The Nicaraguan bishops’ conference has called an arson attack on the Managua cathedral “an act of terrorism,” but vowed not to be intimidated as a government campaign of intolerance targeting the Catholic Church turns increasingly cruel and involves acts of sacrilege.
A still-unidentified assailant entered the cathedral’s Blood of Christ chapel on 31st July and threw an explosive device, according to Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes of Managua. Flames engulfed the chapel, severely charring a 382-year old image of the crucified Christ.
“We condemn and reject such a violent and extremist act, typical of an act of terrorism, premeditated and planned to seriously offend our faith in Christ the redeemer and our Nicaraguan history and identity,” the bishops said.
“We consider the profaning of our churches to be a manifestation of the violence and the great human, spiritual and cultural wound which afflicts those who still do not tolerate the message of peace and redemption that the Church proclaims,” they said.
At the Vatican on 2nd August, Pope Francis prayed for Nicaragua and told people during his Angelus address: “I am thinking of the people of Nicaragua who are suffering because of the attack in the cathedral of Managua, where an image of Christ that is highly venerated, that has accompanied and sustained the life of the faithful people for centuries, was greatly damaged, almost destroyed.”
Picture: A crucifix is seen in the Blood of Christ Chapel at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua, Nicaragua, on 31st July 2020, after was it destroyed in an arson attack. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters).