Quevedo thanks Pope Francis for accepting resignation

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Outgoing Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo on Wednesday thanked Pope Francis for accepting his resignation as head of the archdiocese.

“I thank our Holy Father Pope Francis most deeply for accepting my resignation as Archbishop of Cotabato. As mandated by Church Law, I wrote my letter of resignation when I reached the age of 75 in 2014,” he said in a statement.

“The letter has been at the Vatican for almost five years. Finally, the Holy Father has announced (about my resignation),” the Cardinal added.

On Tuesday noon (7 p.m. Manila time), the Holy Father announced that he accepted the resignation of Quevedo, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

At the same time, he named Bishop Angelito Lampon of Jolo to succeed the archbishop.

“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.

“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.

Quevedo is the first cardinal from Mindanao and the eighth cardinal from the Philippines.

Although he is retired, the Pontiff asked him to continue as “apostolic administrator” of the archdiocese until Lampon takes canonical possession.

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

On the other hand, Lampon was born in M’lang, Cotabato, on Mar. 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 Mar. 26, 1977.

Lampon headed the CBCP-Commission on Interreligious Dialogue from 2011 to 2017. He is the current chairman of the Commission on Ecumenical Affairs. (PNA)