Pope Francis lifts suspension on Nicaraguan priest and poet

Pope Francis lifts suspension on Nicaraguan priest and poet

Pope Francis has lifted the suspension imposed in 1983 on Nicaraguan priest and poet Ernesto Cardenal, the Vatican's ambassador to Nicaragua said.

A statement from nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag said Francis removed the canonical censures imposed on Cardenal.

It said the decision came after the 94-year-old recently made the request through the nuncio.

Pope John Paul II suspended Cardenal from his priestly duties because he had become culture minister in the leftist Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega after the rebels toppled dictator Anastasio Somoza.

John Paul II said that priests could not assume political posts.

The statement noted that Cardenal had respected the suspension for 35 years and long ago abandoned politics.

Cardenal's personal assistant Luz Marina Acosta said Sommertag celebrated Mass with the ailing Cardenal on Sunday.

PA

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