Thursday, August 25, 2022 @ 1:41 p.m.
Bishop Declan Lang, president of the Department of International Affairs of the Episcopal Conference, commented on the situation in Nicaragua, where the Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega imposes restrictions on the local Church.
Praying for oppressed men and women, Bishop Lang said:
“Over the past few years, the people of Nicaragua have endured ever deeper repression and violations of human dignity. Many have been unjustly imprisoned, subjected to violence or killed for standing up for their basic rights. Others have been forced to flee the country in search of safety.
“We are united in prayer with all those who, faced with these atrocities, continue to fight for justice and peace. Among them are bishops, priests, seminarians, members of religious orders and lay people who face persecution for their work in upholding the gospel.
On Friday August 19, the bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa, Msgr. Rolando Álvarez, was forcibly expelled before being placed under house arrest. The bishop, along with several priests and lay people, had been confined under surveillance in the diocesan curia since the beginning of the month.
“Together with the Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and around the world, we affirm our closeness to the Church and the people of Nicaragua,” Bishop Lang said.
“We call for the immediate release of Bishop Álvarez, those arrested alongside him and all those who have been detained for peacefully resisting injustice. May they draw their strength from God and from the solidarity of our universal Church.
Pope calls for dialogue
Pope Francis, during the Sunday Angelus on August 21, said:
“I follow closely, with concern and sadness, the situation in Nicaragua, which concerns both people and institutions. I would like to express my conviction and my hope that, thanks to an open and sincere dialogue, the bases of a respectful and peaceful coexistence can still be found.
The Pope also invoked the intercession of Mary Immaculate, the “Purísima” so dear to the Nicaraguan people.