On July 31, 2020, an unknown man threw a Molotov cocktail inside the cathedral of Managua (Nicaragua) seriously damaging the crucifix venerated under the title of the “Lord of Miracles.” The local archbishop, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, denounced “a coldly planned and considered act.”
According to several testimonies reported by La Prensa on the very day of the attack, the suspect entered the cathedral saying “I am coming to visit the Blood of Christ,” pointing to the Sangre de Cristo Chapel that houses the sanctuary.
The suspect was hooded and had something in his hand, without the various witnesses being able to identify what it was. After taking the time to locate the scene, the stranger threw the bomb he was carrying and then fled.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Managua strongly condemned this odious gesture, describing a voluntary “terrorist act,” “desecration,” and “sacrilege”: “this is a terrorist act with the aim of intimidating the Church in her mission of evangelization.”
Since spring 2018, Nicaragua has fallen into a latent war against the regime of former Sandinista terrorist Daniel Ortega and his wife, both accused of corruption.
The Church—a powerful institution in a 90% Catholic country—stands up to power, trying to play a delicate role of mediator between the executive and its opponents. In this context, a question is on everyone’s lips: was the government in power responsible for the July 31 attack?
On the Sandinista side, Rosario Murillo, Daniel Ortega’s wife, whom the latter has appointed as vice-president of the country, rejects the thesis of the voluntary act with a wave of her hand. Provocatively, she declares that “the fire is quite simply due to the candles which the faithful have lit in order to venerate the Blood of Christ.” An assertion that does not convince anyone.
Alba Ramirez, eyewitness to the drama, reacted strongly: “This is a sign of great hatred towards the Church; we adore the Crucifix because its image evokes the Blood of Our Lord. Sooner or later whoever did this will pay and burn in hell.” Unless he repents and makes reparation for his sacrilege.