(CNN Spanish) — The name of Monsignor Rolando Álvarez is going around the world: the bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, investigated by the Nicaraguan regime, has become the most recent visible face of the long-standing tensions dates between the Catholic Church and Sandinismo.
This Friday, his diocese reported that the police had entered the Matagalpa curia. Later, the security forces confirmed that they had transferred him and other religious to the capital.
Rolando José Álvarez Lago, a native of Managua, was ordained as a priest in 1994, according to the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua. Pope Benedict XVI named him bishop of Matagalpa, north of the Nicaraguan capital, on March 8, 2011. He is the ninth priest to hold that position.
I had come a long way before in the local and regional church. He had served as parish priest at “San Francisco de Asís” in Managua, secretary of the Department of Social Communications of the episcopal conference and undersecretary of the Secretariat of the Episcopate of Central America, according to the Vatican communication of his appointment in 2011, among several other roles.
Monsignor Álvarez, born in 1966, completed his ecclesiastical studies in Philosophy and Theology in Guatemala and in Rome, Italy, at the Pontifical Lateran University. There he also studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he graduated in Philosophy.
a radio man
Days ago, the diocese of Matagalpa reported that, on the grounds that they did not have authorization, the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications had ordered the closure of seven radio stations in the diocese: Radio Hermanos, Radio Santa Lucía de Ciudad Darío, Radio Católica de Sébaco, Radio Aliens from San Dionisio, Radio San José de Matiguas, Radio Monte Carmelo from Río Blanco, and Radio Nuestra Señora de Lourdes in La Dalia.
All these radio stations are owned by Álvarez, who said during a homily in Matagalpa that in 2016 he had a meeting with the deceased director of Telcor Orlando Castillo, to whom he presented all the documentation of the radios and requested authorization to operate, but They have not received a response to date.
“All our radios have been closed to us. But the Word of God, they will not silence it,” the priest wrote in on august 1 on the social network Twitter, where he posts regularly.
“Hate is answered with love”
In recent days, Álvarez has spoken openly about the investigation of the Daniel Ortega regime.
The National Police accused him of “attempting to organize violent groups, inciting them to carry out acts of hatred against the population, causing an atmosphere of anxiety and disorder, altering the peace and harmony of the community, with the purpose of destabilizing the State of Nicaragua.” and attack the constitutional authorities”.
During a mass, the bishop replied to the statement with the following message: “As you all know, that police statement came out yesterday, in which we have basically read two things. First, I am being investigated… well, I don’t know what. Well, they will be making their own conjectures. And second, then, that they have formally said that we have a house for a prison. We are gathered here and held and we are always with the inner strength and peace, and the joy in our hearts that the risen one gives us. da. The joy of the one who tells us courage, it’s me, do not be afraid, “said Monsignor Álvarez. Then he continued: “Remember, dearest brothers, fear paralyzes, self-buried despair, and hate, because it is the death of the heart.” “Hate is answered with love, despair with living hope and fear with strength and courage,” he emphasized.
Police transfer Monsignor Rolando Álvarez and seven other priests to Managua
Álvarez and 7 other priests and seminarians who had been held in the curia for 16 days were transferred to Managua during an operation carried out early this Friday, as part of the ongoing investigation process, the Nicaraguan National Police reported in a statement published on their social networks.
Without detailing the reason for the arrest, the Police assures that the religious persisted in “destabilizing and provocative” activities.
Earlier, the Diocese of Matagalpa had reported on its Facebook account that the Police entered the episcopal curia, where Álvarez and other priests and seminarians were.
According to the police statement, the bishop of Matagalpa is under house arrest and the other religious were taken to the Directorate of Judicial Assistance in Managua.