Silvio José Báez

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Silvio José Báez Ortega, O.C.D.
Silvio Báez.jpg
Báez in 2018
Personal details
Born (1958-04-28) 28 April 1958 (age 61)
Masaya, Nicaragua
DenominationRoman Catholic
Styles of
Silvio José Báez Ortega, O.C.D.
Coat of arms of Silvio Jose Baez Ortega.svg
Reference styleHis Excellency
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Silvio José Báez Ortega, O.C.D. (born 28 April 1958) is a Nicaraguan prelate of the Catholic Church who has been an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

Early life[edit]

Báez was born on 28 April 1958 in Masaya, Nicaragua.[1] He attended Salesian High School in Masaya,[1] then the Central American University (UCA) in Managua, where he studied engineering, before leaving university in 1979 to enroll at the seminary of the Discalced Carmelites in Costa Rica.[2] He completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the Theological Institute of Central America in San Jose, Costa Rica.[3]

Ordination and academic career[edit]

Báez was ordained on 15 January 1984 in San Ramón, Alajuela, Costa Rica.[3] He then earned a degree in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.[2] He next served in Guatemala as Rector of the Seminary of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers. Returning to Rome he completed his doctoral studies in Sacred Scripture and Exegesis at the Pontifical Gregorian University.[2] He also took specialized courses at the École Biblique in Jerusalem.[3]

Over the next decade he held a variety of academic positions: at the University "Francisco Marroquín" of Guatemala (1989–1994), at the University "Rafael Landívar" in Guatemala (1989–1991), and at the Major Seminary La Asunción in Guatemala (1991–1992), as Professor of Biblical Spirituality at the Pontifical University Urbaniana in Rome (2002).[3] He joined the faculty of the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum in 1994, becoming vice-president of the faculty and editor of the theology journal Teresianum.[2]

Auxiliary bishop of Managua[edit]

On 9 April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI named Báez titular bishop of Zica and auxiliary bishop of Managua.[3] He has served as the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Managua and is the presiding bishop of the commission on Consecrated life and the presiding bishop of the Seminary of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua.[4]

Báez and other Catholic leaders in Nicaragua have served as intermediaries between protestors and the administration of President Daniel Ortega since a wave of anti-government protests began in April 2018.[5] He along with Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Managua, Archbishop Waldemar Sommertag, the Apostolic Nuncio, and other clergy, was injured by pro-government paramilitary forces on 9 July 2018 while attempting to protect St. Sebastian Basilica in Diriamba and free anti-government protesters who had taken refuge inside.[6][7] The clerical delegation had traveled to Diriamba following the killing of 17 people in the area on 7 and 8 July.[6] Báez was vocal in his criticism of violent repression by the Ortega government.[7] In October 2018, Ortega and his supporters accused Báez of plotting a coup.[8] Government employees reported being forced to sign a letter reiterating the allegations and asking Pope Francis to recall Báez.[9] an investigation by the Spanish newspaper El Español found that the audiotape produced as evidence against Báez had been doctored.[10]

On 4 April, Báez met privately with Pope Francis.[11] On 10 April, Báez announced that Pope Francis had asked him to come to Rome indefinitely.[12] Báez also confirmed that U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Laura Farnsworth Dogu told him in 2018 that he was the target of an assassination plot.[7]


  1. ^ a b Rivas, Elmer (8 August 2018). "Bishop Silvio Baez: "The Political Dimension of Faith is Indispensable"". Confidencial (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d López, Ismael (12 July 2018). ""Me está costando sangre": ¿quién es monseñor Silvio Báez, el obispo herido por simpatizantes del presidente Ortega en Nicaragua?". BBC. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Rinunce e Nomine, 09.04.2009" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  4. ^ Obispo Auxiliar, Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  5. ^ Chamorro Mendieta, Emiliano (19 February 2019). "Obispo Silvio Báez: "No puede haber diálogo nacional si hay jóvenes, estudiantes, campesinos y periodistas en la cárcel"". La Prensa (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b Agren, David (10 July 2019). "Bishops, journalists attacked at church in Nicaragua". Catholic News. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Nicaraguan bishop, a vocal Ortega critic, says he was target of..." Reuters. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  8. ^ San Martín, Inés (31 October 2018). "Ortega targets Nicaraguan bishop for allegedly backing a coup". Crux. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  9. ^ Vargas C., Lucía; López Hernández, Eddy (29 October 2018). "Obligan a empleados públicos de León y Granada a firmar contra Silvio Báez". La Prensa (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  10. ^ Agateyte, Olaia (24 October 2018). "El falso audio del régimen de Ortega que acusa de golpista y terrorista a un obispo de Nicaragua". El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Audiences, 04.04.2019" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Pope transfers Nicaraguan bishop threatened for criticizing president". France 24. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Succeeded by