File photo of a church in Panama File photo of a church in Panama 

Panama: Cardinal Lacunza disappears in unknown circumstances

The Diocese of David in Panama announces the disappearance of Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán in unknown circumstances.

By Devin Watkins

Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, the Bishop of David, was last seen at his residence in the city of David, Panama, on the afternoon of Tuesday, 30 January.

The Diocese of David announced on Thursday, 1 February, 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 of David 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 the 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.

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01 February 2024, 18:36