Nick Benson

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Nicaragua – bishops denounce death threats against one of their own

The Nicaraguan bishops’ conference has denounced death threats against an outspoken bishop, whose comments on corruption and support for students in the protests consuming the country have been poorly received by those in power.

In a statement dated 22nd May, the conference said priests and bishops were the objects of ‘discredit and death threats…particularly our brother Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Jose Baez of Managua, via journalists and official media outlets and anonymous accounts on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.’

The statement, signed by Bishop Juan Mata Guevara of Esteli, conference secretary-general, continued: ‘In spite of the threats, we remind the aggressors we are a collegial body, and if a bishop or priest is attacked, the Church is attacked. In this decisive hour, we will not give up accompanying all of the Nicaraguan people, who under the blue and white of our flag, have taken to the streets to demand their rights.’

Protests erupted in Nicaragua after the government of President Daniel Ortega announced an increase in fees for the country’s social security system, which critics say was poorly run and rife with corruption. A heavy-handed response kept the protests going and swelled its ranks, especially with students and campesinos, some of whom had grievances over possibly being displaced by the construction of an inter-oceanic canal.

The bishops’ conference in Nicaragua has convened a national dialogue, which includes students, campesinos, business leaders and the Ortega government.

Picture: Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Baez Ortega of Managua, Nicaragua, is seen in this 2013 file photo. The Nicaraguan bishops’ conference has denounced recent death threats against the outspoken bishop. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters).

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OTHER NEWS

Far too many homeless people still not safely housed, say charities

"Far too many" homeless people are still on the streets, in shelters and hostels, despite the Government aiming to have all rough sleepers safely housed by last weekend. Last week the Government asked local authorities to do everything to "get everyone in" by the end...

Pope encourages Catholics to contemplate ‘seven sorrows’ of Mary

On the Friday before Holy Week, Pope Francis asked people to keep a long tradition of Catholic piety by focusing on "the suffering and sorrows of Our Lady." "Honour Our Lady and say, 'This is my mother,' because she is mother. This is the title that she received from...

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Top gardening influencer Ellen Mary reveals how families can reconnect with nature in their own garden. By Hannah Stephenson. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, there’s lots of ways you and your family could enjoy it – and connect with nature and benefit...

How to make the most from your daily exercise

The government has announced strict new measures for tackling coronavirus. Now in lockdown in an effort to beat the virus, Boris Johnson announced last week that we are only allowed to leave the house for the following reasons: Shopping for basic necessities One form...