The anonymous priest is one of dozens of clergymen who have been arrested amid Ortega’s persecution of Catholic clergy, nuns, schools, and media outlets.
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After 527 days in prison, Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa was released and deported on Jan. 14 to Rome along with Bishop Isidoro Mora and other priests and seminarians.
The Ortega dictatorship issued a statement thanking Pope Francis and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and his team ‘for the very respectful and discreet coordination that made possible the trip to the Vatican of two bishops, 15 priests, and two seminarians.’
The 63-year-old prelate was arrested the day after he asked for prayers for Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa, who was abducted from his residence by the Sandinista regime in August 2022, kept under house arrest, and sentenced in February 2023 to more than 26 years in prison on the charge of treason.
In an official statement, the Nicaraguan government published various photographs documenting a medical checkup performed Jan. 2. His physical condition shows notable deterioration.
Nicaraguan lawyer and researcher Martha Patricia Molina, author of the investigative report titled “Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church?”, has been tracking the attacks of the Ortega and Murillo regime on the Catholic Church since 2018.
In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, who has been in power uninterruptedly since 2007, has directed his attacks against Catholic institutions and various members of the clergy.
In a Dec. 13 letter to Pope Francis, Rubio asked the pontiff to intercede on behalf of the 57-year-old bishop and call for a restoration of religious freedom in Nicaragua.
The Alliance Defending Freedom International (ADF), also joined in the push for the Nicaraguan dictatorship to release Bishop Álvarez this week.
The measure was strongly criticized by Bishop Silvio Báez, who pointed out that the video and photos do not justify the regime’s crime.