Church in Nicaragua ready to face government persecution

Daniel Ortega (CNS/Cesar Perez, Nicaraguan Presidency handout via Reuters)

Nicaragua’s lone cardinal says the Church hierarchy is ready to face the persecution the government might carry out against them, and that they will continue speaking up in favour of democracy. Source: Crux.

Some 25 opposition leaders, including several presidential hopefuls for the November 7 national elections, have been imprisoned in the past month by President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, forcing several countries, including the United States, and international organisations such as the United Nations, to voice concern over the state of the country’s democracy.

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, said on Saturday that the priests and all of the Church is ready to face the “reprisals” from the government.

The reprisals “will be welcomed, and we’ll always deal with as we did in the 1980s [during Ortega’s first term], when there were very difficult situations,” he said. “The Church is not led by men. We’re but instruments, the Church is animated and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. We continue to fulfill the mission that the Lord has entrusted us with.”

The prelate also said that, despite the allegations made by the government, the Church has no intention of becoming a political institution in Nicaragua. Mr Ortega and Ms Murillo have repeatedly accused the local hierarchy of being behind a series of massive protests that began in April 2018.

Hundreds were killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, and thousands were imprisoned and have remained incarcerated, still awaiting trial. Tens of thousands fled the country, including Cardinal Brenes’ auxiliary, Bishop Silvio Jose Baez.


Nicaraguan cardinal says Church will carry on despite government attacks (By Ines San Martin, Crux)

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