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TV adaptation of Colombia's only saint frustrates devotees

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Madre Laura will be the leading character in a telenovela type series.

For weeks now, promotional ads have been spotted announcing what claims to be Colombia's next huge prime-time television sensation. However, several controversies have emerged over this TV adaptation that dramatizes the life story of Colombia's only Roman Catholic saint, Laura Montoya.

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MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Devotees of the missionary nun known universally as Madre Laura, filed a lawsuit seeking to correct what they believe is an unsuitable depiction.

Caracol will be producing the 24-episode mega-production "Laura, the Colombian Saint." Caracol is known as one of the most successful telenovela factories in Latin America. However, most of the network's productions, with titles like "Without Breasts There's No Paradise" and "Cartel of the Snitches," tend to present more aberrant story lines that are popular with audiences, but often criticized as unfitting.

The controversy shrouding the TV adaptation of the saint's life is inevitable given the conflict that sparks between the Colombia's airwaves and the country's strong religious foundations.

The Congregation of Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Sienna, claimed that despite recurrent requests they were never consulted by Caracol about the script.

The order also criticized the telenovela over reservations that it will depict romantic relationships.

"We're all disgusted by the bad image they're giving our saint," Mother Maria del Carmen, a devotee, stated. "The network wants a high rating among young audiences without adapting the script to her biography and putting things out there that aren't real."

Caracol released a statement saying it is unable to comment while the lawsuit is still unresolved. It also stated that under no circumstances will the show be pulled from the air.

"The nuns are scandalized by everything," said Manuel Diaz Alvarez, a priest living in Venezuela who wrote a 2004 biography of Montoya. "She was someone who overcame obstacles little by little, not a stupid angel who came from above."


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