Retired Cuban archbishop Pedro Meurice dies at 79

AP News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2011 11:59 PM
Retired Cuban archbishop Pedro Meurice dies at 79

Archbishop Pedro Meurice, Archbishop Emeritus of Santiago de Cuba, has died at a Miami hospital. He was 79.

The Archdiocese of Miami reports that Meurice died Thursday morning at Mercy Hospital.

Meurice was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Santiago in June 1955 and became a bishop there in 1967. Three years later, he became archbishop of the southeastern Cuban city. Meurice was not shy about criticizing the Castro government, asserting at Pope John Paul II's papal Mass in the city in 1998 that too many Cubans "have confused patriotism with a party."

Meurice retired in February 2007.

Visitation is scheduled in Miami on Saturday and Sunday. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Michael the Archangel Church at 10 a.m. Monday. Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski will be the main celebrant.

Burial will be in Cuba, though arrangements haven't been finalized.