As the secular media has widely reported, Pope Francis expressed his "sentiments of sorrow" at the passing of Fidel Castro in a telegram to the latter's brother Raul. The following English translation is from Vatican Radio:
On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of that country.
Many reasons can lie behind sentiments of sorrow, of grief -- grief at the apparent lack of repentance in someone who has died without publicly abandoning his state of apostasy and rebellion against God, for instance. We are, however, skeptical that this is the reason for Francis' own "sentiments of grief" at the passing of Fidel Castro. In this time of extremely short memories, even among Catholics who profess to be outraged at the crisis in the Church, we think it would be a good exercise to look back at Francis' extremely scandalous visit to Cuba in September last year, which we analyzed in two long posts:
"The Pope has denied that he's a leftist!" Or has he? How the Catholic mainstream media spins just as much as the secular media. - PLUS: What the Pope REALLY said about Cuba (Sept. 23, 2015)
In particular we should point out the following:
1) Francis' public expression of "particular respect and consideration" for Fidel Castro, and his own admission that during his meeting with Fidel -- a meeting that Francis, not the Castros, sought -- he largely discussed the environment. (A telling display of priorities.)
2) Francis' explicit denial of the assertion that Cuba, under the Castros, is a "sick country" and is "aggressive" against the Church.
3) The dismay openly voiced by Cuba's dissidents against Francis' deferential treatment of the Communist regime in Cuba.