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|Iglesia Filipina Independiente|
Logo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente: Scripture, Charity, Knowledge, Liberty
|Primate||Most Rev. Ephraim Fajutagana y Servanez, D.D., Obispo Máximo XII|
|Headquarters||National Cathedral of the Holy Child, 1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines|
|Territory||Philippines, North America, Europe, Middle East, and Northeast Asia|
6,000,000 (estimate)(1939) 1.5 000,000
The Philippine Independent Church (officially Spanish: Iglesia Filipina Independiente, IFI, Ilocano: Siwawayawaya nga Simbaan ti Filipinas, Tagalog: Malayang Simbahan ng Pilipinas, Kinaray-a: Simbahan Hilway nga Pilipinhon; also known as the Philippine Independent Catholic Church) is a Christian denomination of the Catholic tradition in the form of a national church in the Philippines. Its separation from the Roman Catholic Church was proclaimed by members of the first labour unions federation in the country, the Union Obrera Democratica Filipina in 1902. Isabelo de los Reyes was one of the initiators of the separation, and suggested that Gregorio Aglipay be the head of the church. It is also known as the Aglipayan Church after its first Supreme Bishop, Gregorio Aglipay.
The Catholic Church acted severely against promoters of the national church, with the Pope instructing the Archbishop of Manila to excommunicate those who initiated the schism. Since 1960 the church has been in full communion with the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (and through it with the entire Anglican Communion), and since 1965 with the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht.
Although many Spanish friars protested abuses by the Spanish government and military, others committed abuses. Some blocked the ascent of native clergy in the Catholic hierarchy, and claimed vast estates from landless farmers. Cases of sexual abuse of women were widely known, and priests were known to sire illegitimate children. Anak ni Padre Dámaso (child of Father Dámaso), alluding to a character in one of José Rizal's novels, became a cliché or stereotype to refer to an illegitimate child, especially that of a priest. The executions of Fr Mariano Gomez, Fr José Burgos, and Fr Jacinto Zamora (collectively known as the Gomburza) at the hands of Spanish authorities is said to have had a deep effect on Dr José Rizal and subsequently the 1896 Philippine Revolution.
Gregorio Aglipay was an activist Roman Catholic priest from Ilocos Norte who was excommunicated by the Vatican for inciting rebellion within the Filipino clergy, despite his defence of some Spanish Catholic clergy from liberal-nationalist Filipino revolutionaries. During the brief interlude between independence from the Spanish and occupation by the United States, Isabelo de los Reyes (also known as Don Belong) and Aglipay acted to reform the Filipino Catholic clergy. They founded the Philippine Independent Church in 1902. The new church rejected the spiritual authority of the Pope (then Pope Leo XIII) and abolished the celibacy requirement for priests, who were then allowed to marry. All of its clergy were former Catholic priests.
The church drew upon the Masonic Code for concepts of theology and worship. It was supported by Miguel Morayta, the Grand Master of the Spanish Orient Lodge of Freemasonry in Madrid. Aglipay was also a Mason. The historian John N. Schumacher contends that Morayta and other non-Filipino laymen who pushed Aglipay toward schism from the Catholic Church were motivated more by resentment of friars' activities in the Philippines than nationalism.
Later the newly-independent Church reformed the Latin Tridentine liturgy, adopting the model of Anglican vernacular reform. The Eucharist has been said in Spanish (and sometimes Portuguese) since the earliest days of the Church.
Visiting other churches while traveling abroad, Aglipay developed his theology, coming to reject the divinity of Jesus and the concept of the Trinity and becoming theologically Unitarian. Other Church officials refused to accept this revised theology. Aglipay's unitarian and progressive theological ideas were evident in his novenary, Pagsisiyam sa Birhen sa Balintawak, 1925 and its English translation, Novenary of the Motherland (1926).
At the end of the 19th century, Filipino nationalism emerged, preceding the struggles of other colonies in Asia, such as India and French Indochina. Spain's last remaining colonies in the Americas, Cuba and Puerto Rico, were fighting for secession at the same time. After the execution of prominent native-born clergy such as the Gomburza at the hands of the Spanish royal authorities, Church reforms became a facet of the Philippine Independence movement.
Winning large numbers of adherents in its early years because of its nationalist roots, Aglipayan numbers decreased due to factionalism and doctrinal disagreements. Some factions, tending towards more radical cryptoprotestant reforms, formally joined other denominations including the Episcopal Church and the American Unitarians. The definitive growth limiting factor was the decision of the American government, after the Spanish-American War, to award the seized Catholic church buildings of the nascent Philippine Independent Church — the majority of which had become Aglipayan during the revolutionary period — to the Roman Catholic Church.
Today, the Philippine Independent Church is affiliated with the Old Catholics and the Anglican Communion. Aglipayans number around 6 million members. They constitute about 2.6% of the total population of the Philippines, while 80.2% of the population are members of the Catholic Church. Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church), an independent church, has Concordat relationships with the Anglican provinces and the Old Catholic Church. Its members are currently spread throughout the Philippines, the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. The spiritual head is called Obispo Máximo (Supreme Bishop). His Eminence Ephraim S. Fajutagana is the incumbent and the 12th Obispo Máximo.
Most of the members of the church, like the founders Aglipay and De Los Reyes, are activists, often involved in progressive groups as they advocate for nationalism, anti-imperialism, democracy, as well as opposing extrajudicial killings. They have been victims of forced disappearances and been branded as leftist by the government for being aligned with progressive groups, specifically after Obispo Máximo IX Alberto Ramento was killed for being an anti-government critic.
In 2002, Aglipayan bishops registered their objection to the presence of US Special Forces troops in the country. Today, the Philippine Independent Church is the second-largest Christian denomination in the country after the Roman Catholic Church. Most of the members of the Church are from the northern part of Luzon, especially in the Ilocos Region.
|Part of a series on|
Christians hold Jesus to be Christ
|Structure of the
Roman Rite Mass
Roman Missal, chalice (with purificator,
|A. Introductory rites|
|B. Liturgy of the Word|
|C. Liturgy of the Eucharist|
See also: Eucharist in the Catholic Church
|D. Concluding rites|
|Source: General Instruction of the Roman Missal|
INTRODUCTION The Declaration of Faith is the public confession of the faith that is professed by the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. It declares belief in the Triune God and the Catholic and Apostolic character of the Church. The Declaration of Faith, with the Articles of Religion, was established by the Church in the 1947 General Assembly.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
The Holy Trinity
One God, true and living, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. And that in the unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power and eternity: the Father who is made of none, neither created nor begotten; the Son who is of the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten, the Holy Ghost who is of the Father and the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God
Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, after she had conceived by the Holy Ghost. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. Word-(Sheol) means pit, back to the ground, which the Jewish people understood when you died you would go to the ground or Sheol and wait till judgment day. when the King James Bible was translated they used the word hell or Hades which is wrong. The third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge both the living and the dead.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son: Who with the Father and the Son together we worship and glorify.
One Catholic and Apostolic Church
The Church, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, which is the Body of Christ, founded by Christ for the redemption and sanctification of mankind, and to which Church He gave power and authority to preach His Gospel to the whole world under the guidance of His Holy Spirit.
INTRODUCTION The Articles of Religion are doctrinal statements that define the standards of doctrine of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. It contains the basic summary of the doctrinal teachings subscribed to by the clergy and laity of the Church.
ARTICLES OF RELIGION WE HOLD TO THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES OF RELIGION TAUGHT BY THIS CHURCH:
Salvation: Salvation is obtained only through a vital faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Lord and Saviour. This faith should manifest itself in good works.
Holy Scriptures:The Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation, and nothing which cannot be proved thereby should be required to be believed.
The Creeds:The Articles of the Christian Faith as contained in the ancient Creeds known as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds are to be taught by this Church and accepted by the faithful.
The Sacraments: The Sacraments are outward and visible signs of our faith and a means whereby God manifests His goodwill towards us and confers grace upon us.
Two Sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion, commonly called the Mass, ordained by Christ Himself, are held to be generally necessary to salvation.
Baptism is necessary for salvation. It signifies and confers grace, cleansing from original sin as well as actual sin previously committed; makes us children of God and heirs of everlasting life. It effects our entrance into the Church of God. It is administered with water in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Confirmation, whereby, through the imposition of the Bishop’s hands, anointing and prayer, baptized Christians are strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and confirmed in the Faith.
Penance, the confession of sins as commanded by Jesus Christ.
The Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, taken and received by the faithful for the strengthening and refreshing of their bodies and souls.
Holy Unction, whereby the sick, especially one in danger of death, is anointed with oil with prayer. He receives, if necessary, remission of sins, the strengthening of his soul, and, if it be God’s will, restoration to health.
Holy orders, a Sacrament by which Bishops, Priests and Deacons are ordained and receive power and authority to perform their sacred duties.
Holy Matrimony, a sacrament in which a man and a woman are joined together in the holy estate of matrimony.
The Holy Eucharist: The Holy Eucharist, commonly called the Mass, is the central act of Christian worship. It is the sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death. Those who partake of it receive the Body and Blood of Christ. All who purpose to make their communion should diligently try and examine themselves before they presume to eat of that Bread and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith a man receive that Holy Sacrament, so is the danger great if he receive the same unworthily.
The Mass is to be said in the official language of the Church in such a way it can be heard by the worshipers.
The authorized Order for the celebration of the Mass is that set forth in the Prayer Book adopted by this Church.
Sacred Ministry: From Apostolic times there have been three Orders of Ministers in the Church of God: Bishops, Priests and Deacons. These orders are to be reverently esteemed and continued in this Church. And no man is to be accepted as a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon in this Church, or permitted to execute any functions pertaining to these Orders, except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereunto according to the Canons of this Church, and in accordance with the Order prescribed by this Church for making, Ordaining and Consecrating Bishops, Priests and Deacons, or hath had Episcopal Consecration or Ordination.
Celibacy of the Clergy: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are not commanded by God’s law to marry to abstain from marriage, therefore they are permitted to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
Church Building: Churches for the worship of God are to be erected and separated from all unhallowed, worldly, and common uses, that men may reverence the Majesty of God and show forth greater devotion and humility in His service.
The Altar: The altar is the most sacred part of the Church because there Jesus is sacramentally present. It symbolizes Mt. Calvary, and, therefore, if images of Saints are used for adornment, care is to be exercised that such ornaments may not distract the minds of the worshipers from the Person of Jesus Christ.
Worship, Rites and Ceremonies: Only such Orders of Service as have been authorized by this Church shall be used in Public Worship; provided, however, that the Diocesan Bishop or Supreme Council of Bishops may authorize Orders of Service for special occasions.
Language of Public Service: All public services shall be conducted in the official language of the Church, or in any other language the Supreme Council of Bishops may prescribe.
Purity of Life: Holiness, altruism, obedience to God’s Commandments and a zeal for His honor and glory are incumbent upon Clergy and Laity alike, therefore all should be trained in a clean and disciplined life, not neglecting prayer, study, and the exercise of moral discipline.
Knowledge: All truth is of God, therefore the Church should promote sound knowledge and good learning. No books except those detrimental to good morals are to be prohibited.
The Blessed Virgin: The Virgin Mary was chosen by God to be the Mother of Jesus Christ. As Jesus Christ is truly God and Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ, she is the Mother of God in His human generation. She whom God honored is to be honored above all.
The Saints: Persons universally recognized for their holiness of life, loyalty and courage, especially the Blessed Virgin and the New Testament Saints, are to be held in reverent remembrance. Veneration of Saints is not contrary to God’s commandments as revealed in the Scriptures; but their deification is condemned by the Church as a monstrous blasphemy. Veneration of the Saints must not obscure the duty of the faithful to direct approach to God through Jesus Christ. Honor rendered the Saints must in no wise detract from the honor due the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.
Miracles: Holy Scriptures teach us that events take place in the natural world, but out of its established order, which are possible only through the intervention of divine power, like the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. So-called miracles, based not on well-authenticated facts but on merely fantastic rumors, are repudiated. Belief in unsubstantiated miracles leads to pagan fanaticism and is to be condemned as destructive to the true faith.
Attitude Towards The Roman Catholic Church: When this Church withdrew from the Roman Catholic Church, it repudiated the authority of the Pope and such doctrines, customs and practices as were inconsistent with the Word of God, sound learning and a good conscience. It had no intention of departing from Catholic doctrine, practice and discipline as set forth by the Councils of the undivided Church. Such departures as occurred were due to the exigencies of the times, and are to be corrected by official action as opportunity affords, so that this Church may be brought into the stream of historic Christianity and be universally acknowledge as a true branch of the Catholic Church.
Attitude Towards Other Churches: Opportunity is to be sought for closer cooperation with other branches of the Catholic Church, and cordial relations maintained with all who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Church and State: This Church is politically independent of the State, and the State of the Church. The Church does not ally itself with any particular school of political thought or with any political party. Its members are politically free and are urged to be exemplary citizens and to use their influence for the prosperity and welfare of the State.
Doctrine and Constitutional Rules of the Church and the Fundamental Epistles: The Doctrine and Constitutional Rules of the Philippine Independent Church, adopted on October 28, 1903, and subsequently amended, and the Fundamental Epistles of the Philippine Independent Church, are henceforth not to be held as binding either upon the Clergy or Laity of this Church in matters of Doctrine, Discipline or Order, wherein they differ in substance from the Declaration of Faith or the Articles of Religion contained herein. They are to be valued as historical documents promulgated by the Founders of this Church when they were seeking to interpret the Catholic Faith in a manner understood by the people. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the Church has sought to eradicate such errors of judgment and doctrine as crept into its life and official documents in times past.
Additions, Amendments, Repeal: The Declaration of Faith shall not be altered, amended or repealed. However, the Articles of Religion may be amended, repealed or added to by an absolute majority of the delegates to the General Assembly having the right to vote. Such action before it becomes binding upon the Church must be ratified by the Supreme Council of Bishops and approved by the Supreme Bishop.
Melchora Aquino, "Mother of the Philippine Revolution"
Felipe Buencamino, co-author of the Malolos Constitution.
The Philippine Independent Church is currently the second-largest Christian denomination in the Philippines after the Roman Catholic Church. Most members of the Church are from the northern part Luzon, especially in the Ilocos Region where Obispo Máximo Aglipay was born. The Church has 40 dioceses, including the Diocese of the Eastern and Western United States and Canada. However, due to a lack of priests, many parishes in the United States must depend on lay leaders.
Chairperson: Rt. Rev. Ernesto M. Tamayo
Chairperson: Rt. Rev. Ronelio V. Fabriquier
Chairperson: Rt. Rev. Felomino Ang
Chairperson: Rt. Rev. Felixberto L. Calang
By virtue of its concordat relations with the Anglican Churches, the Philippine Independent Church is given the privilege to send delegates to the Council of Churches of East Asia (CCEA) as organised by the Anglican Provinces in East Asia in 1962. Since 1964, IFI Bishops have also been regular participants of the Lambeth Conference.