Fernando Cardenal

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Fernando Cardenal

Fernando Cardenal (born in Granada, Nicaragua, 1934) is a Nicaraguan Jesuit and liberation theologian. He served as Minister of Education from 1984 to 1990, during the Sandinista era. His brother, poet Ernesto Cardenal, also a Catholic priest, served as Minister of Culture from 1979 to 1987.

Because of his ties to the Sandinista movement and liberation theology, he was forced to leave the Society of Jesus, on the grounds that his roles as priest and government minister were incompatible. Later, after his time in government was over, the Society of Jesus reinstated him.[1]

In 1980, Cardenal led the Nicaraguan Literacy Campaign, a Sandinista effort that succeeded in teaching basic literacy to more than half a million people.