Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Quevedo; appoints Bishop Lampon as successor

Posted on

DAVAO CITY (November 8) — Pope Francis has finally accepted the resignation of Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, the archbishop of Cotabato and named Bishop Angelito Lampon of Jolo as his successor.

The resignation and appointment were made public in Rome on Tuesday at noon (7:00pm local time).

“After 20 years of service as Archbishop in Bangsamoro territory, I hand over the ministry servant leadership to my successor Archbishop-elect Angelito Lampon of Jolo. Like me, he is a missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate (OMI),” Quevedo said.

Quevedo submitted his resignation four years ago upon reaching the canonical age of retirement, but the pope had not accepted it. Instead, the pope appointed him as cardinal, the first from Mindanao, two months before he turned 75.

“Like me, he has had a long experience of interreligious dialogue with Muslims. The Holy Father has chosen well. I thank almighty God most deeply for having given me the grace to work with Muslims and peoples of other faiths as partners working for peace. My prayers and blessings for Archbishop-elect Angelito Lampon,” the 79-year-old cardinal said.

Both Quevedo and Lampon belong to the congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI).

Bishop Lampon was born in M’lang, Cotabato, on March 1, 1950.

After carrying out his novitiate with the OMI in Tamontaka, Cotabato, he studied philosophy at the San Jose Major Seminary and theology at the Loyola School of Theology, both on the campus of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.

He was ordained a priest for the OMI on March 26, 1977.  He served as a parish priest in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat and in the Cathedral of Cotabato from 1977-1978.  He was a staff member of the Notre Dame Archdiocesan Seminary from 1979-1981 and Director of Postulants and Scholastics of the OMI from 1988-1992. On the same year, he became the Provincial Superior of OMI Philippine Province.  In the succeeding years up until 1997, he was the General Counsellor of OMI in Rome.

On his return to the Philippines, he was appointed apostolic vicar of Jolo on November 21, 1997.

In 2012, then Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to be part of the Rome-based Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

In the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Lampon headed the Commission on Interreligious Dialogue from 2011 to 2017. Currently, he is the chair of the Commission on Ecumenical Affairs.

Quevedo is the first cardinal from Mindanao, a land that has been home to conflict since 1960s when the Muslim minority launched an armed struggle for their ancestral homeland.

After 20 years, the cardinal will leave the archdiocese with about 87 diocesan and religious priests, and more than a hundred nuns.

But even if he is retired, the pope asked him to continue as “apostolic administrator” of the archdiocese until Lampon takes canonical possession.

He could also still function as cardinal until he reached the age of 80 in which he can no longer vote for a new pope.

The eighth cardinal from the Philippines, he was Pope Francis’ special envoy to the 150th anniversary celebration of the “Hidden Christians of Japan” that was held in Nagasaki in March 2015.

Pope Francis also sent Cardinal Quevedo to beatify 17 martyrs of Laos in December 2016.

Lampon, on the other hand,  headed the CBCP-Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue from 2011 to 2017. He is the current chairperson of the Commission on Ecumenical Affairs.  Jiann Padillo/ NewsLine with CBCP

Be informed