“I wanted to go to the cathedral” (in Matagalpa) to officiate at mass “but obviously the higher authorities have not given permission,” said the bishop. Rolando Alvarez in a broadcast on the digital platform of the diocese he directs.
In the images, a group of riot police can be seen, with batons and shields, blocking the passage of the religious. “We find six priests and six lay people who have us locked up in the Episcopal Curia,” continued the bishop, one of the strongest critics of the dictator’s government Daniel Ortega.
Álvarez warned that they will remain inside the Episcopal Palace “without disrespecting the police, the brothers who have their families and who are our friends.” “I’m going to wait for them to let me out. I’ll keep you informed. Blessings to all,” he added, as they closed the electric gate that opens onto the street.
Earlier, the religious leader asked the National Police to let him celebrate mass with his parishioners in a parish that has been besieged by agents of the security forces since Wednesday, amid friction between the Executive and the Catholic Church.
This is the parish house of Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, a Nicaraguan priest harassed by the Sandinista administration of Daniel Ortega.
📷 Diocese of Matagalpa. pic.twitter.com/xhcJPUbcTO
— Houston Castillo (@HoustonTexasni) August 4, 2022
Then the bishop left the Episcopal Palace, knelt on the sidewalk, raised his hands to heaven and received Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament from a collaborator and with the Blessed Sacrament he approached the officials, who left, according to the transmission made by the diocese of Matagalpa in social networks.
Pray for the Church of Nicaragua 🇳🇮
Bishop Rolando Álvarez on his knees at the door of the Curia, surrounded by police and riot police who besiege him and keep him under siege since yesterday. 🫀 pic.twitter.com/FE4fSGw6Nt
– Fray Foto (@fray_foto) August 4, 2022
The religious accused the Police, led by Francisco Díaz, a relative of Ortega, of not allowing free movement, freedom of movement, freedom of expression and religious freedom, in addition to creating anxiety and shaking the “spirits and faith so simple of our faithful people”. “We want them to leave us alone!” cried the chief, who said he did not know why the police went “to these extremes” of besieging a temple.
Likewise, he denounced that “brothers dressed in civilian clothes wanting to investigate us as if we were plotting or colluding, recording homilies, come to the masses, for what?” he asked. “Let this situation of harassment and harassment end!” urged Álvarez, who earlier tried to hug the police chief and the agents as a sign of peace, without being allowed.
Then he warned: “I am in the Curia. At night I only stay with my Vicar General, whatever happens to me, you will already know. I hope nothing happens, I hope you respect my life, my integrity and the diocesan church of Matagalpa”.