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Sto.Nio Cathedral Parish, Aglipayan Village, Tugbok District, • Davao City, Davao Del Sur 8000 • Philippines • 63910-222-0728 • Catholic

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The Aglipayan Christian Church (ACC) is a Christian denomination of the Catholic tradition restoring the original form and doctrine of a national church. It was named after Bishop Gregorio Aglipay the founder of the Philippine Independent Church, where the ACC originated. (Beginning of Aglipayanism) "Rise of nationalism" At the end of the 19th century, Filipino nationalism emerged, preceding the struggles of other colonized countries in Asia such as British India and French Indochina, and the fight for independence gave way to revolution. Latin American countries at this time were also breaking away from Spain. With the execution of prominent ethnic Filipino clergy such as Fr. Jos Burgos at the hands of the Spanish royal authorities, church reforms became a facet of the Philippine independence movement. (Colonial church) Although many Spanish friars protested abuses by the Spanish government and military, they themselves committed many abuses. Many Filipinos were enraged when Spanish friars blocked the ascent of highly trained Filipino clergy in the Catholic Church hierarchy. Vast lands were claimed as friars' estates from landless farmers. There were also widely known cases of sexual abuse of women by priests. Anak ni Padre Dmaso (Child of Father Dmaso) has become a clich or stereotype to refer to an illegitimate child, especially that of a priest. The death of Fr. Jos Burgos, Fr. Zamora, and Fr. Gomez is said to have indirectly ignited the Philippine revolution and had a profound ---effect on Dr. Jos Rizal. (Factionalism and current state) Winning large numbers of adherents in its early years because of its nationalist roots, Aglipayan numbers decreased due to factionalism and doctrinal disagreements (please refer to the attached news published by Times magazine dated June 12, 1950). Some factions, tending towards more radical crypto protestant reforms, formally joined other denominations including the Episcopal Church and the American Unitarians. Today, the Philippine Independent Church cannot reunite their selves and even became worst than before as they are now trying to seize each parishes and chapels from one faction to another. They were not able to maintain their religious service for God and the country (pro doe et patria as mark on their logo) and now the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church), an independent church with Concordat relationships to other foreign catholic reformist, can be compared as a planet losing from its orbit. THIS IS A COPY EXCERPT FROM THE TIMES MAGAZINE THAT PROVED THE FACTIONALISM WITHIN THE ORIGINAL AGLIPAYAN CHURCH: From the Magazine | Religion Posted Monday, Jun 12, 1950 Comfortably dressed in undershirt and shorts, the Supreme Bishop was drinking ice-cold beer in his Manila house when the official word was brought to him: the Manila Court of the First Instance had at last declared him head of the Philippine Independent Church. Tall, chain-smoking Bishop Isabelo de los Reyes promptly sent out a directive calling for a Supreme Council of Bishops in July to set about making Aglipayanism the national church of the Philippines. "Just a Stepfather." Popularly known as the Aglipayans (rhymes with lions), the Philippine Independents began as a protest against the Roman Catholic Church's 19th Century policy of limiting most native Philippine priests to posts as parish assistants. There had been agitation against the abuses of the Spanish friars since 1860, but it was not until 1902, after a delegation to Madrid got a cold shoulder from the Papal Nuncio, that a group of Socialist-minded Philippine Catholics decided that the Pope was no longer their spiritual "father, but just a stepfather." A revolutionary, excommunicated priest named Gregorio Aglipay was proclaimed Supreme Bishop. Almost overnight, membership in the new church jumped to nearly 3,000,000. For 38 years, until his death at 80 in 1940, tough Bishop Aglipay worked to weld his loyal dissidents into a permanent, functioning church. Aglipay's chief concern was with the problem of the "apostolic succession." The Roman Catholic Church had consecrated no native bishops by the time the Aglipayans broke away, and though Aglipay lost no time in having himself consecrated by a group of "presbyters," the procedure did not seem to him quite "valid." Negotiations with the Episcopalians and with the Old Catholics in Switzerland broke down, and eventually the friendship and prompting of Philippine Civil Governor William Howard Taft led Bishop Aglipay into the fold of the American Unitarian Association, of which he became an honorary vice president. Strong Nations Only. But mostly the Aglipayans stuck to a kind of Popeless Catholicism in matters of faith and worship. By the time war broke out in 1941, membership had fallen to 1,500,000, served by about 340 priests, 50 student priests, 20,000 deaconesses. Supreme Bishop Santiago Fonacier, Aglipay's successor, elected to play ball enthusiastically with the Japanese occupying forces. As a result, he was ousted by the General Assembly in 1946, and eight months later Bishop Reyes was elected Supreme Bishop. For the past four years, Reyes and Fonacier have been fighting through the courts the question of who is supreme, and, incidentally, whether the Aglipayans will continue their uncomfortable liaison with Unitarianism or confirm an alliance with the Episcopal Church arranged in 1947. Though Fonacier plans to appeal, the decision of the court in favor of Reyes seems to have placed the 320 churches and 1,000 chapels of the Aglipayan Church within the Episcopalian fold. Fifty-year-old Bishop Reyes announced last week that he planned to make his church 'a truly Catholic and Apostolic national church of the Philippines, like the Church of England for the British." He added: "It's only strong nations that can become independent in their religion. It's the weak nations that listen to foreign religious authorities like the Pope." From the Jun. 12, 1950 issue of TIME magazine From PIC to ACC, how the Aglipayan Christian Church born? Referring to the Historical background of the original Aglipayan Church (Philippine Independent Church or PIC), they were very successful at first. But, as the nationalistic fervor waned they also gradually lost much ground. Soon after, 2763 the group of Isabelo de los Reyes Jr. became Trinitarians and had its bishops re-consecrated by Episcopalians in 1948. In 1961 the group entered into full communion with the Protestant Episcopalian Church of the U.S., from which it receives financial and organizational assistance. This Trinitarian group was later awarded by the Supreme Court of the Philippines the right to the name and possessions of the original IFI. The group of Fonacier remained Unitarian, but later fragmented into other minor groups. With the sponsorship and financial patronage of the Episcopalian Church, the Philippine Independent Church has undergone marked renewal and revitalization. The Episcopalian Church extended to the PIC episcopal ordination; both Churches operate on the agreement to recognize each other's organizational and administrative independence. As can be seen, there is not much left of the Catholic Doctrine and even of common sense, in the present PIC teaching, which was not the original doctrine of the original and founded Aglipayan Church. On May 1981, another election was conducted at Sto. Nio Cathedral in Taft Avenue but instead of uniting those who jumped from their fold, it made their sect another factions. The divided church again divided into two factions between the group of two claiming Supreme Bishops Macario Ga (Philippine Independent Catholic Church) and Abdias Dela Cruz (Philippine Independent Church). This groups again went to courts then as they cannot settle their differences, they started seizing parishes and chapels from one faction to another and even filing cases before the courts against each group forgetting that it was a church internal problems. This inspired the Bishops and priest in Mindanao dioceses under the faction Philippine Independent Catholic Church to call the Mindanao Bishops and priest to a general assembly. The assembly composed of bishops and priest (including the incumbent bishops and some priest of PICC today) under the Aglipayan congregation Davao based Legion of Mary led by Mother Superior Aurelia Pacheco at the Sto.Nio Cathedral Parish in Aglipayan Village, Sto. Nio, Tugbok, Davao City. The assembly begins December 1994 starting a conclave to find solutions to the present political crisis within the bishops and its subordinates. They then come into the point in the need to register a new name but agreed not to omit the word "Aglipayan" as they were clergies ordained at the Aglipayan Church, and believers of the Filipino Catholic church founded by Gregorio Aglipay. It was March 10, 1995 when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the new church with the name AGLIPAYAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH, INC., CORPORATION SOLE under registration number DN-095-00157 with main office at Davao City. Mission of the new born Aglipayan church is to protect the members rights as well as to restore the lost doctrines of the original (not faction) Aglipayan church founded by Gregorio Aglipay. Supreme Bishop Wilfredo Necesito (PICC Bishop of Agusan)was enthroned as the newly head of the Aglipayan Christian Church while some clergies who had interest in the church key positions had decided to remain at the PICC. This leads to the separation of the organizing clergies but despite of the crisis, still the church survive, continue its mission and still exist trying to restore the original Aglipayan Church doctrines when it was originally founded by the first Supreme Bishop Gregorio Aglipay. ----End----- By: Rev.Fr.Salvador M. Sucayre, Jr.SM-ACC


God in the Aglipayan Church The Aglipayan belief of God is based upon how He has revealed Himself to His people through the Holy Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. Aglipayan theology never speculates in its beliefs (e.g.., the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the person of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ, sacramental theology, etc.), but is very comfortable in saying, when things are inexplicable or impossible to comprehend by the human mind, that it is a "mystery." What we do know of God-that is, what He has revealed to us-is that He is: eternal, holy, perfect, all-loving, present everywhere, the Creator, the Source and Giver of life, the Source of virtues, a Trinity, just and therefore Judge, etc., The Aglipayan speak of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: three divine persons sharing the same essence and a perpetual movement of love which makes the Holy Trinity act harmoniously as one. The Aglipayan have always maintained a theological balance between the oneness of God and the threeness of God. For example, in the Old Testament we read "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." (Deuteronomy 6:4); and, in the New Testament we read "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." (Matthew 28:19). JESUS CHRIST Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came into the world by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary; thus, the Church gave Him the title "Theanthropos" i.e., the God-man. The Aglipayan Church clearly teaches that Jesus Christ was fully divine and fully human. The purpose of Jesus Christ's coming to earth was to reconcile mankind to God. In order to do this, God, in the person of Jesus Christ, had to become fully human. He had to experience all the pain, temptations and sufferings that all human beings face. Finally, having preached, taught, healed and performed many miracles, He had to experience the last pain that all people must undergo: death. Thus, He allowed Himself to be crucified. As a human being, He died; but, being God, He rose from the dead, proving that all who believe and follow Him will do likewise. This is why Jesus Christ is called "Savior," for He saves us from death. THE BIBLE The Aglipayan believe that the Bible is the recorded history of God's relationship to man in human history, and man's response to God. The Aglipayan also believe that the Bible was written by persons inspired by God and that it is the word of God. The Aglipayan recognize the Old Testament, New Testament and the Deuterocanonical books, as a source of her doctrine. The worship services and prayers are based on the Holy Scriptures. In fact, there is not a worship service in the Church that does not read an excerpt from the Bible. Readings from both/either the Old and New Testament are done in each service. Aglipayan Christians are encouraged to read and study the Bible daily. However, interpreting the Bible is not left to the individual but to the Church. THE SACRAMENTS The Church is that living institution which is eternally joined to Christ, whose task it is to guide and bring all its children to God in His eternal Kingdom. All Aglipayan Christians are called upon to observe the commandments of God: to love God with all their being and their fellow man as themselves; but, they must also participate in the liturgical and sacramental life of His Church. There are at least seven sacraments in the Aglipayan Church. The first is baptism which is the Christian rite of initiation in the Church. Chrismation is the second sacrament which bestows upon us the Holy Spirit. Holy Communion is the sacrament of receiving the resurrected body and blood of Jesus Christ. Although all Aglipayan Christians are to confess their sins daily to God privately, all are encouraged to participate in the sacrament of Confession with a priest. Marriage is a sacrament of the Church for it is Christ himself through the priest or bishop that joins the couple together. Ordination to the sacred priesthood is also a sacrament, as is Holy Oil (Unction) which the faithful are anointed with for the healing of soul and body and for the forgiveness of sins. It is the sacraments of the Church that manifest God's saving energies in our lives. A life without the sacraments is like a life without God. One of the Church's important functions besides preaching, teaching and caring for her children, is to make these sacraments available to her people.

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