The Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, once again attacked priests and the Catholic Church during his speech offered during the XXV Graduation Ceremony for Graduates in Police Sciences held on Monday night, December 19. “The cassock does not make anyone a saint, the habit does not make the monk,” said Ortega.
During his speech, he referred to Commissioner General Ramón Avellán Medal, as a “hero who tested, with the comrades who were in that command in Masaya, he put discipline to the test, because it is not easy, it is not easy, to be in a barracks, to be armed with enough weapons and personnel to wipe out those who attack that barracks every day, encouraged by those who have no love for God, encouraged by the cains, attacking every day”.
The dictator’s reference is to the events recorded in Masaya in 2018, one of the cities with the highest number of murders due to the repression led by Avellán, who said that the Church incited the protesters.
“And we communicated with First Commissioner Díaz, and I also communicated with him insisting: don’t shoot, you have to hold on, you have to hold on. That is a difficult order to fulfill, and here, the police showed a show of discipline and everything to avoid a greater tragedy than the one that the terrorists were already causing. They thought that the Police were defeated and the attacks were in different barracks every day, and they came out of some temples, not all the temples, but some temples where the Pharisees were, the whitewashed tombs,” Ortega continued.
Ortega insisted that the priests directed attacks against their officers and paramilitaries, pointing out that “they came out of those temples and an apartment where some priests in cassocks even openly came out, handling blood, to call for bloodshed. Even some bishops, those priests, those bishops (…) and I say this as a Christian, I grew up in a Catholic, Christian family, but I learned over time that in the end, behind a cassock is a human being , the cassock does not make anyone a saint, the habit does not make the monk, it is a principle ».
“Look, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, the bishops, they were all Somocistas, they preached Somocism, in the name of God they sanctified Somocism, yes, they were Somocistas, and the greatest shame,” Ortega added in his extensive speech against the religious.
The Ortega-Murillo regime has attacked the Catholic Church since 2018 for the constant denunciations by religious leaders against crimes against humanity and human rights violations. As a consequence of this repression, a large number of priests have been forced into exile and others have been imprisoned.
The Ortega justice recently accused Monsignor Rolando Álvarez of the alleged crimes of undermining national integrity and spreading false news through information and communication technologies to the detriment of the State and Nicaraguan society.
Monsignor Álvarez was kidnapped on August 19 while he was in the Matagalpa Episcopal Curia. At that time, he was taken to Managua where he allegedly remains held at the home of a relative. The priest belongs to a group of 12 imprisoned religious accused, among other crimes, of conspiracy to undermine national integrity.