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Nicaraguan prelates call for nonviolent response to Ortega regime’s persecution

July 27, 2018

At a Mass of reparation in a desecrated parish, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes urged Nicaragua’s Catholics not to respond to government repression with violence.

The Managua archbishop made his remarks at St. James Church in Jintotepe on July 25, the feast of St. James. The parish was attacked and looted by paramilitary forces two weeks earlier.

The cardinal said that “we can overcome hatred with the love that Christ gives to each one of us,” according to a summary of his homily posted on the archdiocese’s Facebook page, which described the Mass as emotional and tearful.

In other developments:

  • Bishop Carlos Enrique Herrera continued to console victims of violence in his see of Jinotega, where a church was desecrated on July 20.
  • Bishop Herrera said that Nicaragua’s bishops have written President Daniel Ortega to ask him if he truly wants the bishops to continue to serve as mediators between the Sandinista regime and the opposition. Ortega invited the bishops to serve as mediators in April, but recently vilified them as “coup plotters.”
  • Bishop Juan Abelardo Mata of Esteli called for prayer and nonviolent demonstrations in response to government repression.
  • Msgr. Carlos Avilés—a leading Managua chancery official whom Vatican News inaccurately identified as a bishop—said that “there is open persecution of the Church” and that several priests have received death threats. He called for “solidarity on the part of the international community in putting pressure on the Nicaraguan government to do what is right for the democratization of the country.”
  • Shots were fired at churches in Jinotepe and Managua on July 25.

 


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