Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An interesting ecumenical link on the IFI

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) is the church founded as a result of the nationalist movement of Filipinizing the Roman Catholic Church in the late 19th century. This movement can be said to have started when the first Filipino priests were ordained in the 1600s but when Filipino priests began receiving advanced theological and pastoral formation, they realized that they were discriminated by the Spanish clergy. Foremost in the list of Filipino priests were Rev. Pedro Pelaez (who became Dean of the Manila Cathedral and for a while administered the archdiocese) and Rev. Jose Burgos, who was executed in 1872.  Filipinizing meant that Filipino priests should lead their particular churches (e.g. dioceses and parishes in the Philippines). How this history unfolded and why the IFI seceded from Rome is well covered by the Aglipayan blog in its posts on historical documents especially on its theological position which differentiates it from the Roman Catholic Church. The Aglipayan blog also has recent posts on events in the IFI and ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church. Anglican Use Philippines is featuring this so that readers get to know more of the church which has been described as  "the only living link with the Philippine Revolution of 1896". We also hope readers will get acquainted with efforts to heal the more than a century old schism. The IFI is in full communion with the Anglican Communion.


  1. As I understand the purpose of this website, this is related to the document "Anglicanorum Coetibus" that established the Personal Ordinariate. I was just confused to see this article in this site. The reason why those who belong to the so-called "Anglican Use" request the Holy Father to receive them into the full communion with the Catholic Church was the practices that the Anglican Communion had accepted, such as women ordination, appointment of openly gays as bishops, etc. The healing of the schism between the IFI and the Catholic Church is impossible. Why? because the IFI is now doing the practices that the Anglican Church does. It has women priests and deacons. Few years from now we will not be surprised to hear that it already has a woman bishop. The principles laid down by "Anglicanorum Coetibus" is not applicable in the case of the IFI. But, ecumenical cooperation, such as upholding human rights and promotion of justice, etc., is possible.

  2. The purpose of this blog is to discuss any and all issues related to Anglican Use of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. Anglican Use and Anglican Use parishes were established after Pope John Paul II issued the Personal Provision and have existed -- and been part of the Catholic Church -- for about 30 years.

    "Anglicanorum Coetibus" is a recent development in the history of Anglican Use. While it doesn't directly establish any Personal Ordinariates, it does allows the Vatican to establish such ordinariates for Anglicans. One such ordinariate has been established, in the UK. Three more will be established in the next year or so, and more may follow from there.

    Personal Ordinariates are a new type of diocese, never seen before, and since this is a new structure within the Church, it provides another tool for bringing about the unity of all Christians. Given that -- as both Anonymous and Ben have pointed out -- the IFI and Anglicanism have a similar history, maybe this tool can be used to heal the rift between the IFI and Catholic churches. That I why, I believe, that Ben wrote this post.

    Anonymous, does that clear up any confusion?

  3. Dear Bruce, thank you for your response. However, though you see similarities in the history of Anglicanism and the IFI, the question now is this: up to what level does the unity you mentioned go? Will the Aglipayans be willing not to ordained women as priests and deacons? Will they be willling to forgo the teachings of Aglipay on the real presence and the authority of the pope, etc, in his first epistles? These are doctrinal issues that need to be considered. I reiterate, the reason why those anglicans left the Anglican Communion is because of the unaccepatble doctrines that AC is now practicing.

  4. Bruce wrote: "Personal Ordinariates are a new type of diocese, never seen before, and since this is a new structure within the Church, it provides another tool for bringing about the unity of all Christians."

    You are wrong in saying that personal jurisdictions such as personal ordinariates are a new type of diocese, never seen before. Let us clear some terms. It is called PERSONAL because it does not refer to territorial jurisdiction but to the group of persons who live according to the spirituality, custom, etc. It is an ORDINARIATE because it is headed by an Ordinary who governs the said jurisdiction in the name of the Holy Father. Now, this kind of jurisdiction is not new. Why? the Opus Dei is a PERSONAL PRELATURE, the Administratio Apostolica Personalis Sancti Ioannis Mariae Vianney of Brazil also belong to this category. and the reason why were recognized as such is becuase of full communion. Let us not equate the case of these catholics belonging to the Ordinariate as similar to the IFI. Read the Aglipayan blogs and you will see that up to this moment, some of their members are still expressing their abhorrence against the Roman Catholic Church.

  5. Anglicanorum coetibus is something that other separated ecclesial communities are looking into in their quest for reunion. Some in the IFI are looking into healing the schism and have noted Anglicanorum coetibus as a positive development. This is a welcome development since before you will not find anything positive written by a Roman Catholic priest on an IFI blog. Also some IFI bishops have attended Catholic faculties of theology with one bishop getting his Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Dominican run University of Santo Tomas. This bodes well for ecumenical engagement and cooperation. We pray that the Holy Spirit will be allowed to do his work.

    We have to learn the lessons of the Aglipayan schism.

  6. Anybody can enroll and graduate in UST regardless of faith. And for sure it is not a SThD but PhD. These 2 are different. The first is an ecclesiatical degree, which will require the recepient to make a profession of faith. the second is a civil degree that the government bestows thorugh the university.

    Any way, if that is the case good. I am praying with you for the end of this schism. But you did not say anything about the women priests and deacons in the IFI.

  7. The Aglipayan bishop and seminary rector is the Rt Rev Eleuterio Revollido who got his SThD from UST's ecclesiatical faculties.

    It would be best if I not comment about women priests and deacons in the IFI as ecumenical courtesy since I have it on good authority that the Aglipayans are assessing the future of women's ordination in their church.

  8. Catholic is right that the Personal Ordinariates are similar to a Personal Prelature, as they are also similar to military ordinariates, but similar doesn't make them exactly the same. While Personal Ordinariates are not a radical departure - they are more of an evolution - they are innovation and so are a new, but not radically different, structure.

    So how do the two "personal" structures differ? What distinguishes a prelature from an ordinaraite? I am sure that canon lawyers could write treatise after treatise, and I am not one, but I do see a few differences.

    I think of Opus Dei more like a religious order and I think of the Anglican ordinariates more like a diocese. The former doesn't have parishes, and isn't part of a catholic bishops conference. Further the laymen who attend their centers and schools are still under the jurisdiction of their local ordinary, or bishop. Wikipedia puts it this way: 'Nevertheless, the Congregation for Bishops states: "The laity incorporated in the Prelature Opus Dei continue to be faithful of the dioceses in which they have their domicile or quasidomicile and are, therefore, under the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop in what the law lays down for all the ordinary faithful".'

    Personal ordinariates look and feel like regular territorial dioceses with priests, seminaries, parishes, deacons and laymen. If you live in London and attend an Anglican Ordinariate parish, you are not under the authority of the Archbishop of Westminster but under Msgr. Newton. The ordinary is and will be a member of their Catholic bishops conference.

    In practice I think that Opus Dei and Anglican ordinariates will operate in very similar manners. While technically, legally, the ordinariates will be more like dioceses than religious orders, I suspect that they will operate more like a religious order. I am sure that while there are some canon law experts that can go on for days describing how a prelature and an ordinariate differ, for those sitting in the pews the differences will seem slight if they are noticeable at all.


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