Havana: Pope Benedict and Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, both octogenarians, joked about their age in a meeting on Wednesday and then Castro popped the question: So what do you do?
The two world figures chatted for about 30 minutes at the Vatican embassy in Havana near the end of the pope`s three-day visit to Cuba, where he called for greater freedom and a bigger role for the Catholic Church in the communist-led nation.
Under Castro`s 49-year rule from 1959 to 2008, Cuba for years called itself an atheist state. However, relations with the Church seem to have improved over the past two decades.
"What does a pope do?" Castro asked Benedict, who is just one year, his junior. The pontiff told him of his ministry, his foreign trips and his service to the Church, saying he was happy to be in Cuba and with the welcome he received. Castro told the pontiff he had watched his whole visit on television. Two of his children were also presented to the pope.