Monday, January 15, 2024

2 Bishops and 15 Priests released from custody in Nicaragua and shipped them to Rome


Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa, NicaraguaBishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa, Nicaragua  (AFP or licensors)

Holy See receives Bishops Álvarez, Mora, 15 priests after Nicaragua frees them

The Nicaraguan government has confirmed the release of the Bishop of Matagalpa, detained since 2022, together with the Bishop of Siuna, two seminarians, and 15 other priests.

By Salvatore Cernuzio

Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who had been detained for over a year, Bishop Isidoro del Carmen Mora Ortega, two seminarians, and 15 priests have been released.

A total of 19 representatives of the Catholic Church have been freed by the Nicaraguan government.

Government officials in Managua confirmed the news, first reported by local media. All arrived in Rome on Sunday afternoon, with the exception of one who remained in Venezuela. They are now guests of the Holy See.

Bishop Álvarez of Matagalpa and the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, was sentenced to 26 years in prison where he had been since February last year following house arrest since August 2022. Bishop Mora was arrested in December.

During the Angelus at the beginning of the year, Pope Francis spoke of about the situation of bishops and priests "deprived of their freedom" in the Central American nation. He assured everyone of his "closeness in prayer" and invited God's people to pray for Nicaragua, expressing his hopes "that the path of dialogue will always be sought to overcome difficulties."

Already in October, 12 Nicaraguan priests were released from prison. The Holy See accepted the request to receive them, welcoming them to Rome and providing housing.

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