Nicaraguan Cardinal “I’ve Shed Many Tears” for the Deceased Priests

He spoke from his Covid-19 quarantine

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes. Foto: EFE

By 100% Noticias / EFE

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaraguan Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, currently in quarantine as he recovers from COVID-19, said this Friday that he has “cried a lot” for the priests who have fallen ill or died from the pandemic in this Central American country.

“Today I also want to hold in our minds the priests who have died and those who are sick. I’ve shed many tears for them during these days,” said Brenes, 72. The Cardinal issued these comments in a video recorded from his room and released by the Archdiocese of Managua. In the video, he himself looked gaunt.

The Cardinal was admitted to the Alejandro Dávila Bolaños Military Hospital in Managua on August 26. At that time, the Archdiocese of Managua described the reason as a “mild” medical condition; it was later revealed that Cardinal Brenes had COVID-19. He is now home recuperating after almost 16 days in the hospital.
According to figures from the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, four priests died from COVID-19 in August alone. A total of at least 14 priests have died from the disease since March 2020, when the first cases of COVID were reported in Nicaragua.

Brenes, who also presides over Nicaragua’s Episcopal Conference, one of the most influential institutions in the country, thanked God and the Virgin Mary for his recovery. He also thanked Pope Francis “for his message and close attention,” in addition to the religious and lay supporters, and the health workers at the Military Hospital.

Before becoming infected with COVID-19, Cardinal Brenes practiced and ordered strict protective measures against the pandemic in the Catholic temples. In the video, he reiterated the importance of “always wearing our masks, washing our hands, using hand sanitizer, and also distancing, so we can move forward and beat this pandemic.”

To date, the Nicaraguan Health Ministry maintains that there’ve been 12,153 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nicaragua, with 201 deaths from the disease.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Citizens’ Observatory – an independent network of physicians – has reported 25,156 suspected cases of COVID-19, with 4,531 deaths probably due to the disease. The Ortega-Murillo government has discouraged doctors from attributing deaths to COVID, so that many of the death certificates simply list the cause of death as “pneumonia” and other symptoms of the pandemic.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.