Monday, October 17, 2011


Bishop Domingo de Salazar
1581 - Bishop Domingo de Salazar, the first bishop of Manila and of the Philippines, calls a council of differing ecclesiastical officials to discuss the liberation of native slaves held by Spaniards during  the early years of Spanish colonial rule; de Salazar, who would erect the Manila Cathedral a few months later, assails colonial Governor Gonzalo Ronquillo de  Penalosa and other civil officials who have defied or  failed to abide by the King Philip II's order, thus  delaying the slaves' emancipation as he declares that "the freedom of the Filipinos can not be deferred as it is a matter of natural and divine right  and clear justice"; having arrived that same year in  Manila, de Salazar would come down in Philippine Catholic history as the "intrepid Salazar" who  fearlessly espoused the cause of the Filipinos who were rapidly being depopulated owing to the  injustices and suffering inflicted by Spanish officials and encomenderos, undertaking the mission of pleading for the natives before the King that eventually led to the correction of various abuses,  the creation of three new dioceses,  and the  elevation of Manila to a metropolitan see with him  as first archbishop.

Fr. Gregorio L. Aglipay
1902 - Filipino Gregorio Aglipay  y Labayan proclaims his establishment of a new religious group, the Aglipayan Church, severing himself from Rome and celebrating Mass as the 'Obispo Maximo of the Philippine Independent Church' some 2 1/2 years into the imperialist American invasion/Filipino-American War (1899-1914); Aglipay is a  nationalist who  sympathized with the Philippine  Revolution against Spain that broke out in 1896, giving aid to  Katipuneros in Victoria, Tarlac where he served as  assistant  to the Spanish parish priest before finally joining the revolution in 1898 and even becoming a signatory of the Malolos constitution and military vicar general of the fledgling Philippine Republic until the forces of the Bald Eagle began invading the Southeast Asian nation; along with nationalist labor  leader Isabelo de los Reyes, Aglipay would then set about filipinizing the church, leading to his excommunication on April 20, 1899 by the Spanish Roman Catholic Church  and his eventual formation of the Philippine Independent Church after Vatican  failed to recognize their cause. 

Photo credits:  National Historical Institute & Wikipedia

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