While the Local Church Fights Ortega in Nicaragua, Pope Francis Is Silent

Pope Francis leads his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican November 19, 2014. (Tony Gentile/Reuters)
Catholic clergy and laypeople protesting against the oppressive regime receive little public support from the Vatican.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n the late 1970s, Daniel Ortega led a ragtag group of leftist Sandinista guerrillas in an overthrow of dictator Anastasio Somoza. Today, President Ortega’s crackdown on protesters in Nicaragua shows he has become a dictator himself. Along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, who is vice president, the couple seeks to install dynastic family rule much like the regime they overthrew, using violent means to repress dissent. In the absence of meaningful political opposition, the Catholic Church is at the forefront of these protests — not as an ally of old-fashioned Latin American authoritarianism but as a voice for oppressed Nicaraguans

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