Government of Nicaragua asks the Vatican to Close its Embassy and Suspends Diplomatic Relations

Vatican News reports that the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry has declared that diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and the Holy See have been suspended. The Nicaraguan government has asked the Holy See to close their respective diplomatic missions. This is not a break in relations, as has been reported by media outlets. In 2018, the Church called for justice for more than 360 people who died during an protests.

On 12 March 2022, the Apostolic Nuncio in Managua, Archbishop Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag, had been expelled from the country. The Holy See at the time reacted to the Nicaraguan government’s decision with great surprise and regret. “Such a measure seems incomprehensible,” stressed a communiqué from the Holy See, “because in the course of his mission Archbishop Sommertag worked with profound dedication for the good of the Church and the Nicaraguan people, especially the most vulnerable, always seeking to foster good relations between the Apostolic See and the authorities of Nicaragua.”

The following WION video shows images of the arrest of Bishop Alvarez:

In a recent interview with Infobae, Pope Francis, responding to a question about Nicaragua, compared the situation and Catholic Bishop Alvarez's 26 year imprisonment to the "'17 Communist dictatorship or that of Hitler in '35".

The social and political situation in Nicaragua has worsened in recent years with the arrests, expulsions, and the violent repression of demonstrations. After being under house arrest since last August, Bishop Rolando Álvarez, the Bishop of Matagalpa, was arbitrarily sentenced to 26 years in prison. He has subsequently been jailed, and there has been no subsequent news about him.

Edited from Vatican News