Pope urges more church freedom in Cuba

NICOLE WINFIELD PAUL HAVEN Associated Press Published:

HAVANA (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI is demanding greater freedom for the Catholic Church in Cuba during a Mass in the shrine of the island's communist revolution. He also denounces fanaticism that tries to impose its truth on others.

Benedict's homily was an unusually politicized papal message during Mass.

Benedict said people find freedom when they seek the truth that Christianity offers. He added, "On the other hand there are those who wrongly interpret this search for the truth, leading them to irrationality and fanaticism; they close themselves up in 'their truth' and try to impose it on others."

He didn't cite the government by name in Wednesday's message, but later urged Cuba to let the church more freely preach its message.