The Vatican has confirmed that it has been asked and has agreed to receive 12 priests who had been detained in Nicaragua.
“The Holy See has agreed; they will be received by an official of the Secretariat of State in the afternoon (19th October) and housed in facilities of the Diocese of Rome,” Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, said in a written statement.
The release of the priests and their expatriation to Rome came following “fruitful talks with the Holy See,” ending in an agreement between the Vatican and the government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, according to a government communique dated 18th October and published on social media on 19th October.
The Nicaraguan government note said the decision, which “was reached with the intercession of high authorities of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua and in the Vatican, represents the enduring will and commitment to find solutions, in recognition and encouragement of so much faith and hope that always animates the Nicaraguan faithful, who make up the majority” of the population.
The list of 12 priests does not include Bishop Rolando Álvarez Lagos of Matagalpa, who has been in prison the past 16 months after being sentenced to more than 26 years on charges of treason.
Picture: A priest celebrates a Mass for parishioners at Santo Domingo de Guzman Church in Managua, Nicaragua, 2nd August 2022. (OSV News photo/Maynor Valenzuela, Reuters)