Catholic World News

Puerto Rico’s bishops grateful that Obama commuted activist’s sentence; Pope intervened

February 07, 2017

Speaking on behalf of all the bishops of Puerto Rico, Archbishop Roberto González Nieves of San Juan recently gave thanks to God that former President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera on January 17.

López Rivera made bombs for the FALN, a Marxist group that sought independence for the island. In 1981, he was sentenced to 55 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, armed robbery, vehicle theft, and other charges. In 1988, he was sentenced to an additional 15 years after attempting to escape from prison.

“We would like to thank Pope Francis for his interventions in favor of the release of Óscar López Rivera,” the archbishop said. “In the noble cause of the liberation of Oscar López Rivera, politicians of all the parties and ideologies, religious of different confessions, Puerto Ricans of here and the diaspora were united.”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 08, 2017 10:06 AM ET USA

    I didn't know until today that Puerto Ricans had a diaspora.

  • Posted by: DanS - Feb. 08, 2017 7:07 AM ET USA

    With all due respect to the Puerto Rican bishops and the CWN headline writers, bomb-making in a democratic republic makes one a terrorist, not an "activist."

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Feb. 07, 2017 9:37 AM ET USA

    There must be some other missing element of this story that would explain why an archbishop would think freeing this person is a noble cause, because it sort of sounds like "we want Barabbas!"