The Pope's Mission Of Hope

The Pope tries to open Cuba to change; Castro hopes his visit will open the world to Cuba

A giant turquoise-and-pink Jesus Christ alongside a black mural of Che Guevara. Fidel Castro's hand gently guiding Pope John Paul II's shuffling steps. Symbols of accord amid substantive disagreement. The pastoral and the political came together in Cuba last week just the way the missionary of Christian faith and the apostle of communism had planned. But as the two pursued their own agendas, each had to be disappointed that the historic visit intended as a public relations coup was upstaged in the U.S. by the Clinton sex scandal.

As the visibly frail but determined John Paul II traveled the length of...