NICARAGUA: Another bishop arrested

Bishop Isidro Moran was arrested after speaking in a homily about Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who was sentenced by the regime to 26 years in prison

By Alix Champlon


La Croix International (28.12.2023) – A second bishop arrested in Nicaragua. Bishop Isidro Moran was on his way to celebrate confirmations in La Cruz de Rio Grande, a town in eastern Nicaragua, when he was taken away in a Nicaraguan police van. While the arrest was confirmed by ecclesiastical authorities to the Nicaraguan television channel 100% Noticias, the location of the bishop and the two seminarians accompanying him was still unknown as of December 22.


Nicaraguan media and exiled attorney Martha Patricia Molina quickly drew a connection between the arrest of the bishop of Sinua on December 20, and his homily delivered the previous day in the St. Peter’s Cathedral of Matagalpa, in the diocese of Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who is imprisoned and sentenced to 26 years in prison.

He who must not be named

In front of the faithful celebrating the 99th anniversary of the canonical creation of their diocese, Bishop Isidro Moran prayed, on behalf of the episcopal conference, “for this dear Diocese of Matagalpa,” but also for its bishop, “Bishop Rolando” Referring to the figure of the Good Shepherd, ready to give his life for his sheep, Bishop Moran’s homily implicitly referenced Bishop Alvarez. “In discouragement, there are always people of faith, people who are there in silence, there to serve the Church, to persevere, to take responsibilities,” reported 100% Noticias.


For Martha Patricia, the mention of this name was enough to provoke the regime’s anger. “In Nicaragua, it is forbidden for all bishops, priests, and laypeople to mention the name of Bishop Alvarez,” the attorney concluded on X (formerly Twitter), the day after the bishop was taken. A prominent figure in the opposition to Daniel Ortega’s regime, Bishop Alvarez was sentenced in February 2023 for “conspiracy and dissemination of false news.” He has been in detention for more than 500 days.


For Nicaraguan human rights activist Haydee Castillo, who also spoke to the media outlet 100% Noticias, the arrest of a second bishop is a clear message sent by the government, determined to “annihilate in Nicaragua any minimal expression of solidarity with political prisoners and detainees.”

Photo: Old Catholic Cathedral in Managua (Wikimedia)

Further reading about FORB in Nicaragua on HRWF website