Nicaragua priest who defied Vatican dies

Fr Fernando Cardenal, SJ, a priest who defied the Vatican to be in the Sandanista government in Nicaragua, has died aged 82.

Fr Cardenal was suspended from the priesthood after refusing to step down as education minister in the left-wing government, which he joined following the overthrow of the Somoza regime in 1979.

Fr Cardenal, a supporter of Liberation Theology, was expelled from the Jesuits.

But he stated he could not conceive of a God who would ask him to abandon his commitment to the people.

Fr Cardenal led a successful literacy campaign in Nicaragua.

He was eventually re-admitted to the Jesuits in 1996.

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