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Controversy in Nicaragua over reception of Communion by Sandinista leader

.- The former Minister of Education and rector of the Ave Maria College in Nicaragua, Humberto Belli, expressed his hope this week that the Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, will issue a clarification regarding the reception of Communion by Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega at a Mass on July 17, despite the fact that he is married outside the Church.

“Canon Law is clear,” Belli recalled, “that those who have divorced and remarried cannot receive the Sacrament of Communion, and priests are obliged to refuse them reception.  This also applies to those who are living together and those who have been married civilly or have refused to be married by the Church.”

Belli said people do not know whether or not Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, have been married in the Church, and therefore he is calling for their status to be clarified.

He stated that “as a Catholic” he is bothered by how politicians use the Church.  “Because when they come to church, many of these politicians do not do so out of authentic devotion or conviction, but rather because it benefits them politically, and sadly some priests allow themselves to be manipulated by these circumstances.”

“There’s a lot of hypocrisy,” Belli noted.  “It is not the love of Jesus Christ that is motivating them.”

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