Terrorist firebombs Nicaragua Cathedral

An unknown suspect entered the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in Managua, Nicaragua on Friday, 31 July 2020 at approximately 11:00 a.m. during Eucharistic adoration in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel. According to witnesses, the male, wearing a balaclava, entered the chapel and said “I come to the Sangre de Cristo”, then threw an incendiary device.

In this chapel, the faithful venerate a miraculous image of the bleeding, crucified Christ known as “Sangre de Cristo.” It is reported that the image originated in Spain and was brought to Nicaragua in 1683 from Guatemala.

In 1996, Saint John Paul II visited the Chapel and venerated the image of the Crucified in a moment of solitary prayer and contemplation, as he so often did during his travels. During his remarks, the Holy Father said:

This church - the heart of the Archdiocese of Managua - in which you venerate with devotion the ancient image of “The Blood of Christ”, brought from Spain more than three centuries ago and which represents Jesus offering the Father on the cross all his blood and all his humanity, you desired that it should be presided over by the Risen Lord with the banner of his victory over sin and death. Do not forget this mystery of the death and resurrection when the fatigue, the loneliness, or the incomprehension of others may lower your enthusiasm or make your spirit waver. Do not doubt it: You are loved by the Lord and his love precedes and always accompanies you: his victory is a guarantee of ours!

Catholic media worldwide has covered the attack, which the archbishop, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, has denounced as a planned terrorist attack.

Catholic News Agency covered the story:

An unidentified man threw a firebomb into a chapel of Managua’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Friday, severely damaging the chapel and a devotional image of Christ more than three centuries old.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. tweeted:

They attack the image of Christ because he is nailed to the cross, they attack the Church because she does not use violence, they repress the people because they cannot defend themselves. They are deceiving themselves. The image of the Blood of Christ shows today the pain of the suffering people of #Nicaragua, who will surely rise again.

Let us pray for the suffering, persecuted Church in Nicaragua.

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Sometimes the Church displeases the government. That’s probably not what happened here but I will try to read up on all of this. Apparently, there has been some flack about the government cracking down on journalists.

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You raise an excellent point. July 19 was the anniversary of the Sandinista revolution’s victory over the last holdout of Somoza’s sympathizers in Masaya in 1979. Every year on July 19 there is a caravan from Managua to Masaya to commemorate the event.

Because of the devastating toll coronavirus has taken in the country and the dictator’s strategy to hide out in his presidential compound to avoid infection, this year there was a subdued version of the celebration, which featured a gathering of FSLN party faithful and Sandinista youth, gathered in a socially-distanced circle around a flaming pentagram.

Since then, the crazed fervor of FSLN fanatics in social media and official media has been over the top. Yesterday, Cardinal Brenes urged his pastors to be watchful lest more churches should fall victim to new attacks. It is as if some Sandinista said, “hold my beer.”

One can go to the link, the headline at this one story now says:

Bishops see pro-government ‘terrorism’ behind church attacks in Nicaragua

While government officials have described the incidents as isolated and blamed conditions inside churches for any damage caused, Catholic leaders insist the attacks were “premeditated” and part of a campaign of “terrorism” directed by pro-Ortega forces.

In the most recent incident, a man shouting “I come to the Blood of Christ” threw a Molotov cocktail at an almost 400-year-old wooden crucifix displayed in a chapel of the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.

Originally in Crux, now in the Angelus News which seems to be news for California Catholics from what I understand.

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Great find! @Victoria33

Vatican News also published an article August 1, and they quoted (with their new English translation) from Saint John Paul II’s address to the faithful when he visited the Cathedral and venerated the crucifix on 7 February 1996:

“You desired this church at the heart of the Archdiocese of Managua – in which you devotedly venerate the image of the ‘Blood of Christ’ which arrived from Spain more than three centuries ago and which represents Jesus offering His blood and His humanity to the Father on the cross – to be dominated by the Risen Lord in the sign of His victory over sin and death. Do not forget the mystery of death and resurrection when the fatigue, loneliness, or incomprehension of others seeks to diminish your enthusiasm or make your spirit waver. Do not doubt that you are loved by the Lord, and that His love always precedes and accompanies you. His victory serves as a guarantee of ours!”

One of the photos that has been widely circulating in social media without attribution (photographer unknown) shows the tabernacle, whose metal began to melt as it was stressed by the heat of the fire. One viewer commented that it looked like it was screaming.

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It is screaming “Repent.” Or perhaps, “Satan, go!”

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Speaking of Catholicism, it is in Nicaragua where “Liberation Theology” seemed to play a bit of a pivotal role.

The Sandinistas seemingly had a few Priests in their ranks,

Father Ernesto Cardenal and his brother Fernando:

Cardenal left the FSLN in 1994, protesting the authoritarian direction of the party under Daniel Ortega, calling it a “robbery of the people and dictatorship not a revolutionary movement” when he left the government.[5] He was a member of the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista (Sandinista Renovation Movement, or MRS) that participated in the 2006 Nicaraguan general election. Days before the election, Cardenal explained his decision: “I think more desirable an authentic capitalism, as Montealegre’s [Eduardo Montealegre, the presidential candidate for Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance] would be, than a false Revolution.”[6]

So, Father Ernesto left the government in 1994.

Also,

Anyway, this is for my own reading purposes, I use to read about this years ago.

It’s history, I am going to refresh my studies on this. I’m not meaning to make any political comment on this.

Nicaragua vs. say Cuba where the latter has seen and still sees, the Church cracked down on or oppressed altogether.

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In the initial post, I shared an image of Saint John Paul II praying before the consecrated and venerated image of the Crucified, which was heavily damaged in the terrorist attack on the Cathedral of Managua.

Today, a Nicaraguan historian shared an image on Twitter of a news article in the daily El Nuevo Diario concerning other less serious attacks against the Church in the days leading up to the Holy Father’s visit in February 1996.

An unknown suspect defaced one of the principal murals depicting the pontiff that had been created in Managua in advance of St. John Paul II’s arrival. The person or persons painted a white mustache on the image and left an obscene comment in English. The crime was committed just a few hours before the arrival of the pope and his entourage at Sandino International Airport; the mural was located across the street from the airport!

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