The international rumor mill has it that Fidel Castro — El Jefe, El Commandante, or El Barbudo, to those who know him best — will be returning to the Catholic fold during Pope Benedict’s upcoming visit to Cuba. According to a post on GetReligion.org, the “anti-clerical” Italian paper La Republicca is claiming Castro has “turned to God for solace.” A story on ABC’s Global News Blog quotes Castro’s daughter Alina: “During this last period, Fidel has come closer to religion: he has rediscovered Jesus at the end of his life. It doesn’t surprise me because dad was raised by Jesuits.”
Yes, the Church has gotten a rough time lately. Any sign of renewal would be welcome. But if Castro does decide to re-vert, let’s resist the temptation to see it as the opening play in the Big Win. Better to see it in perspective, as the expansion of the list of Latin American Strongmen Who Are Also Catholic by one.