QUO VADIS IGLESIA FILIPINA INDEPENDIENTE?


         First of all, I am not a member of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. Second, it is never my intention to malign its reputation. Third, I only have questions.  The IFI (whose members are commonly called Filipinistas or Aglipayans) has a strong presence in Misamis Occidental and particularly in our place (Plaridel) where they constitute roughly 40 percent of the total population, based on my estimate.

     They have customs and traditions which are similar to us Catholics yet differ on two important points i.e clerical celibacy and auricular confession. But aside from that, we share many of the same practices like procession, fiesta celebration, Flores de Mayo, sacred images, Sugat or Salubong, etc. There were even times when I attended their services, once when we had our baccalaureate Mass in their church and at other times when I attended the funeral Mass of our neighbor. The altar and the priest looked ostentatiously Catholic. They even reign in the streets around Looc during Lent since they are the only ones who hold processions there. The Catholic church in Looc is not a parish yet and so the faithful join the Lenten services in the mother church. In their processions, they carry the same images we Catholics do, starting from Sta. Veronica to the Santo Entierro. Well, that was before. Something different has happened now.

IFI-Sto. Niño Church, Pandacan, Manila

       They stopped holding processions, they stopped celebrating Flores de Mayo, they stopped the pious practice of salubong, the street once teeming with IFI worshippers during Lenten processions is now silent. They now frown upon sacred images and plan to abolish the practice in the near future. They are now ready to disassociate themselves from Catholic influences. One thing to note here though is that this is a crisis particular of their church in Mindanao, precipitated by Protestant-leaning IFI bishops. In one of my correspondence with a Facebook friend, I found out that IFI churches in Luzon are still as traditional as they were before. I just wonder what the scenario would be if an IFI from Mindanao who now thinks processions are wrong meets an IFI from Luzon who still thinks processions are right. They both belong to the same church yet cannot agree on what practice is wrong or right. The overall hierarchy has defined nothing about what’s happening in Mindanao. To whose authority should they turn to in case of questions in doctrine? Their bishops composing their magisterium cannot even agree among themselves. In fact, the IFI in Clarin resented the move of their priest prohibiting these practices. In Plaridel, the IFI faithful asked our parish priest (Catholic) to join our Good Friday procession while at the same time bringing with them their sacred images. In the IFI parish of Labo, Ozamiz City, faithfuls even joined the Black Saturday service bringing with them gallons of water to be blessed and attended the Easter celebration of salubong in the Catholic church. IFI faithfuls in Aloran even issued a manifesto opposing the moves against their traditions. A number of IFI faithful are at loss about what’s happening, why such moves are ordered by no less than their priests whom they expect to protect their heritage and their pious traditions attacked by no less than their bishops.

       What’s happening now in the IFI has a precedent in the Anglican Communion – of which the IFI has a representation in the Lambeth Conference. Students of ecclesiastical history could easily compare this with the High and Low Church division of Anglicanism. High Church refers to Anglo-Catholicism which values and upholds the Catholic heritage and traditions of the Anglican Church while the Low Church values more its Protestant heritage. The present Church of England is divided along this line. There are Anglican faithful who continued Catholic practices like processions, the recitation of the rosary, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and believes in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist while there are others who abhor religious processions, veneration of the saints, and denies Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. Again, they both belong to the same church, are under the same hierarchy but divided along contrasting points of belief. It is interesting to note here that the beliefs mentioned earlier such as the saints and the Real Presence have already been attacked before by no less than Fr. Gregorio Aglipay in his early epistles when the IFI was still in its toddler years. I don’t know if it is appropriate at this moment to coin a term like High Church Aglipayanism and Low Church Aglipayanism – the former referring to the dioceses of Luzon and the latter in the dioceses of Mindanao.

         I think I shall end my observations here since it would not be appropriate for me to comment much in the affairs of a church of which I am an outsider. Actually, as a Catholic, I have nothing to do with their church but as a Christian, I am praying for unity.

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54 thoughts on “QUO VADIS IGLESIA FILIPINA INDEPENDIENTE?

  1. The above observations and comments are well-taken; thanks for bringing this to attention; The higher heirarchy of the Church, led by no less than the recently-elected Supreme Bishop, His Eminence, Epharaim Fajutagna, must act swiftly on this startling fact; Let us not wait for another division/schismwithin the IFI; Let us preserve the traditions and practices of our Church, in accordance with the Catholic doctrines. Remember that we separated from the Church of Rome but not from the teachings of the Catholic(universal) Church.Do something therefore. This is a challenge to the new leadership of the IF!. So please ACT NOW!!! . More power!!!

    James Manuel
    Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels
    Diocese of Cavite
    Bacoor, Cavite

  2. Good observation. I hope u really are not an IFI. The Roman Catholic also have many factions, divisions. di rin sila magkaisa sa maraming bagay. this is evidenced by the numerous religious orders they have in men and women religious… there have been papal controversies i.e. the avignon papacy for example… FYI, Yes, the IFI’s are Anglicans. is there anything wrong about it? yes, the Church of England operates via media – the low and the high as u said but they managed to peacefully exist under one head. I see no problem in this context of IFI having that Mindanao’s and Luzon’s, i believe that someday we will grow in our maturehood and can manage this too. nakurat lang ang mga IFI kay dugay nga panahon nga sarado ang ilang mga hunahuna sa ilang namat-an nga tradisyon nga una nang gisalikway sa simbahan sukad sa pagprokalar ni Don Belong niini.

    1. Thank you for comment. Yes, we recognize that there are many sects who originated from the Catholic Church but then eventually separated from her. By doing so, they are no longer within our Communion and strictly speaking are now considered “outside our church” or “another church.” They either separated themselves or were excommunicated by the Church.

      The presence of religious orders within the Church though is not a sign of factionalism or disunity. “A Catholic religious order is an organization, recognised by the Church, whose members (commonly referred to as “religious”) strive to achieve a common purpose through formally dedicating their life to God.” They do not differ in doctrines , if there is a difference, it is in their particular charisms by which they contributed to the Church in many ways.

      The Avignon Papacy on the other hand was the period from 1305 to 1378 during which seven Popes resided in Avignon, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown. As you see, it is primarily aggravated by political conflict and not in terms of doctrine. Moreover, the rival claimants to the papacy were consequently declared Anti-popes by the Church to preserve our unity.

      It is my prayer that you will do the same by consequently defining and declaring your stand about the current state of affairs in order to preserve your unity.

      Be assured of my sincere intentions.

      God bless!

  3. I agree with your observation on the tradition that our church do in its different parishes, particularly in mindanao. the luzon and visayas still hold a traditional catholic lenten celebration as what the Roman Catholic do, and we do this annually for this is the only time that our family and friends meet and reunited again, though we already have different religion.

    indeed, so confusing. because of the different interpretation of how to nurture our members, by fiesta, holy week and Christmas in our church or save this money to festive activities and gave this to the church for education of each member, to nurture IFI spirituality and your obligation as member of the church, the planting of many outstation and securing clergy salary,

    this move of mindanao dioceses is called, centralization, and they are the prime mover of this program.
    eliminating tradition that spend sizable amount of money, parochialism, priest or bishop patronage and collection of fees.

    and they made there point,,,, by the fruit of there labor. comparing mindanao dioceses now to luzon and visayas. financially? very much strong, membership? more than doubled. churches planted? every barangay of every town they stand, you can see them around in there new chapel.

    Centralization is the key word of mindanao action, and i salute for the selfless labor of priest and bishop who made this program a success, but, for me centralization and retaining traditon like procession which we do in our parish, can be attainable.

    I’m one of the staunch supporter of this church and for the past years as i observe this event that i ask, why is it we have different views on the matter,,,, I think the answer is,,,, we still want to try everything under the sun just to make this church survive in this trying time with so many churches mushrooming in every corner, proclaiming the salvation and so on so forth,,,,

    lastly,,,, the end point of the matter is,,, the IFI or the philipine independent church will stand as one, independent to sustain its growth and strong, relevant, tangible all the time. continue to be true to its saying,,,, Para sa Dios at Bayan,,,

    1. Thank you very much for your explanation. I hope your brethren here in Misamis Occidental know such rationale.

      God bless!

      1. I agree to your observation to our Church, I hope that Elmer explanation answered the question “Quo Vadis Iglesia Filipina?”. 🙂

        We are in the same Religion “CHRISTIANS”, though we are different denomination.
        We must remember that Christian is Christ-Centered… In Christ there is Love and Unity. So, We must love and respect one another.

        I do prayed the unity inside our church, Christian Churches (RCC, IFI, INC, UCCP etc.), Religions and as well as the entire human race. 😉

        I do hope that we will maintain a constructive discussion not a destructive argument.

        “Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.” Robert Quillen.

        God bless us all………….. 😉

        Neil

  4. Hey!nakikialam ka sa hindi mo simbahan akala mo kung sino ka.pretending to be a semenarian .kawawa ka dapat hindi pinakikialam ang hindi sa inyo.its none of you business anyway

  5. I am also a Catholic and i just want to share my observation on the IFI. In Item 2 of their Articles of Religion, it says: “The Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation, and nothing which cannot be proved thereby should be required to be believed.” This is an adaptation of the “sola scriptura” of the protestants who do not believe on the apostolic tradition or the teachings handed down by the apostles thru verbal means. So, when the bible prohibited the making of images, they literally believed such without considering the religious use of images. God even ordered Moses to make brazen image of snake so that those bitten by the venomous snakes in the desert were healed once they looked at the image of the snake. But when they started to worship the snake as god, did the King ordered it destroyed.

    Fr. Aglipay also repudiated the authority of the Pope and he did not believe in the infallibility of the Pope. Yet, they believe in the doctrine of the Immaculate Concepcion as defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Their church has the image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Concepcion.

    1. Not anymore. They are now on the process of changing their patronal saints here in Mindanao. Mary now is not the Immaculate Conception to them and churches which carry that name will be gradually changed to names of some other saints which they consider “essential.”

  6. ako, IFI since a child… my comment is that … kung ano ang nangyayari o naka sulat sa bibliya siyang dapat tularan…

  7. With due respect to you, you can visit our blogsite – aglipayan.wordpress.com. The IFI is a pilgrim Church that would always face the challenges in our present context. It is not enough to compare her with the Roman Catholic Church or to the Evangelicals. We always say that our basis of unity is to love God and country -Pro Deo Et Partria.

      1. Can you just be happy for us,nwey where not doing anything, Wala n mang perpekto kahit kayong mga catholics pa….Nakakabuntis nga mga pare nyo dba?

      2. Yes, I agree na walang perpekto…but you’re getting personal here. Do you think na paring Katoliko lang ang nakakabuntis? Pari nga ninyo may anak sa labas kahit may asawa na. Catholics do not own the monopoly of sexual immorality, they are there lurking in all denominations.

  8. Reaction to Quo Vadis IFI
    by Porferio De los Santos on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 7:12pm
    I doubt if this guy blogging under the name of Taman sa Mahunahunaan is really a Roman Catholic Church member. Because if this guy is, s/he would not fail to mention what is happening to the Roman Catholic Church. I detest the comparison of the IFI to the RCC. The IFI is not a miniature RCC or an alternative to the RCC. It is a distinct church, with a rich legacy and teachings. The problem only is that IFI bishops, clergy and lay leaders are more comfortable with accomodating and perpetuating RCC practices and traditions because this would not require them to work hard, teach hard and organize hard. By their inaction, church members are left to become more docile and easily deceived, manipulated and exploited.

    I have long stop being active of the church primarily because of the nature of my work and secondarily because of the negative experience I had with our church leaders – who just want to be comfortable in their ministry and abandoning their duties to teach and nurture church members according to what the IFI adheres and declares as its basic faith and belief. This, I see, as the major reason, why IFI members continue to think that we are still like RCC and RCC people think that we are their poor, trying hard, copy cats.

  9. “Mr Quinzo, if you are not an IFI member I think YOU have no right to say something nor critic our denomination in the guise of “unity” because you are not! Likewise we are not saying something to your clergy who has a vow of celibacy but have spouses (either man or woman) because it is not our concern. In fact I have some clergy friends who have kids (you want proof?) Just to correct you, sir, we are also CATHOLICS like all members of the Christian Fold who profess the TRINITARIAN FAITH. We are also Apostolics like the rest, meaning being a catholic is not the monopoly of the Roman Catholic Church. We are the FILIPINO INDEPENDENT CATHOLICS while you are member of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH in the Philippines. That is why in our ecumenical relations with the RCC through the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), representatives are always clear addressing themselves as Roman Catholic Church members and apologetic to their fellows who still think that they are the only catholics in this country.

    1. I respect your right to blurt out your observations about our priests who are doing those things in overt transgression of our teaching. I too am not happy with what they are doing.

      But do not be deceived with the thought that your priests have done nothing wrong in violation of sexual morality. I have known some of them from our place who also had a child outside marriage.

      I intend not to include this observations here since it is a very sensitive topic for both of us. The Catholic Church doesn’t have the monopoly of errant priests, Protestant clergies do have perverts among them, and your church too. Nevertheless, we do recognize that they committed these acts not because they are Catholics or Protestants or Aglipayans, but because they violated our moral teachings.

      One important thing: the Catholic teaching against this crime is upheld by the universal Church.

  10. We are separated from RC, that’s why we have our own name “IFI”, our own identity… And most especially we do not use the RC nor Protestant teaching as a basis of our teaching. “It doesn’t mean that what RC do, IFI do, what Protestant oppose, IFI oppose”..
    About the small conflict inside our church? It is just a little conflict of thought and stand though it is under repair through conventions.” in my own view, it is normal” it is like the other congregation’s leaders conflict of stand. (the pope is pro about the content of RH bill but CBCP does not.) http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/pope-benedict-gives-rh-bill-strength/
    It is not my intention to attack RC nor questioned their stand. It is just my own views in response of quinzo articles. though we are different congregation we are in the same religion.. “CHRISTIAN”.. I am praying for UNITY, LOVE, PEACE for both of us… God bless us all… 😉

    1. June 27, 2011

      The Roman Catholic Church, for more than two thousand years of existence have withstood the test of times may it be against empires, governments, kings and other churches. It is the only religious organization credited to topple and bring down the communists to its knees.

      In the end, like the Anglicans, disgruntled members of the IFI will once again return and flock to the folds and embracing arms of the Roman Catholic Church, leaving IFI priests gnashing their teeth, watching empty IFI churches.

      Victor O. Teves
      Pugaan, Iligan City

  11. We are separated from RC, that’s why we have our own name “IFI”, our own identity… And most especially we do not use the RC nor Protestant teaching as a basis of our teaching. “It doesn’t mean that what RC do, IFI do, what Protestant oppose, IFI oppose”..
    About the small conflict inside our church? It is just a little conflict of thought and stand though it is under repair through conventions.” in my own view, it is normal” it is like the other denomination’s leaders conflict of stand. (the pope is pro about the content of RH bill but CBCP does not.) http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/pope-benedict-gives-rh-bill-strength/
    It is not my intention to attack RC nor questioned their stand. It is just my own views in response of quinzo articles. though we are different denomination we are in the same religion.. “CHRISTIAN”.. I am praying for UNITY, LOVE, PEACE for both of us… God bless us all…

  12. Peace be with you my brothers and sisters in Christ …….

    We are in the same Religion “CHRISTIANS”, though we are different denomination.
    We must remember that Christian is Christ-Centered… In Christ there is Love and Unity. So, We must love and respect one another.

    I do prayed the unity inside our church, Christian Churches (RCC, IFI, INC, UCCP etc.), Religions and as well as the entire human race.

    I do hope that we will maintain a constructive discussion not a destructive argument.

    “Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.” Robert Quillen.

    God bless us all…………..

    Neil

  13. The Aglipayan organization will go the way of other similar type (protestant) sects. It seems to be forgotten that Aglipayan ministers are not validly ordained (Catholic) priests, as is the case with some schismatics who retain a valid ordination (such as the Orthodox). The Aglipayans more or less sided-up with the Episcopal denomination and received a great deal of support from the. IFI would deny they are protestant, but their invalid “orders” came from none other than the “PECUSA” or “PROTESTANT Episcopal Church.” The “ordination” of females of course nails the coffin shut on any claims to being even remotely “Catholic.” IFI will go the way of the Anglican hodgepodge.

    That the IFI retains statues, fiesta celebrations for saints, or that their buildings have the outward and inward look of being Catholic, only means that poor Fr. Aglipay was smart enough to realize that he could not rip Catholic tradition from the hearts of the filipino people: he would need to retain these symbols so as to fool them into his new sect.

    It should also be mentioned that Gregorio Aglipay was excommunicated for becoming a member of the Freemason cult. He is pictured with his Masonic apron etc. It would seem that the Masons, an age old enemy of the true Church of Christ, would gladly assist this man to found a counter Church in one of the great Catholic countries (at one time) in the world. That Aglipay was assisted by protestants and freemasons should be enough for any sincere Filipino to avoid the IFI and any similar structure. Simply, they are not Catholic, no matter how much they might dress that way. They are a heretical denomination, just like other protestant groups

    Fr. Brown
    padrebrown@comcast.net

  14. In this post there is the phrase “Anglican faithful who continued Catholic practices,” a passing reference at best but let me make one small point. Many of the current Anglo-Catholic practices had completed died out or been wiped out within Anglicanism by the mid 1800s. Then the Anglo-Catholic Movement, especially the Oxford Movement led by John Henry Newman among others, rediscovered and restored many Catholic practices. This has led to more Catholic practices being adopted by Anglicanism worldwide, even by non-Anglo-Catholics, though often the Catholic beliefs have not followed the practice. It is therefore not so much the case that Catholic practices continued unabated within Anglicans but rather that they were rediscovered and restored. Many within Anglicanism, including those who do not hold Catholic beliefs, realized that Anglicanism went too far and striped away too many Catholic practices. Anglicanism had lost much of value. And so they reformed Anglicanism, reintroducing much of the lost practices.

    Since sola scriptura has come up in the comments, we should note that Anglicanism rejects sola scriptura and rather holds to what is often described as three legs of a stool — Scripture, Right Reason, and Tradition. It is hard to justify ordination and the rest of Seven Sacraments, Apostolic Succession, saints, liturgical prayers, the Nicene Creed, bishops and hierarchy, among other practices based on scripture alone. Indeed, if you believe in ecumenical councils like Nicea, as the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglicans and others, then you do not believe in sola scriptura.

  15. Sorry, should have been “Anglo-Catholic practices had completely died out,” not “completed,” but I can’t edit now. Drat. Should have read it a third or fourth time before submitting.

  16. To apochokai, you are very ignorant on the matter. Have you checked the Vatican website with regards to the issue you are presenting?

    The Aglipayan worshipers are facing the same issues faced by many sects and denominations: Schisms brought by pride and personal ambitions. In my province, an Aglipayan church broke away because its priest wanted to rise in the higher ranks. That’s why they have the Philippine Independent Catholic Church.

  17. ur article is not a big issue at all! actually hindi sya ramdam it’a a minor issue kung nasaan man yan…. sa RC din nman meron differences sa mga practices especially in our province! if you only knew, that’s my observation until now… basta PRO DEO ET PATRIA IFI ang MALAYANG SIMBAHAN! FR. AGLIPAY broke from the roman catholic church because it was allied with Spanish colonial INTERESTS during the independence movement…

  18. just a question, yung practice ng RC sa amin nag st. of the cross sila sa holy thursday, then sa good friday after siete palabras sa procession nag station of the cross na nman ulit….dba nga nag seven last words na?…dapat i procession na yung santo entierro…ganun ba practice sa lahat ng RC church? o iba-iba din?

    1. No, I do not mean the sequence…what I mean is that while you IFI there in Luzon still holds procession, the IFI here in Mindanao now rejects and scorns the practice. You can no more find procession here. It is “banned” by your bishops here, or should I say. That’s what’s happening.

      1. dili oi, naa japon amo procession.. like for example sa Easter Sunday. Or sa Palm SUnday, May bendita sa lukay na i held medyo layo sa church and then mag procession padulong sa church. og sa candelaria pud..

  19. very true. in our sitio in bato, mamacao, sta. maria, davao del sur, there are 3 chapels of Filipinista due to personal conflicts. Recently, my Tiya left IFI and join Old Catholic group because their priest or layman in Quinabalan, Malungon, Sarangani Prov teaches a new set of beliefs & practices for them as if their priest has the monopoly of divine revelations to change overnight their faith & tradition. Anglicanorum Coetibus will also lead this disaffected IFI to consider full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Let us pray for unity among us Christians as this is what Jesus praying for us before He died.

  20. for those disaffected IFI members due to recent change of traditions and devotions, they might consider the Anglican Use in the Philippines. There is blog site for it and it would be better for those who are disaffected to open that blog. The website of IFI is very clear on its article of faith, I wonder why IFI Mindanao clergy are slowly abandoning their articles of faith in 1948.

  21. Errata: it’s articles of religion, not articles of faith. I think our bro and sis in IFI should revisit these articles of religion they are professing…. from their website http://www.ifi.ph/articles-of-religion

    [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.

    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.]

  22. another beautiful article that must be read by all IFI bros and sis is the article of Rev. Noel Dionicio L Dacuycuy (IFI Theologian?). here is the link:

  23. He is actually right? One IFI with different doctrines? ano po ba talaga? bakit ganun ban na ang procession sa Mindanao pero sa Luzon ay hindi? ano po ba ang tunay na turo at susundan ng mga taga sunod?

  24. Hello there! I was just browsing the net about the recent actvities of our church when this article caught my attention. I just would like to disagree on the comment that ifi churches in mindanao no longer practice the traditions of procession which we so loved. In my local parish and even in our diocese here in south cotabato, stations of the cross, flores de mayo, procession is still very important and alive and I dont think that the ifi faithfuls of our parish would not disagree if these traditions be abolished. As a matter of fact, during the good friday we still continued with our procession despite the rain. I am just not aware that there is this issue of difference between parishes and it saddens me to learn that the ifi parish in your area no longer practice this tradition. The Aglipayan chruch embraces the Catholic tradition because she believes that it is the truth and should there be any reform within the church which would no longer allow me as an aglipayan to recite the rosary, pray novena and venerate Mary.. I would join the majority of Aglipayan faithfuls to rally against such reform because it is an abomination.. but I personally don’t believe that IFI would ever adopt such change.

    I also would like to say something with regards to how IFI and RCC should deal with each other because we often misjudge one another. Just like the RCC, IFI maintains Catholicism as defined by the Nicene Creed in it’s core. Yes, there were times where in our Church was in crisis in terms of legitimacy of the Episcopate because there is no Apostolic Succession (that’s why our bishops turned to the Anglican Union and Old Catholic Union of Utrech), there were also times where in the people were divided between Trinitarianism which they upheld vs the Unitarian belief of the supreme bishop.. but as we can see, IFI has survived it all by the grace of God just like how the RCC survived Arianism, arian bishops, anti-popes and many more issues which threatened its structure with the same grace. I believe that it is by the guidance of the Holy Spirit that IFI remained catholic instead of becoming unitarian. What we all have to do here is to promote genuine ecummenism through mutual respect (Just like how the now Saint JP2 advocated), let us not judge, let us not descriminate (you’ve got no idea how I was discriminated as an aglipayan in a Catholic School)..let us work together for our common Christian interests for the Greater Honor and Glory of God 🙂

    Best regards, God bless you all!

    1. Thank you for a very nice comment Bro Southern Aglipayan. Regrets to hear of the discriminations you had with a Catholic school. Yes, I agree that we should put our trust in the Holy Spirit that will always guide us into the fullness of truth as we journey into an ecumenical dialogue. I don’t know if there are on-going dialogue between Catholics and Aglipayans. What the blogger wanted to ask is why do Aglipayans slowly abandoning its catholic identity. I also read in other blogs that your bro & sis from IFI diocese in Surigao are already removing statues and images in their church buildings and chapels. It pained us to see Aglipayans to lean more into Protestant orthodoxy. Your bro Mr. Dacuycoy has a very good insights why devotions to saints and icons are very important norms of Christian living. Wish we could talk and share more of our faith. Our journey should end all to our loving and merciful God….

      1. Thank you for the kind response brother. Id just like to point out that there are also several other groups who claim to be “the Aglipayan church”. They are those who did not agree when IFI embraced trinitarianism ,formed their own church and claimed that they are the true aglipayans. As far as I know, IFI has not changed her doctrines because if there was it should have been announced to the members. I suspect that those who are trying to get rid of the traditions , the veneration of sacred images, veneration of saints and the Blessed Virgin are the people from the faction church, Sadly, these people has seized some of our chapels and buildings by causing confusion to some of the members. Basing on my observations to the current events in our diocese and from the announcements of our priest, the church still remains the same and there are no indications that the church is shifting towards orthodox protestantism. Recently, the Anglican primate have visited our supreme bishop to reaffirm our concordat relationship, there are also initiatives that the supreme bishop is undertaking to further strengthen ties with the old catholic union of utrech..this is an indication that IFI still upholds her belief as expressed in the nicene creed. Though there may be no formal dialogue between the Roman Catholic Chuch and IFI, both Churches support each other in campaigns against activities that bring forth evil to humanity. As for my brothers and sisters in the diocese of surigao, if your observations are true.. I pray that may the Blessed Mother keep them under her patronage and that may they too keep their faith to her and to the grace of God that is being reflected and magnified through her. I hope that one day, people from IFI and RCC enjoy a truly harmonious relationship with each other free from bias, discriminations and misunderstandings. God bless you.

  25. I just don’t understand the Aglipayan Church particularly in my home parish. While they maintain their position as a separate church from the Roman Catholic Churcj, but whenever some of the Aglipayans join funeral mass in the Roman Catholic Church, they still take part in the Holy Communion. This practice was corrected by our parish priest that Aglipayans are not allowed to take the Holy Communion for the reason that they are not really in full communion with us. As a result, most of them who attended that Mass were angry of the decision of our parish priest before according to them they are Catholics and entitled to receive the Holy Communion. I just do not understand it. As a Roman Catholic, I am fully aware through my catechism classes that though Aglipayan Church seemingly look like a Roman Catholic Church in many ways but I should never take part in their Communion when I happen to join them in their service because I am not in communion with their Church.

    1. Hi Bro. Dodong..you are correct in saying that IFI is not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and I as an Aglipayan personally respect it if your Church wont allow us to take the Holy Communion with you. Allow me to explain why many Aglipayans do take Holy Communion in your Church and why we are not disallowing Catholics to take Holy Communion with us.What we understand with the Holy Eucharist is that Christ instituted it and offered it to all who welcome him in thier lives “take this all of you and eat of it… take this all of you and drink from it.. do this in memory of me”. The body and blood of Christ being offered during communion if free for everyone. If we truly believe that Christ is present in the Holy Communion then we should share Him with everyone.. Sa pagkakaunawa po kasi namin ay hindi dapat ipagdamot si Kristo sa mga nagnanais na tanggapin sya kasi nag-alay naman sya nang kanyang sarili para sa lahat “so that everyone who beleives in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” at hindi rin naman siguro matutuwa ang panginoon kung pagbabawal natin sa iba na tanggapin sya.. kaya siguro nainis yung mga Aglipayano kasi akala nila ipinagdadamot nyo sa kanila ang alay ni Kristo na dugo’t katawan nya, napakahalaga din po kasi sa amin ang Holy Communion. I admit that I have taken Holy Communion in your Church in several ocassions because I thought that there was nothing wrong with it until one Catholic priest explained why we aglipayans are not allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist in your Church..at first I felt sad and offended to say the least but I understand, so from then on I avoided receiving holy eucharist whenever I attended Catholic services though it makes me feel deprived. With this, brother I humbly appeal na if minsan meron tayong kakilala na aglipayano that participated in a roman catholic service ipaliwanag na lang po natin nang maigi kung bakit hindi nyo sila maaring pahintulotan na tumanggap nang holy communion sa inyong simbahan.. mauunawaan din naman po iyan nila. God bless you..

      1. Hi Bro. Southern Aglipayan!

        Thank you for your kind understanding of RCC perspective with regards to Communion. Apologies for the feeling of being “pinagkaitan” for a Catholic communion. Our faith in the Eucharist is that the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Lord (Real Presence). And I think Aglipayan do not share with us on this belief of Real Presence. Another thing also is the issue of ordination of priest. For us Catholics, the two are intertwined with each other; the sacrament of Communion and the sacrament of Holy Orders.

        We believe that Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders (Priesthood) when he washed the feet of the apostles during the Last Supper. Jesus being the high priest, shared his priesthood to his disciples by ordaining them and commanding them to do the Eucharist in remembrance of him. The catholic understanding of catholic priesthood is that they are ordained to act in the person of Christ hence they are ordained to consecrate the bread and wine to become the body and blood of the Lord. Again, Aglipayans do not subscribe into this understanding and belief, hence, we discourage them to partake the consecrated bread. Hindi dahil sa ipinagdamot namin si Cristo, kundi, ay dahil hindi magkapareho ang ating paniniwala sa consecrated bread. We Catholics also is discouraged to receive communion with other faith bodies (Lutheran, Anglican, UCCP, Methodist, Congregationalist) that do not share with us on this belief. Sa Katoliko kasi, the consecrated bread and wine is not just ‘symbols’ of Jesus’ body and blood, but it is really transformed into ‘his’ body and blood through transubtantiation.

  26. But what you have mentioned is also happening in the Roman Catholic church as well; removal of altars, statues, destruction of tradition etc. it is not at all limited to the Iglesia Filipina.

    1. Hi Dale,

      RCC do not remove altars in its church buildings and chapel. In recent erection of church buildings and chapel, altars are decorated with the Crucified or Risen Lord at the center and a statue of the patron saint at the side of the altar. Other statues and images are placed either in the back or on a separate chapel like what the cathedral in Iligan City is doing. This is to avoid distractions during worship activities as many devotees are having their prayers for intercessions. Those who come for devotions to their favorite saint cannot distract those who are in the eucharistic celebration.

      another thing also, is that there is a great need for new evangelization with regards to use of statues and images of saints. it is notable that our devotion surpasses what the Church teaches us since the Council of Niceae II in 787 AD.

      Also, please note that in RCC understanding we have two kinds of tradition. First is with capital letter T “Tradition”. This “Tradition” refers to the traditions coming from Jesus Christ and the Apostles. This “Tradition” is an important pillar of Divine Revelation along with the Sacred Scriptures. This “Tradition” do not change since the time of Jesus and the Apostles because this Tradition comes from God.

      Another tradition is with small letter t “tradition”. This “tradition” refers to traditions coming from human experiences. And many of this “traditions” are incorporated into our catholic life that led us into “folk catholicism”. Some of this “traditions” are good, some are not. The Church discourage us to continue integrating these “traditions” into our catholic identity.

  27. I hope the IFI stands fast to its heritage as a catholic but independent church with devotions consistent with Filipino tradition. I am just wondering why some clergy (especially the bishops) in Mindanao have adopted Anglican vestments when this is totally out of their tradition. Anglicanism while adopted by our brethren in the Cordilleras (who were not Christian before the Episcopalians sent their missions), is not really part of the older Filipino catholic tradition inherited from the Roman Church.

  28. This has been creeping really slowly. In our Parish, Saint John the Baptist in Tipas, Taguig during our time, 2006-2012 we took it upon ourselves to educate the future generation, I served as secretary of Christian Education and our chairman and parish priest has been really helpful. We provided lessons in catechism, history, and sacred music but eventually the movement died out. This happens when those on top do not prioritize preserving our catholic tradition in the Aglipayan Church. Much worse the revision of the prayers for the dead, novenas, and the holy rosary. I have heard of this Bishop Timbang who started this removal of sacred images, devotionals and traditional prayers in mindanao and I met some people from there who are in favor of it. Instead they want to impose the ‘sola scripturae’ and make the church bible centered instead of Christ Centered in the real presence in the holy communion. Not that it’s my problem, I received my confirmation in the roman catholic church in 2006 and since I moved to usa I have only been going to RC churches. It is such a pity that IFI is slowly trying to get rid of its catholic identity, which will make Reverend Fr. Gregorio Aglipay’s dream of returning to the Holy Mother Church. Its impossible now, especially there are more and more women being ordained to the priesthood.

    1. Bishop Timbang is now the Supreme Bishop. I wonder if he is going to implement the low church direction on the whole IFI? It just puzzles me. In photos of the installation of the new ECP prime bishop this year, Bishop Timbang was vested like an Anglican bishop in rochet and chimere. These vestments are of the English Church and not the Filipino Church. The Filipino Church, Roman and IFI have always worn vestments worn in Rome. Roman Catholic bishops of England have the right to wear what Bishop Timbang wears like their Anglican counterparts but it has fallen out of use in the English Catholic Church. Anglican Ordinariate bishops and ordinaries in the Roman Church can use it, but none have done so.

      It is puzzling since the Episcopal Church has taken great effort not to impose its practices on the IFI. In fact IFI clergy have complained in the past of “Anglipayanization” of its devotions and the Episcopal Church took notice and corrected itself.

      What then is being an Independent Filipino Catholic Church if it adopts Anglican practices and beliefs at the price of divorcing it from Filipino Christianity?

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