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The Secularization of Priests During Spanish Period

The Opening of the Suez Canal The Suez Canal, which connected the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, was inaugurated in 1869. It was built by a rench engineer na!ed erdinand de "esse#s. $y #assing through the Canal, %essels &ourneying between $arcelona and Manila no longer had to #ass by the Ca#e o' (ood )o#e, at the southern ti# o' *'rica. Thus, they were able to shorten their tra%eling ti!e 'ro! three !onths to +, days. Than-s to the Suez Canal, trading in the .hili##ines beca!e increasingly #ro'itable. More and !ore 'oreign !erchants and business!en ca!e to the colony, bringing with the! a lot o' #rogressi%e ideas. The ili#inos not only gained !ore -nowledge and in'or!ation about the world at large/ they also gained the desire 'or 'reedo! and i!#ro%e!ent in their li%es. The Secularization Controversy Two -inds o' #riests ser%ed the Catholic Church in the .hili##ines. These were the regulars and the seculars. Regular #riests belonged to religious orders. Their !ain tas- was to s#read Christianity. 01a!#les were the ranciscans, Recollects, 2o!inicans, and *ugustinians. Secular #riests did not belong to any religious order. They were trained s#eci'ically to run the #arishes and were under the su#er%ision o' the bisho#s. Con'lict began when the bisho#s insisted on %isiting the #arishes that were being run by regular #riests. It was their duty, they argued, to chec- on the ad!inistration o' these #arishes. $ut the regular #riests re'used these %isits, saying that they were not under the bisho#3s &urisdiction. They threatened to abandon their #arishes i' the bisho#s #ersisted. In 1445, *rchbisho# $asilio Santa 6usta decided to u#hold the diocese3s authority o%er the #arishes and acce#ted the resignations o' the regular #riests. )e assigned secular #riests to ta-e their #lace. Since there were not enough seculars to 'ill all the %acancies the *rchbisho# hastened the ordination o' ili#ino seculars. * royal decree was also issued on 7o%e!ber 9, 1445, which #ro%ided 'or the secularization o' all #arishes or the trans'er o' #arochial ad!inistration 'ro! the regular 'riars to the secular #riests. The regulars resented the !o%e because they considered the ili#inos un'it 'or the #riesthood. *!ong other reasons they cited the ili#inos3 brown s-in, lac- o' education, and inade8uate e1#erience. The contro%ersy beca!e !ore intense when the 6esuits returned to the .hili##ines. They had been e1iled 'ro! the country because o' certain #olicies o' the order that the S#anish authorities did not li-e. The issue soon too- on a racial slant. The S#aniards were clearly 'a%ouring their own regular #riest o%er ili#ino #riests.

Monsignor .edro .elaez, ecclesiastical go%ernor o' the Church, sided with the ili#inos. 9n'ortunately, he died in an earth8ua-e that destroyed the Manila Cathedral in 186+. *'ter his death, other #riests too- his #lace in 'ighting 'or the secularization !o%e!ent. *!ong the! were athers Mariano (o!ez, 6ose $urgos and 6acinto :a!ora.


From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia Secularization is a process by which the society is slowly transforming from that having close identification with the religious institution to a more separated relationship. This was considered to be the dawn of Philippine Nationalism particularly after the e!ecution of "omburza. The "omburza headed the secularization movement. They advocated the right of the #ilipino secular clergy over the assignment of parishes rather than giving them to the newly arrived Spanish friars in the country. The seculars were those who were not bound by monastic vows or rules. They were discriminated by the $ominicans %esuits #ranciscans and &ecollects. The #ilipino priests then were assigned as assistants to Spanish friars. Secularism began in '()' when the parishes of *indanao originally managed by the &ecollect friars were handed to the %esuits. The %esuits were e!pelled from the Philippines in '+)( because of the conflict they had between the ,uropean leaders. -owever they returned to the country in '()' and regain power over the *indanao parishes from the &ecollects who too. over during their absence. The &ecollects were bestowed the parishes of *anila and /avite by the colonial government to appeased their loss. The original administrators of the parishes the #ilipino secular priests naturally protested. Reference

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