Persecution of bishops and silence of the Catholic media
The bishop of Matagalpa, in “permanent fasting”, affirms that the regime wants a “silent church” and is harassed by the police.
by Massimo Introvigné
After the March expulsion of the Apostolic Nuncio, protested by the Vatican as “incomprehensible,” things in Nicaragua continue to go from bad to worse. The Bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, has publicly denounced continued police harassment, which also targets his family. Father Harvin Padilla of Masaya Diocese also denounced police harassment.
The developments follow a report released earlier this month by Nicaragua’s National Assembly, a regime-controlled body, accusing Catholic bishops of backing a 2018 “coup” attempt aimed at overthrow the Ortega government.
In 2018, street protests erupted against a controversial social security reform, The protests were backed by the Catholic Church and ended in a bloody crackdown, Police killed more than 300 protesters.
Escalating intimidation and threats against the Catholic Church led Bishop Álvarez to announce he was entering a water and whey fast. His fast and homilies were widely covered by the popular Catholic cable television Canal Católico.
On May 20, the government ordered all cable television providers to eliminate Canal Católico from their offer. The network was therefore immediately silenced.
Bishop Álvarez claimed that the regime wanted a “silent church”, adding that the decision against the Canal Católico proves that Nicaragua is in a situation of dictatorship. He also urged Catholics to pray for the police, who obey orders and are themselves victims of the regime.
Meanwhile, Nicaragua continues to be a strong supporter of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and plans to establish tighter ties with the Chinese Communist Party, as reported May 25 by Beijing People’s Daily.”
The Communist Party newspaper mentioned that Song Tao, minister of the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee, attended the opening ceremony of the first cadre network seminar organized by the CPC and the Sandinista National Liberation Front of Nicaragua in power. Song Tao expressed confidence that “the CCP’s great achievements and historical experience” will help Nicaragua’s ruling party effectively control its country.