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Montevideo, November 29th 2022 - 01:30 UTC

 

 

Pope admits “worry and pain” for Nicaragua, but no word for a bishop's arrest and persecution of priests and nuns

Monday, August 22nd 2022 - 09:22 UTC
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“I would like to express my conviction” that “through an open and sincere dialogue, the foundations for a respectful and peaceful coexistence can be found,” the Pope said. “I would like to express my conviction” that “through an open and sincere dialogue, the foundations for a respectful and peaceful coexistence can be found,” the Pope said.

The ongoing conflict between the Nicaraguan government and Church was mentioned on Sunday by Pope Francis but certainly not with the commitment expected by Catholics both in the Central American country and his faithful in the region. The Catholic church in Nicaragua has been under increasing pressure from the government of ruling couple, president Daniel Ortega and vice-president Rosario Murillo, the latest of which has been the arrest of a much respected loved bishop and several priests.

Since opposition protests in 2018 leading to questionable elections, (and reelection of Ortega) the Church openly supported the movement and condemned the imprisonment of several opposition candidates. The Ortega regime has arrested priests, expelled nuns working in hospitals and children's care, while others fled the country fearing for their lives.

Francis said during his Sunday noon remarks that he is following the situation in Nicaragua “with worry and pain.” He did not mention any of the detained priests by name. “I would like to express my conviction and my wish that, through an open and sincere dialogue, the foundations for a respectful and peaceful coexistence can be found,” he said.

The Pope's comments come after Nicaraguan authorities detained Matagalpa bishop and government critic Rolando Alvarez. He is under arrest at the home of his parents in the capital Managua for allegedly “destabilizing and provocative” activities.

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights said that at least five other priests who had been staying with Alvarez have been detained at El Chipote prison. The government has also shut down seven of the eight Matagalpa province radio stations run by the Catholic church.

Last week twenty former Latin American presidents sent an open letter to Pope Francis demanding a strong posture in defense of the Nicaraguan people and religious freedom, while expressing deep concern regarding the ”primitive dictatorship of Ortega and Murillo (the couple ruling Nicaragua)“ for having extended to the religious community repression against political dissent.

Ortega and Murillo have accused the Catholic Church of agitating against his government on behalf of ”of the terrorists, at the service of the Yankees.“ The United Nations estimates that 120,000 people have fled the country since 2018 because of the repressive measures..

Nicaragua under Ortega/Murillo, together with Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, and a divided Argentina are considered privileged members of the Latin America club supporting Russia's Putin, and which have and apply free interpretations of liberal democracy. Pope Francis, an increasingly controversial figure for traditional Catholics is also described as the ”Peronist Pope” given his Argentine background and inclinations towards condemning orthodox profit motivated economics.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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