Fr Miguel's peace fast
IN the late hours of Sunday July 7 the Minister of F sternal Affairs of Nicaragua, Fr Miguel d'Escoto, begun a Fast for Peace. His decision to fast is not intended as an official action but as a Christian gesture to show his great concern for the defence of life, and against terrorism.
Here follows extracts from Fr d'Escoto's Testimony at the start of his Fast for Peace: 1 make this Fast: So that right to life and self-determination of the people of Nicaragua and of the peoples of Central America, of Latin America and of the world will be respected.
As an expression of Christian rejection of the policy of state terrorism imposed by the US government against Nicaragua and as a religious expression of condemnation of the systematic kidnappings, tortures and assassinations of our sisters and brothers by the counterrevolutionaries whom the United States Government finances and directs.
As a way of expressing my love of God, of my people, of the Church and my fervent desire that there be an end to the aggression and the beginning of a new phase in the relationship between the United States and Nicaragua that will be just and respectful of our rights as a sovereign and independent Nation.
To reach out in friendship to the people of the United States, cordially inviting all North Americans of goodwill to accompany me in this act of denunciation so that together we achieve a just and lasting peace.
I extend my hand and my voice to the oppressed people of Latin America so that they reinforce with their prayer and action the aspirations of justice of the Nicaraguan people. As a way of unmasking those who abusively have proclaimed themselves defenders of the most sacred Judao-Christian values with which they try to justify their own immoral and cruel war against Nicaragua.
To ask pardon, the grace of repentance and change of those brothers in the faith who should have denounced the crimes being committed against our innocent people but have, instead, kept a complicity of silence with those who, following the example of Herod, have ordered the massacre of our children, women, aged and youth.
As a testimony that our people and Government harbour only the most sincere sentiments of Central American solidarity without the slightest desire to intervene in affairs that are solely within the competence of the other peoples of Central America.
I ask the Lord to help change the hearts of rulers who have mistakenly allowed the use of their territories as a base of aggression against our people, involving themselves in a war by proxy which in no way can benefit their own peoples and that represents a risk of incalculable consequences for the region.
As a Nicaraguan and from my innermost being as a priest, I make this Fast and Prayer to accompany my people in the pain which they suffer as a consequence of the aggression, and to accompany our heroic combatants who risk their lives in defence of the country. I make this Fast for all my sisters and brothers who carry the cross which has been placed on them by those who attempt to deny us the right of life.
1 invite our Holy Father, our bishops, and the religious leaders of Nicaragua and the world to accompany us in this act of prophetic prayer. I firmly believe that, given the aggression, we must maintain and intensify our efforts in the areas of military defence and security, in the diplomatic, economic and productive areas. as well as in the legal area, in which we have to continue struggling so that our rights as a free arid sovereign nation be respected.
But conscious that we as Christians, besides supporting these efforts, have also something very much our own to contribute in the defence of our nation, in the name of Christ, our Lord, as a Christian and as a priest, I call upon my sisters and brothers in the faith so that this Fast and prayer will ignite in all of Nicaragua an evangelical insurrection with means of struggle which emanate from the Gospel and which it is indispensable to begin to use for the coming of the Reign.
I ask God to increase the number of those North Americans who have pledged to resist and stop the plans of aggression of their Government and to renew the energies of all those in the world who struggle for justice, peace and against terrorism.
I will continue in prayer and fasting until this evangelical insurrection is ignited in Nicaragua and until this spark is multiplied in actions of solidarity by women and men of goodwill in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Third World.
• To mark the anniversary of the Nicaraguan Revolution a Mass for Peace in Central America will take place today at St Aloysius Church, Phoenix Road, near Euston Station at 6.45pm. The celebration has been sponsored by the Catholic Institute for International Relations, Pax Christi, Church Action on Central America and the Nicaraguan Ambassador.