AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Cardinal Brenes: "many of our brothers will no longer have the attention they received from the Sisters"

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Managua (Agenzia Fides) - "Faced with the decision of the National Assembly to cancel the legal personality of the foundation of the Missionary Sisters of Charity of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who provided assistance to the poorest of our Nicaraguan society, we deeply regret the pain of so many of our brothers who will no longer have the attention they received from the Sisters": Thus writes Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua, in a note published on July 4, sent to Fides. The short text ends with these words: "At the same time we express our gratitude to them for their invaluable service to our local Churches. Esteemed Sisters, you can count on our closeness, solidarity and our humble prayers. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Mt 5,8).
In past days, the Nicaraguan government in fact ordered, with a decree, the cancellation of the legal personality of 101 NGOs, including the Association Missionaries of Charity. The parliament ratified the decision and the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta must leave the country. According to the interior ministry, the nuns failded to comply with their obligations in accordance with the law that regulates them, and the Money Laundering Law, the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Furthermore, the Association Missionaries of Charity is not accredited by the Ministry of the Family and the Ministry of Education for the management of its activities. The Missionaries of Charity in Nicaragua were involved in various structures for children, young people and the elderly in need.
Daniel Ortega's regime has long since adopted repressive measures against the Church of Nicaragua, ordering, among other things, the closure of the television channel of the Bishops' Conference. On March 6, "the Holy See received with great surprise and regret the communication that the Government of Nicaragua has decided to withdraw the approval (agrément) of His Exc. Msgr. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, Apostolic Nuncio to Managua since 2018, asking him to leave the country immediately after the notification of the provision". During his mission, Msgr. Sommertag ssid in a statement from the Holy See, "he worked with profound dedication for the good of the Church and the Nicaraguan people, especially the most vulnerable people, always trying to foster good relations between the Apostolic See and the Nicaraguan Authorities". The Archdiocese of Managua on May 21, expressed solidarity and closeness to the faithful and priests of the Parish of Santo Cristo de las Colinas, in Managua, where Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa and Apostolic Administrator of Esteli, "is isolated, in prayer and fasting", as well as to the parish of San Juan Bautista in the city of Masaya, and to its parish priest, Father Harvy Padilla, "who live in an atmosphere of anxiety for their personal safety and the impossibility of exercising their right to live and celebrate their faith in an environment of peace and freedom "(see Fides, 23,24,30/5/2022). On the solemnity of Corpus Domini, on June 16, the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (Sedac) published a statement of solidarity with the Church of Nicaragua, with "all the Bishops, priests, religious communities and lay people of that brother country who work diligently for the vineyard of the Lord; despite the difficulties and trials they encounter on their journey" (see Fides, 17/6/2022). Similar expressions of solidarity have been expressed by various Episcopal Conferences of Central American countries, such as El Salvador (see Fides, 7/6/2022). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 5/7/2022)