Role of the Catholic Church in the Nicaraguan Revolution
The role of the Catholic Church in the Nicaraguan Revolution is best described as an internal struggle between Marxist supporters of liberation theology and opponents who sided with John Paul II and the conservative episcopal conference.
Pre-Revolutionary Church-State Relations 
The Catholic Church has a long history of close relations with the state and government in power. In the Colonial period, the Church acted as a check-up on conquistadors who pursued their own feudal interests contrary to those of the Spanish Crown and those of the Church itself. In the middle to late colonial periods, the Church served the crown in their failing attempts to curb liberal wanting economic independence.
The Church and the Revolutionary Struggle 
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When the Revolutionary struggle began in the 1960s and 1970s with the Sandinistas, the Church did not support it. The ideology of the revolution was deep-set in Marxist values which were against religion. The structure of the Catholic Church was very religious; as such, they were threatened by the revolution[dubious ].
The Catholic Church was still traditionally loyal to the Somoza regime at the beginning of the revolution, but as the revolution continued, acts of repression and human abuses became prevalent by Somoza and horrified the Church. Somoza engaged in violent tactics such as the authorization of bombings of major cities, some of which targeted the church in his attempts to hold on to power. Somoza soon began losing popularity among the masses, and slowly the support of the Sandinistas became more prevalent. Somoza’s constant use of the state for the purpose of his own interests increased and intensified the relations between the Church and state.
This reorganization of pastoral work led to the formation of Christian base communities (CEBs), which incorporated the laity’s importance in the pastoral mission. Religious activity at the grassroots increased and brought new vitality to the church. Peasants were unable to organize under the repressive Somoza regime, but under the CEBs these peasants were allowed to congregate and this is how the grassroots organizations were born.
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