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Cardinal José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán, O.A.R., Bishop of David (Panamá), was born in Pamplona, Spain on 24 February 1944. He studied in the San José Minor Seminary of the Augustinian Fathers in Artieda. He attended courses in philosophy in Zaragoza and in theology in the Neustra Señora de la Consolación Augustinian Major Seminary in Pamplona.

He made his solemn profession in the Order the Augustinians Recollects (OAR) on 16 September 1967 and was ordained a priest on 13 July 1969 in Pamplona.

After teaching Latin and religion at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Buen Consejo in Madrid, he was sent to Panama, where he obtained a licentiate in philosophy and history at the National University of Panama.

Within the OAR he served as rector of the Colego San Agustín from 1979-1985; Provincial councilor of the province for Central America and Panama from 1976-1982; president of the Federation of Catholic Educators of Panama; member of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic University Santa María in Antigua University from 1980-1985 and then become rector in 1985.  He was also a member of the priests’ council of the archdiocese of Panama and served as rector of the San José Major Seminary.

He was appointed titular bishop of Partenia and auxiliary of Panamá on 30 December 1985, and received episcopal consecration on 18 January 1986.

On 29 October 1994 he was appointed bishop of Chitré by Pope John Paul II.

On 2 July 1999 he was appointed bishop of David.

He served as president of the Episcopal Conference of Panamá for two mandates (2000-2004 and 2007-2013).

From 2015 President of the Economic Committee of the Latin American Episcopal Council (C.E.L.A.M.).

Appointed by Pope Francis he participated in the XIV Ordinary General Assembly on The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World (October 2015).  

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 14 February 2015, of the Title of San Giuseppe da Copertino (St. Joseph of Copertino).

He is the first Cardinal of Panama.

Member of:

  • Dicastery for Culture and Education;
  • Pontifical Commission for Latin America.