The Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortegaaffirmed this Wednesday that the Catholic Church is a “perfect dictatorship” for not allowing the majority of Catholics to elect the Pope and the rest of his authorities.
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In the Catholic Church “everything is imposed, it is a perfect dictatorship, it is a perfect tyranny (…) Who elects the priests, who elects bishops, who elects the pope, the cardinals, how many votes, who gives them ?”, questioned the president, in the midst of the tense relations that his government has with the institution.
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“If they are going to be democratic, let them begin to elect the pope, the cardinals, the bishops with the Catholic vote,” he insisted during a speech on national television, on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the national police.
During his speech, Ortega again branded the bishops and priests as “assassins” and “coup plotters” for the support that, according to his government, the temples gave to the opposition protests in 2018.
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If they are going to be democratic, let them begin to elect the pope, the cardinals, the bishops with the vote of the Catholics.
The demonstrators “came out of the churches, not from all of them, armed to launch attacks against the police stations (…) and some priests calling on the people (to) put lead in me,” Ortega reproached.
Relations between the government and the Catholic Church have deteriorated since the 2018 protestswhich the president linked to an alleged failed coup plotted by the opposition with the support of Washington.
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The conflict intensified last August with the arrest, under house arrest, of the bishop of Matagalpa Rolando Alvareza strong critic of the government.
At least four priests and two seminarians have also been arrested without specifying the charges against them.
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The police prohibited religious processions. Last March, the Vatican reported that the apostolic nuncio Waldemar Sommertag was expelled from the country.
Months later, in July, the government outlawed the Missions of Charity association, created by Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and its nuns had to leave the country.
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In the middle of this month, Pope Francis admitted that there was a “dialogue” with Nicaragua regarding the arrest of several members of the Catholic Church, but its progress is unknown.
“In Nicaragua the news is clear, there is dialogue, there has been talk with the government. There is dialogue, but this does not mean that everything the government does is approved or disapproved,” the pontiff said then.
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