Managua

Tens of thousands rally in support of Nicaragua’s bishops

A huge crowd of Nicaraguans marched in support of their bishops in the capital of Managua on Saturday, waving flags and holding up statues of the Virgin Mary.

The gathering, called a “Pilgrimage in solidarity with the bishops and shepherds”, came after Daniel Ortega, the country’s president, accused the bishops of being “part of the coup mongers’ plan”. Bishops have been assaulted and churches desecrated in recent weeks as forces sympathetic to the government have turned against the Church. Hundreds of protesters have been killed since April. Fr Carlos Avilés, an archdiocesan official, told the crowd not to be “led by violence” but to live a “radical pacifism”.

La Paz

Church to work more closely with Evo Morales

Bolivia’s bishops have said they will “march together” with the country’s socialist leader Evo Morales, working together on issues such as education and welfare. They issued their statement after a meeting hailed as a rapprochement between Morales and the hierarchy. After the meeting Morales said he would appoint a delegate to work permanently with bishops and facilitate meetings between them and government ministers. In the past Morales has clashed with the Church – for instance, in 2006 he made the constitution secular. Last month he came to the Vatican to see Cardinal Toribio Ticona, with whom he is said to be friendly, receive a red hat.

Rancagua

Chilean cardinal to testify over alleged abuse cover-up

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