Cardinal Awaits Papal OK for Peace Council Post

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, FEB. 9, 2007 ( The retired archbishop of Managua announced that he will accept President Daniel Ortega’s invitation to head the National Council of Reconciliation and Peace, if Benedict XVI agrees.

Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo said this week that the final decision of whether he will serve on the peace council is in the hands of the Pope.

According to the cardinal, the primary objective of the post is to continue “the vital work of bringing all Nicaraguans together” to foster “coexistence, harmony, respect and understanding.”

According to Cardinal Obando, the position Ortega is offering him is not a political one. Therefore, he added, the express disposition of canon law, which bans priests and bishops from holding public office, does not apply.

He rejected comparisons with the priests who took part in the Sandinista government of the 1980s, and who, in some cases, were suspended.

“It is not a question of being a member of the Sandinista government,” the cardinal said. He recalled that he was also a member of the Verification and Reconciliation Commission during the government of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro.