Pope John Paul II‘s early life experiences with communism made him a great opponent to the doctrine that had ruined his home country of Poland.
These battles with communism left John Paul deeply suspicious of Marxist thought. That included liberation theology, which tried to bring the concern of Jesus for the poor to bear on the miserable living conditions in Latin America. For John Paul, liberation theologians had borrowed too much from Marxism.
The most famous images of his concern occurred during a visit to Nicaragua, where priests were serving in the cabinet of the Sandinista government. John Paul wanted them out. One of them, Ernesto Cardenal, met him at the airport, and the pope visibly admonished him.
Pope John Paul II suspended Cardenal and three other dissident priests in 1985 including Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann.
Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann greets friend former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Moun)
Pope Francis has reinstated a Nicaraguan priest suspended by the Vatican in the 1980s for participating in Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government.
The 81-year-old Rev. Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, Nicaragua’s foreign minister from 1979-1990, recently wrote to Francis asking to be allowed to celebrate Mass again before he died. The Vatican said Monday that Francis had agreed and asked D’Escoto’s superior in the Maryknoll order to help reintroduce him into priestly ministry.
The Vatican suspended D’Escoto and three other dissident priests in 1985 for defying a church ban on clergy holding government jobs. The sanction was also a reflection of St. John Paul II’s broader crackdown on liberation theology in Latin America.
The Sandinistas, who supported the “popular church” of liberation theology, overthrew the pro-American regime of Anastasio Somoza in 1979.
Brockmann was described as a fierce critic of US foreign relations and referred to Ronald Reagan in 2004 as “the butcher of my people.”
(Information taken from old NewsDay article no longer available)