- Inés San Martín
- Dec 18, 2018
The relationship between the Catholic church in Nicaragua and the government is a complicated one, but the bishops have a leading role to play in resolving the country’s current political crisis.
Bishop David Zywiec, a Chicago-born American of Polish descent tapped by Pope Francis in Nov. 2017 to lead the youngest diocese of Central America, is a 71-year old Capuchin Franciscan who’s spent most of his life as a missionary in the region.
Since protests in Nicaragua began on April 18, one priest said his ministry has taken “a new path,” because it’s hard to remain unchanged when people interrupt a Sunday Mass saying they’re being persecuted or killed.
Young Catholics in Nicaragua feel they are being targeted by the government of President Daniel Ortega.
In Nicaragua, some bishops can be in hot water because they opened the doors of local churches to people wounded by the military, so they could be treated by doctors who themselves are being sent to prison for “aiding and abetting” a coup.
Bishop Rolando Alvarez is the shortest, youngest and newest bishop of Nicaragua, appointed in 2011 at the age of 44. Despite all that, or maybe because of it, he didn’t get a soft landing in his first gig.