Not to be outdone by the president and first lady when it comes to mixing religion and politics, Nicaragua’s Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops this week issued its strongest rebuke to date of the Sandinistas’ political model, which the government touts as “Christian, Socialist and in Solidarity.”
“Politics in this country is dominated by a style of exercising authority in a way that is autocratic and abusive, which is manifest through a concentration of power and an excessive desire to conserve power and perpetuate in power through the manipulation of the law and institutions and the destruction of the fundamental principles that constitute rule of law,” the Conference of Bishops said in a 13-point message to the Catholic faithful of Nicaragua.
While the first lady incessantly invokes the images of Christ and the Virgin Mary during her daily soliloquies, and President Daniel Ortega has likened ALBA to “the project of Christ,” leaders of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua claim Jesus wouldn’t be too pleased with the political situation here.
The bishops’ conference says Jesus “proposes a new model” where government authorities are “at the service of others and sacrifice their own interests for those of others.”
Nicaragua’s current political model has led to “inevitable polarization, arrogance, ambition and disrespect for the law, corruption, intolerance and useless struggles among members of society,” the Episcopal Conference said in what is arguably its strongest rebuke of the Sandinista government in nearly six years.
Nicaragua “urgently needs to redesign its political system,” the bishops stressed.
The clergy also blasted Nicaragua’s opposition parties for failing to interpret the will of the people, failing to renew their leadership and failing to offer any alternative political strategies or proposals.
The bishops said it is up to each individual whether or not to vote in the municipal elections in November, but said there is a “profound lack of confidence in the authorities of the Supreme Electoral Council” following the “serious complaints of fraudulent acts and irregularities” in the 2008 municipal elections and the 2011 presidential elections.