Catholic Schools May Close
Nicaragua: Catholic schools face threat of closure Posted by ACN News on 15/9/2008, 10:21 am Board Administrator
ACN News 15.09.2008
Nicaragua: Catholic schools face threat of closure
Nicaraguan bishops tell ACN about the problems facing the Church in their country
by Eva-Maria Kohlmann
Bishop Jorge Solórzano of Matagalpa has warned that the Church schools in Nicaragua may be threatened with closure in the near future. The state has announced its intention of cutting its subsidies, with the result that school fees must inevitably increase to make up the shortfall. This would mean that many families could no longer afford to send their children to Catholic schools resulting in the possible closure of many schools.
The bishop was on a visit earlier this week to the headquarters of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) together with three other bishops from Nicaragua, including the president of the Nicaraguan bishops conference, Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes. It was the first time that so many Nicaraguan bishops - half of the country's bishops in fact - had come to visit ACN together. For ACN Nicaragua is one of the priority countries in Central America.
Bishop Solórzano went on to remark that, while the relationship between the state and the Church is amicable on the surface, there are nonetheless a number of underlying negative tendencies - such as this cutting of state subsidies - which will also affect many other Church institutions, such as hospitals for example. Additionally, the state expects the Church to support its political policies. "But as the Church, we must fulfil our mission without compromise", Bishop Solorzano pointed out.