MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s Roman Catholic bishops have declined an invitation to attend talks between the government and representatives of the opposition.

The bishops had been mediators in the first, failed round of talks last year. They had been invited by both sides to sit in as witnesses this year, along with representatives of evangelical churches.

The bishops said in a statement Friday they would follow the talks and hoped for the best outcome, but wouldn’t attend, arguing it was time for lay people to find a solution.

The opposition civic alliance and government representatives sat down on Feb. 27, but have not yet agreed on an agenda.

At least 325 people have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded since demonstrations began last April.