Pope names new Jaro archbishop

Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo

ILOILO CITY—Pope Francis has named Antique Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo as the new head of the Archdiocese of Jaro, after accepting the resignation of Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, who reached the mandatory age of retirement two years ago.

Lazo, 69, a native of Antique province, will be the 13th archbishop of Jaro, one of the largest archdioceses in the Philippines.

3M Catholics

The archdiocese covers the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras, with 85 parishes and 3 million Catholic faithful.

Lagdameo, who became Jaro archbishop in 2000, reached the retirement age of 75, on Aug. 2, 2015. He served two terms as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), from 2005 to 2009.

Lazo has been serving as bishop of San Jose de Antique since 2009 when he was appointed by then Pope Benedict XVI.

In November 2003, then Pope John Paul II appointed him as bishop of the Diocese of Kalibo in Aklan province.

Lazo will also become the metropolitan bishop of the suffragan dioceses within the ecclesiastical province of Jaro, which covers the dioceses of Bacolod, San Jose de Antique, San Carlos and Kabankalan.

Apostolic administrator

According to the news website of CBCP, Lagdameo was named the archdiocese’s apostolic administrator “sede vacante” (Latin for “with the seat being vacant”) until Lazo assumes canonical possession of the Archdiocese of Jaro.

On Feb. 10, Pope Francis made his first appointment for the Philippines this year, naming Monsignor Abel Apigo as bishop of Mati in Davao Oriental province.

Apigo would succeed Bishop Patricio Alo, who resigned due to health reasons. Alo served the diocese for 34 years. —REPORTS FROM NESTOR P. BURGOS JR. AND JULIE M. AURELIO

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