HomeNewsArchbishop Lagdameo of Jaro remembered for ‘visionary leadership and humor’

Archbishop Lagdameo of Jaro remembered for ‘visionary leadership and humor’

Fellow bishops described the former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference as a “visionary leader” who was “gifted with sense of humor”

Catholic Church leaders in the Philippines paid tribute to Archbishop emeritus Angel Lagdameo of Jaro who died on Friday, July 8.

Archbishop Lagdameo died at 8:30 a.m. at a hospital in Iloilo City. He was 81.

Fellow bishops described the former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as a “visionary leader” who was “gifted with sense of humor.”

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP president, told CBCP News that Archbishop Lagdameo was a “very jolly man” who had a way of “humanizing” the Church hierarchy under his leadership.

“He can easily dissipate tensions. He was very good at conflict management and very pastoral also in his approach,” said Bishop David. “He will be remembered very fondly.”

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos recalled that the late prelate led the CBCP at a “challenging time” and “he really stood up then.”

As Archbishop Lagdameo’s auxiliary bishop from 2008 to 2013, Bishop Alminaza praised the later Church’s leader’s mentorship and “empowering” style of leadership.

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“He treated me as his equal and a brother. I had no difficulty accompanying him in really bringing forward the church in Jaro together,” he said.

Bishop Alminaza said that lay ministry and participation in the archdiocese also “blossomed” under the leadership of Archbishop Lagdameo.

“He was very systematic and yet very personal… he takes time to listen. So in a way, he really paved the way for the archdiocese to becoming a truly synodal Church,” he added.

For Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones of Cebu, Archbishop Lagdameo never lost his sense of humor and willingness to find humanity in adversaries.

Bishop Billones served as Archbishop Lagdameo’s secretary in Jaro for six years before he was sent to Rome for further studies.

“The gift of Archbishop Lagdameo is the gift of the sense of humor, which for me is a sign of holiness… a character of deep faith and trust in God,” he said.

During his term as CBCP head, he released more than 30 pastoral letters on different subjects.

Archbishop emeritus Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, former President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. (CBCP News file photo)

It was also under his leadership when the CBCP News Service was operationalized in 2007, ten years after the bishops’ Permanent Council approved its establishment.

Archbishop Lagdameo was CBCP president from December 2005 to December 2009. He was CBCP vice president for two terms of four years.

He served the Archdiocese of Jaro from May 9, 2000, until Feb. 14, 2018. He was ordained priest on Dec. 19, 1964.

In 1978 he served as Protonotary of the First Diocesan Synod of Lucena convoked by Bishop Jose T. Sanchez.

On August 12, 1980, he was consecrated bishop as an auxiliary to Cardinal Julio Rosales of Cebu.

In 1986 he was secretary general of the Fourth Diocesan Synod of Cebu convoked by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal. In the same year he became coadjutor bishop of Dumaguete, succeeding Bishop Epifanio B. Surban on Aug. 2, 1989.

As bishop of Dumaguete he convoked its first diocesan synod in 1992, a year after the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines.

Pope Francis accepted Archbishop Lagdameo’s resignation at the age of 77 in 2018.

From 1994 to 1998, Archbishop Lagdameo was chairman of the Office of Laity of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.

From 1990 to January 2000 he served as chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Laity and chairman of the National Committee for the Great Jubilee Year 2000.

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