Religion and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua

My theme for this presentation was religion, and the role of the Catholic Church during the dictatorship in Nicaragua. The objective of the Somoza dictatorship was to convert Nicaragua to anti-clerical measures. The majority of Catholic participation began in 1962, when the «Sandinista de la Liberation National Front (FSLN),» formed. The Group was led by Carlos Fonseca. They believed in the idea of the liberation theology. This idea was the idea that justified the Sandinista revolution. Some Catholics fought in the revolution. The idea of liberation theology is to give relief to the poor and prevent social injustices, with the use of weapons and violence at times. Many priests were involved in this revolution. This was the controversial part. Whether or not the priests should be able to use violence and power was constantly debated. The concept of liberation theology was extended and promoted by the FSLN. The FSLN wanted to eliminate any reactionary force that would prevent the revolution. It intended to promote all human rights and wanted all the Nicaraguan exiles to return to the Nicaraguan land. However, the violence was an important part of the plan. The program of the FSLN, said, «severely punish the gangsters who are guilty of persecuting the revolutionaries.» This is the idea of liberation theology. Service to the ‘less fortunate’ is a trait commonly seen throughout the Catholic Church. The FSLN gave citizens the freedom of religion. However, the involvement of the Catholic Church during this revolution was very important

    Meanwhile, the Pope was against the Catholic beliefs of resorting to violence during the revolution. Pope Juan Pablo II believed in change without the use of weapons. There  was a constant struggle between Catholicism and the revolution. The visit of the Pope to Nicaragua was very important. It was the only time that the Pope had been in the midst of cries. While he gave his homily for the public, people in the crowd began shouting political observations, and insulted the Catholic Church. Many priests have criticized Juan Pablo II for his opposition of the Sandinista revolution.

6 comentarios sobre “Religion and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua

  1. I love how deep you studied this perspective of Nicaragua. Not a lot of people realize how important religion can be to a country and how much impact it has. Was it difficult to research about the controversies? The complications with human rights, violence and those less fortunate seem to be difficult to solve in the eyes of God.

    1. Thank you so much! Luckily, there was lots of research done on this controversy. I definitely agree. Everyone was put in a difficult position, especially Pope John Paul II. He was forced to disagree with many clergy members. I can only imagine how difficult it was for him to speak out against the priest’s behavior at this time.

  2. Very interesting piece! It is certainly a controversial topic to consider priests using violence and weapons during any circumstances. However, history is full of examples where individuals have to fight for their beliefs.

    1. I fully believe in fighting for your beliefs. The priests were put in a difficult situation. Violence goes against the teachings of the Catholic church, but the revolution was necessary. I can’t imagine what I would do if I was in their place.

  3. This is a very interesting topic because it is so controversial and shows division in the church where you would not expect there to be. Also it shows that the church where you would expect a lot of peace, not everyone in the church would feel the same way.

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