The Archdiocese of Managua called on the National Police this Saturday to cease surveillance of at least two clerics, whose parishes are surrounded by agents and with access roads blocked.
“We call on the National Police to put down this unnecessary attitude, and we invite them to pray so that wills move, to create a climate of national understanding,” said the Archdiocese, whose archbishop is Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes.
In recent days, the bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of Estelí (north), Rolando Álvarez, as well as Father Harvy Padilla, of the San Juan Bautista parish in Masaya (Pacific), have denounced being the object of constant “persecution”. ” by the Police.RELATED
Álvarez, a critic of Daniel Ortega, has stated that the Sandinista government wants “a silent church”, while Padilla carries out his mission in a city that in 2018 was proclaimed “free territory of the dictator”.
The surveillance of the religious was accentuated between yesterday Friday and today Saturday, when the Police cut off access to the parishes of Santo Cristo de las Colinas, on the outskirts of Managua, where Álvarez is located, and San Bautista, of the priest Padilla, according to the complaint.
The Archdiocese of the capital, which recalled that Álvarez “is confined, in prayer and fasting” until the surveillance ceases, affirmed that both religious “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 atmosphere of peace and freedom.
Relations between the Catholic Church and Ortega, which were never close, have been fractured since 2018, when the clergy gave protection to people fleeing the government’s armed attacks against massive demonstrations, in which at least 355 people died, according to data. of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
Ortega has come to describe the members of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN), among whom are Brenes and Álvarez, as “coup plotters.”
In its call, the Archdiocese reiterated “its closeness in prayer to all the people and families who suffer the effects of the sociopolitical problems in which we Nicaraguans continue to be immersed with all its effects and at all levels; and that have stagnated our society in an environment of insecurity, polarization and intransigence, unleashing a dynamic of division and antagonism that prevent us from overcoming this critical national situation.”
The day before, the Nicaraguan government ordered Canal Católico, Channel 51, owned by the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, to be taken off the air, according to Claro.
From the parish where he is “in seclusion”, Álvarez, who directs the Episcopate’s media, celebrated a virtual mass, and reported that the Catholic Channel continues to broadcast live from social networks.
Nicaragua has been experiencing a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has been accentuated after the controversial general elections on November 7, in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with her main contenders in prison.
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