The Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavezauxiliary bishop of San Salvador, expressed his solidarity with the “martyred” Nicaraguan Church in the face of religious persecution undertaken by the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
“Martyrdom continues to be a reality even today. In our region, the most horrendous case is that of the persecution suffered by the Church of Nicaragua,” Cardinal Rosa Chávez said during the feast of the Divine Savior of the World, patron saint of the Central American country.
Bishop Rosa Chávez was a friend and close collaborator of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, archbishop of San Salvador and human rights defender in the years prior to the civil war, who was assassinated by a far-right paramilitary commando on March 24, 1980 and elevated to sainthood in 2018.
During the mass, Rosa Chavez read the solidarity statement prepared by the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) in solidarity with the bishops of Nicaragua.
“The latest events, such as the siege of priests and bishops, the expulsion of members of religious communities, the desecration of temples and the closure of radio stations, hurt us deeply. We express our solidarity and closeness to them,” said the Salvadoran cardinal, reading the CELAM statement during the Eucharist for the Divine Savior of the World.
“A house on fire”
It is not the first time that the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador has spoken about the repression that Nicaraguans experience at the hands of the Ortega dictatorship.
In October 2018, within the framework of Monsignor Romero’s canonization, he defined the situation in our country as a “house on fire”.
“A house with sadness. A house on fire in Nicaragua. Today we have prayed for Nicaragua and its pastors,” said Rosa Chávez in Plaza Barrios de San Salvador, in the presence of Nicaraguan bishops Leopoldo Brenes, Rolando Álvarez, Pablo Smith Simón and David Zywiec Sidor.
In that Eucharist, there were banners in support of the Church of Nicaragua, especially with Bishop Silvio José Báez; that in those days he was being the victim of strong harassment by the dictatorship, through audio montages.