On Monday, HuffPost Religion reported that Pope Francis has just reinstated Father Miguel D'Escoto of Nicaragua after 29 years of suspension by the sternly anti-communist Pope John Paul II for supporting Nicaragua's revolutionary government during the 1970's.
The decision came after D'Escoto sent a letter to the Vatican requesting that he be allowed to resume the priesthood so that he could reportedly "celebrate Mass before dying." While suspended, D'Escoto served on the UN General Assembly from September 2008 until September 2009. He also currently acts as Senior Adviser on Foreign Affairs to President Daniel Ortega Saavedra.
In the letter, D'Escoto made no recantations of his communist beliefs, in fact, D'Escoto still belongs to the Sandista National Liberation Front (SNLF), a Marxist political movement with past ties to the Soviet Communist Party. According to Trevor Loudon, D'Escoto joined the group in 1985 as its foreign minister and was given the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviets.
D'Escoto has also been a harsh critic of American foreign policy. In a letter to Barack Obama, he said American foreign policy was guided by Satan guilty of "terrorist, murderous and genocidal U.S. imperialism.” He also 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.
D'Escoto doesn't much like the tiny, Jewish state of Israel either and has, in fact, accused Israel of genocide against the Palestinians. His comments would later be used by Al Jazeera in 2009 as propaganda.
The decision will likely anger most conservative Catholics, including those loyal to Pope John Paul II who expressed a supremely anti-Communist doctrine, which many label as instrumental in helping bring about its fall.
Communism killed over 100 million people, its governments were dogmatically anti-religious, and it persecuted millions of Christians worldwide.