Wednesday, April 23, 2008
ONCE A BISHOP, NOW THE PRESIDENT
Fernando Lugo shed his cassock to win Paraguay’s presidential election on Sunday, ending 61 years of one-party rule in the South American country. Lugo stepped down as bishop of one of Paraguay’s neediest areas three years ago, saying he felt powerless to help the poor. A year later, he left the priesthood to launch his political career.
The Vatican responded by suspending him, but he remains a bishop under canon law because the Catholic Church views ordination as a lifelong sacrament.
Paraguay’s bishops said they recognise the mild-mannered, sandal-wearing Lugo as the new president, adding this may be the first country where a Catholic bishop has been elected leader.
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