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From Fox59 in Indianapolis:
An Indiana priest has disappeared in Greece, and his family tells Fox59 News that they believe he’s in serious danger or maybe even dead.
Father Christiaan Kappes, a Franklin, Ind., native and priest for the Indianapolis Archdiocese, began pursuing doctoral studies in Athens, Greece, on behalf of the Vatican three years ago.
Three days ago, Father Kappes called his family to tell them that he was trying to escape the country with his translator.
“He told my dad on Monday, ‘If you don’t hear from me in 12 to 24 hours, I’m dead,” said Nadia Charcap, Father Kappes’ sister.
Charcap says her brother first noticed signs of trouble in Greece after learning that his translator and close friend, Ioanna Lekakou, was involved in a heated dispute over her family’s inheritance.
“He said that her family is out to get the money that she inherited and they are going to stop at nothing to hurt her in order to get this money,” Charcap said. “I asked him if he thought his life was in danger, if he thought anything was amiss and he was like, ‘No they’re just a bunch of thugs.’”
Father Kappes reportedly told his family that he was trying to make sure Lekakou remained safe. Early Monday morning, they received another call from him saying someone had threatened to kill Lekakou and that he believed he was also a target.
“He calls my parents at three in the morning. At seven in the morning he calls me and (says) he’s in fear for his life,” Charcap said.
Father Kappes told his family that he and his translator were being followed and that they were seeking shelter at his church in Athens.
Virgil Kappes said he told his son to go to the United States Embassy. Father Kappes reportedly made it to the Embassy and called his family again.
“He told me if he left the embassy, they’re watching him, they’re there, ‘they’re going to take me,’” Virgil Kappas said. “And the Embassy did nothing.”
Charcap said her brother told her his only choice was to try to escape.
“He said that he was going to buy plane tickets for both of them to go and leave the country.”
Virgil Kappes told Fox59 that he spoke to a priest in Greece who reportedly dropped off his son and Lekakou at the Athens airport. The family said they were both planning to fly to Indianapolis on separate flights. As far as they know, neither one made it on a plane.
“There’s no reason to kill my son,” Virgil Kappes said. “If they do they’re heartless. They’re cowards.”
Virgil Kappes has contacted both the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Senator Richard Lugar’s office about his son’s disappearance.
Greg Otolski, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, sent the following statement to Fox59 News:
“The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is aware of the situation involving Father Christiaan Kappes. We have talked to his family and Church authorities about the matter. We are concerned that Father Kappes’ family has not been able to contact him in recent days. We are praying for the well-being of Father Kappes and his family and for Father Kappes’ safe return to the United States.”
There is more over there.
PLEASE. Stop what you are doing now and say a prayer for this priest and for his poor family. They must be frantic, the poor people.
Pray during the day. Ask the Holy Angels to help Fr. Kappes and his family.