The auxiliary bishop of Nicaragua’s capital has given an impassioned speech before being transferred to Rome at the request of Pope Francis.

In one of his final sermons Sunday, Silvio Báez called on Nicaraguans to “fight for freedom” and to remember “the crucified of today: political prisoners, exiles and mothers who mourn those killed by repression.”

At least 325 people have died during clashes between civilians and government forces in Nicaragua during the past year. Báez has been a vocal critic of the government of President Daniel Ortega.

Pope Francis recently told Báez that he is needed in Rome but didn’t say whether the decision was related to an alleged assassination plot against the bishop.


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