Cardinal Lacunza Apologizes at the End of Mass on February 4 Photo: La Nación

Panama: what was the «mischief» of the Cardinal of Panama, lost and soon found?

Cardinal Lacunza’s apology at the end of a Mass on Sunday, febrero 4 has given rise to more conjecture in the press, not only in the local and international press, but also in the local press.

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(ZENIT News / Jerusalem, 02.05.2024).- 12:15 PM on Thursday, February 1: The Panamanian episcopate announces the disappearance of Cardinal José Luis Lacunza, Bishop of David. 4:24 PM on the same February 1: The same episcopate reports that they have found the cardinal. The police found him in his car, approximately 39 km from David, and it was only mentioned that he was disoriented, so he was taken to the hospital. But no more details about the reasons for the disappearance have been disclosed… at least until this Sunday, February 4, when the cardinal himself said something at the end of the Mass.

More specifically, Cardinal Lacunza commented:

«Before finishing, I want to offer you apologies and ask for forgiveness for the upset I caused you in the past days. I know you had a bad time. Some shed abundant tears, which I don’t deserve, I sincerely say, and I thank you, especially for your prayers. It was a stupid prank, one that I didn’t do when I was 15, and now I do it when I’m about to turn 80. How absurd! The older I get, the dumber I become!»

But the apology has led to more speculation in the press, not only locally. Among the meanings of «prank» is «mischief.» The question that the press is now asking is, what was the mischief that the cardinal himself is referring to? Because the «prank» lasted almost 48 hours (he disappeared on Tuesday and was found on Thursday), it involved not showing up for the masses he committed to, and it mobilized the police in Panama, including personally involving the director general of the police, to the extent of locating him in a very short time. In fact, given that Cardinal Lacunza is Spanish, the Spanish episcopate issued a press release as soon as they learned he was missing.



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Enrique Villegas

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