Although the Holy See has already refused his request to be released from the clerical state, the former Bishop of San Pedro, Fernando Lugo, has renewed his request to the Apostolic Nuncio.
According to the newspaper “La Nacion,” in his letter to the Nunciature, “Lugo seems worried about the unclear situation regarding his civil status, in the sense that on the one hand his advisors believe that his ecclesial resignation is enough to make him eligible to be a presidential candidate in 2008, but on the other hand the letter from the Vatican affirms that his status as a bishop remains in force.”
The former bishop now says that the publication of the letter from the Holy See has created “confusion in public opinion,” and therefore he sees it necessary “to ratify my undeniable resignation.”
The newspaper notes that Lugo “is not hiding his political objective” and that his intention is to be in conformity with the laws of Paraguay “in order to overcome the legal impediment that he has as minister of the Catholic Church” against running as a political candidate.
Paraguayan law states that “ministers of any religion or faith” cannot be candidates for president or vice president.
Response from the Vatican
Several weeks ago the Apostolic Nunciature made public a decree, signed by the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, affirming that Lugo “remains in the clerical state and continues to be obligated by the duties inherent therein, although he is suspended from the sacred ministry.”