Bishop Rene Sandigo, secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua, has joined other Catholic leaders in criticizing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for comparing Fidel Castro to Jesus Christ during a political rally in Managua on July 19.
During the event organized by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to celebrate the anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, Chavez said, “Fidel, our father who art on the earth, in the water and in the air.”
“I think these kinds of expressions are abusive and disrespectful towards the faith of Nicaraguans, the rejection by the clergy of the Venezuelan president’s remarks is unanimous,” said Bishop Sandigo.
“I am sure that all of Nicaragua is upset with this sort of manipulation of the religious concepts we have grown up with and use daily to communicate with our God,” he added.
“It’s not enough that Chavez pulls these stunts in his own country. He wants to bring them here. Nonetheless, I think most people reject them,” the bishop said.
He pointed out that Chavez is attempting to “re-launch liberation theology, which was rejected in the past and will be rejected in the future, since its proposals only call to mind bad memories of the past.”
“Liberation theology never had any lasting biblical or theological foundation and died over time,” Bishop Sandigo asserted. “To bring it back to Nicaragua is like drudging up bad memories of the past. It’s like trying to bring back a dead person,” he said.
“Nicaragua certainly never accepted liberation theology. True theology is that in which God is the total liberator from evil,” the bishop said.