Dozens of Catholic parishioners gathered on the afternoon of this Monday, September 19, in the San Miguel Arcángel de Masaya church to participate in the descent of the co-patron of the city, who this year will not go out to walk the streets of the city by orders of the regime of Daniel Ortega.
Two days before —Saturday, September 17— of the religious festival, the police institution alleged that the cancellation of the processions in honor of San Jerónimo and San Miguel Arcángel were due to alleged “reasons of public security.”
Despite the police and paramilitary siege outside and inside the temple, commanded by the sanctioned director of the Masaya Police, Juan Valle Valle, the devotees of San Miguel arrived at the parish to listen to the homily and witness the descent of the venerated image.
The high official of the dictatorship could not stop the shouts and boos from the citizens who gathered. For his part, the presbyter Ramón López, priest in charge of the parish, thanked God and the priests who accompanied the religious activity and called on the faithful to show respect and celebrate the festivity with devotion and in order.
Regarding the absence of Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, the priest López justified it by stating that the prelate “extends his greetings. He has not been able to accompany us since in a few hours he will be beginning the spiritual exercises of the retreat for all the priests of our diocese, but he has been attentive to all these festivities».
As planned, San Miguel did not leave the temple. After the image was lowered by the priest Ramón López and some brothers and the mayordoma Teresa Abdalá, the image was danced inside the parish with the parishioners who gathered.
According to sources, until now riot police are still stationed outside the church, the same action they have carried out since Sunday, September 18, when commissioner Juan Valle Valle arrived at the temple to talk with Father Ramón López.
This is the third consecutive year that the co-patron of the Masayas does not leave the temple. In 2020 and 2021, it was due to the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19but this year it was by order of the Government of Nicaragua.
This is the first time that the government has denied permission for the religious activities of San Jerónimo and San Miguel to take place. The regime’s action occurs in a context of repression and siege against the Catholic Church, which counts seven detained priests, including Monsignor Roñando Álvarez, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa.