The Ministry of the Interior canceled the legal status of Caritas Nicaragua, the aid organization of the Catholic Church assisting those most in need in the country.
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The silencing of dissenting voices in Nicaragua directly targets the Catholic Church yet again.
In the last five years, the Catholic Church in Nicaragua has gone through more than 190 attacks and desecrations, including a fire in the Managua Cathedral, the expulsion of the Missionaries of Charity, the imprisonment of Bishop Rolando Álvarez, the exile and stripping of the citizenship of more than 222 former political prisoners, priests, bishops, and seminarians included, the banning of traditional public processions of the Way of the Cross in all parishes in the country during Lent and Easter, and the closure of seven universities – two of them with ties to the Catholic Church, John Paul II Catholic University and the Autonomous Christian University. Now, Ortega’s regime dissolved Caritas Nicaragua – the aid organization of the Catholic Church assisting those most in need in the country.
The official government newspaper La Gaceta reported on March 7 (the same day universities were shut down) that the Ministry of the Interior canceled the legal status of Caritas Jinotega and Caritas Nicaragua – the same juridical move that led to the expulsion of the Missionaries of Charity last year.
Caritas is the Church’s official aid organization, with local offices all over the world. In the United States, its local office is known as Catholic Relief Services.
The official cancellation asserted that the Caritas members decided to close down:
“On January 31 of the year two thousand and twenty-three, through Act No. 79 of the Extraordinary Assembly of Members of Caritas Nicaragua, they agreed to the Voluntary Dissolution and liquidation of said organization, by unanimous decision of its members, with Caritas Nicaragua requesting the General Directorate of Registration and Control of Non-Profit Organizations of the Ministry of the Interior, the Cancellation of the Legal Entity by Voluntary Dissolution,” the Ministry of Interior stated in an official proclamation.
Local Nicaraguan sources explain that the obstacles that Ortega’s regime imposed on Caritas Nicaragua, such as denying it authorization to receive donations from other organizations (including wine for consecration at Mass), eventually forced them to request the dissolution.