Vatican (Times Of Ocean)- Vatican officials on Saturday have protested to Nicaragua over the expulsion of their ambassador from Managua, claiming it was an unjustified and incomprehensible action.
Waldemar Sommertag, who has been ambassador since 2018, had to leave the country suddenly this week after the government of President Daniel Ortega withdrew its diplomatic approval, known in diplomatic language as an agrément.
The Central American country had been criticized for its slide away from democracy by Sommertag.
“(The Holy See) is convinced that such a grave, unjustified and unilateral measure does not reflect the sentiments of the Nicaraguan people, who are profoundly Christian,” the Vatican said in a statement.
The Ortega government has taken a number of actions against Sommertag in recent months.
Ortega stripped Sommertag of his title as dean of the diplomatic corps in November in response to criticisms made by the local Church leadership.
In many countries with a strong Catholic tradition, the dean’s position is held automatically by the Vatican envoy, known as a nuncio, regardless of how long he has resided there.
The 54-year-old Pole Summertag has openly supported the local Church in defending democracy.
Former Marxist guerrilla leader Ortega, who has been in office since 2007, was re-elected in November after jailing political rivals before elections widely condemned as not free.
The Nicaraguan Catholic bishops’ conference released a statement before the elections stating that the country lacked “the basic and indispensable conditions for free, fair, and transparent elections.”
Also, the archdiocese of Managua had condemned systematic violations of political and constitutional rights as well as threats to the Catholic Church (and) offenses against its priests and bishops.