Following the arrest of a bishop and 11 others, police continued harassing Nicaraguan Catholics, even as Pope Francis called for "open and sincere" dialogue in the Central American country.

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Three police patrols detained a Nicaraguan priest at his parish Aug. 14, in the latest instance of the government repression of the Catholic Church.

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Catholics in Nicaragua are calling for the release of two priests detained over the past two months as a campaign of arbitrary arrests and church repression continues in the Central American country.

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The Vatican called Nicaragua's expulsion of the Vatican ambassador "grave and unjustified" as the rift deepened between the Catholic Church and the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

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MEXICO CITY -- Pro-government mobs besieged another Nicaraguan parish, further inflaming tensions between the Catholic Church and President Daniel Ortega, whose Sandinista regime is targeting dissidents and attempting to stamp out dissent.

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MEXICO CITY -- Nicaraguan church authorities have reclaimed control of Immaculate Conception Cathedral in the national capital, Managua, after a pro-government mob burst into the building, which was hosting a group of mothers holding a hunger strike to demand the release of the political-prisoner children.

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SANTIAGO, Chile -- The Society of Jesus has urged Latin American countries -- working "through international diplomacy" -- to "take all the necessary measures to rescue democracy in Nicaragua and hold the current regime responsible for the crimes it has committed."

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GENEVA -- With increasing concerns worldwide about human rights violations in Nicaragua, a Vatican representative has called for an immediate return to negotiations and a rollout of reforms necessary to hold "free and transparent elections" there.

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The Nicaraguan bishops' conference said it has not received invitations to play a role in a recently convened national dialogue to pull the nation out of political crisis.
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VATICAN – Pope Francis has lifted the canonical penalties imposed 34 years ago on Father Ernesto Cardenal, 94, the Nicaraguan poet and former member of the Sandinista government.
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WASHINGTON – Many will make sacrifices to attend the upcoming World Youth Day in Panama in late January, but few compare to the challenges facing young Catholics in nearby Nicaragua as the country deals with political and economic upheaval, some of it involving violent clashes with government forces that have plagued the Central American nation since last year.
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Managua Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Jose Baez reiterated his calls for dialogue and respecting human dignity in Nicaragua, where the president has crushed protests, closed critical media outlets and persecuted anyone – including priests – publicly opposing his administration.
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua – A 24-year-old woman dumped sulfuric acid on a priest while he was hearing confessions in the Managua cathedral.
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SUTIABA, Nicaragua – Father Victor Morales was awakened at 5 a.m. by the young men on the barricade outside his church. "They're coming, father. They're here," they told him.
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The streets of Nicaragua were filled on July 28 by thousands of demonstrators supporting the country’s bishops and priests after repeated attacks by paramilitaries with ties to the government.
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