Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila

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Archdiocese of Manila
Archidioecesis Manilensis
Arkidiyosesis ng Maynila
Arquidiócesis de Manila
Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.svg
Arms of the Archdiocese
Country  Philippines
Territory City of Manila
San Juan
Ecclesiastical province Manila
Metropolitan Manila
Area 549 km2 (212 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
2,719,781 (90.9%)
Parishes 85
Members 347 over all
Denomination Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 6 February 1579 (Diocese)
14 August 1595 (Archdiocese)
Cathedral Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Co-cathedral Paco Church (Pro-Cathedral; 2012-2014)
San Miguel Church (Pro-Cathedral; 1945-1958)
Patron saint Immaculate Conception
Secular priests 640 (271, Diocesan; 369, Religious)
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle
Auxiliary Bishops Broderick S. Pabillo[1]
Vicar General Rolando R. de la Cruz[1]
Jurisdiction of the metropolitan see within the Philippines.
Jurisdiction of the metropolitan see within the Philippines.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (Latin: Archidioecesis Manilensis; Filipino: Arkidiyosesis ng Maynilà; Spanish: Arquidiócesis de Manila) is a particular church or diocese of the Catholic Church in Manila, Philippines. Its ordinary, the Archbishop of Manila, is now customarily elevated to the Cardinalate after his enthronement.

The current Archbishop of Manila is Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the 32nd to hold the office. Formerly the Bishop of Imus, Tagle was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on October 13, 2011.[2]

The cathedral church is the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Immaculate Conception as the principal patroness of the Republic of the Philippines and Filipino people.

Vision statement[edit]

A people called by the Father in Jesus Christ to become a community of persons with fullness of life witnessing to the Kingdom of God by living the Paschal Mystery in the power of the Holy Spirit with Mary as companion.


Per the efforts of conquistador Martín de Goiti—who founded the City of Manila after uniting the dominions of Sulayman III of Namayan, Tondo, and Sabag, Rajah Ache Matanda of Maynila, and Lakan Dula of Tondo— the Diocese of Manila was then canonically erected on February 6, 1579 through the Papal bull Illius fulti præsidio by Pope Gregory XIII, encompassing all Spanish colonies in Asia as a suffragan of Mexico. Fray Domingo de Salazar, a Dominican from the Convent of San Sebastian in Salamanca, Spain, was selected by King Philip II of Spain as the Bishop of the new diocese and was presented to the pope.[3]

Over the course of history and growth of Catholicism in the Philippines, the diocese was elevated and new dioceses had been carved from its territory. On August 14, 1595, Pope Clement VIII raised the diocese to the status of an archdiocese with Bishop Ignacio Santibáñez elevated as its first archbishop. Three new dioceses were created as suffragan to Manila: Nueva Caceres, Nueva Segovia, and Cebu. With the creation of these new dioceses, the territory of the archdiocese was reduced to the city of Manila and the adjoining civil provinces in proximity including Mindoro Island. It was bounded to the north by the Diocese of Nueva Segovia, to the south by the Diocese of Cebu, and to the southeast by the Diocese of Nueva Caceres.[4]

Interior of the Archbishops' Residence during the Spanish colonial Period.

During the Hispanic period, the Archdiocese was ruled by a succession of Spanish and Latino archbishops. The British occupation of Manila during the Seven Years' War saw the temporary conversion of Sultan Azim ud-Din I of Sulu to Catholicism, the massive looting and destruction of ecclesiastical treasures, as well as the burning of churches by British soldiers, Sepoy mercenaries and rebellious Chinese residents in Binondo. This episode was particularly damaging to Philippine scholarship due to the fact that the monasteries holding the archives and artifacts about the precolonial Philippine Rajahnates, Datudoms, Sultanates and Huangdoms and their conversion to Catholicism; were either burnt, lost or looted by the British. An example of which would be the Boxer Codex, whose earliest owner Lord Giles of Ilchester, had inherited it from an ancestor who stole it from Manila during the British Occupation.[5]

Nevertheless, peace was subsequently restored after the Protestant British occupation. In the time after this, the Catholic religious orders (with the exception of the Jesuits who were temporarily suppressed by the Spaniards due to their role in anti-imperialist movements in Latin America) became the powerful driving force in the Archdiocese of Manila. The local diocesan clergy resented the foreign religious orders due to their near monopoly of ecclesiastical positions. The opposition of the religious orders against an autonomous diocesan clergy independent of them lead to the martyrdom of priests Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, Jacinto Zamora collectively known as Gomburza. This inspired the Jesuit educated Jose Rizal to form the La Liga Filipina, to ask for reforms from Spain and recognition of local clergy.

After the execution of Jose Rizal and the dissolution of the La Liga Filipina, anti-church secret societies began to destabilize and/or discredit the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila in favor of the masonic and schismatic Iglesia Filipina Independiente. This coincided with a nationalist revolution orchestrated by the Katipunan. The Americans then invaded the Archdiocese of Manila and despite sharing common Masonic affiliations with the Filipino nationalists, proceeded to suppress Philippine Nationalism and destroy the Malolos Republic. Some members of the Katipunan, disillusioned by the betrayal of the some Masons against them, turned to the Catholic Church, especially to the Jesuit order, of which, the students they educated, had fostered Philippine nationalism, from the very beginning.

The period after the Philippine-American War lead to the restoration of Philippine churches according to the Art-Deco architectural motif.

The province of Mindoro was established as an independent diocese on April 10, 1910 by virtue of a Decretum Consistoriale executed by Pope Pius X, implementing the BullQuae Mari Sinico” of Pope Leo XIII. Also on that date saw the creation of the Diocese of Lipa (now known as the Archdiocese of Lipa) which had jurisdiction over the provinces of Batangas, Tayabas, Marinduque and some parts of Masbate.

Eighteen years later, on May 19, 1928, Pope Pius XI established the Diocese of Lingayen, carved from Manila and Nueva Segovia. In this creation 26 parishes were separated from Manila. He also named Our Lady of Guadalupe as a patroness of the Filipino people in 1938.

December 8, 1941, marked the beginning of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.[6] Members of the secretive Black Dragon Society, had infiltrated all facets of Philippine life and had greatly guided the invading Japanese forces. World War 2 marked a period of irreplaceable loss to the Archdiocese of Manila. The combination of violent theft and arson done by the Japanese and the indiscriminate carpet bombing perpetuated by the convenience leaning Americans lead to the permanent loss of many of the ancient Gothic, Art-Deco and Earthquake Baroque Cathedrals found around the Archdiocese of Manila.[7]

In the aftermath of the war, in September 1942, Pope Pius XII declared Our Lady of Immaculate Conception as the Principal Patroness of the Philippines on the Papal Bull, Impositi Nobis, along with Saints Pudentiana and Rose of Lima as secondary patrons.[8]

July 4, 1946, marked the date of Philippine independence from America. After this point, the Archdiocese of Manila was no longer just the archdiocese of a mere colony or territory but officially became the Eclessiastical Metropolis of a sovereign nation's capital.[9]

On December 11, 1948, the Apostolic Constitution, “Probe noscitur” further divided the Archdiocese of Manila by separating the northern part of the Archdiocese and establishing it as the Diocese of San Fernando. On November 25, 1961, the Archdiocese of Manila was again partitioned. The civil provinces of Bulacan in the north and Cavite in the south were separated from the Archdiocese, the northern part becoming the Diocese of Malolos and towards the south the Diocese of Imus.

Pope John Paul II declared the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception a Minor Basilica in 1982 through a Motu Proprio.

Fifteen towns and two barangays from eastern Rizal were excised on January 24, 1983 to form the Diocese of Antipolo.

In 2002, two more dioceses were carved out of the Archdiocese: the Diocese of Novaliches in the north and the Diocese of Parañaque in the south, which also comprised the cities of Las Piñas and Muntinlupa.

In 2003, by the recommendation of Jaime Cardinal Sin (the spiritual leader of the People Power Revolution) and by papal decree, the archdiocese was further partitioned to form three new dioceses: the dioceses of Cubao, Caloocan and Pasig.


The seat of the Archbishop is in Manila Cathedral-Basilica, under the patronage of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The Archbishop is also overseer of several suffragan dioceses of Manila.

The Archbishop notably wields voting powers in the Bank of the Philippine Islands, given the Archdiocese's 8.4655% stake in the institution.


After having been served by a single diocesan bishop, nineteen archbishops were appointed from Spain. In 1903, the archdiocese received its first American archbishop as appointed by the Holy See. Following the tenure of Archbishop Jeremiah James Harty from St. Louis, Missouri, the Irishman Michael J. O'Doherty was appointed, and received on September 6, 1916.

O'Doherty would lead the church in its most difficult times, when Filipinos were petitioning for sovereignty from the United States, followed by the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines during World War II.

When O'Doherty died after Philippine independence, a Filipino was chosen to become the next archbishop. Fr. Gabriel Reyes was already serving as coadjutor archbishop before being raised to the position. His successor, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Rufino Jiao Santos, became the first Filipino to become a cardinal.

Jaime Cardinal Sin became the most recognized archbishop worldwide when he challenged the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos. Having become only the third Filipino cardinal, Cardinal Sin was credited as one of the architects of the 1986 People Power movement that deposed Marcos and dismantled his government.

In 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales of Lipa as the new archbishop, succeeding Cardinal Sin; he was later elevated by Pope Benedict XVI to the cardinalate on March 24, 2006.

On October 13, 2011, the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila announced the appointment of Rev Luis Antonio Tagle of Imus as the new Archbishop, assisted by two auxiliary bishops, replacing Cardinal Rosales, who had resigned at the compulsory age of retirement. Rosales retired from public ministry but bore the honorary title of Archbishop Emeritus.

Archbishops of Manila[edit]

No. Picture Name From Until
1 Domingo de Salazar.jpg Domingo de Salazar, O. P. February 6, 1579 December 4, 1594
2 Ignacio Santibanez.jpg Ignacio Santibáñez, O.F.M. August 30, 1595 August 14, 1598
3 Miguel de Benavides1.JPG Miguel de Benavides, O. P. October 7, 1602 July 26, 1605
4 Diego Vasquez de Mercado.jpg Diego Vázquez de Mercado March 28, 1608 June 12, 1616
5 Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.svg Miguel García Serrano, O.S.A. February 12, 1618 June 14, 1629
6 Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.svg Hernando Guerrero, O.S.A. January 9, 1634 July 1, 1641
7 Fernando Montero de Espinosa (1644 - 1645).jpg Fernando Montero de Espinosa May 20, 1644 1645
8 Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.svg Miguel de Poblete September 9, 1650 December 8, 1667
9 Juan Lopez.jpg Juan López, O. P. 1672 February 12, 1674
10 Felipe Pardo.jpg Felipe Pardo, O. P. October 28, 1681 December 31, 1689
11 Diego Camacho y Avila (1697 - 1705).jpg Diego Camacho y Ávila August 19, 1696 January 14, 1704
12 Francisco de la Cuesta.jpg Francisco de la Cuesta, O.S.H. August 12, 1707 1722
13 Carlos Bermudez Gonzalez (1722 - 1729).jpg Carlos Bermúdez Gonzalez 1722 November 13, 1729
14 Juan Angel Rodriguez.jpg Juan Ángel Rodríguez, O.S.T. May 18, 1731 June 24, 1742
15 Pedro de la Trinidad.jpg Pedro de la Santísima Trinidad Martínez de Arizala, O.F.M. February 3, 1744 May 28, 1755
16 Manuel Antonio Rojo del Rio Vera.jpg Manuel Antonio Rojo del Río y Vieyra 1758 1764
17 Basilio Sancho de Santa Justa.jpg Basilio Sancho de Santa Justa, S.P. April 14, 1766 December 15, 1787
18 Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.svg Juan Antonio Orbigo de Gallego, O.F.M. December 15, 1788 May 17, 1797
19 Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.svg Juan Antonio Zulaibar, O. P. March 26, 1804 March 4, 1824
20 Hilarion Diez.jpg Hilarión Díez, O.S.A. July 3, 1826 May 7, 1829
21 Jose Segui , O.S.A. (1830 - 1845).jpg José Seguí, O.S.A. July 5, 1830 July 4, 1845
22 Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.svg José Aranguren, O.A.R. January 19, 1846 April 18, 1861
23 Gregorio Meliton Martinez (1862 - 1875).jpg Gregorio Melitón Martínez Santa Cruz December 23, 1861 1875
24 Pedro Payo , O.P. (1876 - 1889 ).jpg Pedro Payo y Piñeiro, O.P. January 28, 1876 January 1, 1889
25 Bernardino Nozaleda O.P. (1889 - 1902).jpg Bernardino Nozaleda y Villa, O. P. May 27, 1889 February 4, 1902
26 JeremiahHarty.jpg Jeremiah James Harty June 6, 1903 May 16, 1916
27 Archbishop Michael J. O'Dogerty.jpg Michael J. O'Doherty September 6, 1916 October 13, 1949
28 Archbishop Gabriel Reyes.jpg Gabriel Reyes y Martelino October 13, 1949 October 15, 1952
29 Rufino J. Cardinal Santos Portrait.jpg Rufino Cardinal Santos y Jiao February 10, 1953 September 3, 1973
30 Cardinal Jaime Sin in 1988.jpg Jaime Cardinal Sin y Lachica September 3, 1973 November 18, 2003
31 Gaudencio Rosales at Lourdes Church, 2012.png Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales y Borbon November 21, 2003 December 12, 2011
32 Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle 11 Feb 2013.jpg Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle y Gokim December 12, 2011 present[10]

College of Consultors[edit]

Below are member priests of the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Manila since January 18, 2012. Auxiliary bishops also serve as vicar generals.

  • Auxiliary Bishop – Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, SSL
  • Vicar General and Moderator Curiae – Rev. Msgr. Rolando R. Dela Cruz, PC
  • Episcopal Vicar for Chancery Matters / Chancellor – Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon, Jr.
  • Episcopal Vicar for Foreign Communities Concern - Rev. Msgr. Esteban U. Lo, LRMS, PC
  • Episcopal Vicar for the Diocesan Clergy - Rev. Fr. Generoso M. Geronimo
  • Judicial Vicar - Rev. Msgr. Geronimo F. Reyes, PC, JCD
  • Oeconomus - Rev. Fr. Ramon U. Merino
  • Private Secretary to the Archbishop of Manila - Rev. Fr. Reginald R. Malicdem


As of 2004, the archdiocese has registered a total of 2,719,781 baptized faithful. They are served by 475 diocesan and religious priests – with a ratio of 5,725 faithful per priest, under 85 parishes. The archdiocese also houses 369 male religious and 1,730 female religious engaged in various social, pastoral and missionary works in various areas of the archdiocese.

Formation of Priests[edit]

The archdiocese operates San Carlos Seminary, which is responsible for the formation of future priests for the archdiocese and for its suffragan dioceses. Located in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City, it has collegiate- and theologate-level formation houses as well as formation houses for Chinese Filipino future priests (which is the Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society) and a center for adult vocations (Holy Apostles Senior Seminary). The seminary offers civil and ecclesiastical degrees in philosophy, theology and pastoral ministry.

The archdiocese also operates Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary, a seminary for young men in the secondary school level. It is located a few blocks away from San Carlos Seminary.

Other major seminaries that serve the spiritual and pastoral needs of the archdiocese include the San Jose Seminary (under the administration of the Jesuits, located within the Ateneo de Manila University complex) and the UST Central Seminary, the Royal and Pontifical Interdiocesan Seminary of the Philippines, (under the administration of the Dominicans, located within the University of Santo Tomas campus).


The Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Archdiocese. Consecrated by Pope Pius XII's Papal Bull Impositi Nobis in 1942, the Immaculate Conception is also honoured as "Principal Patroness" of the Philippine Islands.
Façade of the Basilica Minore de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno in Quiapo, Manila. The church enshrines the Black Nazarene, an image of Jesus believed to be miraculous, which attracts thousands of devotees on Fridays and millions during its annual procession on 9 January.
Vicariate of Nuestra Señora de Guia
Vicariate of San José de Trozo
Vicariate of the Holy Spirit
Vicariate of Our Lady of Loreto
Vicariate of Sto. Niño
Vicariate of San Fernando de Dilao
Vicariate of the Holy Family
Vicariate of Sta. Clara de Montefalco (Pasay City)
  • Archdiocesan Shrine of Jesus the Way, the Truth, and the Life – SM Mall of Asia Complex
  • Santa Clara de Montefalco Parish
  • Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted Parish – Maricaban, Pasay
  • Our Lady of Fatima Parish – Don Carlos Village, Pasay
  • Our Lady of Sorrows Parish
  • Our Lady of the Airways Parish
  • Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish
  • San Isidro Labrador Parish
  • San Juan Nepomuceno Parish – Malibay, Pasay
  • San Rafael Parish – Park Avenue, Pasay
  • San Roque Parish – Cabrera, Pasay
Vicariate of Saint John the Baptist (San Juan City and Mandaluyong City)
  • Archdiocesan Shrine and Quasi-Parish of Mary, Queen of Peace (EDSA Shrine) – Wack-Wack Greenhills, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
  • Saint John the Baptist Parish (Pinaglabanan Church) - Pedro Cruz, San Juan
  • Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord (SM Megamall Chapel) – Wack-Wack Greenhills, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
  • Mary the Queen Parish – West Greenhills, San Juan
  • Saint Francis of Assisi Parish - Wack-Wack Greenhills, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong (administered by the Franciscan Capuchins)
  • Santuario de San José Parish – East Greenhills, Mandaluyong (administered by the Oblates of Saint Joseph)
  • Santuario del Santo Cristo Parish - Kabayanan, San Juan (administered by the Order of Preachers)
Vicariate of San Felipe Neri (Mandaluyong City)
  • Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy - Plainview, Mandaluyong
  • San Felipe Neri Parish - Población, Mandaluyong
  • Our Lady of Fátima Parish – Highway Hills, Mandaluyong
  • Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish – Hulo, Mandaluyong (administered by the Mission Society of the Philippines)
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish - Welfareville, Mandaluyong
  • Saint Dominic Savio Parish (administered by the Salesians of Don Bosco)
  • San Roque Parish - Barangka, Mandaluyong
Vicariate of Ss Peter and Paul (Makati City)
Vicariate of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Makati City)
  • National Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Mary, Mirror of Justice Parish
  • Mater Dolorosa Parish
  • Saint John Mary Vianney Parish
  • Saint John of the Cross Parish
  • Santa Teresita Parish
  • Santuario de San Antonio Parish - Forbes Park, Makati (administered by the Franciscan Friars)
Vicariate of Saint Joseph the Worker (Makati City)
  • Saint Joseph the Worker Parish
  • Holy Family Parish
  • Our Lady of Fátima Parish
  • Saint Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish
  • San Ildefonso Parish (administered by the Salesians of Don Bosco)

Suffragan dioceses[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Officials". The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila Official Website. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.
  2. ^ (2011-10-13). "Benedict XVI appoints Bishop Tagle to succeed Cardinal Rosales in Manila". Vatican Radio. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.
  3. ^ "History - the First Cathedral 1581-1583. Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica Official Website. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.
  4. ^ "History - The Second Cathedral 1591-1600". Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica Official Website. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.
  5. ^ Roces 1977, p. 1004.
  6. ^ MacArthur General Staff (1994). "The Japanese Offensive in the Philippines". Report of General MacArthur: The Campaigns of MacArthur in the Pacific Volume I. GEN Harold Keith Johnson, BG Harold Nelson, Douglas MacArthur. United States Army. p. 6. LCCN 66-60005. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Quezon III, Manuel L. (2007-02-07). "The Warsaw of Asia: How Manila was Flattened in WWII". Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Arab News Online ( Opinion. Archived from the original on 2010-08-07. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  8. ^ Pope Pius XII (1942). 34 [1942] - ocr.pdf "Acts of the Apostolic See - Insularum Philippinarum Beatissima Virgo Maria Titulo Immaculata Concepto Primaria Universalisque Patrona et Sanctae Virgines' Pudentiana ac Rosa Limanae Patronae Secundarias Declarantur", pp. 336-337. Vatican Archives. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.
  9. ^ TREATY OF GENERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. SIGNED AT MANILA, ON 4 JULY 1946 (pdf), United Nations, archived from the original on 2011-07-23, retrieved 2007-12-10 
  10. ^ Palad, Carlos Antonio (2011-12-12). "The 32nd Archbishop of Manila". Filipino Catholicism. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.

Coordinates: 14°35′29″N 120°58′25″E / 14.59139°N 120.97361°E / 14.59139; 120.97361