The Vatican says that Pope Francis has brought back a priest from Nicaragua who was kicked out of the church 30 years ago because he worked for the left-wing Sandinista government.
Pope John Paul II told Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann that he couldn’t say mass again because he went against a church rule that said priests couldn’t work in government.
Fr. D’Escoto was the foreign minister of Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990.
He was glad to hear the news and said that his punishment was wrong.
Fr. D’Escoto, who is 81 years old, wrote to Pope Francis and asked if he could say mass before he died.
On Monday, the Vatican said that the Pope had agreed to the request and asked Fr. D’Escoto’s superior in the missionary Maryknoll order to help him get back into the priestly ministry.
Fr. D’Escoto said, “I’m really happy to be able to celebrate mass again.”
He also said that, even though he thought his suspension was unfair, he had accepted it because, from the people who punished him’s point of view, it was done “fairly and legally.”
In 1984, Fr. D’Escoto and three other priests were removed from their jobs by Pope John Paul II, who said that their political work was incompatible with their priestly duties.
People thought that their suspension was part of a larger effort by the Vatican to stop liberation theology, which is a movement to get the Church involved in social activism.
Fr. D’Escoto was named foreign minister in 1979, after the Sandinistas won their revolution against the Somoza family, who had been in power for 40 years.