Church in Nicaragua calls for continued prayers for kidnapped bishop and priests – Catholic World Report

Bishop Rolando Álvarez / Photo credit: Diocese of Matagalpa

Denver Newsroom, Sept. 27, 2022 / 3:00 p.m. (CNA).

The diocese of Matagalpa has asked the faithful to continue to pray for its bishop, Rolando Álvarez, the priests, seminarians and lay people who were arrested and kidnapped in the middle of the night by the police of the Nicaraguan dictatorship, led by the president Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

In a September 26 Facebook post, the Diocese of Matagalpa asked the faithful to “continue to pray for our pastor, Archbishop Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, the priests and lay people who were with him in the chancery of Matagalpa until the early hours of August 19. when they were taken away by the police.

“Bishop Álvarez, in his pastoral work in the diocese of Matagalpa, which he took possession of on April 2, 2011, chose the preferential option for the poor, the sick, the young, those who suffer from adversity and the population rural area, to whom he showed his closeness through prayer and pastoral visits,” the message reads.

“We pray for him,” concludes the diocesan post.

Álvarez, along with the others, was prevented by Ortega riot police from leaving the Matagalpa chancery from August 4 to 19, when police abducted him and took him in the middle of the night to Managua, where he rest under house arrest.

According to local media, the prosecutor has indicted the bishop, but the charges against him are unknown.

On September 15, the European Parliament approved a resolution by 538 votes to 16 calling for the immediate release of the bishop.

The night the bishop was taken into custody, other priests, seminarians and a layman were also arrested and are currently being held in El Chipote prison, known for torturing opponents of the regime.

Those imprisoned there are Fathers Ramiro Tijerino, José Luis Diaz, Sadiel Eugarrios and Raúl González; seminarians Darvin Leyva and Melquín Sequeira; and cameraman Sergio Cárdenas, all from the Diocese of Matagalpa.

Another priest detained in El Chipote is Father Oscar Benavidez of the Diocese of Siuna.

These prisoners would also have been charged, but for what crimes it is not known.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.


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Martha J. Finley