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Pope lifts suspension of priest who served as Sandinista foreign minister

August 05, 2014

Pope Francis has agreed to lift the suspension of Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, the Maryknoll priest who, in defiance of canon law, held political office, serving as Nicaragua’s foreign minister from 1979 to 1990.

The Los Angeles-born priest’s faculties were suspended in 1985 after he refused to give up his position in the leftist Sandinista regime. Now 81, the priest, who no longer holds political office, wrote a letter to Pope Francis expressing the desire to celebrate the Eucharist again before he dies.

“The Holy Father has given his benevolent assent that Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann be absolved from the canonical censure inflicted upon him, and entrusts him to the superior general of the institute (Maryknoll) for the purpose of accompanying him in the process of reintegration into the ministerial priesthood,” the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers said in a statement, as quoted by Catholic News Service.


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  • Posted by: garedawg - Aug. 07, 2014 12:28 PM ET USA

    Slam on the Sandinistas all you want, but Nicaragua has the most restrictive abortion laws in the region.

  • Posted by: Baseballbuddy - Aug. 06, 2014 9:30 AM ET USA

    We can't read minds but in place of that we know that there is a process here that Brockmann began by writing to the Pope. Absolution of the censure can only occur after repentence (like any absolution) that was likely a key part of the letter. This opens the door for re-entry to Maryknoll. Shall any of us begrudge someone the joy that comes with repentence and salvation? Can you imagine the joy of the Blessed Trinity?

  • Posted by: shrink - Aug. 05, 2014 2:04 PM ET USA

    This is very very scandalous if this priest has not formally and publicly renounced his communist past. I was complicit in murder and revolution. It mattes little that d’Escoto is no longer in politics; is he still a COMMUNIST? JP2 suspended this creep because he was "in politics" but also, because d’Escoto was a communist. Just after d’Escoto was suspended the Soviets awarded him the Lenin Peace Prize. See here:

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Aug. 05, 2014 12:03 PM ET USA

    I understand this as a charitable act on the part of the Holy Father. But has the priest had any change of heart? Penalties are medicinal in nature to demonstrate the seriousness of departures from Church doctrine or discipline. Was Sadinista ideology substituted for the social teachings of the Church? If so has the priest rejected that political ideology? Would love to know more.

  • Posted by: Contrary1995 - Aug. 05, 2014 10:32 AM ET USA

    The censure was "inflicted" upon him?