The last diplomat from the Vatican leaves Nicaragua


The Vatican flag and the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. / Credit: Bohumil Petrik/ACI

ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 20, 2023 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

The Holy See reported on Saturday that the Vatican’s diplomatic headquarters in Nicaragua was forced to close.

“Yesterday, March 17, the chargé d’affaires of the apostolic nunciature in Nicaragua, Monsignor Marcel Diouf, left the country for Costa Rica. The closure of the diplomatic headquarters of the Holy See occurred as a result of a request from the Nicaraguan government on March 10, 2023,” Vatican News reported.

The Vatican news outlet indicated that “by virtue of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, custody of the apostolic nunciature and its assets was entrusted to the Italian Republic.”

“Before his departure, Diouf was greeted by diplomatic representatives accredited in Nicaragua from the European Union, Germany, France, and Italy,” it said.

Diouf was the last Vatican official in Nicaragua and assumed the role of business manager after the government of Daniel Ortega expelled the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, in March 2022.

On March 12, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that it was considering suspending diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

This occurred two days after an interview with Pope Francis was published in which he harshly criticized the Ortega regime — where the Catholic Church is persecuted — and compared it to “the communist dictatorship of 1917 or the Hitler dictatorship of 1935.”

He also mentioned the bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison for his opinions against the regime. “A very serious man, very capable. He wanted to give his testimony and did not accept exile,” the Holy Father said.

Likewise, in reference to Ortega, the pope pointed out that “with great respect, I have no choice but to think there’s an imbalance in the person who leads” Nicaragua.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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  1. Vatican diplomacy Nicaragua elicits interest in Vatican diplomacy elsewhere, China of major interest. A Pentin NCReg article, ‘Vatican Largely Silent as China Forces Catholics to Adapt to Socialist Society’.
    “Mosher said Secy of State Card Parolin conceded that the Vatican had ‘no objection to the requirement that everyone register with the authorities”(Steven Mosher president Population Research Institute PRI). Mosher’s source unknown, although Mosher has a reputation to protect. And in this there’s precedent with a previous Vatican diplomat praising China’s communism as parallel to Christian social justice ideals.
    For the Vatican Secretary of State to agree to registration is capitulation. It requires complete compliance with the CCP when and where Catholics can worship, and more significantly what the Church must teach, the supremacy of China Marxist doctrine. In China that includes State enforced abortion, contraception, organ harvesting from dissidents.
    Certainly Cardinal Parolin, long involved in China diplomacy is aware, as well as Cardinal Zen who justly condemns the Parolin accords with the CCP. Vatican China policy reflects a world turn to rationalist egalitarianism, and in Vatican sacramentalization of diversity.

  2. Anomaly exists in Vatican policy Nicaragua compared to China. Pope Francis defended the Church in Nicaragua, the bishops, and strongly condemned the brutal, harsh treatment by Marxist dictator Ortega of those bishops and Catholic population alike. It’s difficult to reconcile one policy to the other. Whereas Card Parolin spoke favorably of acculturation of Catholic Chinese to XI’s Sinicization, a complete dominance of China Marxist doctrine, there seemed little opportunity for reconciliation with Ortega.
    Daniel Ortega, long a revolutionary, is considered a Leninist Marxist. The Somoza regime he opposed was quite brutal according to Jesuit missionaries who lectured in the US. Ortega seems in the mold of a Fidel Castro. Nevertheless there were periods of reconciliation with the Church, then a severe falling out.
    What Nicaragua lacks is China’s enormous industrial, manufacturing, technological success. And its vast wealth [some allege financial payoff for Vatican support], worldwide holdings and investment. Modern airports, transportation. If one leaned toward Marxist socialism the China model would be the preference, unless you held reservations against its moral excesses, forced population control, organ harvesting from the living, prisoners, Uygurs.

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