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HIST 410 WEEK 6 LATIN AMERICA AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Traditionally, conservatives in Latin America supported and had the support of the Catholic Church. When the regimes they led brought prosperity only to the wealthy and complaints from the poor were met with political oppression, many Catholic priests stood alongside Marxist revolutionaries in criticizing the existing conservative order. Many of these priests, and even nuns, were assassinated by government-supported death squads. The Catholic Church, which took a strong anti-communist stance in Europe, grew alarmed at the seeming alliance between priests and Marxists in Latin America, and dismissed the priests’ claims that they were only doing as Christ would do in championing the interests of the poor. The priests hoped to make their case personally when Pope John Paul II visited Latin America in 1983. This site offers an eyewitness account by reform-minded Catholics of the pope’s meetings in Nicaragua in that year.
Complete your Case Study in a Word document, approximately 300-400 words in length.
Questions for exploration: What did some reform-minded Catholics in Nicaragua hope that the pope might do during his visit to that country? What position did the pope eventually make clear to the Nicaraguan priests? Why were some Nicaraguan Catholics disappointed with the pope’s position on political action? What did they, correctly as it proved, fear might happen after the pope’s visit?
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