Episcopal Conference of Peru expresses its support for Monsignor Álvarez

Episcopal Conference of Peru expresses its support for Monsignor Álvarez

The Episcopal Conference of Peru (CEP) conveyed this Friday its support and solidarity to the Catholics of Nicaragua and their Church after the police assault on an episcopal seat and the arrest of a bishop in the Central American country.

“In this hour of martyrdom witness lived by the brotherly people of Nicaragua in fidelity to the values ​​of the Gospel and in defense of the dignity of the human person, the Bishops of Peru express their solidarity and closeness to the Episcopate and to all the Catholic faithful of that brother country”, reads a statement from the CEP.

In this message, they also accompany those who, “in a particular way, with their prayer (…) have been deprived of their liberty.”

He affirmed that violence has never built, “it has only sown the seeds of poverty and hatred”, and that when it is unjustified, “it breaks the harmony, respect and peace” that peoples need to achieve integral development and social friendship.

Related news: Panamanian Archbishop calls the kidnapping of Bishop Álvarez “aberrant”

“We have sadly seen, through the media, the aggression and destruction of Catholic religious images and symbols, thus striking not only the religious sensibility of a believing people but also offending the Christian roots that constitute the idiosyncrasy of that nation”, indicated the Peruvian Episcopal Conference.

He added that, in the midst of pain and forgiveness, “a clamor for justice and respect” can be raised that allows Nicaraguan Catholics to express their own convictions with the freedom of those who live in a true democracy.

Episcopal Conference of Peru expresses its support for Monsignor Álvarez

The Nicaraguan Police forcefully entered the Episcopal Palace of the Diocese of Matagalpa -in the north of the country- this Friday and arrested Bishop Rolando Álvarez, as well as seven of his collaborators, who had been held and held since the 4th of last august.

“Urgent! At this time, the National Police has entered the Episcopal Curia of our Diocese of Matagalpa,” reported the ecclesiastical headquarters on its social networks.

Álvarez, 55, bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa in Nicaragua and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, is accused by the National Police of trying to “organize violent groups”, supposedly “with the purpose of destabilizing the State of Nicaragua and attacking to the constitutional authorities”, although at the moment they have not offered evidence.

The prelate, a critic of the government of President Daniel Ortega, was arrested along with the priests José Luis Díaz and Sadiel Eugarrios, first and second vicar of the Matagalpa de San Pedro cathedral, respectively.

Related news: Archbishop of Madrid expresses his support for the Nicaraguan Church

Álvarez’s arrest is the latest brush in a history of friction between the Nicaraguan Catholic Church and supporters of President Ortega.

So far this year, the Nicaraguan government has expelled apostolic nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag from the country, imprisoned three priests, shut down eight Catholic radio stations, and removed three Catholic channels from subscription television programming.

Also, he has entered by force and raided a parish and expelled 16 nuns from the missionary order of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Likewise, it has prohibited the Archdiocese of Managua from carrying out a procession with the pilgrim image of the Virgin of Fatima.

President Ortega branded as “terrorists” the Nicaraguan bishops who acted as mediators of a national dialogue that sought a peaceful solution to the crisis that the country has been experiencing since April 2018.

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