Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega 

Nicaragua asks the Holy See to close respective diplomatic missions

The government in Managua expelled the apostolic nuncio from the country exactly one year ago.

Vatican News

The Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry has declared that diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and the Holy See have been suspended. The Nicaraguan government has asked the Holy See to close their respective diplomatic missions. This is not a break in relations, as has been reported by media outlets.

Exactly one year ago, on 12 March 2022, the Apostolic Nuncio in Managua, Archbishop Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag, had been expelled from the country. The Holy See at the time reacted to the Nicaraguan government’s decision with great surprise and regret. “Such a measure seems incomprehensible,” stressed a communiqué from the Holy See, “because in the course of his mission Archbishop Sommertag worked with profound dedication for the good of the Church and the Nicaraguan people, especially the most vulnerable, always seeking to foster good relations between the Apostolic See and the authorities of Nicaragua.”

In an interview with the Spanish daily ABC last December, Pope Francis reiterated, responding to a question about Vatican diplomacy regarding Nicaragua, that the Holy See always seeks to save peoples and that its weapon is dialogue: “The Holy See never goes it alone. It is expelled. It always tries to save diplomatic relations and to save what can be saved with patience and dialogue.”

The social and political situation in Nicaragua has worsened in recent years with the arrests, expulsions, and the violent repression of demonstrations. After being under house arrest since last August, Bishop Rolando Álvarez, the Bishop of Matagalpa, was arbitrarily sentenced to 26 years in prison. He has subsequently been jailed, and there has been no subsequent news about him.

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13 March 2023, 09:08