ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 22, 2023 / 16:00 pm
The bishops of Cuba have called on the faithful to offer prayers on Ash Wednesday for the persecuted Church in Nicaragua, where the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega has exiled several priests and sentenced the bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez, to 26 years in prison.
In a Feb. 18 message, the Cuban prelates referenced Pope Francis’ request to pray for Nicaragua.
At the end of his Feb. 12 Angelus prayer, the Holy Father expressed his concern and sadness over the Feb. 9 expulsion of 222 political prisoners from the country — including some priests — and the sentence against Álvarez announced the following day. “I pray for them and that dear nation, and I ask for your prayers,” Francis said.
In their message, the Cuban bishops said that they welcome the “pope’s invitation to prayer” and make their own the pontiff’s call for the Lord to “open the hearts of political leaders and all citizens to the sincere search for peace, which is born of truth, justice, freedom, and love, and is achieved through the patient exercise of dialogue.”