Friday, June 05, 2009

On the run in Nicaragua

Yesterday's El Nuevo Diario reports that Fr. Juan Pablo Astorga, the 33-year old parish priest in El Castillo, Nicaragua, ran off with 18-year old Tania Ruiz, a volunteer assistant in the dispensary that was part of the parish's social ministry. The couple disappeared on May 26th.

Apparently the young lady went by boat to nearby Boca de Sábalos where the priest met her on his motorcycle and they both sped away to Juigalpa. Eventually Tania's mother and grandmother tracked her down and tearfully tried to persuade her to come home but she said she was in love with Fr. Juan Pablo and was not going to leave him. She got on the phone with the padre and he persuaded her to go home with promises that he would return too and that he would leave the priesthood and marry her. He also phoned her mother and, after admitting his mistake and apologizing, also assured her that he wanted to marry Tania.

So far, says Notimex, the Diocese of Chontales y Río San Juan is not commenting on the incident. Stay tuned...

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