A Christian must distinguish himself by a very clear stance in favor of human dignity. Let’s not forget: God became man and died to save us. That’s why for Christians this commitment in favor of humanity is decisive, their ability to create relationships based on a sense of community, working to build more peaceful societies, more just, more human… taking care of the planet, because the faith has an ecological dimension.
In a nutshell: the Christian fights so that human beings may live with greater dignity, and it is in this relationship with others that we express our faith in a concrete way. We also must work in social media so that this option for the human being may be rediscovered, which is summarized in this simple message of Jesus: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40).
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. Faith that cuts deep: An interview with Bishop Silvio Báez
I dream of a Church that is not the sole proprietor, but the servant of the truth, of a truth that we seek in all areas of life:
a Church much more prophetic than diplomatic, one that doesn’t make peoples’ lives more difficult, but seeks to heal their lives, down to the root of their problems;
a Church conscious of being at the service of something much greater than she, at the service of the Kingdom of God; and,
a Church that doesn’t exist just to satisfy the people’s religious sentiment, but rather a Church at the service of a meaningful, fulfilling human life,with just and peaceful relationships, a Church that cares for nature.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. Faith that cuts deep: An interview with Bishop Silvio Báez
This virtual presence in social media is as real as physical existence. One is as present in the digital world as one is in the physical world. It isn’t an isolated world: there are also people there, there are feelings, there are sorrows … In social media, I introduce myself just as I do in person. My presence in social media reflects my convictions, just as I am in life. In social media, in addition, communication is given equal to equal, never from top to bottom. I speak as a friend.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Read more: Faith that cuts deep: An interview with Bishop Silvio Báez
Loving our enemies is not feeling sympathy and caring for those who have hurt us. It’s about not feeding hatred and thirst for vengeance (which doesn’t exclude a demand for justice) and being ready to do good to those who have harmed us. This is how to conquer evil.
Bishop Silvio J. Báez, O.C.D.
«Amad a vuestros enemigos» (Mt 5,44). No es sentir simpatía y cariño por quien nos ha dañado. Se trata de no alimentar odio y sed de venganza (lo cual no excluye exigir justicia) y estar dispuestos a hacer el bien a quienes nos ha hecho mal. Así se vence al mal. @silviojbaez
Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.
The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God because God does not want anyone to be afraid and remain asleep. Precisely at the time of greater darkness and weariness is when the prophet listens once again to the word of the Lord — two different times — speaking through an angel, saying: “Get up and eat.”
After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep.
Sometimes crisis in our lives is so great and there is so much discouragement, that it is difficult to get up and walk; but God is not overcome by our weakness.
God insists for the second time in feeding Elijah: “Get up and eat, because the road before you is very long, it is greater than your strength”.
God does not want us to feel fearful; neither does he want us to sleep. That is why he feeds the prophet, just like he feeds all of us when we feel deflated, frustrated, and hopeless.
God takes what seems like the end of the road and turns it into a new horizon; what we experience as death is transformed into the beginning of a new life.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. Homily, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (excerpt) Mount Tabor Parish, Managua — 12 August 2018
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. is one of eighteen living bishops who are affiliated with the Discalced Carmelite order; he is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua. He began his Discalced Carmelite formation in the General Delegation of Central America in 1979 and was ordained a priest 15 January 1985. He pursued advanced studies in Sacred Scripture and biblical geography and archeology in Rome and Jerusalem. In 1999 he defended his doctoral thesis in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on the subject, Tiempo de callar y tiempo de hablar: el silencio en la Biblia Hebrea(A time to keep silence, and a time to speak: silence in the Hebrew Bible). Serving as a seminary professor, he authored numerous articles and books, speaking at conferences and retreats, and served on the council of the general delegation. In 2006 he was appointed Vice-President of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Teresianum in Rome, where he was Professor of Sacred Scripture and Biblical Theology and Spirituality; in addition, he was the editor of the theology journal Teresianum. On 9 April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Managua and Titular Bishop of Zica.
On 30 May 2009 Silvio José Báez, O.C.D, was ordained bishop in the Cathedral of Managua. The principal consecrator was Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua; the principal co-consecrators were Archbishop Henryk Józef Nowacki, Titular Archbishop of Blera and Bishop César Bosco Vivas Robelo, Bishop of León en Nicaragua.
You may view his episcopal lineage / apostolic succession here.
Scripture commentary translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission
Pope Francis told him, “I’m interested in having you here with me, I need you right now.”
Wednesday 10 April at the archdiocesan chancery offices in Managua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua met with members of the press along with his Auxiliary Bishop, Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Cardinal Brenes, speaking off the cuff to open the press conference, explained that Bishop Báez would be leaving Nicaragua after Holy Week and Easter to go to Rome for an undetermined period. Báez, a Discalced Carmelite who was teaching in Rome when Pope Benedict XVI nominated him to return to his native Nicaragua as Auxiliary Bishop 9 April 2009, is no stranger to the Holy City. In October 2018 we published the exclusive translation of Bishop Silvio’s tribute to former Nicaraguan president Violetta Chamorro, Meeting With a Mother in Rome.
Readers of this Carmelite blog will recognize from our many publications that Bishop Silvio José is a passionate, prophetic voice in Nicaragua who embodies the spirit of the Holy Prophet Elijah, the Guide and Father of Carmelites.
Bishop Báez prefaced his remarks by reading at length from the Apostle Paul’s farewell address to the Elders of the Church at Ephesus, where Saint Paul speaks of “serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews.” [Acts 20:19] A subtle reference is made here by the bishop to a June 2018 plot to assassinate him, along with the United States ambassador Laura Dogù — a foiled plot that recently was revealed by Ambassador Dogù in a university lecture.
Bishop Silvio José continued, explaining the reason for this announcement of his departure, which comes on the heels of a seemingly unforeseen trip to the Vatican April 1 – 8, including a private audience with Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace April 4.
As Bishop Báez explained, Pope Francis told him, “I’m interested in having you here with me, I need you right now.”
Our thanks to the Nicaraguan daily La Prensa for bringing us these 15 most memorable quotes — truly, Carmelite quotes — from Bishop Báez’s press conference.
“I haven’t asked to leave — I’ve been called by the Holy Father”.
“I am not going to ignore Nicaragua from this moment on. I’ll continue faithfully living my vocation as bishop enlightened by the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Wherever I go I’ll also fly the blue and white flag of our country with pride and hope.”
“This decision of the Holy Father, which I have accepted with complete, loving obedience, has made my heart weep.”
“How can you forget the farmers, the mothers of the victims of repression, the youth who are persecuted and suffering, and those who are in prisons — I carry all of this in my heart.”
“The joy of having carried out this mission fills my heart with profound peace, although now I’m weeping with great sadness deep inside, to have to leave my native country and my people.”
“We’re not an army where we obey out of fear, where there are authorities above us who command in drastic and sometimes irrational ways. We are a fraternity united in faith.”
“The pope did not make one single reproof, not a single reproach, not one single correction. For me, it was Peter’s confirmation of his brother.”
“I was able to share many things; you all know how I see the reality of Nicaragua. I’ve given my opinion, my constructive criticism, and I made this point to the Holy Father about this year of pain and suffering — this people’s Via Crucis — whose anniversary we are about to mark on April 18.”
“In summary, I reminded him that this is a crucified people, that this is a country that has been hijacked, and that here there are de facto powers dominated by lies, injustice, repression, and ambition.”
“It’s not about saving the economy, it’s not about throwing a life jacket to the financial market, please — today’s golden calf, which is money, cannot take the place of the people.”
“I dream of a Church that is less diplomatic and fearful, and more prophetic and courageous in order to be a Church on the side of the discarded, of the last in line, of the voiceless, of the victims.”
“I dream of a church that doesn’t have worldly privileges, that is free in the face of power.”
“In Nicaragua, there aren’t confrontations between two groups: what we have is an idolatrous group that sacrifices human beings and a crucified people.”
“Unfortunately, they worship the god of wealth, the god of money, and they sacrifice human beings for it. This is the reality of Nicaragua.”
We invite our readers to join us in prayer for the success of Bishop Silvio José’s new mission with our Holy Father Pope Francis in Rome. Bishop Báez, thank you for being a faithful son of Our Holy Mother Saint Teresa whose parting words were, “I am a daughter of the Church.”
Un llamado a la población a no tomarse la justicia por sus propias manos, hizo este domingo el obispo auxiliar de Managua, monseñor Silvio Báez, tras los incidentes derivados de la represión el sábado por la tarde en Metrocentro, cuando un fanático orteguista fue golpeado por manifestantes cuando lo desarmaron. La entrada Monseñor Silvio Báez:…
El obispo auxiliar de Managua, monseñor Silvio Báez, exhortó a los participantes en la negociación entre la Alianza Cívica y el régimen a que prevalezcan sus valores cristianos y no anteponer la estabilidad financiera a la persona humana.
“Es hora que muestren su fe cristiana, no solamente sus habilidades políticas, no solamente su fidelidad ideológica…” También les recordó que en la negociación…
This afternoon, in Managua, Daniel Ortega’s police forces have kept their promise to crack down on protesters. Here are some of the images and video circulating on social media as of approximately 2 pm, local time. On going coverage, via Facebook Live, from LaFise (Canal 10). Protesters, bystanders, and media were pushed back into LaFise’s…
ROME – Almost a year since a political and social crisis exploded in Nicaragua, the government and opposition forces along with the local Catholic bishops are still trying to figure out how to sit down to work out a negotiated settlement.
President Daniel Ortega appears determined to remain in power, as he, together with his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, were reelected in 2016 to lead the country until 2021.
Yet after a student-led revolt that began in April 2018, both the opposition and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have called for a series of measures that go from putting an end to violent repression to Ortega calling for early elections.
An earlier attempt at dialogue failed last May-June, and efforts recommenced with the new year.
Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, auxiliary of Managua, will stay out of the dialogue efforts this time around, at least officially. He rose last year as a strong voice against the Ortega, often going to Twitter to denounce the repression against protesters. He’s currently in Madrid, where he spoke on Sunday at a conference for the 75th anniversary of the magazine [Vida Religiosa].
During his talk, available on YouTube, Baez said he comes from a country with a “very conflictive history, marked by caudillismo, corruption, electoral fraud. We go from conflict to conflict.”
Yet, he said, Nicaragua is once again trying to find a “peaceful and dialogic solution to the conflict. It’s the hardest one, but the only one that can guarantee…”
An introductory note from Elijah’s Breeze: As our blog followers know Bishop Silvio José Báez has been involved in previous sessions of Nicaragua’s National Dialogue. This time, he is excluded from the dialogue table. His prayer for the negotiations is this: “May there be a renunciation of personal and ideological interests; may concerns about money never be placed ahead of human rights. That everything may be transparent, with all political prisoners freed and with public freedoms restored.”
In this edition: OrMu Administration Mostly Tight Lipped About Negotiations, except for pleasantries; Alianza Hints OAS and UN as Guarantors for Negotiation; OrMu Cops go After Jose Pallais; Young Man who Participated in Protests Found Murdered in Managua; Political Prisoners Shouldn’t be Pawns. Could Some be Released?; FIDH Plans Pickets at Nicaraguan Embassies; AUTHOR’S NOTE:…