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Vatican: Pope Francis expresses concern after bishop arrested in Nicaragua

Pope Francis expressed concern today about growing tensions between the state and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, two days after the arrest of Bishop Rolando Alvarez, a critic of the regime.

“I am watching with attention and pain the situation that has arisen in Nicaragua,” the pope said today after the Angelus prayer, addressing believers and tourists in St. Peter’s Square.

“I would like to express my conviction and my hope that, through an open and honest dialogue, we can still find the foundations of a respectful and peaceful coexistence,” added the spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

The bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Alvarez, was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning and “was placed under house arrest,” according to Nicaraguan police who had surrounded the diocese since August 4. Police cited the bishop’s “destabilizing and provocative” activities.

Eight other people, including five priests and lay people, were arrested with him, according to the Episcopal Council of Latin America and the Caribbean (Celam).

The cardinal and archbishop of Managua, Leopoldo Brenes, later clarified that Bishop Alvarez was being held in a church residence where he was able to meet him, noting that “his physical condition has deteriorated” but that “his spirit and morale they are strong”.

Source: News Beast

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