Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, and named Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo of San Jose de Antique to succeed him. Lagdameo, Jaro’s archbishop since 2000, is 77, exceeding for two years the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn their resignation to the pope. Bishop Lazo, who just turned 69 last month, will be the 13th archbishop of one of the largest archdioceses in the country with more than three million Catholic population. In the meantime, the pontiff has named Lagdameo, a former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, as Apostolic Administrator “sede vacante” of the archdiocese until Bishop Lazo takes canonical possession.
Archbishop-elect Lazo was born on Jan. 23, 1949 in San Jose Buenavista, Antique. He was ordained a priest on April 1, 1975. On Nov. 15, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Kalibo. Six years later, Pope Benedict XVI named him fourth bishop of San Jose de Antique. The second Filipino to be appointed this year, Lazo will oversee the archdiocese which covers the civil province and city of Iloilo and the province of Guimaras. He will also serve as metropolitan bishop of the suffragan dioceses within the Ecclesiastical Province of Jaro, which includes the dioceses of Bacolod, San Jose de Antique, San Carlos and Kabankalan. On February 10, Pope Francis also made his first appointment for the Philippines this year, naming Monsignor Abel Apigo as the new bishop of Mati in Davao Oriental. The bishop-elect succeeds Bishop Patricio Alo who resigned due to health reasons after serving the diocese for 34 years.