AMERICA/NICARAGUA – The Bishop of Matagalpa “finds himself confined, in prayer and fasting”; Solidarity of Costa Rica and Panama
Managua (Agenzia Fid, which has made our society stagnate in an environment of insecurity, polarization and intransigence, triggering a dynamic of division and antagonism that prevents overcoming this critical national situation”.
The statement from the Archdiocese, dated May 21, sent to Agenzia Fides, expresses in particular its solidarity and closeness with the faithful and the priests of the parish of Santo Cristo de las Colinas, in Managua, where Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and Apostolic Administrator of Esteli, “finds himself confined, praying and fasting”, as well as in the parish of San Juan Bautista, in the city of Masaya, and his parish priest, Father Harvy Padilla , “who live in an atmosphere of concern for their personal safety and the impossibility of exercising their right to live and celebrate their faith in an environment of peace and freedom”.
The Archdiocese of Managua concludes by calling on the national police, “to put an end to this useless attitude” and invites them to pray “in order to create a climate of national understanding”.
According to information gathered by Agenzia Fides, the regime of Daniel Ortega has taken new repressive measures against the Church in Nicaragua, ordering in particular the closure of the television channel of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN). In a video message to the people of God in Matagalpa and Esteli, Bishop Rolando Alvarez said, “Today I was harassed all day by the Sandinista police, from morning to night they followed my every move.” “In the evening, while I was at my niece’s house, I went straight to the officers and asked them why they were persecuting me and they replied that they were following orders.” “They entered my family circle, endangering my family’s safety.” In the video, the bishop announces that he is in the parish of Santo Cristo de Esquipulas, where he has started an indefinite fast until “the national police, through the episcopal conference or its Vice President, let me know that she will respect my privacy.” The Bishop asked those who wish to join his fast and go to their parishes to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, sing, praise the Lord and hold prayer vigils. “I will be here in prayer, before the Blessed Sacrament, celebrating the Eucharist, raising my request to the Lord that this very harsh and cruel situation put an end to all. The bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica expressed in a message their solidarity “with the bishops of Nicaragua and all the brother people of this nation” “The message, they write, is sent after certain information coming from this country; the Nicaraguan bishops also expressed themselves on the socio-political problems, the tension and the climate of concern they feel for their personal safety; in particular, at this time, by Msgr. Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, Bishop of Matagalpa and Apostolic Administrator of Estelí “The Pastors of the Costa Rican Church ask the Risen Lord to grant the Nicaraguan people the gift of peace, so that they may enjoy an atmosphere of tranquility and fraternity”. The Bishops of Costa Rica assure the Bishops of Nicaragua for their solidarity and their prayers, especially in times of trial, and invite the Catholic people of Costa Rica to raise their prayers for the Nicaraguan people and the bishops of this nation. the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica reaffirms the need for our peoples of Central America, in general, to work together in search of the common good, peace and social justice”. The bishops of Panama also expressed “their solidarity with Archbishop Rolando Alvarez and the Nicaraguan people”. The Panamanian bishops stand in solidarity with Archbishop Alvarez “in these times when he is suffering persecution for being a prophet in the face of the difficult situation due to the socio-political crisis that the Nicaraguan people are going through”. They therefore join in the prayer “so that the persecution ceases” and that Monsignor Alvarez and Padrer Padilla can return to live and celebrate the faith in an atmosphere of serenity and peace. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 05/23/2022)