Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, the bishop of the Diocese of David Photo: ADN Celam

Panamanian cardinal of Spanish origin found: he had been missing for two days

Although he was reported missing on Thursday, February 1, he has been missing since Tuesday, January 30.

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(ZENIT News / Panamá, 02.01.2024).- The Communication Office of the Panamanian Episcopal Conference (CEP) reported on the afternoon of Thursday, February 1, that Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, the bishop of the Diocese of David, was found, according to authorities.

The local press mentions that the cardinal was located by a special force of the National Police in Boquete, in good health, inside his car, but disoriented, which is why he was taken to a hospital.

Just a few hours earlier, the Panamanian Episcopal Conference had made public the disappearance of Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán and invited, upon learning of the incident, “to join in constant prayer asking that we may soon know his whereabouts.”

Although the disappearance was reported on Thursday, February 1, he had been missing since Tuesday, January 30. It is known that on that day, he left his house in a white Nissan Xtain car. Since he did not attend scheduled appointments in the following days (for example, a Mass at the cathedral on the occasion of the feast of St. John Bosco), authorities were notified.

The Attorney General of Panama initiated the investigations on Wednesday, January 31. “We have formed a group of prosecutors from Panama who will move to Chiriquí to reinforce this investigation,” he stated.

The mayor of Ciudad David, the main headquarters of the diocese, made the Surveillance Center available to the police to learn more about the whereabouts of the Spanish cardinal.

The Spanish Episcopal Conference, for its part, issued a statement on the morning of February 1 in which they note, “Upon learning of the news of the disappearance of Cardinal José Luis Lacunza, bishop of David in Panama, Augustinian Recollect Spanish, from the Episcopal Conference, we express our concern about this situation. We ask for the prayers of all Christians and join the sentiment of the Panamanian Church that calls for his prompt return.”

 

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Enrique Villegas

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