Press Release

Cardinal Hollerich demands the release of Bishop Rolando and the other detainees in Nicaragua

The President of COMECE, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich sj., expresses the solidarity of the EU Bishops to the Catholic Church in Nicaragua which is facing deep distress due to State persecution. Cardinal Hollerich: “Release Mgr. Rolando Álvarez and the other detainees”. Read the letter

Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua. (Photo: CEN)

In a letter addressed to H.E. Mgr. Carlos Enrique Herrera Gutiérrez, OFM, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua, on Monday 6th February 2023, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich expresses the closeness and solidarity of the Bishops of the European Union for the difficult time faced by the local Catholic Church due to the systematic persecution carried out by public authorities.

Since August 2022, H.E. Mgr. Rolando Álvarez and a number of clerics and faithful in Nicaragua are in detention and currently under criminal prosecution.

Cardinal Hollerich called on the Nicaraguan national authorities to immediately release Mgr. Rolando Álvarez and the other detainees, falsely accused of conspiracy against national integrity and of disseminating fake news.

“We are closely following the development of the situation in Nicaragua, marked by the persecution of the Catholic Church and its faithful. As Bishops of COMECEreads the letterwe are commitment to promote freedom, democracy and justice in Nicaragua through our regular dialogue with the representatives of the EU institutions”.

In 2022, the national government expelled the Apostolic Nuncio H.E. Mgr. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag and 18 nuns of the Order of Missionaries of Charity. It also imprisoned seven priests and two collaborators in the diocese of Matagalpa, closed nine Catholic radio stations, withdrew three Catholic channels from subscription television programming and prevented processions and pilgrimages.

Download the letter [ES]