After months of the Catholic Church taking its anti-abortion protests to the streets, the streets returned the favor Sept. 30 when a group of abortion activists disrupted Mass at Managua’s Cathedral.
While police officers stood guard outside the Cathedral to prevent a group of abortion activists from entering, a smaller group that was already inside caused a stir when the priest refused to give Communion to one of the abortion-rights activists, who also identifies as a Catholic. The woman responded angrily, demanding to exercise her rights as a Christian.
The situation quickly spiraled into a heated altercation between the abortion activists and others churchgoers, who shoved and insulted the women, calling them “assassins.”
The priests called for order as police came in to escort the protesters out of the church. Priest Bismark Conde reportedly then felt moved to start yelling “Viva la Virgin!”, according to daily el Nuevo Diario.
The Church and other elements of society responded with indignation. The right-wing daily La Prensa led with the headline “Feminists Disrespect Mass.”
The abortion debate has heated considerably following lawmakers’ vote last month to re-penalize therapeutic abortion (see separate story).