An order of religious sisters in Colombia is suing a national television network for producing a series that it says twists the facts about the life of the order’s founder, the first Colombian saint. Saint Laura Montoya Upegui is the subject of a new series on Caracol Television, entitled “Laura: an extraordinary life.” The first of 25 episodes was broadcast on July 29. In a statement released July 24, the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and Saint Catherine of Sienna announced that they were suing Caracol over the series. The congregation was founded by St. Laura, who is the first Colombian to be canonized. “The trailer and promotional videos depict false scenes,” the press release states. It says that promotional materials describe Saint Laura as “renouncing the love of her life,” participating in romantic relationships, and being present for conversations in poor taste. In reality, the statement says, these things did not happen. “(T)he result is that the TV viewers, those following the above mentioned series, will think that the incidents described here are true and real.” Consuela Benjumea, the lawyer for the sisters, told the Colombian newspaper La Republica that Caracol Television did not have authorization from the congregation. “(W)e’re sure that it’s not going to be a program that conforms with reality…in order to get higher ratings, they’re going to distort aspects (of the saint’s life), and the congregation is worried about this.” The heads of the order said that the congregation had approached Caracol Television when they heard of the project, in order to see what was in the script, but Caracol’s programmers would not speak with them. They added that “the congregation has not authorized Caracol to use the expression Laura and/or the name Mother Laura or Mother Laura Montoya.” National newspaper El Tiempo contacted Caracol Television for a statement, but Caracol said it would not comment on matters currently under litigation.
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