Nicaragua Releases 12 Catholic Priests to the Vatican

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    The Facts

    • Following productive talks with the Vatican as well as with Catholic leaders in the country, Nicaragua announced Wednesday that it had released a dozen Catholic priests who were jailed on various charges, sending them to Rome.

    • The government said the deal, which the Vatican confirmed on Thursday, showed its "permanent will and commitment to find solutions." The released clergymen will be taken in and housed in buildings owned by the Diocese of Rome.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Ortega's dictatorship has been ripping apart Nicaragua and its democratic institutions for a long time, but his recent treatment of Catholics has reached a new low. Some 200 attacks against Catholic people and their institutions have been reported in the country since 2018 while the Church seeks to bring about peace. Alongside the Pope, the international community must step in to prevent this persecution.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Through its willingness to release political prisoners while receiving nothing in return, Ortega has shown that his only goal here is to rid his country of traitors. The word negotiation makes it seem as if these are prisoner exchanges or that the US lifted sanctions in return, but, in reality, those who oppose Ortega have given nothing while the Nicaraguan government has handed over hundreds of people.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the Catholic Church will elect a new pope by June 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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