By Devin Watkins
The Pope turned his thoughts to the Church in Nicaragua on Sunday, following the recitation of the Angelus prayer.
“I am thinking about the people of Nicaragua who are suffering due to the attack on the Cathedral of Managua,” he said, “where a widely-venerated image of Christ – which accompanied and sustained the lives of the faithful for several centuries – was seriously damaged, almost destroyed.”
“My dear Nicaraguan brothers,” he added, “I am near to you and I am praying for you.”
Petrol bomb attack
On Friday, an unknown attacker entered Managua’s Cathedral and threw a Molotov cocktail at a 400-year-old crucifix, which went up in flames.
Firemen brought the blaze under control fairly quickly, and there were no injuries.
The Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes, called the incident “an act of terrorism.”
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Managua said the attack was “deplorable” and “offends and deeply wounds” all Catholics in Nicaragua.
Pope St. John Paul II visited the Cathedral and prayed before the now-destroyed crucifix in February 1996.
At the time, he urged Nicaraguans not to waver in their faith “when the fatigue, loneliness, or incomprehension of others seeks to diminish your enthusiasm.”
“Do not doubt that you are loved by the Lord, and that His love always precedes and accompanies you. His victory serves as a guarantee of ours!” said the Polish Pope.