the cardinal Leopoldo Brenes will meet this week with Pope Franciscowithin the framework of the meeting of the Latin American Episcopal Council (Celam), informed the Archdiocese of Managua.
The Archdiocese communicated, through a publication on social networks, that the prelate traveled to Vatican City in Rome on the afternoon of Saturday, October 29, where he will participate in meetings with Celam. He will also hold two private audiences with Pope Francis, whose issues were not discussed by the bishops.
A photograph was attached to the information in which the Archbishop of Managua is seen inside an airplane, accompanied by the priest Julio Arana, judicial vicar of the Archdiocese.
The meeting takes place in a context of tension between the Nicaraguan Catholic Church and the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, a regime that has harassed, imprisoned, exiled and forced dozens of religious and laity into exile.
The International Alliance for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IRFBA) recently denounced that in less than four years the Catholic Church has been the target of at least 190 attacksamong them, the attack on the cathedral of Managua in August 2020.
Starting in May of this year, the regime increased its religious persecution, expelling nuns, closing Catholic NGOs and condemning priests in arbitrary trials.
Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the diocese of Estelí, is under arbitrary house arrest, while a group of religious and lay people, members of the diocese of Matagalpa, have been in the “El Chipote” prison since 19 of August. Human rights organizations have demanded, on repeated occasions, to know the situation of the religious and demand their immediate freedom.
At the beginning of September, the The archbishop reported that he had managed to visit Bishop Álvarez. At that time, he assured that the confined religious leader was “in good health and in better spirits.” Cardinal Brenes also claimed that Pope Francis was “super informed” about the situation and accused the independent media of “lying” when the sources indicate that the Supreme Pontiff is uninformed.
Celam will present a document
Cardinal Brenes, who occupies the second vice-presidency of Celam, will participate in a press conference to be held on Monday, October 31 at the headquarters of Radio Vaticana-Vatican News, in which the official document of the Assembly will be released. ecclesial.
The document collects the pastoral proposals and lines of action agreed upon at the Ecclesial Assembly held in November 2021 in Mexico, with more than a thousand participants in face-to-face and virtual modality.
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Present at the conference, along with Cardinal Brenes, will be the other members of the Celam presidency and special guests, including Monsignor Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, archbishop of Peru and president of Celam; Cardinal Odilio Pedro Scherer, Archbishop of Brazil and First Vice President; Monsignor Jorge Lozano, Archbishop of Argentina and General Secretary of Celam, and Dr. Gianni La Bella, theologian and historian.