.- The pastoral center of the Diocese of Matagalpa in central Nicaragua, whose bishop is currently in Rome to inform the pope of the situation in his country, was attacked by men armed with machetes on Tuesday.

Two months of protests against Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega have resulted in more than 200 deaths.

The priests of the Matagalpa diocese stated that around noon on June 26 “our Charterhouse Diocesan Pastoral Center was raided by a group of masked men armed with machetes.”

The priests indicated that the assailants “stormed into the center,” took away valuables, and damaged the furniture and the infrastructure. They also threatened the guard.

The priests expressed their sadness “for this desecration of a sacred place dedicated to evangelization and spirituality.” They also condemned the lack of respect for members of the Church and its goods.

“This shameful act is an affront to the person of our pastor Bishop Rolando Álvarez who is on his consultative trip to Rome, and to our parishioners,” the priests said, asking the authorities to find those responsible.

The clergy of the Matagalpa diocese renewed their “urgent call for peace, the end of the violence, and we strongly support the strengthening of the national dialogue in order to come to and honor a national accord for peace and justice. Let’s keep our sanity and respect for others. Let us pray untiringly to the Lord.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency.