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Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán (Vatican Media)

The Diocese of David in Panama yesterday announced the disappearance of its bishop, Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, in unknown circumstances. Source: Vatican News.

The cardinal was last seen at his residence in the city of David on Tuesday afternoon.

The diocese said yesterday that his disappearance had been reported to the police, who immediately launched an investigation.

Little else is known about the circumstances of Cardinal Lacunza’s disappearance, though the possibility of a kidnapping has not been ruled out.

In a press statement on Thursday, the diocese asked for prayers for the cardinal.

“In this moment,” it read, “we ask the holy people of God to join us in constant prayer, so that with one heart, like the heart of Jesus, we may quickly be reunited with our diocesan pastor.”

In a separate statement, the Bishops Conference of Panama also invited the faithful to pray for Cardinal Lacunza.

Pope Francis created him cardinal in 2015, making him the first cardinal in Panama’s history. 

He belongs to the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR), which was founded in 1588.

Cardinal Lacunza welcomed the Pope to Panama in 2019 on the occasion of the World Youth Day.


Panama: Cardinal Lacunza disappears in unknown circumstances (By Devin Watkins, Vatican News)