Aglipayan Church (Iglesia Filipina Independiente)

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The Iglesia Filipina Independiente was formed in the beginning of the twentieth century as part of the broad nationalist struggle against Spanish colonialism and American imperialism. It traces its origin from the struggle of the Filipino clergy against racial discrimination and friar domination within the Roman Church in the 19th century, which, consequently, transformed into a nationalist crusade for the absolute Filipinization of the Church in the twilight years of the 20th century.

Fr. Gregorio Aglipay played an important role in the revolutionary war to overthrow Spanish rule and in the struggle for the Filipinization of the Church. In his capacity as Military Vicar of the Revolutionary Government, he gathered Filipino priests to a special meeting on October 1898 to lay down the organizational foundation of the Filipino Church. The formal institution of the Philippine Church was however prevented by the intrusion of the United States of America in the course of the revolutionary war against Spain.

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Iglesia Filipina Independiente, also known as the Philippine Independent Catholic Church) is a Christian Protestant denomination of the catholic tradition in the form of a national church in the Philippines. Its separation from the Catholic Church was proclaimed in 1902 by the members of the Union Obrera Democratica Filipinadue to the alleged mistreatment of Filipinos by Spanish priests in the Philippines and the government execution of nationalist Jose Rizal. Isabelo de los Reyes was one of the initiators of the separation, and suggested that former Catholic priest Gregorio Aglipay be the head of the church.

It is also known as the Aglipayan Church after its first Supreme Bishop, Gregorio Aglipay, who also later became a Freemason in May 1918. The Catholic Church under the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII instructed the Archbishop of Manila Bernardino Nozaleda y Villa, O. P. toexcommunicate 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).

Commonly shared beliefs in the Aglipayan church are the rejection of the Apostolic Succession solely to the Petrine Papacy, the acceptance of priestly ordination of women, the free option of clerical celibacy, the tolerance to join Freemasonic groups, the non-committal in the belief regarding transubstantiation and Real Presence of the Eucharist, and the advocacy of contraception[9] andGay and Lesbian civil rights among its members. Saints canonized by Rome are also not officially recognized by the Aglipayan church and its members.

The current Obispo Maximo is The Most Rev. Ephraim Fajutagana, whose central office is located at the National Cathedral of the Holy Child on Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila. Doctrine: 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. 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. The Holy Scriptures contains all things necessary to salvation, and nothing which cannot be proved thereby should be required to be believed. 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 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 affects 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. 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. 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.

Sacred Ministry: 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. 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 is the most sacred part of the Church because there Jesus is sacramental present. It symbolizes Mt. Calvary.

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. Attitude Towards The Roman 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. Beliefs & Practices: They shared the same beliefs with Roman Catholics but they don’t commune with pope and their priests marry.

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Aglipayan Church (Iglesia Filipina Independiente). (2016, Dec 02). Retrieved from

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