.- Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes of Managua has asked the country’s presidential candidates to refrain from pressuring the Church for an endorsement as national elections draw near.
He called for respect for the Church and told politicians, "If you come to see a bishop or a priest, do so as a regular citizen. And if you get any advice don’t try to manipulate or pressure the priest or bishop to take a set personal position regarding a particular party."
The archbishop also chided candidates who "manipulate religion," referring directly to a May 28 political rally in which Sandinista candidate Daniel Ortega invoked the Virgin Mary and the angels.
"It is good to pray to God, but it should be done out of sincerity and not for election purposes," he said.