Showing posts with label Nicaragua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nicaragua. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Pope Sends Felicitations to Murderous Sandanistas



Papal sympathies for the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega

Edit: earlier, he called down divine wrath upon them.  What happened? 

(Managua) On August 30th, US columnist and native Argentinian Andrés Oppenheimer lamented Pope Francis' silence on the situation in Nicaragua. Oppenheimer called the papal behavior "shameful" and demanded an opinion on the "death of at least 322 people in the past four months in protests against the government." Other sources speak of over 400 dead killed by government units or paramilitary groups affiliated with the left-wing government. Meanwhile, it was known that Pope Francis would take a position, just not in the sense of Oppenheimer.

Anyone who has known the history of Nicaragua since the 1970s knows how much the local Jesuits and Marxist liberation theology had on the Sandinista revolution, the overthrow of Somoa and the establishment of a socialist dictatorship. In connection with Pope John Paul II's visit to Nicaragua in 1983, this break through the middle of the Church became particularly visible internationally. In the 1980s, the Western European New Left came up with enthusiasm for what was then the latest "socialist experiment.”

While the Jesuit and Minister of Culture Ernesto Cardenal in 1958 greeted John Paul II at the airport, sarcastically falling to his knees, he was greeted at the same time with a question that he defied the call to resign his ministry, as Church law prohibits clerics from the exercise of political office. At the adjoining Pope's Mass in Managua, the regime and its clerical supporters occupied the square in front of the Pope's pavillion with convinced Sandinistas who whistled and shouted at the Pope. That was the tolerance of Catholic Marxists towards the Pope.

In 1983, the Sandinists, whether clerical or anticlerical, and their European supporters saw the pope in Rome as an enemy. In 2018 they will see one of their own in him.

Tempora mutantur.

Greetings from Pope Francis to Comandante Ortega

As it is now known, Pope Francis actually commented on Nicaragua on August 31, a day after Oppenheimer's column, albeit quite differently from what the columnist had hoped.

Pope Francis sent a message of greeting to Nicaraguan Sandinista President Daniel Ortega via the Apostolic Nunciature in Managua. The occasion was the National Day, celebrated on 15 September, commemorating the 197th anniversary of the country's independence from Spain.

Yesterday, the "Comrade" Rosario Murillo, Vice President of Nicaragua and wife of President Ortega, "pleased" the public announced the contents of the papal letter.

"I deeply appreciate the wonderful, fitting letter of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to Comandante Daniel Ortega and the people of Nicaragua. And we appreciate the attention of Lord Nuncio, with whom he sent us the letter of the Holy Father, that we might celebrate together in these days of the Fatherland and of the heart.”

And what exactly did Pope Francis write to the Comandante?

"His Excellency, Mr. José Danel Ortega Saavedra
President of the Republic of Nicaragua
Managua
On the occasion of the National Day of Nicaragua, I cordially greet all the sons and daughters of this beloved land and assure you of my prayer that Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, will grant you the graces of a brotherly reconciliation and a peaceful and united life together.
Francis PP. "

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: MiL
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com
AMDG
What happened? 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Marxist University in Nicaragua Mortared

Edit: the Sandinistas have been accused lately of trying to fan discontent with the standing government by firing at crowds. Perhaps the Sandinistas are mortaring their fellow traveler friends?

[America] Since protests directed at the Sandinista government in Nicaragua began in April, the Jesuit-run University of Central America has been a hub of student activism and, as a result, a target of violence. On Sunday, Father Jose Alberto Idiaquez, S.J., the rector of U.C.A., condemned the latest attack on his university as government-sponsored.
In a statement addressed to the Nicaraguan people, Father Idiaquez announced that U.C.A.’s campus in Nicaragua’s capital city of Managua was attacked on May 27 at 12:45 a.m. by a group of masked men in vans. The attackers shot a mortar at two campus guards.
Since protests directed at the Sandinista government in Nicaragua began in April, the Jesuit-run University of Central America has been a a target of violence.
“Although they did not manage to hurt or kill our watchmen, this was their intent, based on the charge of gunpowder used and the nearness of the shot,” Father Idiaquez said in his statement.
AMDG

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ortega Accused of Religious Pandering by Former Culture Minister

Edit: in a country where almost sixty percent identify themselves as Catholics, the Leftist President, Daniel Ortega, now enjoys the support of Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo who was critical of him when he ruled the country beginning in 79 when he toppled Somoza thanks to the benign neglect of President Jimmy Carter.

All is not well, however, Jesuit Ernesto Cardenal, former Sandista Minister of Culture publicly reprimanded by Pope John Paul, and Bishop Abelardo Mata are more cynical about Ortega's newly found faith in God.

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Religious processions and chants have become common at the re-election campaign rallies of leftist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who is highlighting his Christianity in his bid for re-election.

The image put forth by Ortega's Sandinista Party has dismayed Roman Catholic Church officials, who say the leader's spirituality is a ploy to deceive Nicaraguans who will elect a president in November.

"It's legal, legal, legal," Ortega said at a recent rally when addressing criticism that he is running a campaign tinged with religion. "No one can ban us from using the word Christian. No one. The Vatican hasn't said a word about it."

Link to AP...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Remembering a Lasallian Missionary to Central America

Brother James Miller gave his life for God, and now the Roman Catholic Church has begun the process to make the Saint Mary's University graduate a saint.

Earlier this year, he was designated a "servant of God" and a martyr for the faith - beginning a journey that could end in canonization, the Roman Catholic process of sainthood. He is the only SMU graduate to be considered for the designation.

Miller was born prematurely - weighing barely 4 pounds - in 1944 in Stevens Point, Wis. But he grew up to tower over people, standing at 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing more than 200 pounds. He was a farm kid with a knack for language and boisterous guffaw that could startle some.

Miller's religious studies at SMU in the mid-1960s culminated in his career teaching indigenous Latin American Indians. Many of his contemporaries in the Lasallian order describe a man perfectly suited for life in Central America - an agrarian background and fluency in Spanish and English. But most importantly, Miller felt especially strongly about educating the Indians in the classroom and in the field, where he taught agriculture.

It was there, outside a Guatemalan school where Miller was repairing a wall in 1982, three assassins took his life.

Passion for education

Miller found his passion in 1974 when he was assigned to Nicaragua.

His work there included expanding a school for indigenous tribes, doubling the faculty and the student body to 800 people.

Though not necessarily sympathetic to the political aims of the Somoza family that controlled Nicaragua, Miller maintained a close alliance with the regime because he saw it as a way to expand the school, said Brother Francis Carr, a classmate and fellow Lasallian brother. But, as unrest wracked the country, many local residents took Miller's cordial relationship with the Somoza government as tacit support.

As the Sandinista revolution spread throughout Nicaragua and the rural countryside, Miller started receiving threats. In fact, the Sandinistas rebels put Miller on a list of people to be "dealt with" when they came into power.[That's a good list to be on]

Miller fell further out of favor as he and other teachers tried to keep students out of military service.

The rebel war drew closer to his school in Puerto Cabezas, and machine gun fire could often be heard outside. Realizing the threats, Miller advanced a planned vacation to Wisconsin in which he’d help celebrate the centennial of his home parish.

“Under the pretext of being the companion of an aged nun, he was able to fly to Managua on a Red Cross plane and obtain a flight to the United States,” wrote Brother Theodore Drahmann in

his book, “Hermano Santiago: The Life and Times of Brother James Miller.”

Miller was worried his departure would be seen as fleeing out of fear and wrote to several people emphatically telling them of his return.

“Keep the Institute going, all of you,” he wrote. “Students, teachers and workers have the responsibility to care for the school. I will be back in one month. Remember that building the new structure was hard; now that we have it, maintain it, keep it pretty. I will see you later.”

Shortly after he left, the Somoza government fell to the Sandinistas, and the religious superiors of the Lasallian order decided Miller would not return to Nicaragua.

Trip back home, then a new assignment

Miller spent a frustrating year and a half in America, first in Wisconsin and later in the Twin Cities.

“I’m bored up here,” he wrote. “I hate snow, even the little we’ve gotten this year. I guess it’s no secret that I am anxious to return to Latin America. I just don’t function to my best potential up here anymore,” Miller wrote to Brother Martin Spellman.

In January 1981, Miller learned he would be assigned to Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

The assignment in Huehuetenango wasn’t so unlike the assignment in Nicaragua. He taught and worked on a farm that helped support an Indian school. And he helped Mayan Indians study their own culture and trained them to be teachers so they could go back to the villages and educate. But there was another reason for the education: to keep the Indians from being conscripted into the army.

“The brothers (at the school) were all about the kids, and if the government got in the way of the kids, they’d stick their noses in it,” Carr said. “And the government saw that, and it didn’t like it.”

This caught the attention of the already embattled government, which was trying to stave off insurgents. The Christian brothers and the school were seen with suspicion. Rumors began to circulate that the school was sympathetic to — even harboring — some guerrilla fighters.

Those rumors weren’t true and were probably started by the army to arouse public sentiment against the school, Spellman said. Anyone not openly supportive of the government was believed to be working against it. Yet Spellman also said that unlike his time in Nicaragua, Miller refrained from entering the political fray and instead focused more on the agricultural and teaching aspects of the job.

Still, Miller acknowledged the risky political situation.

“The level of violence here is reaching appalling proportions, (murders, torture, kidnappings, threats) and the Church is being persecuted because of its option for the poor,” Miller wrote. “Aware of the many difficulties and risks, we continue to work with faith and hope and trust in God’s providence.”

As violence spread throughout the country, Spellman and other Roman Catholic religious workers were told by credible sources that someone in a religious order — somewhere in Guatemala — would be killed. But Spellman never thought the assassination would reach remote Huehuetenango.

And nobody thought it would be the big guy from Wisconsin.

“While all the other brothers were talking about the political situation, Brother James was asking about mops and buckets for the kids,” Spellman said. “He was apolitical, really.”

Gunned down, with no justice for his death

Accounts of Miller’s death differ, but this much is clear: On Feb. 13, 1982, Miller was repairing a wall on the 100-year-old school building. He sent a young boy who was helping him inside to get a tool or some other object as he continued to work, according to interviews in Drahmann’s book. Several children looked on from a second-story window when three men stepped forward, pulled guns at point-blank range and fired.

Miller was probably dead before he hit the ground. People standing on the street saw the three men run toward the military base in town.

Calls from the American Consulate and Roman Catholic Church to investigate the murder poured in to Guatemala City. Two months after Miller’s death, the Guatemalan government expressed regret the case had dragged on for so long. Miller was one of thousands of missing or murdered people in a country ripped apart by bloodshed and political upheaval.

The Guatemalan government eventually concluded that “subversive criminal elements” had probably murdered Miller. The government then closed the case, without naming the murderers and without justice.

Spellman is still shocked and angered by Miller’s death.

“It was a senseless murder,” he said. “It was done by a goon squad.”

Spellman said it was possible to learn who committed the murders, but doing so only endangered more religious workers and residents. So, it became a simple equation: Risk more lives for the justice of one, or pass on the opportunity to close a murder.

“We had to explain to the Miller family there wouldn’t be justice for his death,” Spellman said. “Mrs. Miller (James’ mother) was strong, and she understood.”

Today, nearly three decades after Miller’s death, Spellman doesn’t doubt it was a case of mistaken identity.

Years later, a close friend of his with ties to the military confided to the brothers that Miller was misidentified.

“He said the priest we killed was by mistake,” Spellman said. “Brother James would have been the last one (to be assassinated), but to them, we all looked the same.”

Hermano Santiago’s case moves forward

Carr, the Lasallian brother, believes the push to have Miller canonized has come late because the political climate in Guatemala had been so unstable. But now the bishops of Guatemala have pressed forward with the man they call “Hermano Santiago.”

Carr is quick to point out there were other lay members who also died in Guatemala teaching the faith.

“We wanted the others to be part of the movement toward canonization,” Carr said. “But that part isn’t moving (through the process). This isn’t just about Jim Miller.

“For those of us who knew him, he was ordinary like us,” Carr said. “But if you die for something you believe in, that’s something altogether different.”

The Vatican will continue to examine Miller’s case. For example, because he was a martyr, officials will look for just one miracle, instead of the customary two usually required for canonization.

“I suppose if we knew any saint, they wouldn’t always be the easiest people to live around,” Spellman said. “And you know, they weren’t born with halos on their heads.

“But he died in the order [that should be odor of sanctity] of sanctity, and not a lot of people realized his piety,” he said. “His letters are full of asking people for prayers. That impresses me a great deal.”

Link to original...

h/t to the comrades at: Stella Borealis
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