On July 9th in Nicargua Bishop Silvio Jose Baez and Catholic priests were attacked by armed groups aligned with the government. Nicaragua has seen escalating tensions.The Catholic Church has tried to promote peace in Nicaragua which is in Central American country. Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Managua and his auxiliary, Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, and Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, the apostolic nuncio, were among those confronted as they tried to protect St Sebastian Basilica in the city of Diriamba from the pro-government mob.
Bishop Baez and at least one other priest were injured and some journalists also were attacked. They had cameras and other equipment stolen.The mobs outside chanted “murderers” at the religious. . “I was injured, punched in the stomach, they took my episcopal symbols away from me, and verbally attacked me,” Bishop Baez tweeted, with a picture of a wound on his arm. “I’m OK, thank God. The basilica is free and so are those who were inside.” “We have felt brutal force against our priests. We had gone to (the) parish to console our priests, to accompany them in this suffering and were attacked,” he said. The protests – over reforms to the social security system in April – have claimed at least 300 lives. Churches in Nicaragua are often used to provide medical attention. Fr Rivas says of the government, “They’ve viewed Churches as places where people are plotting against the government”. “For the government, for the paramilitaries, for the Sandinista groups, the Church is not viewed well,” he added. “The only thing that (the Church) wants is for the country to stabilise with a true, authentic peace.” Bishop Baez said “We cannot continue sitting with representatives of a government that lies, doesn’t accept responsibility and continues massacring the civil population.” “The height of the shamelessness is presenting themselves as innocent and even as victims. When murder is accompanied by cynicism, by lying, it’s doubly grave in the eyes of God.” Pope Francis met on June 30 with Cardinal Brenes and Bishop Rolando Jose Alvarez Lagos of Matagalpa to discuss the situation. The Pope was “worried” about the crisis and encouraged the bishops “to continue forward in accompanying the suffering people and continue the work of dialogue.”