The Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior has ordered the closure of 101 non-governmental organizations, including the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation founded by St. Teresa of Calcutta dedicated to serving the poorest of the poor.
Newsroom (01/07/2022 1:00 PM Gaudium Press) Sandinista legislator Filiberto Rodríguez requested the order to shut down the 101 NGOs in a June 22 letter presented to the National Assembly, the country’s legislature.
The document submitted by Rodríguez and released by the Nicaraguan media outlet Confidencial is titled “The Legislative Decree Initiative for the Cancellation of the Legal Personality of Various Associations/Foundations, requested by the National Directorate of Registration and Control of Nonprofit Organizations following due process of law.”
The text, which the National Assembly could debate in the coming days, states that the Missionaries of Charity “has failed to comply with its obligations” according to the law that regulates nonprofit organizations, the money-laundering law, the financing of terrorism, and the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
According to the government of Daniel Ortega, the missionaries are not accredited “by the Ministry for the Family to function as a nursery-center for childhood development, home for girls, and home for the elderly,” nor “do they have an operating permit from the Ministry of Education to provide remedial education for students” and their “financial statements reported to the Ministry of the Interior don’t agree” with other documents presented for review.
The list of organizations the government has ordered to shut down also includes the Catholic Foundation for Human Development Assistance for Nicaraguans, the Spirituality Foundation for Children of Nicaragua, the My Childhood Mothers Foundation, and the Diriomito Children’s Care Home Association, among others.
According to the EFE news agency, the Missionaries of Charity Association was created on Aug. 16, 1988, and opened following Mother Teresa’s visit to Nicaragua during the first term of Daniel Ortega (1985–1990). The Sandinista regime had already been in power since 1979, when President Anastasio Somoza was overthrown.
The Missionaries of Charity run the Immaculate Heart of Mary Home in Granada, where they take in abandoned adolescents or victims of abuse.
In addition to spiritual and psychological help, minors receive regular classes in music, theatre, sewing, beauty, and other trades.
In the capital, Managua, the nuns run a nursing home, which provides the elderly with food, clothing, and other care.
The Missionaries of Charity also provide remedial education for at-risk minors and run a nursery for poor children, primarily children of single mothers and street vendors.
The National Assembly still has to approve the order. However, President Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front political party holds 75 out of the 90 seats, so it is expected to be approved.
Managua Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez, who has been living in exile at the request of Pope Francis since April 2019 due to numerous death threats, lamented the decision of the Ortega government to expel the Missionaries of Charity from the country.
Bishop Báez wrote on Twitter from Miami: “It makes me very sad that the dictatorship has forced the Missionaries of Charity of Teresa of Calcutta to leave the country. Nothing justifies depriving the poor of charitable care.”
In fewer than four years, the Catholic Church in Nicaragua has been the target of 190 attacks and desecrations<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”>, including a fire in the Managua Cathedral, police harassment and persecution of bishops and priests under the Ortega government.
(Via CNA )
Compiled by Raju Hasmukh