The 1983 Visit of Pope John Paul Ii to Nicaragua

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The 1983 visit of Pope John Paul II to Nicaragua

The 1983 visit of Pope John Paul II to Nicaragua

The reformed-minded Catholics in Nicaragua hoped that the Pope was going to say some words of consolation to the families which daily lose loved ones to the counterrevolution, especially since just days before 17 outstanding members of the Sandinista Youth Organization, killed in an ambush, and had been buried after a memorial program in this very same plaza. Certainly if the head of a foreign state visits a country the day after a busload of teen-angers killed in an accident have been buried, he is expected to make some sympathetic remarks. The position the Pope eventually made clear to the Nicaraguan Priests was that the Pope studiously avoided making any sympathetic words either publicly or privately to the mothers of heroes and martyrs who gave him their petition for peace. He could of have said a few words of sympathy and won over the crowd easily and satisfied the Sandinista leaders who weren’t expecting more than a crumb. Then it wouldn’t have mattered how strongly he spoke about church unity under the bishops. Both sides would have been both satisfied and disappointed, but he was extremely careful not to give even a crumb to the revolution and I think no one expected this unrelieved bleakness. They correctly did an impromptu speech at the airport as the Pope left. Daniel Ortega almost begged the Pope to make one solid proposal for peace in Nicaragua, to say one word, to give that one crumb that he was not willing to give. The BBC radio announcer said that the Pope had just finished saying the “most unusual mass of his career in Managua, Nicaragua”. This has had serious repercussions in our Paulita who has developed a terrible fear of war and what might happen to us all.

References Hoyt, K., & 1983, M. (n.d.)....
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