Jesuits expelled from their residence after UCA arrest in Nicaragua

(OSV News) – Nicaraguan authorities expelled a group of Jesuits from their home in the capital of Managua, shortly after looting the prestigious university of the religious profession, an act called by the Society of Jesus is a “spectacle.”

The Jesuits – who worked at the United States University (UCA) before being arrested on August 15 – were notified of the eviction on Saturday, August 19. The police and members of the court in the house to force them to leave the property, saying that the house belongs to the government, according to the Jesuit Provincial Council of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“After the Jesuits showed them the document, which stated that the property did not belong to the university, the representatives did not accept the documents and ordered them to leave the building,” the statement said. .

“This is an act that is more than a demonstration that truth, justice and respect for the inalienable rights of the human being stand in the efforts that seek to record the voices that rise up and support in fighting for a country they were respected for. right and their quest to live independently in their own country.”

The six Jesuits left the house with only a few personal belongings and went to the residence of another Jesuit community in Managua, according to the statement of the Jesuit district of Central America.

The expulsions marked the latest anger against Catholics in Nicaragua, where the government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have called Catholic bishops “terrorists,” persecuted and expelled the priests and expelled the religious orders, including the Missionaries of Charity. .

The UCA’s takeover has sparked outrage across the country, with Catholic leaders and organizations sending messages of solidarity.

The United States government has imposed visa restrictions on 100 Nicaraguan officials, “who are involved in efforts to block civil society, to block civic spaces such as the United States University.” It, and unjustly arrests the soldiers supporting the civil society.” Free, with Bishop Rolando Álvarez, ” according to the statement of August 19.

Bishop Álvarez completed one year of his arrest on August 19, 2022 by visiting the diocesan curia in the city of Matagalpa. Two weeks earlier, on August 4, the police surrounded the curia and prevented Bishop Álvarez from leaving. He was later found guilty and sentenced to 26 years in prison after a trial in which he was unable to appoint his own defense attorney.

The Ortega-Murillo government closed the UCA after a court accused the 63-year-old organization of “terrorism” and “organization of criminal organizations” and ordered the seizure of its assets. It didn’t take long for the government to change the name of the school, appoint new leaders and raise the flag of the Sandinista party outside the school campus.

About 27 universities – including other Catholic organizations – have been arrested in Nicaragua, according to a statement from the Association of Universities Entrusted to the Society of Jesus in Latin America.

Observers accused the government of suppressing anger against the university for its role in the 2018 protests calling for Ortega’s removal. School officials opened their doors to injured protesters fleeing police and paramilitaries.

“He is a strong voice against the authoritarianism of Mr. Ortega and (…) they want to punish the UCA because sometimes they have supported the victims of the Nicaraguan punishment, ” Jesuit Father José María Tojeira, director of the school. told the local media, sister of the UCA in El Salvador.

“Indeed, the life of the Society of Jesus is greater than the Sandinista regime… one day we will return to Nicaragua,” said Father Tojeira. But he added that it is unfortunate that they are “fighting intelligence, against education and knowledge, and they are going in a super authoritarian way.”

David Agren writes for OSV News from Mexico City.

The post Jesuits were expelled from their residence after the arrest of the UCA in Nicaragua was first reported in OSV News.