Nicaragua: ACN Condemns Terrorist Attack on Cathedral

Konigstein/Montreal —ACN president expresses solidarity with Catholics in the country following the arson attack on a church.

The international Catholic Pontifical Charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN International) has condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist-style arson attack against the Catholic cathedral in Managua, the Nicaraguan capital.

According to a statement by the Archdiocese of Managua on July 31: A man entered the Chapel of the Precious Blood, in the Managua cathedral and threw a firebomb –partially destroying a precious 17th-century wooden image of the Blood of Christ (an image that took on even greater significance when Pope John Paul II prayed before it on a visit to the country in 1996.)

“We wish to express our closeness to the Catholics of the country at this difficult time and assure them of the support of our prayers,” said the executive president of ACN, Mr. Thomas Heine-Geldern, on Saturday (August 1). “This is the most recent incident in a string of anti-Christian attacks, not only against buildings, but against the Catholic faith as well. We hope that the person, or persons, responsible for this attack will quickly be brought to justice.”

An Accident or an Act of Terror?

The statement issued on July 31 by the archdiocese expressly identified the attack as an act of terrorism, contradicting an earlier remark by the wife of President Ortega, who is also Vice-president, claiming that it had been an accident caused by burning candles. This was categorically denied by the archdiocese, which stated that precisely for fire safety reasons and on account of the great historical and religious significance of the crucifix, no candles are permitted close to the image.

Instead, witnesses have testified to the fact that this act consisted of a carefully planned and executed attack, and the attacker was clearly aware of his intent with the firebomb in hand.

A String of Attacks against the Catholic Faithful

“These attacks against the Faith of the Catholic people need to be carefully analyzed in order to expose the ideological and physical perpetrators of this macabre and sacrilegious act,” the statement by the archdiocese continued.

The arson attack is only the latest in a string of attacks against Catholic churches in Nicaragua. Over the last two weeks alone, there have been as many as three similar attacks on Catholic churches, with a deliberate intent to destroy and steal sacred objects. The archdiocese described it as nothing less than an expression of hatred towards the Catholic Church and her mission of evangelization.

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