27 Mar 2012

Man taken away by security staff after outburst at Pope’s mass

Man taken away by security staff after outburst at Pope’s mass
As Pope Benedict XVI entered Santiago's main square to celebrate Mass, a lone man began shouting anti-government slogans such as "Down with the Revolution!", causing a brief stir.     

The man was restrained and led away by security agents, accompanied by shouts from an angry congregation.        

Commenting on Monday's incident, Vatican spokesman the Reverend Federico Lombardi said Cuban worshipers were entitled to be close to the pope without disturbance.         

"They have the right to manifest their opinions and on the other hand they have the right not to be disturbed in their religious activity."        

It was not clear who the man was or what happened to him.          

The government had no immediate comment.        

Lombardi also dismissed rumors of a potential meeting between Benedict and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is in Cuba receiving radiotherapy.         "There is no petition for a specific personal meeting between president Chavez and the Pope," he said.        

"If President Chavez wishes to participate in the Mass of course he can participate like all the others who want to come to Mass."        

Benedict will only be in Cuba for a little over 48 hours, and his limited schedule is sure to disappoint many who want a piece of his attention, from the dissident community to returning Cuban American exiles.         

The Vatican has said the pope has no plans to meet with any of them, citing his advanced age and need for rest.        

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