AMERICA/NICARAGUA - The Presbyteral Council of Granada: "It is time to be creative in order to continue proclaiming the Gospel with boldness"

Saturday, 16 July 2022 politics   religious freedom   local churches  

Granada (Agenzia Fides) - "In the face of all adversities, we urge you not to be discouraged or to lose hope, comforted by faith in Jesus Christ, let us welcome with love everything related to his painful passion ... We give thanks to God for the prayers, the affection and solidarity of all of you in these difficult times, your participation unites us in the suffering due to the imprisonment of Fathers Manuel Salvador Garcia and Monsignor Leonardo Urbina, with them we put everything in the hands of the Lord". This is the exhortation of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Granada, gathered under the presidency of Bishop Jorge Solorzano Perez, addressed to all priests, men and women religious, committed lay people and all Catholic faithful.
n the message of July 14, sent to Fides, it is recalled that "for all of us, members of the Church, Jesus is the Master", and in moments of exhaustion and fatigue he tells us: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest ..." (Mt 11,28).
"Dear priests and faithful, let us continue to walk together, bishop, priests and faithful, with hope, without being discouraged, carrying out the mission entrusted to us by the Lord ... It is time to be creative to continue proclaiming the Gospel with audacity", continues the text. Finally, they invite all parishes to promote days of prayer, "begging the Lord for the firm certainty that the path of love, forgiveness and mercy will make the full reconciliation of the people of God possible". During the daily masses, priests and faithful are also encouraged to pray so that priests Manuel Salvador Garcia and Monsignor Leonardo Urbina are strong in spirit.
According to information gathered by Fides, Father Manuel Salvador García, parish priest of Nandaime, was imprisoned on charges of exposing people to danger and for allegedly assaulting a woman. On July 13, the Sandinista police arrested Monsignor Leonardo Urbina, parish priest of the Perpetual Help of Boaco, on the basis of an alleged accusation of sexual abuse.
Earlier this month, the Nicaraguan government had ordered the cancellation of the legal status of 101 NGOs, including the "Missionaries of Charity" association. Parliament had ratified the decision and the Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta had to leave the country, where they were involved in various structures for children, young people and the elderly (see Fides, 5/7/2022; 8/7/2022).
The Ortega regime has long since adopted repressive measures against the Church of Nicaragua, ordering, among other things, the closure of the television channel of the Bishops' Conference. On March 6, the Holy See received the communication that the Nicaraguan government had decided to withdraw the approval (agrément) of Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, Apostolic Nuncio to Managua since 2018, asking him to leave the country immediately.
Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa and Apostolic Administrator of Esteli, as well as Father Harvy Padilla, parish priest of San Juan Bautista in the city of Masaya, "live in an atmosphere of anxiety for their personal safety and the impossibility of exercising their right to live and celebrate their faith in an environment of peace and freedom" (see Fides, 23,24,30/5/2022). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 16/7/2022)