Who is Father Frutos Valle Salmerón, administrator “ad Omnia” for the Diocese of Estelí

Father Frutos Constantino Valle Salmerón is 78 years old and is about to celebrate 50 years in the priesthood. This January 11, he has been appointed Administrator “ad-Omnia” (to all) of the Diocese of Estelí, due to the forced absence of Monsignor Rolando José Álvarez, who has been at home for a little more than five months in prison and is being criminally prosecuted by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

However, Monsignor Álvarez, who will be prosecuted on a still undefined date, will continue to be the Apostolic Administrator of Estelí.

“They are not removing (Monsignor Álvarez) his position, because it is like an impasse, as if he were waiting, due to the regression that is taking place in the country,” said an ecclesiastical source, also explaining that, in the case of Father Frutos, “I think that he is the oldest priest in (the Diocese of) Estelí, then it is like an honor that they give him (by appointing him to the position)”.

The appointment of Father Frutos as Administrator “ad-Omnia” of the Diocese of Estelí was made by the Dicastery for Bishops, which is the body of the Roman Curia in charge of selecting new bishops before papal approval.

The position of Administrator “ad-Omnia” gives Father Frutos almost all the powers of a bishop, so that he is aware of the progress of the Diocese in administrative and pastoral matters and the only thing that he cannot do is ordain priests.

Trajectory of Father Frutos Valle

Father Frutos was born on October 30, 1944 in the Petaquillas community in the municipality of El Sauce, department of León, and according to his biographyis the son of Alonso Valle and Fernanda Salmerón.

Since he was a child he felt the priestly vocation, studied at the Seminary of the Diocesan Order of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was ordained a priest in Nicaragua on September 22, 1973.

Father Frutos was a parish priest in different parishes in Estelí, Nueva Segovia and Madriz, the three departments that make up the Diocese.

Father Frutos “has dedicated his life to the investigation and promotion of the folkloric culture of Las Segovias, forming various cultural groups, among which the musical group Al Son de Nuestra Cultura Segovia stands out, he incorporated the marimba in the Eucharistic celebrations, performed Likewise, an archaeological salvage work of 116 pieces of pre-Columbian ceramics, which today make up the current Somoto museum”, refers to his biography.

However, it has also been very closely involved in the activities of the Daniel Ortega regime, as happened at the inauguration of the Somoto police unit in Madriz, in January 2022; among other acts of the Ortega and Murillo regime.

In the eighties, during the first Ortega regime, Father Frutos was accused of having impregnated a young woman from Somoto. However, the priest attributed it to “gossip”, because he considered that “it was the situation, there was a disagreement at a political and religious level. Gossip arose very easily,” according to told the newspaper La Prensa in an interview published two decades ago.

seat vacant

The Diocese of Estelí includes the 27 municipalities of the departments of Estelí, Madriz and Nueva Segovia. Its last bishop was Monsignor Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara, who was in office for 33 years, until his resignation, which, for reasons of age, was accepted by Pope Francis on July 6, 2021, the date on which the Pontiff also appointed Monsignor Álvarez as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese which, since then, has been in a vacant See period.

On November 6, 2021, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures in favor of Monsignor Mata, considering that “his life is at risk.”

On August 4, 2022, Monsignor Álvarez was forced into confinement, initially with 11 other people, in the Matagalpa Episcopal Residence. Police said he was investigating him because he was allegedly organizing “violent groups.”

On August 19, the Police transferred Monsignor Álvarez to his house in Managua, where they keep him isolated. Likewise, he took three priests, a deacon, two seminarians and a cameraman to El Chipote prison, who are being prosecuted.

Original text published by CSI Mosaic

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