Military Ordinariate of the Philippines
Ordinariatus Militaris Philippinensis
Ordinaryato Militar ng Pilipinas
|Ecclesiastical province||Directly exempt to the Holy See|
|Metropolitan||Cardinal Jose F. Advincula|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||December 8, 1950|
|Cathedral||Saint Ignatius Military Cathedral|
|Co-cathedral||Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral Philippine National Police|
Shrine of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Diocesan
|Patron saint||Immaculate Conception Titular|
Ignatius of Loyola
John of Capistrano
|Ordinary||Oscar Jaime L. Florencio|
|Vicar General||Albert C. Songco|
The Military Ordinariate of the Philippines or MOP is a Latin Church ecclesiastical jurisdiction or military ordinariate of the Catholic Church in the Philippines serving the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and Philippine Coast Guard. It has jurisdiction over all military, police and coast guard personnel, their dependents, and civilian human resources of all branches of the armed forces. Its titular patron is the Immaculate Conception, with Ignatius of Loyola and John of Capistrano as secondary patrons. The Philippine military ordinary is Oscar Jaime L. Florencio, a former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The Military Ordinariate of the Philippines was initially erected as a military vicariate on December 8, 1950, as per decree by Pope Pius XII via the consistoriat decree Ad consulendum. It was accepted by the Philippine government in a diplomatic agreement which took effect through the exchange of Notes Verbal in 1952 between then-Foreign Secretary Jaime Elizalde and the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi. Rufino Jiao Santos, then-Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, took possession of the vicariate and became the first military vicar in Philippine history.
On April 12, 1986, Pope John Paul II promulgated the apostolic constitution Spirituale militum curæ, which took effect on July 21, 1986. This papal document was unique as it began a new structure for all military vicariates all over the world, elevating these to the level of ordinariates, thus giving them the same status as territorial dioceses.
The ordinariate has its own curia and it exercises its pastoral ministry through military, Police, and Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Fire Protection chaplains assigned to the different branches of services of Filipino uniformed men and women. The exact number of faithful under this jurisdiction is a classified information, but it is approximately 90 percent of the servicemen and women.
The mostly diocesan clergy of the ordinariate carry officers' ranks, and are assigned to the different AFP, PNP, and Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Fire Protection command posts nationwide.
Though not bound to any particular geographical area, the military ordinariate has several buildings under its jurisdiction, almost all of which are within military or police instalments. The ordinariate's principal church is the Saint Ignatius Military Cathedral in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Philippines, while its pro-cathedral for the Police is the Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral in Camp Crame (across Camp Aguinaldo on the other side of EDSA).
The ordinariate also owns the large Shrine of St. Therese, Doctor of the Church, situated near Villamor Airbase, NAIA Terminal 3, and Resorts World Manila in Pasay.
Priests who wish join the Chaplain Services of the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Coast Guard are required to fulfil the standard requirements of both the service branch they are entering and the church. The endorsement of the military ordinary is amongst the most important of the ecclesiastical requirements; the ordinary submits the names of applicants for a "call to active duty" (CAD). He gives to chaplains and civilian priests working for the services the canonical faculties to exercise their spiritual ministry among subjects of the military ordinariate.
Chaplains in active duty are given the initial rank of Captain or its equivalent in other branches of the services. They enjoy the prerogatives and privileges of the rest of the officers belonging to the same grade or rank in the service.
Chaplains in active service who are not incardinated into the military ordinariate may be subject to recall by the bishop of their respective diocese of origin, even without cause. On the other hand, the ordinary may also withdraw his endorsement for cause. The chaplain whose endorsement has thus been withdrawn is to report to their diocesan bishop or religious Superior as soon as possible. Chaplains whose tour of active service is terminated are to return to their respective dioceses or religious orders, or as otherwise advised or directed by their original bishop or Superior.
See also: Military chaplain § Non-combatant status
The military ordinary must be a Filipino-born member of the nation's Catholic Church hierarchy, and is appointed by the Holy See after consultation with government. The pope freely nominates the military ordinary– normally a bishop– or institutes or confirms the candidate legitimately chosen according to the canon law. He belongs by right to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines and is subject to the Congregation for Bishops.