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Roman Catholic priest with ties to Oklahoma is reported missing in Greece

Sister Marcianne Kappes, professor at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, said she fears her nephew, the Rev. Christiaan Kappes, is dead but holds out hope.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Published: October 5, 2012

The aunt of a Roman Catholic priest missing in Greece said she fears her nephew is dead but holds out hope because he is known for surviving against great odds.

Sister Marcianne Kappes, a professor at St. Gregory's University in Shawnee and a Carmelite Sister of St. Therese from Villa Teresa Catholic School in Oklahoma City, said the details of her nephew's disappearance are sketchy but that his family is sure he is in trouble.

The Rev. Christiaan Kappes, 36, told family members he feared for his life earlier this week. He was dropped off at an airport in Athens on Monday but never boarded the plane and has not been seen since, Sister Kappes said on Thursday.

“I'm waiting from a call from my four younger brothers to find out the latest,” she said. “Either he's dead or he's managed to go into hiding, but if they're holding him I think he's dead.”

Kappes, who is attached to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Ind., has been attending the University of Athens for about three years, said Greg Otolski, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

He was sent there at the request of the Vatican, which is trying to improve relationships between the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox churches, Otolski told the Indianapolis Star.

The church, the U.S. State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been notified of his disappearance.

Sister Kappes said her nephew may have gotten into trouble through his translator, but said she's heard differing reports about his disappearance and declined to speculate further.

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