The bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, Rolando Jose Alvarez, took to the streets and with the Blessed Sacrament in his hands, preached, prayed and sang praises in front of a large group of police officers, that since Thursday morning imposed a ring around the Archbishop’s Curia of Matagalpa blocking the entrance of priests, parishioners, choir staff and Catholic media who arrived early to the building.
In a Live transmission, through TV-Merced, it was observed that the Police have installed an operation that includes two armed officers guard the door of the Curia, a patrol vehicle with other agents is in front and on the corner there are about five traffic police.
Alvarez walked out among the officers, praying, singing and begging for the intimidation to stop. “Why are you causing anxiety in the population, why do you stir the hearts of a hardworking people, of a faithful people, of a good people, of a simple people, of a friendly people, such as the Nicaraguan people,” spoke the priest.
He demanded the Police allow in the priests and collaborators of the Curia so that they can carry out their daily activities.
“What need is there to deploy all those police forces? They surround the curia as if it were a barracks, as if we were conspiring against whom, if we love them, we love them”, expressed the religious leader.
He noted that the police are Nicaraguan brothers and sisters and he tried to give them a brotherly hug, but none would allow it. The bishop kept repeating that there was no need for a deployment of forces like the one that occurred this Thursday in Matagalpa. “We are not doing anything against anyone.”
Warning about his own safety
Bishop Alvarez recalled that at night he remains accompanied by his vicar general and by Jesus in the sacrament. “Anything that happens to me here you will already know. I hope nothing happens. That they respect my life, I hope that they respect my integrity, that they respect the diocesan church of Matagalpa. Here I am. God’s faithful people know that,” he commented.
He announced that this Thursday at 4:00 p.m. he will go to the Matagalpa Cathedral for the “holy hour”, and at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate Holy Mass. He hopes that by then there will be no police impediment for the faithful to join the religious celebrations.
Alvarez pointed out that this Thursday is the feast of Saint John Mary Vianney, patron saint of priests. Therefore, a day of sanctification and protection of the priests is carried out.
The Ortega regime has persecuted and besieged Monsignor Alvarez, one of the most critical voices of the Catholic Church. In May he was forced to take refuge in a temple in Managua, from where he left accompanied by other pastors. His transfer to Matagalpa was heavily guarded by more than five patrol vehicles.
This new attack against the bishop occurs while the priest Uriel Vallejos, in charge of the Jesús de la Divina Misericordia parish, in Sebaco, has spent three days staying with six faithful under siege by the Police, who have taken over the church itself, while Vallejos and those with him remain in the parish house. In addition, this week Daniel Ortega’s police closed ten community radio stations of the Diocese.
The Ortega regime’s attack against the Catholic Church has been frontal since 2018, when they raised their voices to denounce the human rights violations that Nicaraguans were being victims of and opened their temples as a refuge from state violence. This was enough to be persecuted by the Sandinista Front, which has promoted defamation campaigns, sending mobs to desecrate temples and beat some of the priests, ordering a police siege and imprisoning them, as has happened with Fathers Manuel García and Leonardo Urbina.
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times