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Archdiocese of Manila

Archidioecesis Manilensis

Arkidiyosesis ng Maynila
Arquidiócesis de Manila
The Manila Cathedral in Intramuros
Seat of the Archdiocese of Manila
Coat of arms
Country Philippines
Ecclesiastical provinceManila
HeadquartersResidencia del Arzobispo
Intramuros, Manila 1002
Coordinates14°35′26″N 120°58′15″E / 14.5904202°N 120.9708023°E / 14.5904202; 120.9708023
Area549 km2 (212 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)

3,212,781 (80.9%)
Parishes87 (85 full-fledged parishes, 1 quasi-parish, 1 personal parish)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedFebruary 6, 1579 (1579-02-06) (Diocese)
August 14, 1595 (1595-08-14) (Archdiocese)
CathedralCathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Patron saintImmaculate Conception
Secular priests640 (Diocesan: 271, Religious: 369)
LanguageEnglish and Filipino
Current leadership
ArchbishopJose Cardinal Advincula
Vicar GeneralJose Clemente Ignacio
Bishops emeritusLuis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
(Archbishop, 2011–2020)
Gaudencio Borbon Cardinal Rosales
(Archbishop, 2003–2011)
Teodoro J. Buhain, Jr. (Auxiliary Bishop, 1983–2003)
Broderick S. Pabillo
(Auxiliary Bishop, 2006-2021)

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 the archdiocese of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church in Metro Manila, Philippines, encompassing the cities of Manila, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and Pasay. The cathedral church is a minor basilica located in Intramuros, which comprises the old city of Manila. The Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title Immaculate Conception, is the principal patroness.

The Archdiocese of Manila is the oldest diocese in the Philippines, created in 1579 as a diocese and elevated as a metropolitan archdiocese in 1595. Since its last territorial changes in 2003, the Archdiocese of Manila is the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province of the same name, which also include five dioceses encompassing most of the National Capital Region (Novaliches, Parañaque, Cubao, Kalookan, and Pasig) and four dioceses of its surrounding provinces of Cavite (Diocese of Imus), Rizal and Marikina City (Diocese of Antipolo), Bulacan and Valenzuela City (Diocese of Malolos), and Laguna (Diocese of San Pablo).

In addition, the Archdiocese also serves as the de facto overseer of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, as well as the Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay in Palawan, all exempt dioceses of the Holy See (with the vicariates under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples).

The archdiocese also owns and manages the following institutions located outside its own territorial jurisdiction: Mount Peace Retreat House (in Baguio City), Saint Michael Retreat House (in Antipolo City, Rizal), DZRV Radio Veritas 846 kHz (in Barangay Philam, Quezon City), EDSA Shrine or the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (in Barangay Ugong Norte, Quezon City) and Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary - Manila in Parañaque.

The archdiocese, under the name "Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila," is a shareholder in the Bank of the Philippine Islands with 327,904,251 shares or 7.3 percent as of December 31, 2020.[1]

Since June 24, 2021, the metropolitan archdiocese is led by metropolitan archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula.[2]


Interior of the Throne Room in the Archbishop's Palace as it was during the Spanish colonial period.
Interior of the Throne Room in the Archbishop's Palace as it was during the Spanish colonial period.

Per the efforts of conquistador Martín de Goiti – who founded the City of Manila by uniting the dominions of Sulayman III of Namayan, Sabag, Rajah Ache Matanda of Maynila who was a vassal to the Sultan of Brunei, and Lakan Dula of Tondo who was a tributary to Ming Dynasty China – the Diocese of Manila was established 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 the Archdiocese 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 to be bishop of the new diocese and was presented to the pope.[3][4]

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 its first archbishop. Three new dioceses were created as suffragans to Manila: Nueva Cáceres, 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 Cáceres.[5]

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 pre-colonial Philippine Rajahnates, Kedatuans, Sultanates, Lakanates, and Wangdoms and their conversion to Catholicism were either burnt, lost, or looted by the British. An example 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.[6]

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.

Rizal was executed and the La Liga Filipina dissolved. The 1896 Philippine revolution was triggered when the Spanish discovered the anti-colonial secret organisation Katipunan, leading to the end of Spanish rule. The United States took the Philippines from Spain in the 1898 Spanish–American War; this developed into fighting between the Philippine revolutionaries and the U.S. in the 1899–1902 Philippine–American War, followed by victory for the U.S. and disestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church as the state church of the Philippines. In the period after the war, Philippine churches were restored in the Art-Deco architectural motif. There was a looming threat of apostasy and schism with the rise of anti-clerical Philippine Freemasonry and the establishment of the Philippine Independent Church due to Filipino anger against Spanish ecclesiastical corruption.[7] In response, the Vatican supported Philippine independence and applied a policy of reinforcing orthodoxy and reconciliation which resulted in the majority of the Filipinos remaining faithful to the Roman Catholic Church and having a good number of those separated from the Church grafted back.

The province of Mindoro was established as an independent diocese on April 10, 1910, by virtue of a Decretum Consistoriale signed by Pope Pius X, implementing the Bull Quae Mari Sinico of Pope Leo XIII. On the same date, the Diocese of Lipa was created, with jurisdiction over the provinces of Batangas, Tayabas, Marinduque, and some parts of Masbate. In May 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.[8] Members of the secretive Black Dragon Society had infiltrated all facets of Philippine life and had greatly guided the invading Japanese forces. World War II marked a period of irreplaceable loss to the Archdiocese of Manila. The combination of violent theft and arson done by the Japanese and indiscriminate carpet bombing by the Americans during the Battle of Manila (1945) lead to the permanent loss of many of the ancient Gothic, Art-Deco, and Earthquake Baroque churches found in the Archdiocese of Manila.[9]

The Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the archdiocese
The Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the archdiocese

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 by virtue of the Papal Bull, Impositi Nobis, along with Saints Pudentiana and Rose of Lima as secondary patrons.[10]

Due to the heavy damages resulting from World War II, the Manila Cathedral underwent major rebuilding from 1946 to 1958. The Parish of San Miguel served as pro-cathedral or temporary cathedral of the local church until the Manila Cathedral was reopened and consecrated in 1958.

On December 11, 1948, the Apostolic Constitution Probe Noscitur further divided the Archdiocese of Manila by placing the northern part of the local church in the new Diocese of San Fernando. On November 25, 1961, the Archdiocese of Manila was again partitioned with the creation of the Diocese of Malolos for the province of Bulacan in the north and the Diocese of Imus for the province of Cavite in the South.

Pope John Paul II declared the Manila Cathedral a minor basilica in 1981 through the motu proprio Quod ipsum, issued as a papal bull.[11] In 1983, the province of Rizal, together with the city of Marikina and the northeastern part of Pasig, was placed under the new Diocese of Antipolo.

The archdiocese witnessed many grace-filled church events such as the Second Synod of Manila (1911), the Third Synod of Manila (1925), the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress (1937), the First Plenary Council of the Philippines (1953), the papal visit of Pope Paul VI (1970), the Fourth Synod of Manila (1979), the papal visits of Pope John Paul II (the first in 1981 and the second in 1995), the National Marian Year (1985), the National Eucharistic Year (1987), the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (1991), the Second Provincial Council of Manila (1996), the 4th World Meeting of Families (2003), and the papal visit of Pope Francis (2015).

In 2002, two more dioceses were carved out of the Archdiocese: the Diocese of Novaliches and the Diocese of Parañaque. In 2003, three more dioceses were erected: Cubao, Kalookan, and Pasig.

Coat of arms

The arms of the metropolitan see of Manila is an adaptation of the arms granted by Philip II of Spain to the "insigne y siempre leal (distinguished and ever loyal)" city of Manila in 1596. The silver crescent represents the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the Manila Cathedral and of the entire Philippines. The tower represents God himself whom the psalmist calls in Psalms 60 turris fortis contra inimicum (turris fortitudinis a facie inimici in the Gallician psalter). The three windows make the tower represent the Blessed Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, three Persons in one God. The sea lion represents the Philippines, then-an overseas territory of Spain, and the pilgrim's cross which may be easily fixed on the ground symbolizes both the faith of the Filipino people and their missionary role in spreading that faith. [12]


Old Ecclesiastical Seal of the Archdiocese of Manila used until 1949
Old Ecclesiastical Seal of the Archdiocese of Manila used until 1949

The seat of the Archbishop is Manila Cathedral which is under the patronage of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. After having been served by a single diocesan bishop, nineteen archbishops were later 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 during the period when Filipinos were petitioning for sovereignty from the United States and during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines during World War II.

When O'Doherty died after Philippine independence in 1946, Most Rev. Gabriel M. Reyes, already serving as coadjutor archbishop, became the first native Filipino chosen for the position. Reyes' successor, Archbishop Rufino Jiao Santos, became the first Filipino to become a cardinal in 1960. After Santos' death in 1973, Auxiliary Bishop Artemio Casas was named in the capacity of vicar-capitular (presently termed as Apostolic Administrator) to oversee the archdiocese until a bishop was officially named. On January 21, 1974, Pope Paul VI appointed then-Archbishop of Jaro Jaime Sin as the 30th Archbishop of Manila. Archbishop Sin was named cardinal in 1976. In 2003, after undergoing juridical changes, the archdiocese received Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop of Lipa, as successor to Cardinal Sin. Pope Benedict XVI later elevated Rosales to the cardinalate on March 24, 2006. On October 13, 2011, Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, then Bishop of Imus, was named archbishop and was later made a cardinal by Benedict XVI on November 24, 2012. On December 8, 2019, he was appointed by Pope Francis to be the prefect of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. In March 2020, Philippine President Duterte said the Pope had removed Tagle from his post in Manila for channeling church funds to the President's political opponents.[13] The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and many individual Philippine prelates denounced Duterte's charge.[14] On May 1, 2020, the former archbishop of Manila was promoted to the rank of Cardinal-Bishop by Pope Francis. [1]

Pope Francis appointed Auxilliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo as the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese. He led the Archdiocese through the COVID-19 pandemic and has been a father figure for the lay people. His stint as the Apostolic Administrator last from 15 months, ending on the installation of its new Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula of the Diocese of Capiz.

On March 25, 2021, Pope Francis named Tagle's successor, the then-Archbishop of Capiz, José Fuerte Cardinal Advíncula.[15]

List of Archbishops of Manila

No. Name From Until
Domingo de Salazar, O.P. February 6, 1579 December 4, 1594
Ignacio Santibáñez, O.F.M. August 30, 1595 August 14, 1598
Miguel de Benavides, O.P. October 7, 1602 July 26, 1605
Diego Vázquez de Mercado May 28, 1608 June 12, 1616
Miguel García Serrano, O.S.A. February 12, 1618 June 14, 1629
Hernando Guerrero, O.S.A. January 9, 1634 July 1, 1641
Fernando Montero Espinosa February 5, 1646 1648
Miguel de Poblete Casasola January 21, 1649 December 8, 1667
Juan López Galván, O.P. November 14, 1672 February 12, 1674
Felipe Fernández de Pardo, O.P. October 28, 1681 December 31, 1689
Diego Camacho y Ávila August 19, 1696 January 14, 1704
Francisco de la Cuesta, O.S.H. August 12, 1707 September 27, 1723
Carlos Bermúdez de Castro y González November 20, 1724 November 13, 1729
Juan Ángel Rodríguez, O.S.T. May 18, 1731 June 24, 1742
Pedro de la Santísima Trinidad Martínez de Arizala, O.F.M. February 3, 1744 May 28, 1755
Manuel Rojo del Río y Vieyra December 19, 1757 January 30, 1764
Basilio Sancho de Santa Justa, S.P. April 14, 1766 December 15, 1787
Juan Antonio Orbigo de Gallego, O.F.M. December 15, 1788 May 17, 1797
Juan Antonio Zulaibar, O.P. March 26, 1804 March 4, 1824
Hilarión Díez, O.S.A. July 3, 1826 May 7, 1829
José Seguí, O.S.A. July 5, 1830 July 4, 1845
José Aranguren, O.R.S.A. January 19, 1846 April 18, 1861
Gregorio Melitón Martínez Santa Cruz December 23, 1861 September 30, 1875
Pedro Payo y Piñeiro, O.P. January 28, 1876 January 1, 1889
Bernardino Nozaleda y Villa, O.P. May 27, 1889 February 4, 1902
26 Jeremiah James Harty June 6, 1903 May 16, 1916
(Transferred to Diocese of Omaha)
Michael J. O'Doherty September 6, 1916 October 13, 1949
(Died in office)
28 Gabriel Reyes October 13, 1949 October 15, 1952
(Died in office)
Rufino Santos February 10, 1953 September 3, 1973
(Died in office)
Jaime Sin, O.F.S. March 19, 1974 September 15, 2003
Gaudencio Rosales November 21, 2003 October 13, 2011
Luis Antonio Tagle December 12, 2011 February 9, 2020
(Appointed as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples)[16]
Jose Advincula, O.P. June 24, 2021 Present

Coadjutor Archbishops

Auxiliary Bishops

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops


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

The archdiocese administers San Carlos Seminary, the archdiocesan major seminary which caters to the formation of future priests for the archdiocese and for its suffragan dioceses. Located in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati, it has a pre-college program (senior high school and formation year), a college program (A.B., philosophy), and a graduate school (master's program in theology or pastoral ministry), as well as a formation houses for future priests committed to serve the Filipino-Chinese communities in the country (Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Society) and a center for adult vocations (Holy Apostles Senior Seminary). The archdiocese also operates Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary for young men at the secondary school level. It is located a few blocks from San Carlos Seminary.


The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila Educational System (RCAMES) comprises 27 archdiocesan and parochial schools. The archbishop of Manila exercises authority in each member school and appoints a superintendent for the entire system to implement decisions and resolve issues. The member schools are:[17]

See also


  1. ^ BPI: A trusted lifeline for tomorrow, today (2020 Integrated Report) (PDF) (Report). Bank of the Philippine Islands. 2021. p. 164. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  2. ^ Depasupil, William (June 24, 2021). "Cardinal Advincula installed as 33rd Manila archbishop". The Manila Times. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "History – the First Cathedral 1581–1583. Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica Official Website. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.
  4. ^ de Achútegui, Pedro S. (1979). "A Problem of Chronology: The Quadricentennial of Manila and the Gregorian Calendar". Philippine Studies. 27 (3): 417–431. ISSN 0031-7837. JSTOR 42632495 – via JSTOR.
  5. ^ "History – The Second Cathedral 1591-1600". Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica Official Website. Retrieved on 2013-03-22.
  6. ^ Roces 1977, p. 1004.
  7. ^ "Pope Orders Sharp Action; Archbishop of Manila Instructed to Excommunicate Philippine National Church Promoters", New York Times, New York, NY: Dec 29, 1902. p.7
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "The Manila Cathedral". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  12. ^ Madriaga, Mariano (1957). "The Coats-of-Arms of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions in the Philippines: Part I. The Metropolitan Sees". Philippine Studies. 5 (2): 177–190. JSTOR 42720389. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  13. ^ Kabiling, Genalyn (March 10, 2020). "Duterte: Manila has no archbishop because the Pope removed Tagle for meddling in politics". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  14. ^ Gomes, Robin (March 14, 2020). "Philippine bishops refute Duterte's accusation against Cardinal Tagle". Vatican News. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Cardinal Advincula of Capiz named Manila archbishop". Catholic Church. Rappler. 25 March 2021. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Establishment of the Educational System of the Archdiocese of Manila". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila Educational System. Retrieved 2021-12-26.

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