Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

EDITORIAL: Loyola’s Jesuits need to get us into Good Trouble

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” – Haile Selassie
C.W. Calhoun

As of late, Catholics in Nicaragua have been under attack. Underlying tensions between the Ortega regime of Nicaragua and the Catholic Church culminated in the government’s confiscation of Central American University (UCA) in Managua in August of this year. After the university was labeled a “center of terrorism” and promptly confiscated, all UCA students were expelled and the leaders of the institution – branded as “traitors to the country” – were imprisoned. This can be seen with Bishop Rolando Alvarez who is still in confinement at the time of this article’s publication. During such a grave point in history, it is important to remember the Jesuit conviction towards the advancement of social justice and revolutionary efforts rooted in the principle of justice.

The man behind this concerted effort against the Catholic Church is Daniel Ortega. Originally a revolutionary figure associated with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and who had a direct role in the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship, Ortega’s fall from grace has been marked by notable instances of voter suppression as seen in the 1984 election, consecutive electoral defeats, allegations of child molestation, and a floundering nationalized economy. Despite claiming an alliance with the Jesuits of Nicaragua, Ortega would return to power in 2006 with an explicitly anti-Catholic attitude.

Ortega would oversee major constitutional changes in 2014 that would ensure the president of Nicaragua would be able to run for an unlimited amount of 5 year terms effectively making Ortega “President for Life”. This would not be the only instance of dictatorial behavior exhibited by Ortega as he would make his wife, Rosario Murillo, his vice president and she would proceed to act as a voice of reinforcement for Ortega’s policies and try to assuage concerns over the corrupt nature of his regime. Compounded by his wife’s reinforcement, Ortega would violently oppose an uprising in 2018 that, as of 2022, resulted in between 300-500 deaths and nearly 3,000 injuries against protestors.

As previously stated, the Jesuits were originally in alignment with Ortega and the FSLN. This may be bewildering but makes sense given the history of Jesuits as advocates for social justice and positive social change especially, in the case of Nicaragua, when the country was faced with a tyrant such as Somoza. Loyola New Orleans Jesuits are not excluded from this sense of advocacy and commitment to positive social change as seen with Father Louis J. Twomey, S.J., who was noted for his advocacy and alignment with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. It’s in these examples that Jesuits, globally but especially in New Orleans, have to follow if they want to uphold the Jesuit principle of justice. It’s especially important at a Jesuit institution like Loyola New Orleans that matters of social justice and humanitarian issues are promoted foremostly within the university’s grand scheme of Jesuit education.

The situation faced by the Catholics and citizens of Nicaragua is emblematic of a rise in the suppression of dissent and human rights across the world. In all manner of places ranging from Central America to the Middle East, the basic human rights of individuals are under attack. In dealing with an insidious force like the violation of human rights, it is a moral imperative of the Jesuits to not shy away from addressing injustices being perpetrated globally.

The violation of human rights in Nicaragua continues to be a pressing matter that urgently requires acknowledgment especially on the part of Jesuits across the world especially in New Orleans. As an institution that espouses Jesuit values, Loyola University New Orleans and other institutions like it hold a particular responsibility in instilling a deep conviction towards social justice and moral duty in the impressionable students that come to these places for education and enlightenment. As such it is also important for students to hold these institutions to their principles and ensure that they make vocal their acknowledgement and intolerance of global injustice.

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About the Contributors
Chris Maldonado, Assistant Op/Ed Editor
Chris Maldonado currently serves as The Maroon’s Assistant Op-Ed Editor. Chris is a sophomore majoring in environmental studies. Chris is an avid proponent of journalism’s ability to engage in an honest representation of the real world and its ability to engage with and reflect the public consciousness.
Patrick Hamilton, Editor in Chief
Patrick Hamilton is currently the Editor in Chief at The Maroon. He is a senior majoring in Political science and interested in policy and governmental affairs. Patrick is firmly pro-democracy and believes strong, independent journalism delivers necessary accountability to institutions established in service of others.

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    Carmelite QuotesNov 3, 2023 at 7:33 am

    Thank you so much for reaching out to your readers and making this impassioned call to advocate for the persecuted Church in Nicaragua. For 5 long years I have felt like the proverbial voice in the wilderness, and when I see others finally take up the Nicaraguan cause, it’s a moment of rejoicing. Please, continue to help keep eyes on Nicaragua because the end of the Ortega-Murillo dynasty is closer than than ever before. God reward you.