An advocate of Marxist-oriented “liberation theology” and recipient of a Lenin Peace Prize has returned to his duties as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church, after a 29-year suspension.
Miguel D’Escoto, who served as President of the U.N. General Assembly from September 2008 until September 2009, had been suspended from his priestly functions by the anti-communist Pope John Paul II in 1985. D’Escoto had joined the communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua as foreign minister, after which the Soviets recognized his service by giving him the International Lenin Peace Prize.
His reinstatement is another sign of the leftward drift of the papacy of Pope Francis, a worldwide media favorite, who recently said, “I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag,” because the Marxists claim to be concerned about the poor.
In a “Dear Brother President Barack Obama” letter, dated August 25, 2013, D’Escoto declared that U.S. foreign policy was being guided by Satan and constituted “terrorist, murderous and genocidal U.S. imperialism.” He urged Obama to have “the courage to acknowledge also that capitalism is, in fact, the most un-Christian doctrine and practice ever devised by man to keep us separate and unequal in a kind of global apartheid.”
An August 1 statement on his complete reintegration into the Roman Catholic Church, carried by Christian News Wire, said, “The Holy Father has given His benevolent assent that Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann be absolved from the canonical censure inflicted upon him, and entrusts him to the Superior General of the Institute [Maryknoll] for the purpose of accompanying him in the process of reintegration into the Ministerial Priesthood.”
This controversial decision, which is certain to anger conservative Catholics, means that the pope has given a stamp of approval to D’Escoto resuming his priestly duties, including celebrating Mass and providing communion with Christ.
Mike Virgintino, communications manager at The Maryknoll Society, confirmed to Accuracy in Media that the ruling means that Pope Francis personally approved the return of D’Escoto to the priesthood. He said D’Escoto had approached the Vatican directly.
D’Escoto graduated with a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism in 1962. He was born in 1933 in Los Angeles, California.
D’Escoto emerged as not only a strong critic of U.S. foreign policy, but is outspokenly critical of Israel’s role in the Middle East. He became a favorite of the Al Jazeera propaganda channel for urging the expulsion of Israel from the U.N.
In January 2009, Al Jazeera highlighted his accusation that Israel was guilty of “genocide” against Palestinians.
One senior UN official said, “I cannot remember any Assembly president so publicly vocal in denouncing Israel.”
The decision to bring D’Escoto back into good standing in the Roman Catholic Church sends a strong message worldwide about the direction of the papacy, but it has received surprisingly little media attention so far.
In March, the Pew Research Journalism Project reported that “One year into Francis’ papacy, an analysis by the Pew Research Center finds that the former Jesuit archbishop—who was named Time’s Person of the Year—ranked among the top global newsmakers in major U.S.-based digital news outlets.”
In recent months the pope has used his popularity and media notoriety to criticize capitalism, make overtures to Islam and entertain Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the Vatican.
Jeanine Pirro, host of the Fox News Channel’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” recently criticized Pope Francis for “failing to take action on behalf of Christians in the Middle East.” She said, “I’m a Christian. I’m a Catholic…I mean no disrespect but it is time for the papacy, and Pope Francis in particular, to start protecting his Christian flock.”
Despite communism’s record of atheism and persecution of Christians, D’Escoto’s service to various communist causes goes back decades.
The website of “World Citizens for Peace” reports that after the death of former President Ronald Reagan in 2004, D’Escoto told Pacifica Radio that he prayed that God forgive Reagan “for having been the butcher of my people, for having been responsible for the deaths of some 50,000 Nicaraguans…crimes he committed in the name of what he falsely labeled freedom and democracy.”
In fact, Reagan supported Nicaraguan freedom fighters trying to bring democracy to the country. These efforts resulted in free elections deposing the Sandinistas from power.
D’Escoto is also a supporter of the “green” movement. As we reported in 2009, he gave a speech as president of the U.N. General Assembly in which he declared that “There is a growing awareness that we are all sons and daughters of Earth and that we belong to her.” He urged “a planetary civilization” that is “more respectful of Mother Earth, more inclusive of all people and with more solidarity with the poorest, which is more spiritual and full of reverence for the splendor of the universe and which is much happier.”
The official press release about the lifting of the suspension mentioned that D’Escoto had once served as an official with the World Council of Churches (WCC). Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, who worked on KGB operations as head of Romanian intelligence, described the WCC as a Kremlin pawn infiltrated by the KGB.
The communist-dominated religious body was the subject of a January 23, 1983, CBS “60 Minutes” broadcast entitled, “The Gospel According to Whom?” As AIM noted at the time, the program exposed the Marxist orientation of the WCC and even its funding of terrorists.
Despite being banned from priestly functions, D’Escoto has remained a member of the Maryknoll Society, with residence in Nicaragua.
The Sandinistas have returned to power in Nicaragua, with President Daniel Ortega having met on July 12 with Vladimir Putin, after the Russian leader decided to make a “surprise visit” to the Central American country. Ortega said, “It is like a ray of light, like a flash of lightning. This is the first time a Russian president has visited Nicaragua.”
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at [email protected]