Pope Francis addresses Nicaragua crackdown on Catholic Church – JURIST


Pope Francis on Monday showed concern when discussing the crackdown of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua. Official information outlet Vatican News quoted that as of Monday, Nicaraguan authorities have arrested a minimum of 14 clergymen, one bishop and two seminarians over the previous week.

The Vatican Information additionally reported the 26-year sentence of Bishop Rolando José Álvarez Lagos on expenses of conspiracy, spreading faux information, obstructing justice and insulting authorities. Bishop Álvarez was arrested for criticising the closure of 5 Catholic radio stations by the Nicaraguan authorities. After Bishop Álvarez was jailed, Bishop Isidoro del Carmen Mora Ortega was additionally arrested on December 20 for his public prayer for Bishop Álvarez. Final Friday, native media outlet Confidencial additionally reported the detainment of two high-ranking clergymen, Carlos Aviles and Hector Treminio, for publicly providing prayer to Bishop Álvarez.

US Consultant for Massachusetts and co-chairperson of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Fee Jim McGovern called for the fast launch of the clergymen with out circumstances.

Relatedly, the Nicaraguan authorities additionally cancelled the Jesuit spiritual group’s authorized standing to impede the operation of the Catholic Church in August. Following the cancellation of authorized standing, the Nicaraguan authorities additional confiscated the group’s property by purpose of failure to report its monetary statements throughout the fiscal durations between 2020 and 2022.

Violence in opposition to Roman Catholic clergy has taken place since 2018 when the Ortega authorities tried to quell the social protests advocating for a social safety system reform. The Catholic Church in Nicaragua became a goal since its engagement within the National Dialogue course of to facilitate negotiations. Within the 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom: Nicaragua, the US Division of State noticed a collection of anti-Catholic actions together with dying threats, theft of Catholic spiritual gadgets and illegal entry into Catholic church buildings. Moreover, the Nicaraguan Structure expressly protects its residents’ proper to freedom of conscience and thought below Article 29 and prohibits discrimination primarily based on faith below Article 27.

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