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Statement on Visit to Nicaragua

 

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Statement by The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio
Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace
On His Recent Visit to Nicaragua

"I see the commitment of your bishops as a sign of God's love…"

 

August 17, 2018


On behalf of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I hereby express our profound and steadfast solidarity with our brothers in the Nicaraguan episcopate, who, together with their priests and ministers, are feeding Christ's flock in Nicaragua during this dangerous time of civil strife. We mourn the deaths of hundreds of Nicaraguans, many in the prime of their youth, and are horrified at reports of desecrations of churches throughout the country. We earnestly hope, in the words of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See's Secretary of State, that the "[National] Dialogue may begin anew, and may yield fruit." Disagreement, even vociferous disagreement, is legitimate, but those responsible for the common good must, at a minimum, ensure the safety of peaceful protestors.

At the invitation of the Nicaraguan bishops, I visited the country on August 3-6, and was greatly moved by the unshakeable faith of the people of Nicaragua. They, especially now, rely on the loving Providence of almighty God to illumine the hearts and minds of the country's government and civil society leaders, that together they may work for a just peace.

I had the distinct honor of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday, August 5th, at the Cathedral of Managua, alongside His Eminence Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of that city, who invited me to address his flock with a homily expressing the purpose of my visit. I said in part:

I see the commitment of your bishops as a sign of God's love. They are seeking to serve this church and their country. In fact, the purpose of my visit is to share in their work for peace…We find ourselves celebrating the Eucharist to highlight the fact that we share the same faith. Our communion is greater than any distance…Justly did the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops send me to support the work of the bishops of Nicaragua. My presence illustrates that, together, we walk in the service of truth, of the poor, and of peace.

It is precisely the Nicaraguan people's intense faith that, despite the ongoing difficulties, fills me with great optimism. Such a faith moves hearts to work for reconciliation in the fruitful spirit of Christian charity. I exhort the Church in the United States to join her Nicaraguan brothers and sisters in prayer for peace and justice in Nicaragua.




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