Detained bishop says hate must be answered with love

Riot police prevent Bishop Rolando José Álvarez from leaving a church building (CNS/YouTube)

Despite being detained by police inside a church building in the city of Matagalpa, Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando José Álvarez has offered a message of love to the world. Source: CNS.

“We have to respond to hate with love, despair with hope, and fear with the strength and courage given to us by the glorious and resurrected Christ,” the 55-year-old prelate said in a video posted on various social media platforms on Sunday.

The bishop, along with a group of priests and lay Catholics, has been prevented from leaving the building since August 4. A few days before his detention, several Catholic radio stations under the auspices of the Diocese of Matagalpa were shuttered by the Government.

The bishop has been openly critical of the government of Sandinista President Daniel Ortega because of its repression of the Nicaraguan populace and violation of human rights. The Government has expelled Catholics from the country, including an order of nuns in July, and the Vatican’s ambassador in March.

After Bishop Álvarez publicly objected to the closing of the radio stations, he soon after found the entrance to the local curia blocked by police, though he was not charged with a crime.

“I am being investigated. That’s fine, but I don’t know why,” the bishop said in the video.

And even though he and his companions are under what amounts to house arrest, he said they have the strength and peace that only the resurrected Christ can provide.

“We have the joy of the one who tells us, ‘Courage, don’t be afraid,'” he said. “Remember, beloved brothers and sisters, fear paralyses.”


Detained bishop in Nicaragua says hate must be answered with love (By Rhina Guidos, CNS

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