Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Alvarez has been expelled from Nicaragua and is now in the Vatican

Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who was sentenced to 26 years and 4 months in prison in Nicaragua, has left the country with the agreement of the Vatican. He is expelled from Nicaragua along with another bishop, two seminarians and fifteen priests, all of them prisoners of conscience. In October he expelled twelve other priests from the Vatican, but Álvarez refused to join him.

The Vatican confirmed through its official media late this Sunday, that “they are already in Rome and have been welcomed by the Holy See.” “Of the 19 released, one remained in Venezuela, they all arrived in Rome this afternoon,” he said.

At the last moment, two photographs of Rolando Álvarez in the Eternal City were published. He looks very thin, but smiling. In one he appears with other priests and in another, celebrating mass with Isidoro Mora, Bishop of Siuna, who has just been released.

Media close to the opposition to the presidential couple, formed by Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, have described the measure as “deportation”. The regime presents it as a “trip to the Vatican”. And thanks the Holy See for “respectful and discreet” coordination.

Rolando Alvarez, was Arrested in August 2022, In February 2023, he refused to leave Nicaragua along with 222 other political prisoners, and was sentenced to more than 26 years in prison. Since then, he has been serving his sentence in a maximum security prison called “El Infirinillo”.

The new measure was surprisingly announced this Sunday with an official note from the Sandinista regime. «To the Presidency of the Republic, the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity and the People of Nicaragua, we deeply thank the Holy Father, Pope Francisco, to the Secretariat of State of the Holy See; “To its owner, the Cardinal, His Most Reverend Eminence, Pietro Parolin and his work team for the very respectful and prudent coordination made to make possible the visit to the Vatican of two bishops, fifteen priests and two seminarians,” the statement said. Thank you.” ,

in the note Terms of exile not mentionedBut there is discussion of alleged “agreements of good faith and goodwill that seek to promote understanding and improve communication between the Holy See and Nicaragua.”

“He will arrest others and use them as bargaining chips”

Managua’s exiled Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez celebrated the news in Miami, saying, “The Sandinista criminal dictatorship is not enabled by the power of God.”

«It gives me relief to know that religious people are no longer in the prisons of Ortega-Murillo, the most criminal dictatorship of recent times, because More than 40 torture mechanisms are practiced in these prisonsCruel and inhumane treatment,” Martha Patricia Molina, a Nicaraguan lawyer who has given voice to victims of repression in her country, also told ABC from Miami.

Molina regrets that “this forced deportation is a crime against humanity because they are priests who should exercise their priestly or episcopal ministry in Nicaragua.” “The dictatorship has already made the deportation of priests a practice. “Most likely, in the future he will kidnap new bishops, priests or seminarians, and use them as bargaining chips as he has been doing to date,” he condemned.

The priests had been arrested since December. The Pope publicly condemned the conditions in which he found himself during his first Angelus of the Year. “I am deeply concerned about what is happening in Nicaragua, where bishops and priests have been deprived of their liberty,” he said, crying from the window of the Apostolic Palace on January 1. ,I want to convey my closeness in prayer to them, their families and the entire Church of this country., “I invite all present and all the people of God to pray fervently, while I invite them to always pursue the path of dialogue to overcome difficulties,” he urged.

Similarly, in recent weeks the US government and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have pressured Daniel Ortega to release priests and bishops he has detained.

Bishop Isidoro Mora of Siuna was among those released. who were arrested on December 20 for praying for Rolando Alvarez During her month. Nicaraguan media claim that among those deported were priests who were not in prison and who were expelled from the country by the Sandinista government. This is the case of the Vicar General of Matagalpa, Oscar Escoto Salgado, and the priest Jader Acosta, who is from the same diocese.

(Tags to translate)Nicaragua(T)Xcarcela(T)Envia(T)Vatican(T)Group(T)Priest(T)Bishop(T)Rolando(T)Alvarez

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