Monsignor Rolando Álvarez completes 48 hours of police siege

Monsignor Rolando Álvarez completes 48 hours of police siege

The Episcopal Curia of the Diocese of Matagalpa became the “prison” imposed de facto by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo on Monsignor Rolando Álvarez Lagos and a group of Church servants with whom he has been held since noon last August 3. The police fence of the agents of the sanctioned Police could exceed 50 officers that keeps all access to the bishop’s residence blocked.

The cardinal, critical of the Ortega Murillo dictatorship, left yesterday with the Blessed Sacrament outside the Episcopal Curia surrounded by police officers. He claimed his presence and confronted them to leave him alone, to end the siege against him. The exhibition of the Blessed Sacrament, despite the police contingent that keeps the seat of the episcopate besieged, forced the dictatorship to increase the number of troops that tried to drive away the population that worshiped the sacrament.

Monsignor Álvarez exhorts to cling to prayer in order to face evil.

These new attacks on the Church included the closing of all the religious radio stations that were administered by the Diocese of Matagalpa. Also the cancellation of TV Merced, the Catholic Channel of Nicaragua, owned by the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN), the siege of religious temples; the occupation of radio transmission equipment; the three-day siege of Father Uriel Vallejos and the taking of the Infant Jesus of Prague chapel, in Sébaco.

Related news: Police block the exit of Monsignor Álvarez and prevent him from officiating mass in the Cathedral of Matagalpa

The exit of Monsignor Rolando Álvarez from the Episcopal Curia was blocked by five anti-riot agents of the dictatorship and a police patrol that stood in the garage of the religious building. The bishop tried to leave the site to officiate a mass in the San Pedro Apóstol cathedral, but he was prevented by the officers of the sanctioned Police yesterday afternoon, August 4.

Faced with this situation, the hierarch called last night for a “Sung to Nicaragua and God” from the Episcopal Curia from where they are being held. For this day he has called the faithful to participate virtually in a midday mass from the same place. All the liturgical acts that he performs since the confinement imposed by the dictatorship are broadcast on the social pages of the Diocese of Matagalpa.

Monsignor Rolando Álvarez completes 48 hours of police siege
Monsignor Rolando Álvarez completes 48 hours of police siege

Relations between the Sandinista regime and the Nicaraguan Catholic Church have been marked by friction and mistrust in the last 43 years. Ortega has 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.

He has also described them as “coup plotters”, accused of being accomplices of internal forces and international groups that, in his opinion, are acting in Nicaragua to overthrow him. In recent months, the Ortega dictatorship has launched a persecution against the Catholic Church and its main leaders.

At the beginning of May, the Police had initiated a wave of siege against the priests, among them is Father Harving Padilla, parish priest of the San Juan Bautista church in Masaya, Father Uriel Vallejos, parish priest in Sébaco, Matagalpa, as well as Father Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, the latter had to take refuge in a temple in Managua after several days of persecution by the Police.

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