Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Monsignor Juan Abelardo Mata from the parish government of the Diocese of Esteli and announced the appointment of Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, Bishop of Matagalpa, as Apostolic Officer of the “vacant seat” of the Diocese of Esteli.
The Apostolic Embassy of Nicaragua, headed by Monsignor Valdemar Stanislav Sommertag, informed of the Pope’s decision through a press release dated Tuesday, July 6.
The letter also states that Monsignor Rolando Alvarez will remain in charge of the diocese of Esteli until the appointment and subsequent inauguration of the new bishop of that ecclesiastical district.
The Last June 26, it was confirmed that Mgr. Mata was waiting for the Vatican to formally notify him of his retirement. Bishop of the Diocese of Esteli. Mata has devoted 31 years of his life as patron of that jurisdiction, since 1990.
“I am obligated, by legal mandate, to tender my resignation as soon as I reach my seventy-fifth birthday. I have already fulfilled this mandate on May 24 of this year, a month before the appointed date: my seventy-fifth birthday,” Monsignor Mata told LA PRENSA in that time.
Monsignor Alvarez accepted the new task entrusted to her and thanked her, through a letter addressed to the Apostolic Embassy.
“I thank the Holy Father Francis, with filial attachment, for the trust he places in my strength and my limited abilities, realizing that it is Christ who leads this Church which is not the work of men but of God,” says the letter dated Tuesday, 6 July.
In the letter, the Bishop of Matagalpa praised the frankness, courage, effort and work done by Monsignor Mata in the Diocese of Esteli.
On May 24, he submitted his resignation in accordance with the canon law law that governs the Catholic Church worldwide.
What will you do next?
Bishop Mata shared with this newspaper on June 26, that if his resignation was accepted and when the Holy See informed him of his retirement, he would consider “cooperating in the academic formation of clergy, establishing a spiritual center and helping young people close to this center in their labor formation in the world of agriculture and in the formation of Christianity.” I follow the motto of Don Bosco: To form honest citizens and good Christians.”
He insists that “there is much to be done in this beloved country in order to dream of a nation in which God and his envoy, Jesus Christ, will be loved from the heart.” Immediately, Monsignor Mata told the Nicaraguans with a clear message, amidst much adversity and uncertainty, that “God does not create useless beings and every human being is an irreplaceable link in the chain of redemption. Thus, we cannot be sterile: barrenness is a betrayal of love plans. God and how good it is to open the eyes of others to discover one’s mission in personal existence.”
The church should be next to the city
When asked what role the Church in Nicaragua should adopt, in the context of the social and political crisis and the exacerbation of the human rights crisis, he said that “we must stand with the people.”
“The role it must always play is on the side of the people of God in history, and therefore, those who are at the forefront of this people formed by the children of God. This task becomes all the more urgent when the human world enters into crisis (or the Church itself enters into crisis) because of the desire for power and control that destroys all healthy coexistence, harms the brotherhood of men, and kills the power of dialogue. We become wolves of others: one man wolf —which means that the man is the wolf of the man, or the man is the wolf of the man.
The devout also states that the Church exists in history to “push” the work of human renewal and points out that this is achieved by “continuous preaching of the Word of God, prayer – ‘love’ towards God – and the Overlord. And spiritual works of mercy – ‘loving’ towards others. This should be encouraged in more Times are sad, like periods when peoples determine their future as citizens,” Monsignor Mata told LA PRENSA.