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Bishops in UK and USA call for release of Nicaraguan bishop


Bishop Rolando José Álvarez

Bishop Rolando José Álvarez

Source: CBCEW/USCBC

Church leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have called for the release of Bishop Rolando José Álvarez, the Nicaraguan bishop who was sentenced to 26 years imprisonment in February and was recently returned to prison after refusing to leave the country.

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales Department for International Affairs, praised the courageous work of Bishop Álvarez to uphold human dignity and renewed calls for his release:

"Following the news that Bishop Álvarez has been returned to prison, let us renew our prayers for his safety and freedom.

"Bishop Álvarez's imprisonment is a manifestly unjust response to his tireless and courageous work upholding human dignity. We are deeply grateful to everyone across the world who is endeavouring to secure his release.

"We pray too for all the people of Nicaragua, especially those in the Church who are being targeted because of their service to others or their commitment to justice and peace."

Bishop David J Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

"We received news last week of yet another breakdown in negotiations to free Bishop Rolando Alvarez of Matagalpa, Nicaragua-unjustly sentenced to twenty-six years in prison and stripped of his citizenship in February. I urge the United States and the international community to continue praying for the bishop and advocating for his release.

"I particularly commend the recent Interamerican Court of Human Rights' ruling mandating the immediate release of Bishop Alvarez. The consensus from the international community is clear: the continued incarceration of Bishop Alvarez is unjust and must end as soon as possible.

"May Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of Nicaragua and the United States, illumine the hearts of all decisionmakers, and may her maternal mantle protect the Church in Nicaragua."


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