President Daniel Ortega called the Catholic Church a "perfect dictatorship" and "perfect tyranny."

President Daniel Ortega's attack on the Catholic Church

According to France24, the Nicaraguan President held a speech for the 43rd anniversary of the foundation of the Nicaraguan Police.

The article said that there is tension between the church and the government in the country that apparently started with protests in 2018. During that time, the president accused the Catholic Church of assisting the protests against him. It added that the aftermath of the protests resulted in the deaths of hundreds.

 In his speech, President Ortega commented in his speech that the Catholic Church should start voting for the pope and other high positions if it would deem itself democratic.

He added that the leaders of the church are working with the United States for imperialism.

Furthermore, the president brought up controversial topics of Catholic history all the way back to the Inquisition.

The President also had words for the US Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols and the government of Chile, both known for their criticisms of the Nicaraguan government.

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Nicaragua and the Catholic Church

In the article, the actions of the government against the Catholic Church were also pointed out. It said that during the administration of President Daniel Ortega, there have been arrests against clergymen with unspecified charges.

Apparently, a group of nuns, the Missionaries of Charity, were forced to leave and outlawed in the country.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, the Nicaraguan government even shut down Catholic radio stations. It added that the tensions between the government and the church have been going on for five years now.


Just this August, the authorities confined Bishop Rolando Alvarez to the episcopal complex. In the article, it said that the bishop had been vocal about electoral reform and demanded the government to release its political prisoners.

The government's actions against the priest are allegedly for his hand in "organizing violent groups."

In the article, it said that the 2018 protests had social security reform in mind and had the backing of people in the business and religious sectors. Unfortunately, this would end in the death of over 350 people, with thousands more hurt and/or jailed.

Nicaragua is predominantly Catholic and at the start of the turmoil, it served as a mediator for President Ortega as well as a sanctuary for protestors.

However, due to the attacks against the church, there is now an existing conflict between the church and the state.

The Vatican's Response

The article said that "the Vatican was publicly silent about the investigation of Álvarez." The church is apparently still seeking ways to have collaboration and dialogue as a way to find peace and democracy in the country.

UCA News reported that Pope Francis himself talked about the importance of dialogue and that they are currently in talks with the government. The Pope reiterated that even with such, it does not mean that the church approves or disapproves of the actions of the Nicaraguan government under President Ortega.

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