Nicaraguan Cardinal expresses openness to proposal to head reconciliation commission

.- Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, Archbishop Emeritus of Managua, said this week that he was open to accepting a proposal made by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to head up a Peace and Reconciliation Commission, and said he would submit his decision to the Holy See for its approval.

“I have used the method of see, judge and act, and I would accept (the appointment) as long as the Holy See gives the green light,” the Cardinal said.

He noted that this commission, which is not part of the government and would not use state funds, would bring the concerns of the victims of war to authorities and would do “everything in its power to try to improve the lives” of these people, and he would only take on the role of facilitator.

Cardinal Obando underscored that by taking on the role he would not become “a member of the Sandinista government,” but rather that he would be working for those who suffered from the war.

Asked about the need for a Peace and Reconciliation Commission when there is no longer a war, he responded, “Peace is not only the absence of war.”  “We can fall into the error (of thinking) that there is only peace when the sounds of artillery fire and guns cease, but if there is no food, if there is no medicine, if there are no schools, if there is no healthcare, that is a dangerous point of tension,” the Cardinal added.

Cardinal Obando said he had already informed the Holy See of his openness to accepting the proposal but that “the Pope would the only one who can really grant permission.”