Vatican restores priestly faculties to Ernesto Cardenal

Catholic News Agency | 2/18/2019 | Staff
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Managua, Nicaragua, Feb 18, 2019 / 05:28 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis has restored priestly faculties to 94-year-old Fr. Ernesto Cardenal, who had been suspended a divinas in 1984 for holding a cabinet position in Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, in violation of canon law.

“The Holy Father has graciously granted the absolution of all canonical censures imposed on Rev. Father Ernesto Cardenal, accepting the request he had recently made to him through the Pontifical Representative in Nicaragua, to be readmitted to the exercise of the priestly ministry,” said a Feb. 18 statement from the Apostolic Nunciature of Nicaragua.

Statement - Archbishop - Waldemar - Stanislaw - Sommertag

The statement, signed by Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, the apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua, said that “Cardenal has been under suspension of the exercise of the priestly ministry for 35 years due to his political party involvement. The religious accepted his canonical penalty imposed on him and has always observed it without carrying out any pastoral activity. In addition, he had abandoned all political commitment for many years.”

Cardenal, a poet and Marxist liberation theology activist, actively collaborated with the Sandinista National Liberation Front revolution that ended the dictatorship of then-president Anastasio Somoza. He was appointed Minister of Culture the same day the Sandinistas were victorious on July 19, 1979, an office that he held until 1987.

Divinas - Pope - Saint - John - Paul

He was suspended a divinas by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1984 for violating canon law by assuming a public office that involves the exercise of civil power.

Several other priests – including Ernesto’s brother Fernando, Miguel D’Escoto and Edgard Parrales – were also suspended.

John - Paul - II - Cardenal - Nicaragua

John Paul II publicly reprimanded Cardenal when he visited Nicaragua in 1983. In a now-famous photo, the Polish pope can be seen with a serious expression, standing before...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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