.- Suspended priest and former Sandinista leader Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann has been elected to lead the next U.N. General Assembly, beginning in September of this year.
D’Escoto has been a Maryknoll priest since 1961, and in 1975 he became involved with the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua, eventually becoming the country’s minister of foreign relations, a post he held until 1990.
He was suspended by the Vatican in the 1980s together with two other priests involved in the Sandinista revolution, Ernesto and Fernando Cardenal. During a visit to Central America, Pope John Paul II publicly reprimanded him for his political activities.
D’Escoto, who was born in Los Angeles, California, is a close advisor to the current president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and is a member of the World Council of Churches.
In 1999, then Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, criticized those priests who became involved with the Sandinistas and abandoned their priestly ministry for politics. He said the priests never denounced the injustices that took place at that time.
D'Escoto will succeed Macedonia's Srgjan Kerim in September as president of the U.N. General Assembly and will hold the position for a year.