The mysterious case of Bishop Lacunza

Panama's Attorney General, Javier Caraballo, declared on Monday, 5th February, that the police considered Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, Bishop of David, as a "victim" after his disappearance and his recovery (

"It is important to note that the treatment he has received has always been that of a victim, that is, the victim or possible victim of a criminal act," the prosecutor added.

He insisted that "we must respect privacy and we must respect the rights of the victim, and that is what we are doing," Caraballo said mysteriously.

No one has explained what happened to the cardinal and what he was doing during his disappearance from the afternoon of 30 January to the afternoon of 1 February.

The video showing the moment when the police found him seems to contradict earlier reports that he was found in a "state of confusion". He was not.

During last Sunday's homily, Cardinal Lacunza described the episode as a "stupid prank". (6 February) rightly writes that this statement has raised even more suspicions, "if that is possible".

For, many questions remain unanswered:

- What was the criminal behaviour of which Cardinal Lacunza was allegedly the victim?

- Why did the Cardinal not mention it in his Sunday homily?

- Why did the Cardinal take full responsibility for what happened when he spoke of a "stupid prank" on his part?

- What was the prank that, according to his words, he did not commit when he was 15 years old, but when he was almost 80?

- Does the Cardinal have all the physical and mental (and moral) faculties necessary for the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction?

- Is it likely that the events or circumstances that led to his absence will recur? What is being done to ensure that this does not happen again?