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Pope Endorses Silvio Baez as Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, Four Years After His Forced Exile

The Supreme Pontiff receives Bishop Baez at the Vatican, after the banishment of Bishops Rolando Alvarez and Isidoro Mora, and 17 other clergy

Archive image. Pope Francis (left) receives Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes (center) and Bishop Silvio Baez, in 2019. Photo: Taken from Infobae

23 de enero 2024

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Pope Francis ratified Monsignor Silvio José Báez as Auxiliary Bishop of Managua. The Bishop has been exiled from Nicaragua since mid-2019 - at the request of the Supreme Pontiff - due to death threats from government fanatics and others close to the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. 

The news of his confirmation in this position was given by Baez himself on his social media accounts, after meeting with the Pope at the Vatican this Saturday, January 20, 2024.


"Pope Francis invited me to visit him and welcomed me today (Saturday) at the Vatican. I am grateful for his brotherly affection and his wise words," the Auxiliary Bishop wrote.

Baez underscored that the Pope "showed his interest and love for Nicaragua” and said that "we have decided to meet several more times during this year (2024)."

Silvio Baez confirmed the banishment of clergy

Pope Francis received Silvio Baez in a special audience, after the arrival of Nicaraguan bishops Rolando Alvarez, of Matagalpa and Esteli, and Isidoro Mora, of Siuna, and 17 other religious of the country, who were released from prison and exiled to Rome on January 14.

The meeting was confirmed in the Pope's schedule, but no further information was given, as is customary.

Báez, exiled in Miami, was one of the first leaders of the Nicaraguan Catholic Church to break the news of the release, banishment and arrival in Rome of the 19 religious men.

Subsequently, the Nicaraguan government informed that it had agreed with the Holy See to send to the Vatican the two Nicaraguan bishops, 15 priests -among them several monsignors- and two seminarians who had been deprived of their freedom.

Some 34 priests banished from Nicaragua

According to data verified by CONFIDENCIAL, a total of 34 priests have been banished by the Ortega-Murillo regime. On February 9, 2023, five priests (along with a deacon and two seminarians) were banished and sent to the United States, among a total of 222 political prisoners, in the first mass banishment ordered by the Ortega regime.

Then, on October 18, 2023, another twelve arbitrarily imprisoned priests were banished and sent to the Vatican, although Bishop Alvarez, who was reluctant to leave the country, was not among them. The last group left Nicaragua on Saturday, January 13, 2024.

Relations between the dictatorship and the Catholic Church are experiencing moments of great tension, characterized by the expulsion and imprisonment of priests, the prohibition of religious activities and the suspension of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

* With information from EFE.   

This article was published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.

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Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.

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