President Enrique Bolaños of Nicaragua is denying reports that his government is attempting “to control” the Catholic Church in the country, saying the government is in full conformity with the accords signed by the Vatican and Nicaragua in 1861.
Bolaños denies having sent a list of names to the Vatican of bishops that could replace Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo as Archbishop of Managua.
“I have never thought of doing such a thing, and whoever says I have is lying and will be condemned to eternal punishment for lying,” the president said, visibly upset.
Balaños said the proposal to revisit the concordat with the Vatican is not an attempt by the government to influence the appointment of bishops, but rather to determine whether or not revisions to out-dated sections of the accords need to be made.
“When I named Armando Luna as ambassador to the Vatican, we knew there was a Concordat from 1861, which is still in force, legally it is still in force, so that if the Vatican wanted it could say: We want you to do X, because it says we are obliged to do it, or Nicaragua could say no. So I told Luna to speak with the Vatican to see what possibilities there are to amend it and bring the Concordat up to date, or if we should mutually throw it out,” said President Balaños.
He said that since the Concordat is an agreement between the two parties, Nicaragua cannot unilaterally decide to reject or modify it, therefore he told Luna to investigate the matter.