Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has expelled the Religious Sisters of the Cross, thus continuing the attacks against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua.
“Today, victims of the harassment and threats of the dictatorship, the Religious Sisters of the Cross (founded in Mexico) who had been in Matagalpa for years doing spiritual work left the country,” Nicaragua Informa reported September 18 on Facebook.
The nuns of this congregation describe themselves on their website as “eucharistic contemplative women.”
The nuns served in the Diocese of Matagalpa — whose bishop, Rolando Álvarez, is under house arrest in Managua — and dedicated themselves to praying the rosary in the cathedral and promoting adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Mexico-based congregation reported yesterday on Facebook that the last nuns had arrived from Nicaragua.
A source close to the congregation, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons, said that “their departure was due to the pressure exerted by government workers to know where each contribution the sisters received came from, even the smallest small donations.”
The source said the demand was absurd, because the nuns, like the parishes, subsisted “from the offerings that our faithful give.”
In addition, “the residence permit of the foreign sisters was not renewed and they had to leave the country” before the rest of the sisters.
The source explained that “the religious community, which leads a semi-contemplative life, couldn’t sustain itself with just three sisters, since their charism is to maintain constant adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. For this reason, their superiors saw that it was best to close the house they had here in Matagalpa.”
The source said that “the only three sisters that remained are the three in the photo that was uploaded a short time ago.”
“There were always between six or more nuns. They had begun leaving months before, especially those whose residence permits were not renewed,” the source added.
This is the second religious congregation expelled by Ortega. In July, the Missionaries of Charity were forced to leave Nicaragua.
In March of this year, the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, was expelled.
The former auxiliary bishop of Managua, Silvio Baez, has been living in exile in the United States after it became known that Ortega’s government had very probably ordered his assassination.
In recent months, several priests have been arrested and others continue to be harassed by the regime, which hasn’t hesitated to ban religious processions.