More from GlobalPost: Cuba declares Good Friday a public holiday

The changes have been welcomed by the Vatican.

"It is certainly a very positive sign," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman is reported as saying by the Catholic News Service, adding that it would allow Catholics in the country to have "happy Easter celebrations."

"We hope it (the Pope's visit) continues to bring the desired fruits for the good of the Church and all Cubans,"  Father Lombardi concluded.

More from GlobalPost: Suite Spot - Burma, ready for business?

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/120405/cuban-tv-broadcast-good-friday-mass-first-time-50-years