Fernando Cardenal, Nicaraguan priest sanctioned by Vatican, dies at age 82

February 20, 2016

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Fernando Cardenal, a Jesuit priest who was among six Nicaraguan clergy sanctioned by the Vatican in 1984 for their leftist politics, died on Saturday at age 82, sources at his religious order said.

A liberation theologist, Cardenal was minister of education and led a literacy campaign under Nicaragua‘s leftist Sandinista government in the 1980s.

His brother Ernesto Cardenal, a Trappist priest and poet, also served in the revolutionary Sandinista government as minister of culture.

In 1984, Fernando Cardenal was expelled from the Jesuit order for defying Vatican orders to resign from the government.

In all, six Nicaraguan members of religious orders were sanctioned by the Vatican, including Ernesto Cardenal, who was publicly scolded by Pope John Paul II as he knelt before him on the tarmac at Managua’s airport.

Pope Francis lifted the sanction in August 2014.

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