.- The Nicaraguan government has said President Daniel Ortega has formally invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit the Central American country if he feels it opportune.
In a press release, the government announced that Chancellor Samuel Santos, who is currently visiting Italy, gave the invitation to the Vaticanâs Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.
Pope John Paul II visited Nicaraguan 1983, when Ortega was also in power. During that visit, Sandinista sympathizers interrupted the papal Mass with anti-American chants.
At that time, Ortega maintained tense relations with the Catholic Church, but now he has attempted to smooth relations over with several bishops.