The auxiliary bishop of Managua, Silvio José Báez, said this Sunday, August 21, that “the powerful who carry crimes and injustices behind their backs” are headed for ruin in an emotional homily from the Santa Agatha parish in Miami, where he lashed out at blasphemy. , fabricating infamous slanders, while demanding the release of the regime’s political prisoners.
The pronouncement of the Carmelite bishop, exiled since 2019 due to death threats from fans of the ruling party in Nicaragua, comes hours after Pope Francis expressed his “pain and concern” for what is happening in the country, where the Catholic Church is object of persecution by the regime of Daniel Ortega.
“The powerful who use the law to carry out illegal acts are not Christians, nor are they those who call evil good and good evil. The tyrants who carry their backs are headed for ruin,” said the bishop.
On Friday, August 19, the regime’s persecution of religious intensified, reaching a peak when the Police stormed the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa and kidnapped Bishop Rolando Álvarez, one of the most prestigious voices of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, whom the authorities are investigating for allegedly “organizing violent groups” and “inciting hatred.”
The bishop analyzed the reading of the Gospel of Luke in which the meeting of Jesus with a person on his way to Jerusalem who asks him about salvation is narrated. The answer is that they only achieve it by entering through the narrow gate, which, in the words of Báez, is a “gate of love, justice and truth.”
“Do not forget, no one is eternal, only God”
“Those who exercise power, do not deceive yourself: they will not be happy or reach salvation by being unjust and cruel. Understand that making others suffer closes the door that leads to life. And do not forget that no one is eternal, only God. Make an effort to enter through the narrow door!”, affirmed the Carmelite bishop.
A police device keeps Álvarez forcibly detained in his residence in Managua. Vice President Rosario Murillo read that August 19 the Press release of the Police, whose supreme chief is Ortega, in which they alleged that the decision to confine the priest was made to safeguard the “peace, security and tranquility of the families.”
Murillo’s speech was immediately rejected both nationally and internationally. Representatives of Episcopal Conferences of more than eight countries of the world They condemned the aggression and demanded Álvarez’s freedom.
The father general of the order of the Discalced Carmelites, Miguel Márquez Calle, also did so, denouncing the violent capture of the Nicaraguan bishop and calling for his immediate release and respect for his dignity.
Another notable conviction was that of the Archbishop of Miami, Monsignor Thomas Wenski, who will concelebrate a mass this Monday, August 22, with Bishop Silvio Báez, in which they will pray for “the martyred Church of Nicaragua.”
This Monday, August 22, we will celebrate a Eucharist for the martyred Church of Nicaragua in the parish of St. Michael The Archangel in Miami. Bishop Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, will preside. I will concelebrate with him. Broadcast live on YouTube: https://t.co/3WVMH6H62u pic.twitter.com/QWkfvvarSv
– Silvio José Báez (@silviojbaez) August 20, 2022
Reflection on the Christian and the lie
The Catholic hierarch added this Sunday, August 21, that before God it is not the same to be upright, kind and helpful as to be selfish, unjust and corrupt. “On a social level, honeyed speeches that invoke God and speak of him are useless and blasphemous, while hateful words are launched, infamous slanders are fabricated and people are made to suffer,” he reflected.
Báez also advocated maintaining hope—”never despair”—and added that the door that Jesus speaks of “is open” also for the powerful, to whom he suggests “change their lives.”
“Let the gospel of Jesus enlighten your conscience, take responsibility for your crimes and make room for love in your heart. If you really want to live and save yourself, free those you hold captive, stop believing you are eternal and act with the welfare of all in mind, not just accumulating wealth and increasing your power. Fight not to oppress”, he stressed.