Two years have passed since the attack on the Chapel of the Blood of Christ, in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua. The action caused a fire that led to the image, with more than 300 years of history, being charred, but standing.
The “terrorist act”, as the Catholic Church itself called it, shocked the entire country. The religious have been in the spotlight since the social outbreak of April 2018 for being close to opponents and supporting activities to care for those injured during the attacks by the government of Daniel Ortega.
In his homily this Sunday, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua, commemorated this attack with his parishioners, affirming that “this event that marked our lives is remembered, the commemoration of that attack on our beautiful and consecrated image of the Blood Christ”.
«Someone asked me what do I see in the face of the Blood of Christ, I see compassion, forgiveness, what do I see in the body calcined in the Blood of Christ? I look at Christ Jesus nailed to the cross, dying for us, forgiving us, “said the Catholic hierarch.
Alluding to the persecution against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, Brenes said that “in that face —of Christ—, in that look, there is no hatred, there is no rancor, but it is a look of mercy; that charred body of the image of the Blood of Christ there nailed to the cross, not destroyed, but nailed to the cross, reminds us that our salvation is nailed and above all the great good of love and mercy».
The religious emphasized that “Our devotion, our love for the Blood of Christ present in that beautiful image continues with all the fervor and continues to strengthen and nourish our faith as the great value and great wealth that we have.”
He also exhorted the Catholic people to ask the Blood of Christ to give us strength and to be witnesses of his love and that those who have wanted to break and weaken our faith with this attack, may the Blood of Christ save them.
For his part, Father Said Ruiz, vicar of the Managua Cathedral, said that this is a day of reparation and penance “for the offense committed against Christ in the Eucharist.”
He reported that once the religious ceremony was over, the parishioners present could go to the chapel of the Blood of Christ to “ask the Lord for forgiveness for the offense committed.”
“If we have something to celebrate, it is that Christ is always stronger than evil, Christ wins, love wins over hate; forgiveness defeats violence. We celebrate that in Christ is our firm hope».
Fire caused by a hooded man
The parishioners remember that tragic moment when a hooded individual, who to date has not been identified, threw a Molotov cocktail at the chapel, causing a fire in the area where the image remains and where the Blessed Sacrament is also exposed.
The Archdiocese of Managua described what happened as “an act of sacrilege and desecration.” To date, the entire prelate continues to affirm that it was not an accident.
Meanwhile, the spokeswoman and deputy dictator Rosario Murillo said, half an hour after the incident, that the fire was caused by “a candle”, while the Archbishop and Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes made it clear that what happened in the religious temple was “a planned terrorist act», thus denying the statements of the first lady.
Since 2018, the Catholic Church has experienced a voracious persecution, siege, defamation and even the imprisonment of two priests by the Ortega regime, however the religious leaders have constantly affirmed that they continue “preaching the word of God” and being in favor of the village.