The government of President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua on Wednesday revoked the legal personhood of the Society of Jesus and ordered the transfer of all its assets to the state.
Religious liberty advocates in a hearing on Tuesday shared details with members of Congress on the dire state of religious freedom in countries around the world.
Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Báez of Managua, Nicaragua, who is living in exile in the United States, responded to new verbal attacks by Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega saying they are signs of the weakness and desperation of the president of the Central American country.
Father Donaciano Alarcón, a Claretian missionary expelled from Nicaragua by the dictatorship, described how the authorities leveled unfounded accusations against him, took him to the border with Honduras, and abandoned him to his fate.
The Holy See reported on Saturday that the Vatican’s diplomatic headquarters in Nicaragua was forced to close.
The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, has ordered the closing of the Vatican embassy in Managua and the Nicaraguan embassy to the Holy See in Rome, according to Reuters.
Pope Francis called Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega “unstable” and likened Nicaragua’s Sandinista government to Nazi Germany in an interview published Friday.
“The news from Nicaragua has grieved me a great deal,” the pope said.
The dictatorship of President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua has expelled the Religious Sisters of the Cross, thus continuing its attacks against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua.
When then Pope John Paul II’s plane landed in Nicaragua on March 4, 1983, the authorities were waiting, including Daniel Ortega, who with his wife, Rosario Murillo, now lead the country’s current dictatorship.
Bishop Eugenio Salazar Mora of Tilarán-Liberia in Costa Rica greeted the nuns one by one and knelt as he greeted their superior.
The action is the latest in religious persecutions that have escalated there in the last four years.
The order to shut down the sisters and 100 other nongovernmental organizations was requested by a Sandinista legislator in a June 22 letter.
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, a member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Aba Diocese, as the representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva.