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Francis also said he had not tried coca leaves to deal with the high altitude in Bolivia and admitted that being asked to pose for selfies makes him feel "like a great-grandfather."
Noting the pope's "immense popularity," Cardindal Donald Wuerl called the Washington visit "an exciting time for this archdiocese, the church in the United States and this city."
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Pope Francis will visit Cuba and the United States during a Sept. 19-27 visit. Get the full schedule here.
Cubans are waiting for Pope Francis "with open arms," said Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana.
The cardinal met briefly with the pope at the end of the papal general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square. The cardinal was in Rome fine-tuning the program for the papal visit to Cuba this September, according to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
After spending close to an hour with Pope Francis, Cuban President Raul Castro told reporters he is so impressed by what the pope does and says that he might start praying and could even return to the church.
"I had a very agreeable meeting this morning with Pope Francis. He is a Jesuit, as you well know. I am, too, in a certain sense because I was always in Jesuit schools," Castro told reporters Sunday.
NCR Today: Details of the visit are still being worked out, but the Vatican's spokesman confirmed that "there will be a stop."
Pope Francis is considering making a stop in Cuba during his upcoming trip to the United States in September, but nothing has been confirmed, the Vatican announced Friday.
Francis -- who was credited by both the U.S. and Cuba in December for helping facilitate the landmark beginning of normalization of relations between the two countries -- "has taken into consideration the idea" of visiting the island nation, the Vatican said.
An hourlong meeting Saturday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first such personal encounter between the leaders of the two neighboring countries since 1958.
The session held during the Summit on the Americas, in which Cuba participated for the first time, was the most visible step toward ending a half century of strained relations dating back to the Cuban revolution.