Masaya (Agenzia Fides) - The Mayor of Granada organized a pilgrimage to the Jesús del Rescate sanctuary, despite the fact that the bishop had canceled it to avoid coronavirus infections. While the Catholic Church in Nicaragua has suspended masses or celebrates them with the least possible number of faithful, to prevent coronavirus infection, Daniel Ortega's government insists on not considering the global health crisis. By pretending normality, the Mayors ignored the indications of the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference (CEN), organizing religious activities that the Church canceled to avoid crowding.
In Granada, Mgr. Jorge Solórzano, following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), canceled the Holy Week and Easter processions, and prohibited activities in all the churches of the diocese, but Mayor Julia Mena, organized and sponsored the pilgrimage of traditional carts to the Jesús del Rescate Sanctuary, in the Rivas department.
According to the note sent to Fides, this is not the first time that Mayors have replaced the authority of the Catholic Church. In 2018, in fact, the Mayor of Masaya, Orlando Noguera, celebrated the patronal feasts in honor of San Jerónimo, patron of that city (see Fides, 22/9/2018).
Yesterday, Sunday 29 March, the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua asked Catholic faithful from all over the country to abstain from the pilgrimage to the Jesús del Rescate Sanctuary in Popoyuapa, Rivas, to avoid covid-19 infection. "One should not act with a reckless and irrational faith", reads the CEN note on the coronavirus pandemic, despite Daniel Ortega’s regime continues to promote this manifestation of popular religious tradition.
"An authentic popular piety, a true treasure of our Catholic faith, with its precious religious and cultural manifestations, such as the annual pilgrimage of the faithful, should not ignore common sense, prudence and the use of reason or expose themselves to contagion and challenge the pandemic, with a reckless and irrational faith, or even worse by listening to the voice of the devil", say the Bishops. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 30/3/2020)