La Paz, Bolivia, May 29, 2018 / 11:25 am
In a statement Tuesday, Bolivian bishop and Cardinal-elect Toribio Ticona strongly denounced rumors that he has a wife and children.
“As a result of the false accusation which is being spread in the media regarding my private life, it is my duty to declare and emphatically make clear that its content does not correspond to the truth,” Bishop Ticona said in a statement released by the Bolivian Bishops' Conference.
The bishop said he interprets the rumors as an attack not only against himself, but against Pope Francis, who recently chose him to be elevated to the position of cardinal.
“If these accusations persist, I will have no problem filing a libel lawsuit against those promoting or propagating this,” he said.
Ticona said that similar rumors surfaced in 2011, but “ended up being simple calumny.”
“Personally, I am happy that these accusations should come out at this time, in order to definitively close the case,” he added.
Earlier this week, the blog Adelante la Fe reported that “It is a well-known fact that while (Ticona) was serving his office in Corocoro, he was living (as husband and wife) with a lady in Oruro's chancery. She and her children are proud to be called wife and children of the Patacamaya bishop, as Bishop Toribio Ticona is also known.”
However, in a May 29 article in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, journalist Franca Giansoldati reported that the Vatican has carried out “deep investigations” of the claims, which found that “nothing is true” regarding the rumors.