Catholic Arena –
Michael D Higgins was recently referred to as a ‘wise man’ by Pope Francis.
The Irish President has gained a reputation for being anything but in recent months however, with his comments on Nigeria gaining international condemnation, his comments on housing being seen as a violation of the role of President and his wife’s use of the Pesidential website for flippant political musings as crass and dangerous.
However, one area of his life that has escaped criticism so far is his close connection to Nicaraguan thug Daniel Ortega.
Ortega has declared war on Catholics in the last few months, to the stage where he is arresting priests and shutting down radio stations.
The war has taken a new, more sinister twist today however as Bishop Rolando Alverez was arrested after being hostage at his home for days.
This full blown war has only managed minimal fuss in terms of international attention, thanks in part to the anti Catholicism of Western journalists and also because they tend to find South America less fashionable than their Northern counterparts.
As Catholics, we are seeing persecution on a global scale that hasn’t been seen in decade. In Hong Kong, Cardinal Zen is facing a show trial by Communist thugs. In Nigeria, massacres of Christians are regular occurrences. In the United States, the Rosary has recently been declared an Extremist Symbol by the mainstream media.
What is happening in Nicaragua should not be ignored, especially by Higgins, who is a long time friend and confidante of the wicked Ortega.
In the 1980s, Higgins hosted Ortega at hia family home and showed him around Ireland.
Their long term friendship gives Higgins an added responsibility as a world leader, to draw attention to the plight of Catholics in Nicaragua and to denounce Ortega.
Higgins also has an added reason to speak out.