AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Release of bishops, priests and seminarians detained by the Nicaraguan government

Monday, 15 January 2024 local churches  


Managua (Agenzia Fides) - The Nicaraguan government has released 19 bishops, priests and Catholic seminarians detained, in some cases for more than a year. Among them are bishops Rolando Álvarez and Isidoro del Carmen Mora Ortega. The news, initially reported yesterday, Sunday January 14, by local media, was later confirmed by the government of Managua. According to Vatican News, the two bishops, the 15 priests and the two seminarians, except for one who remained in Venezuela, all arrived in Rome yesterday afternoon, and are now guests of the Holy See (in the photo, the meeting with Cardinal Parolin after their arrival).
Rolando Josè Álvarez Lagos, bishop of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the diocese of Estelí, had been sentenced to 26 years in prison for conspiracy and had been in prison since February 2023, after having been under house arrest since August 2022 and after having refused to be expatriated to the United States together with other prisoners. Bishop Mora was arrested last December.

Already last October, 12 Nicaraguan priests detained by the Nicaraguan government were released from prison and welcomed in Rome.

Since 2018, the government of President Daniel Ortega has implemented a series of measures that have affected the Catholic Church in various ways, including the confiscation - last August - of the Central American University run by the Jesuits, accused of becoming a “terrorist center”; the expulsion of 18 Missionaries of Charity; and the closure of Catholic radio stations. Yesterday, Sunday January 14, the Novena of prayer for Nicaragua began. It is promoted by the leadership of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, in response to the appeal launched by Pope Francis on January 1.
Thanks to the help of social platforms, anyone who wishes can join this initiative of prayer for peace and solidarity. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2024)