The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo denied entry to Nicaragua to the priest Guillermo Blandón, pastor of the Santa Lucía Church, in Boaco; who was returning to his homeland after a trip through Israel, on a flight with a stopover in Miami, United States.
The measure of the regime against Father Blandón was announced through the Facebook page of the Santa Lucía parish, belonging to the diocese of Granada. Where, in addition, they ask the Catholic congregation to continue praying for the Church.
“The Santa Lucía-Boaco Parish communicates to its parishioners that the Government of Nicaragua denied re-entry into their country to our parish priest, Father Guillermo Blandón. We ask for his prayers that God protect our bishops, priests and his Church,” the statement said.
Also the auxiliary bishop of Managua, Monsignor Silvio Báez, who has been in exile since 2019, pointed out that the priest was notified of the situation when he was about to take his flight to Managua.
“The Nicaraguan dictatorship denies entry to the country to another Nicaraguan priest. I just spoke with Fr. Guillermo Blandón, parish priest of the Iglesia Sta. Lucía de Boaco, diocese of Granada. He came from Israel and at the Miami airport they told him that he could not travel, ”Monsignor Báez denounced through his social networks.
⛔️ The dictatorship of #Nicaragua deny entry to the country to another Nicaraguan priest! I just spoke with Fr. Guillermo Blandón, parish priest of the Iglesia Sta. Lucía de Boaco, diocese of Granada. He came from Israel and at the Miami airport they told him that he could not travel. pic.twitter.com/ALFUqBe3Z7
– Silvio José Báez (@silviojbaez) September 27, 2022
The exile of Father Blandón occurs at a time when the Catholic Church is suffering persecution from the Ortega regime. On September 13, the Nicaraguan priest was also prevented from entering the country, John of God Garcia who was returning from Miami, USA, after visiting his family.
Father García, who is vicar of the Santo Cristo de Las Colinas parish, in Managua; He left Nicaragua on a date not yet specified and his return to the country was scheduled for Tuesday, September 13, but the Immigration authorities notified him twice by email that he is prohibited from returning to his homeland.
A source from the Catholic Church then indicated that the priest – who in 2018 worked as a pastor in the Santiago parish, Jinotepe, and who was transferred to Managua due to threats from the regime – would be returning from a vacation in the United States but could not board the plane.
2022 has been a particularly turbulent year for the Catholic Church in Nicaragua with the Ortega regime. A repressive escalation against the religious keeps a bishop, six priests and two seminarians in prison.
This year, the Sandinista regime also expelled from the country the apostolic nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag and 18 nuns from the Missionaries of Charity order, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, while several priests opted for exile.
Additionally, it closed nine Catholic radio stations and removed three Catholic channels from subscription television programming.
The Police also entered by force and raided a parish, preventing parishioners from receiving the Eucharist inside the temple and besieging other priests in their churches, prohibiting processions with images of the saints, among other acts of harassment.
Eight priests change venues
Eight priests were changed headquarters this Sunday in Nicaragua, amid friction between the Catholic Church and the Daniel Ortega regime. The clergy movements occurred in the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Managua, which is headed by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes and who this week led an archdiocesan spiritual retreat.
Among the priests who changed parishes are Juan Antonio Calero, whose temple in the city of Masatepe was desecrated last December 28 by unknown persons, and Félix Herrera, who served in Niquinohomo, the birthplace of the hero Augusto C. Sandino.
Other religious who changed parishes were Julio César Porras, Henry Antonio Calero, Carlos Aguirre, Melvin Gutiérrez, Jerry Gutiérrez and Brayan Chamorro.
The movements reached established parishes in the cities of La Concepción, Mateare, Masatepe, Masachapa, Masaya, Santa Teresa and Tipitapa.
The Archdiocese of Managua did not report the reasons for the change of venue for the priests, ordered a week after the National Police prohibited religious activities outside the temples, such as processions, patron saint festivities, pilgrimages, payment of promises, among others.