Bishops Conference of Nicaragua Statements on National Dialogue

PRESS RELEASE- BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF NICARAGUA 

April 24, 2018

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 2)

“The love of Christ urges us” (II Cor 5,14)

The Bishops Conference of Nicaragua, after praying, listening and asking for the light of the Holy Spirit:

Accepts being “mediator and witness” to the dialogue convoked by the President of the Republic of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega Saavadra, on Sunday April 22 of this year, in the face of the very serious situations that the Nicaraguan nation have experienced and that have worsened in the last week.

In order to facilitate the climate for dialogue we think it is essential and imperative that the Government as well as each member of civil society: avoid all acts of violence, of disrespect for public and private property and that a serene climate prevail and one of absolute respect for the human lives of each and every Nicaraguan.

We hope that, with a sincere spirit and willingness to help the country and find the paths for the peace that rests on justice, equity and law, different brother and sister Nicaraguans painfully in conflict and civil society would accept us as mediators and witnesses. We leave ourselves awaiting your respective acceptances.

Putting our nation and hearts at the feet of the Lord and the maternal intercession and protection of the Most Holy Virgin May, and trusting ourselves to the prayers of the people of Nicaragua, we want to make our closeness and prayers as servants of the Lord reach each one of you, in the name of our priests, religious brothers and sisters, especially to the families of the dead, wounded and those affected by this conflict.

BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF NICARAGUA ON THE NATIONAL DIALOGUE:  MAY 3, 2018

…The Episcopal Conference last Tuesday April 24 in the afternoon issued a statement where it accepted to be the Mediator and Witness to the dialogue, proposing to the government the need to create an environment and basic and ideal conditions to establish said dialogue, among which would be the liberation of the youth; withdrawing the paramilitary forces, police and anti-riot police from the demonstrators; the freedom of expression and the press; the publication of a new presidential decree that would revoke the previous decree that had done reforms on the INSS and that hurt the Nicaraguan people; the search for the disappeared, for which the Government asked us for a list of names, and Human Rights groups have provided us with preliminary lists; an open agenda for sectors directly involved in the dialogue and an initial proposal from those sectors with some actors.

We the Bishops of Nicaragua have believed it helpful that after one month of having started the National Dialogue we will call a halt to assess the willingness, the implementation and the serious and real fulfillment that the parties have shown. If we the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua evaluate that these steps are not being taken, we would inform the people of God who we are accompanying and would tell them that this cannot continue in this way, and that it was not able to be done. We also believe that the objective of this National Dialogue must be “reviewing the political system of Nicaragua from it roots, to achieve an authentic democracy.” We also believe that the topic of the painful deaths suffered during the university demonstrations must be thoroughly clarified. We make a call to the university students to finish organizing themselves as soon as possible and set their agenda and their representatives. Likewise to be attentive to groups outside the student movement who are acting aggressively, sowing confusion. The place of the National Dialogue, which we think should be installed as soon as possible, will be Our Lady of Fatima Interdiocesan Seminary . We ask all the sectors that are involved in this National Dialogue to make a public pronouncement providing their respective support to the people proposed to participate directly in the dialogue, choose their agenda to be proposed in the plenary session and open our hearts to good will so that “the questions opened might be peacefully resolved and with a sense of responsibility,” as Pope Francisco encouraged in the Angelus on Sunday Aprill 22, 2018.

PRESS RELEASE May 31, 2018

To the People of God and men and women of good will:

  1. We the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua have experienced with profound pain the violent events carried out last night by armed groups allied with the government against the civilian population. We energetically condemn all these violent acts against the exercise of peaceful free demonstrations and we absolutely reject this organized and systemic aggression against the people, which has left dozens of wounded and some people dead.
  2. We cannot continue allowing this inhumane violence “that destroys the lives of the innocent, that teaches to kill and equally disrupts the lives of those who kill, that leaves behind a trail of resentment and hate, and makes more difficult the just solution of the very problems that caused it” (Centesimus Annus, 52).
  3. We the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference condemn these acts of repression on the part of groups close to the government, and we want to leave clear that the National Dialogue cannot be renewed as long as the people of Nicaragua continue being denied the right to freely demonstrate and continue being repressed and murdered.
  4. At this moment in which the history of our country continues being stained with blood, we cry out to Jesus Crucified, who on resurrecting from the dead conquered evil and death with the strength of his infinite love. “Oh, Cross of Christ, we teach that the dawn of the sun is stronger than the darkness of night. Oh Cross of Christ, we teach that the apparent victory of evil fades in the face of the empty tomb and in the face of the certainty of the Resurrection and the love of God, which nothing can defeat or darken or weaken” (Pope Francis, Holy Friday 2016). That Mary, the grieving Virgin, whose heart was pierced by a sword in the face of the pain of her Son on the Cross (Lk 2:35), consoles so many Nicaraguan mothers who suffer over the murder of their sons and watch over all our people with maternal love.

Issued in the city of Managua on the thirty first day of the month of May of the the two thousand eighteenth year of the Lord.

PRESS RELEASE OF THE BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF NICARAGUA: June 6, 2018

We the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, as mediators and witnesses to the National Dialogue, inform the Nicaraguan people that after listening to several sectors of national and international society, we are asking the President of the Republic of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega Savaadrea, for a meeting to deal with the issues so indispensable and essential for our country, concerning justice and democracy, on which peace always depends, with the purpose of assessing in the plenary session of the Dialogue the helpfulness of carrying it forward.

This meeting has been accepted by the President, it will be tomorrow Thursday June 7 at 3:00pm in la Casa de los Pueblos.

After that meeting, we will be reporting to the national and international community about the dialogue. For that reason we are inviting the press to a conference at 7:00pm on that same day in the Our Lady of Fatima seminary.

We ask our faithful to intensify their prayers for the success of that conversation.

In our office, Wednesday June 6, 2018, Year of the Lord.

PRESS RELEASE OF THE BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF NICARAGUA: June 7, 2018

We the Bishops of the Bishop´s Conference of Nicaragua communicate to the Nicaraguan people, that we have finished our conversation with the President of the Republic.

We have done it as pastors of the people of God who have entrusted this to us seeking new horizons for our Country.

The dialogue with the President happened in an environment of serenity, frankness and sincerity, where we set out to the President the pain and anguish of the people in the face of the violence suffered in recent weeks, and the agenda agreed upon in the Plenary of the National Dialogue on the democratization of the country.

We have handed him the proposal that brings together the sentiments of many sectors of Nicaraguan society, and expresses the longing of the immense majority of the population. We are awaiting his response in writing as soon as possible.

Once the President of the Republic has responded to us formally, we will call for a meeting of the Plenary of the National Dialogue to assess that response and therefore the feasibility of continuing the National Dialogue.

In the Seminary of Our Lady of Fatima, on the 7th day of June of 2018, Year of the Lord.

[Bishops signatures follow]

PRESS RELEASE OF THE BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF NICARAGUA: June 13, 2018

We the Bishops of the Bishops Conference of Nicaragua wish all Nicaraguans grace and peace from God Our Father.

At the same time we want to inform you that yesterday on Tuesday we received the response of the President of the Republic to the proposals, that, bringing together the feeling of diverse sectors of society and the immense majority of the Nicaraguan people, we had presented to him in the encounter we had last Thursday June 7th.

Therefore we are convoking the Plenary Session of the National Dialogue for next Friday June 15th at 10am in the Our Lady of Fatima seminary. At that roundtable we will be revealing to the national and international community the proposal that we presented to the President, and the letter that he has sent us with his proposal, which we will submit to debate to seek a consensus that would respond to the desires for justice, democratization and peace for the people.

We thank the Nicaraguans who trust in the mediation that we are doing and the international community that has supported us in this work, that we do as pastors of the people of God, entrusted to us, and who we accompany in their sorrows, sufferings, hopes and desires to build a country im peace, justice and freedom.

We ask the faithful people to continue praying for us and for all of our country.

In our offices, on the thirteenth day of the month of June in 2018, year of the Lord.

[Signatures of the Bishops]

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