Rendering Unto Castro

On his visit to Cuba, the Pope will find his church with greater influence as it plays a game of patience and diplomacy

Pope John Paul II helped bring down the Iron Curtain in Europe, but he was no match for Monica Lewinsky in Cuba. Shortly after the Pontiff arrived for his historic visit to the communist island in 1998, the media horde stampeded back to the U.S. to cover the emerging sex scandal engulfing Bill Clinton's presidency. But John Paul was probably just as glad the journalists left: it helped lower expectations about what he was supposed to accomplish. Cuba wasn't Poland--Fidel Castro was a more daunting despot than Wojciech Jaruzelski--and John Paul knew that democratic change wouldn't arrive on the island until...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!