Fernando Lugo

Fernando Lugo

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Fernando Lugo

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Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez (; born May 30, 1951) is the current President of Paraguay and the former Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of San Pedro.

Early life

Lugo's family was not particularly religious; by his own account, he never saw his father set foot in a church. However, the influences during his upbringing were distinctly political. His maternal uncle Epifanio Méndes Fleitas was a Colorado Party dissident and was persecuted and exiled by General Stroessner's regime. Lugo's father was imprisoned twenty times, and some of his elder siblings were sent into exile. He received his basic education at a religious school in Encarnación, all the while he worked selling snacks on the streets.

At age 17 or 18, against his father's wishes of him becoming a lawyer, Lugo entered a normal school, and began teaching at a rural community. He was well accepted within this people, who were very religious, but they had no priest. He recalls that he was touched by that experience, discovering his vocation to the Roman Catholic priesthood, and he decided to enter a seminary operated by the Society of the Divine Word at age 19. Lugo was ordained a priest on August 15, 1977. That year he was sent to Ecuador, where he served as a missionary for five years. In Ecuador he had the opportunity to learn about the controversial liberation theology, a movement later criticized in large measure by the Vatican.

Lugo returned to Paraguay in 1982, and after a year, the regime's police asked...
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