AMERICA/NICARAGUA - "The people of Nicaragua are no longer afraid", says the Bishop of Matagalpa

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 social situation   politics   poverty   peace   local churches  


Matagalpa (Agenzia Fides) – Mgr. Rolando Álvarez, Bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, issued a video interview, shared with Fides, in which he analyzes the reality of his diocese and that of Nicaragua. First of all, Bishop Alvarez underlines the poverty of the population: from the recent census in the area it was discovered that 70% of the population of Matagalpa does not have the money to send their children to school. "Either we eat or we study", and these cases increase more and more.
Regarding security, he said that the Cathedral of Matagalpa has been surrounded by police on several occasions in recent weeks. It was also discovered that during the procession of Our Lady of the Rosary there were violent elements who wanted to create confusion and tension, but the same people recognized them. The faithful of Matagalpa have thus expressed their faith and also their thoughts.
"Walking on the street - the Bishop emphasized - means manifesting faith and love. The population, who with loyalty and love to the nation wants to demonstrate to demand respect for the country, and also to express an opinion contrary to the type of government or management.
With regards to the hostility towards the Church by pro-government groups in Esteli, Masaya, Managua and now in Matagalpa, the Bishop commented: "The only thing I can say is that we, before being believers, must take a humanitarian position, the laity are on the side of the weakest".
"The Church proposed a text in May 2014, which reached the President, we gave it to him as Pastors of a people that suffers and in the face of the need for dialogue with all sectors, to avoid precisely what we now live in the country, but nobody listened to us. In May of this year, 2019 once again we proposed a path of development and social life, where everyone's rights must be respected, where the dignity of people is recognized, freedom of expression, where the truth goes together with justice to have peace. There are 5 points: but if freedom does not exist ... nothing exists".
For the record of the country, the Bishops continue to be considered "coup leaders", and Mgr. Alvarez underlines in this regard: "We are open to dialogue. We continue to do our work: catechesis, social work, human promotion, etc. with greater strength when situations are difficult. We Bishops have chosen to accompany the people".
Faced with the climate of violence in many parts of Nicaragua, which also affects the Church, the Bishop of Matagalpa responds with these words: "I do not live with fear. I go with the people. The Church is not afraid, lives, celebrates and helps others. Furthermore, Nicaragua is no longer afraid, fear stops you. The people are no longer afraid". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 29/10/2019)