Vatican Closes Embassy in Nicaragua after Ortega's measures

Vatican Closes Embassy in Nicaragua after Ortega’s measures

Vatican City.- The Vatican announced this Saturday the closure of its diplomatic mission in Nicaragua, after the Nicaraguan government proposed the suspension of diplomatic relations, in what constitutes the most recent episode of persecution against the Catholic Church by President Daniel Ortega.

The Vatican’s representative in Managua, Monsignor Marcel Diouf, also left the country on Friday for Costa Rica, a Vatican official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Vatican’s action to close the apostolic nunciature came a week after Nicaragua proposed suspending relations with the Holy See, and a year after the country expelled the then papal nuncio.

It is unclear what the proposed suspension would entail in diplomatic terms.

The care of the nunciature headquarters was entrusted to the Italian government, according to diplomatic conventions, reported the official media outlet of the Holy See. Diplomats from the European Union, Germany, France and Italy said goodbye to Diouf before he closed the embassy and left.

Relations between the Catholic Church and the Ortega government have been deteriorating since 2018, when the Nicaraguan authorities violently repressed anti-government protests.

Some Catholic leaders gave the demonstrators refuge in their temples, and the Church later tried to act as a mediator between the Government and the political Opposition.

Ortega branded Catholic figures, whom he viewed as sympathetic to the Opposition, as “terrorists” who had backed efforts to overthrow him. Dozens of religious figures were arrested or fled the country.

Two congregations of nuns, including the Missionaries of Charity order founded by Mother Teresa, were expelled from Nicaragua last year.

Prominent Catholic Bishop Rolando Álvarez was sentenced last month to 26 years in prison after refusing to board a plane carrying other priests into exile in the United States. He also had his Nicaraguan nationality withdrawn.

Pope Francis had remained largely silent on the issue, apparently not wanting to inflame tensions, but after the Álvarez sentencing, in a March 10 interview with the Argentine outlet Infobae, he called the Ortega government a ” dictatorship” comparable to that of Hitler.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *