June 22, 2010 in Featured
By OFELIA EMPIAN
BAGUIO CITY — The Aglipayan Church or the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church or IFI) held its Luzon Clergy Seminar last June 14-18 at the Teachers’ Camp.
The Luzon wide activity gathered all the priests from Luzon, from up North to as far as Marinduque, Bicol, Mindoro and Romblon. Three hundred newly ordained priests, priests, bishops, and church leaders gathered in the said event.
With their theme “The Threefold Task of Ministry: Priest/Pastor, Prophet and Kingly”, the whole clergy goes back to the basic meaning of their calling as priests in the church. According to Bishop Godofredo J. David, Obispo Maximo of IFI, the event is aimed at “going back to the basic meaning of priesthood”, reminding the social involvement and responsibilities of priests, and in continuing the development of their skills to be utilized in serving the community.
In his keynote address to the men and women priests, Bishop David talked about the various circumstances and concrete situations that challenge their ministry as clergy of the church. He spoke of the need for renewal within the church and within the inner self of a clergy.
“We do not come to pass judgment upon ourselves. We are here to study and seek to understand our situation, hoping to resolve the contradictions that characterize our ministry…Our responsibility as bishops and priests demand that we must be adequately prepared for our ministry and equipped with attitudes and skills that will enable us to better understand ourselves and others,” he said.
Moreover, Father Antonio “Tony” Tayco, Parish Priest of the Greater Manila Area (GMA), said that part of the mission of IFI is to “speak in behalf of the Filipino people.”
“We proclaim the good news and condemn the evil scheme… (because) Christ wants justice to reign,” he said.
The IFI was formed in the beginning of the twentieth century as part of the broad nationalist struggle against Spanish colonialism and American imperialism. It traces its origin from the struggle of the Filipino clergy against racial discrimination and friar domination within the Roman Church in the 19th century, which, consequently, was transformed into a nationalist crusade for the absolute Filipinization of the Church in the twilight years of the 20th century.
The church was established by Fr. Gregorio Aglipay who became its first Obispo Maximo (Supreme Bishop) in 1902. Today IFI is the second largest Christian denomination in the Philippines after the Roman Catholic Church. The bulk of the Aglipayans come from the northern part of the island of Luzon, especially from the Ilocandia region, home of the first supreme bishop. At present, the church has 36 Dioceses in the Philippines and already has established dioceses in Canada and the US. #nordis.net