Saint Michael’s Church in Nicaragua besieged and Managua’s cathedral profaned

Mass in the church of San Miguel in Masaya © Arquidiócesis De Managua

On November 14, Saint Michael the Archangel’s church in Masaya, Nicaragua, has been surrounded by the National Police and paramilitaries and four days later Managua’s Cathedral was invaded and profaned.

According to the local media, a Mass was to be celebrated in the Cathedral to pray for political prisoners. When the church began to be filled, the National Police created a 300-meter wall, impeding the entrance and exit of the church. Trapped inside were 10 women, mothers of political prisoners, and Father Edwin Roman and his Assistant.

According to the same source, from that moment the mothers began a hunger strike, calling for the release of their sons. The country’s Authorities reacted by cutting the basic services of light and water.

Vatican News reported that the Archdiocese of Managua, Masaya, and Carazo, as well as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Spain, condemned the Authorities’ position.

Statements of Cardinal Brenes

In statements to Nicaragua’s Catholic Channel, the Cardinal Archbishop of Nicaragua, Leopoldo Brenes, referred to the Archbishopric’s press note condemning the siege of the parish and the suppression of light and water. He also requested that the entities in charge of these basic services restore them as a “gesture of humanity.”

On November 17, Father Edwin Roman celebrated the Eucharist with the mothers of political prisoners. Saint Michael’s church continues to be surrounded.

Attack on a Priest and a Nun

 In a press release, the Archdiocese of Managua described how violent groups sympathetic to the government entered and took control of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua.

On being rebuked by Father Rodolfo Sanchez and Sister Arelys Guzman, the intruders became violent, striking the priest and the nun who are all right but had to leave the church.

That night, members of the group broke the church’s locks and profaned the Cathedral.

Condemnation of the Events

In a note, the Archdiocese condemns these events “of profanation, siege, and intimidation, which do not bring peace and stability to the country, and requests President Daniel Ortega and the Republic’s Vice-President to take “immediate actions so that all our Catholic churches are respected.”

They also asked the National Police to withdraw its members from the siege and to cease intimidating the Cathedral and the parishes.