Martha Patricia Molina, a Nicaraguan lawyer and researcher and author of the report “Nicaragua, A Persecuted Church?”, told ACI Prensa that with the police statement “the dictatorship confirms its war against the entire Nicaraguan Church and more so by choosing to freeze the bank accounts of the different dioceses of the country, of parishes and also of parochial schools.”
“The dictatorship makes use of the judiciary, of the Nicaraguan justice system, which does not adhere to the political constitution nor the laws of the land, but only follows orders given by the Nicaraguan presidential couple,” she explained.
“Without any doubt, this is a process that is full of arbitrariness from beginning to end. I think they have already prepared the verdict that they are going to deliver to the Nicaraguan Catholic Church, noting that Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua, and his wife, the vice president, have on multiple occasions referred to the Catholic Church as an organized terrorist and criminal mafia,” continued the expert, who now lives in exile.
On Feb. 21 at a public event, Ortega said that Christ “lives in the Christian peoples, not because of the example that priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes may give, who are a mafia.”
Molina told ACI Prensa that in the investigation against the Church, “the principle of innocence is going to be obviated; i.e., they are already seeing the Catholic Church as guilty.”
Molina also pointed out that “there is a chaotic situation at the moment, because, also at the end of the month all the parishes have to fulfill their obligations and also the parochial school by paying for basic services such as electricity, water, the telephone, and the staff.”
“Many families are losing their right to work. The teachers who teach in the parishes are going to run out of money without their salary. When you violate one human right, you violate the rest,” the specialist pointed out.
“Once the dictatorship freezes the accounts, the next step that it usually takes is the confiscation of the assets, and in this case they are possibly going to do that. I believe that the dictatorship is trying to financially suffocate the Church, thinking that in this way it will no longer raise that prophetic voice. But the Church is much more than bank accounts,” she assured.
Molina said that in Nicaragua, “anti-laundering laws are being used solely to criminalize people and institutions that think differently than the government, institutions that are demanding peace, justice, and the establishment of democratic order,” such as the Catholic Church.
“Countries also have to condemn this very unjust action that is being carried out at this time against the clergy,” she stressed.
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Cardinal Brenes speaks out
In his homily for Pentecost Sunday Mass on May 28 at the Managua cathedral, Cardinal Brenes alluded to what the parishes are going through.
The cardinal encouraged the faithful to remain calm and not “to listen to a lot of news, a lot of publications that exaggerate.”
“They say ‘reliable sources,’ but the reliable source is never revealed, so let’s remain calm, peaceful, and without a doubt the Holy Spirit is the one who is leading this Church, and we will soon have the respective solutions,” he continued.
“Our parishes continue to work. We have experienced difficult crises, such as the time of the pandemic, but the Spirit sustains the parishes and also the generosity of all of you,” the cardinal stressed.
“So I invite you to always remain calm and not be influenced by networks and news that truly exaggerate. I rarely read them, but sometimes they send them to me and it makes me laugh to see everything they say, because I don’t find any basis for it,” the archbishop of Managua commented.