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Pope Francis has been active in social, political, and economic issues for the last few years. Recently, he visited Canada and apologized to the indigenous people of the North American country for what he called their “cultural destruction and forced assimilation”; at the same time, his criticisms to what he calls “capitalist globalization,” something he considers a “system of death,” have also been loud.
However, after weeks of abuses in Nicaragua against members of the Church he represents by the socialist Ortega regime, his silence has been deafening.
During the last few weeks, the Ortega regime has been in constant persecution against different priests after Monsignor Rolando Alvarez of the diocese of Matagalpa was arrested.
The persecution against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua started to escalate in 2018 when bishops, priests, and followers of the Church were attacked for their active role in that year’s protests; after thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest the terrible economic conditions in the Central American nation and the lack of freedoms.
Since then, Ortega’s dictatorial regime and his wife Rosario Murillo have formally declared war on the Catholic Church authorities. Just in the first days of August, they ordered the closure of seven radio stations of the religious community. After Rolando Álvarez, they arrested two more fellow priests, making a total of three priests detained in the last few weeks.
Members and supporters of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua have raised their voices against Pope Francis for what they consider a shameful silence; for a while, the head of the Vatican constantly criticizes specific economic policies and rulers depending on their ideological affinity, but he is silent about the outrage of members of his Church. The Ortega regime in Nicaragua is trampling the latter.
Nicaragua has been living under a cruel dictatorship for more than a decade. In the last “elections,” the Ortega regime kidnapped and imprisoned the seven opposition candidates who dared to challenge his electoral power.
The Pope’s silence should not be overlooked by the international community, much less by the supporters of the Catholic Church, especially considering that Francis recently spoke about Cuba —another nation oppressed by a socialist regime— only to indicate that he had a “human relationship” with the dictator Raul Castro.
Pope Francis’ ideological affinities are sufficiently documented, and he has every right to them. What is not right is to use the power of the Catholic Church to try to push his Marxist agenda in the world, whitewashing the face of murderous regimes.
If Jorge Mario Bergoglio wants to do politics, he has every right. Still, first, he should take off his cassock and start speaking on his behalf, so he could stop embarrassing the Catholic Church and allow a new Pontiff with more respect for the Institution he now represents to take over.
Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American