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Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán (Vatican Media)

Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, the bishop of the Diocese of David in Panama, apologised at the end of Sunday Mass in the city’s cathedral after having been missing for two days but found safe and sound earlier in the week. Source: CNA.

Speaking from the ambo at the Cathedral of St Joseph, Cardinal Lacunza said, “I want to offer you my apology and ask for your forgiveness for the trouble I caused you in recent days. I know you had a bad time. Some shed abundant tears. I don’t deserve them, I tell you sincerely, but I appreciate them. And above all I appreciate your prayers.”

Without offering details of what happened during the time he was reported missing, the prelate commented: “It was a stupid prank. The fact is I didn’t do them when I was 15 years old and now I’ve done it when I am going to turn 80. How outrageous! The older you are, the more stupid.”

The Spanish word “trastada”, which the cardinal, used means “a bad action of little consequence,” according to the Royal Spanish Academy’s dictionary.

“I thank you for all the love and all the prayers on my behalf. A thousand pardons and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your concern,” he concluded.

Thecardinal was found safe after disappearing for approximately 48 hours, an absence that provoked a police search for the prelate and concern for his wellbeing, OSV News reports. 

The cardinal, who turns 80 on February 24, reappeared on the afternoon of February 1 in the city of Boquete, near the border with Costa Rica, according to Panamanian media. He had been last seen January 30 in the diocesan seat of David, 50 kilometres to the south.


Panama’s Cardinal Lacunza apologises for his disappearance: ‘It was a stupid prank’ (By Nicolás de Cárdenas, CNA)

Panamanian cardinal found safe after disappearing for 48 hours (By David Agren, OSV News)