Bishop Lopez Lozano visits Clogher Diocese

Bishop Lopez Lozano and Bishop Jackson at with a P1 class in a local Primary School

The Right Reverend Dr. Carlos López Lozano, Bishop in Madrid and Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Europe, was the guest of Clogher Diocese last week as part of the special events organised in the lead up to St Macartan's Day last Saturday (24 March 2007).

His visit began with a number of public lectures on the topic of 'Christianity and the Spanish Civil War'. The lectures, in association with Ardess Historical Society on Thursday 22nd of March and Clogher Historical Society the following evening both had very good attendance.

Bishop López Lozano gave a very interesting talk about the tensions surrounding the Spanish Civil war in the 1930s and the impact upon Christian churches. The audience were captivated by the stories of horrendous mistreatment of clergy during the conflict - clergy and missionaries imprisoned, exiled, church property confiscated and destroyed and clergy executed. He also detailed the devastating impact of the repression upon minority churches such as the Spanish Episcopal Church leaving many regions without any clergy.

Bishop López Lozano explained that a previous Bishop of Clogher, Bishop Charles Stack who was rector of Colaghty Parish, Lack (Co Fermanagh) prior to his appointment as Bishop played a significant role in the establishment of the Episcopal Church of Spain.

Given the link between the dioceses of Spain and Clogher it was fitting for Bishop López Lozano's to visit Lack during his stay. Bishop of Clogher, Rt Rev Michael Jackson along with Bishop López Lozano and his wife Ana very much enjoyed the music, poetry and dance performances given by local school children.

An additional school visit was to Monaghan Collegiate School. Here Bishop López Lozano gave a short talk to pupils, enjoying a number of musical recitals and talks and was accompanied by Bishop Jackson and Bishop Duffy. The school visits was particularly interesting for Ana as she is a school teacher in Madrid and she was keen to find out about schooling here.

"We are delighted that Bishop Carlos could visit the diocese at such a poignant time with not only St Macartan's Day on March 24th but the following day is the 50th anniversary since the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the political foundation on which today's EU is built," said Bishop Jackson.

This visit was coordinated as part of the Macartan 1500 Project celebrating 1500 years since the death of the Diocese's patron saint - St Macartan and is part financed by the European Union through the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC).

Date: 26 March 2007