Diocese of Bacolod

Dioecesis Bacolodensis

Diyosesis sang Bacolod
Diyosesis ng Bacolod
Diócesis de Bacolod
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Bacolod.svg
Coat of arms
Country Philippines
Territory3rd and 4th Congressional District of Negros Occidental, Lone Congressional District of Bacolod and Municipality of Hinigaran[1]
Ecclesiastical provinceJaro[2]
Coordinates10°40′N 122°57′E / 10.667°N 122.950°E / 10.667; 122.950
Area2,019 km2 (780 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2012)
1,211,000[2] (82.2%[2]%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established15 July 1932[4]
CathedralCathedral of St Sebastian
Co-cathedralSan Diego Pro-cathedral
Patron saintSaint Sebastian
Current leadership
BishopMost Rev. Patricio Buzon, S.D.B., D.D.
Metropolitan ArchbishopJose Romeo Lazo
Bishops emeritusMost Rev. Vicente M. Navarra, D.D.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in Negros Occidental, Philippines. A suffragan of the Archdiocese of Jaro,[5] its jurisdiction covers most of the northwestern towns and cities of the province of Negros Occidental namely, as far as Victorias City in the north and the Municipality of Hinigaran in the south.[6]

The seat of the diocese is the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod (one of 12 cathedrals founded by the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines) with the San Diego Pro-cathedral in Silay as the diocese's pro-cathedral.[7] The current bishop is Patricio Abella Buzon, SDB, appointed on 24 May 2016 and installed on August 9, 2016.

A map of the dioceses in Negros and Cebu.
A map of the dioceses in Negros and Cebu.


The Diocese of Bacolod was created by Pope Pius XI on 15 July 1932 through the apostolic constitution Ad Christi regnum, separating it from the territories of the Diocese of Cebu (Siquijor Island) and the Diocese of Jaro (Negros Island).[8] The diocese was created in response to the growing population of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, a majority of which are located in the island of Negros.[9] Guglielmo Piani, Papal Legate to the Philippines, issued the decree of execution on 4 May 1933 and the decree of erection on 16 May. Bishop James Paul McCloskey of Jaro was appointed Apostolic Administrator while the diocese waits for its bishop.[10]

Rev. Fr. Casimiro Lladoc of the Diocese of Nueva Caceres was appointed bishop of the diocese on 23 June 1933. He arrived in Bacolod on 24 October of the same year after his episcopal consecration on 16 September.[11][12][13] He invited more religious congregations to the diocese, established Catholic schools, led the construction and renovation of churches, including the remodelling of the San Sebastian Cathedral in 1936, and strengthened lay Catholic formation through a massive catechism drive. During his tenure, the Sacred Heart Seminary in Bacolod was established on 15 June 1946. Due to his efforts, the population of the Aglipayan church in Negros was reduced significantly.[14]

Lladoc died on 22 September 1951. Bishop Manuel Yap of the Diocese of Capiz was appointed as his successor on 16 March 1952. The bishop strengthened the diocesan seminary and the catechetical institution initiated by his predecessor. He also supported the establishment of the lay movement Barangay Sang Virgen on 16 October 1955 which now has spread nationwide, and the Chinese Catholic Association with the help of Fr. John Liu. On 5 April 1955, the Diocese of Bacolod lost territory when the Diocese of Dumaguete (which covers the entire province of Negros Oriental) was erected. The San Sebastian Cathedral was renovated and consecrated in the presence of the Papal Nuncio Salvatore Siino on 6 March 1960. He also addressed internal issues in the diocese by convoking a Diocesan Synod on 14-18 March 1960.[9]

Mons. Antonio Fortich, vicar general of the diocese, succeeded Yap after his death on 16 October 1966. In his tenure, he allowed the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in his diocese, which was limited by his conservative predecessor. This includes the new form of the Mass translated in Hiligaynon.[9] Living up to the mandate of Pope Paul VI to him to “do something for the poor of Negros”, he convoked a Pastoral Congress in 1968, and with unanimous support from the clergy, he spoke out against the social and political abuses and injustices happening during this time in Negros in a pastoral letter.[15] He tirelessly reached out to the poor and the oppressed and tried to breach the gap of social division. He established the Social Action Center which up to this day tends to the needs of the poor and the needy, and adopted the Kristianong Katilingban (Basic Christian Communities) in the diocese. His efforts were supported by Pope John Paul II when he visited Bacolod on 21 February 1981. However, he was met with resistance, especially from the rich of Negros, when under mysterious circumstances the Bishop's House was burned in January 1985.[15] The diocese further lost territory in parts of Negros Occidental province on 30 March 1987 when the Diocese of Kabankalan[16] and the Diocese of San Carlos[17] were erected. Fortich retired on January 31, 1989, after reaching the age of 75.

Bishop Camilo Gregorio, auxiliary bishop of Cebu, was appointed to the Diocese of Bacolod on 20 May 1989. He attempted to continue the social pastoral program of his predecessor, however his focus was on bringing orthodoxy and spiritual renewal to the diocese. He convoked a Pastoral Congress in 1993 to meet this focus and to implement the acts and decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines. The Pope John Paul Institute of Marriage and the Family was established in the diocese during his term. He also initiated the island-wide caravans for the protection of life and for the promotion of a peaceful election, and declared the San Diego Parish Church as a pro-cathedral.[7] Bishop Gregorio was met with opposition from priests who were used to the pastoral program of Bishop Fortich. Divisions in the clergy grew due to the clash of opinions which affected the faithful of the diocese. Due to this, Bishop Gregorio resigned on 28 August 2000. He was later appointed as Prelate of Batanes in 2003.[18]

Bishop Vicente Navarra of Kabankalan was assigned as Apostolic Administrator after the latter's resignation, and subsequently as bishop of the diocese in 24 May 2001. The diocese hosted the National Youth Day in 2004 during his term. After examining the problems of the diocese, he convoked the Second Diocesan Synod on 20 January 2002 and promulgated its decrees on 20 January 2005 covering a wide range of subjects that intended to transform the diocese and the faithful, including the formalization of the Basic Ecclesiastical Communities. He led the diocese in celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in 2007 and established ADSUM, the official publication of the diocese in 2008. He was also vocal in defense of the environment and human life, especially during the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill in legislation.[19] Prior to the 2013 elections to the Philippines Senate posters were put up at parish churches that identified the senators who voted for and against passage of the bill as Team Patay (or death) and Team Buhay (or life), respectively, in reference to Team PNoy, the senatorial slate of Philippine President Noynoy Aquino. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) attempted to have these posters removed, or at the least reduced in size.[20][21] The Philippine Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order stopping COMELEC from forcing the removal of the posters.[22]

Navarra retired when Bishop Patricio Buzon of Kabankalan waa appointmented as his successor on 24 May 2016. During his tenure, he convoked the Second Diocesan Pastoral Assembly on 10-13 October 2017 in which the Diocese formulated its Vision-Mission Statements: the diocese being a “listening Church journeying together towards holiness”.

"Protect life" posters prominently displayed at the San Sebastian Cathedral
"Protect life" posters prominently displayed at the San Sebastian Cathedral

Coat of Arms

The shield is divided fesswise into two fields. In chief or (gold) are two arrows in saltire debruised by an upright Latin cross argent (silver), the symbols of St. Sebastian, martyr, titular of both the diocese and the cathedral of Bacolod. On a field of azure (blue) at base, the cathedral of Bacolod on a knoll vert (green) and a sugarcane stalk with vegetation to depict the major industry of Negros Occidental. The hill where the cathedral stands is called bakólod in Hiligaynon, in which the name of the city of Bacolod is derived.[23][24]


Bishop Period in Office Coat of Arms
From Until Duration
Sede Vacante - Apostolic Administrator Most Rev. James Paul McCloskey, D.D. † (Bishop of Jaro) 19 May 1933 23 Jun 1933
Bishop Casimiro Lladoc.jpg
Casimiro Magbanua Lladoc 23 Jun 1933


22 Sept 1951


(18 years, 91 days)
Coat of arms of Casimiro Magbanua Lladoc.svg
Sede Vacante - Diocesan Administrator Msgr. Flaviano Ariola † (Vicar General) 22 Sept 1951 5 Mar 1952
Bishop Manuel Yap.jpg
Manuel Porcia Yap † 5 Mar 1952

(Appointment; former Bishop of Capiz)

16 Oct 1966


(14 years, 225 days)
Coat of arms of Manuel Porcia Yap as Bishop of Bacolod.svg
Sede Vacante - Diocesan Administrator Msgr. Antonio Fortich † (Vicar General) 16 Oct 1966 13 Jan 1967
Bishop Antonio Fortich.jpg
Antonio Yapsutco Fortich 13 Jan 1967


31 Jan 1989
(22 years, 18 days)
Coat of arms of Antonio Yapsutco Fortich.svg
Sede Vacante - Diocesan Administrator Msgr. Victorino Rivas † (Vicar General) 31 Jan 1989 20 May 1989
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Bacolod.svg
Camilo Diaz Gregorio 20 May 1989

(Appointment; former Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu)

28 Aug 2000
(11 years, 100 days)
Coat of arms of Camilo Diaz Gregorio as Bishop of Bacolod.svg
Sede Vacante - Apostolic Administrator Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, D.D. (Bishop of Kabankalan) 28 Aug 2000 24 May 2001
Bishop Vicente Navarra.jpg
Vicente Macanan Navarra 24 May 2001

(Appointment; former Bishop of Kabankalan)

24 May 2016
(15 years, 0 days)
Coat of arms of Vicente Macanan Navarra as Bishop of Bacolod.svg
Anointing of the hands of Fr. Vince.jpg
Patricio Abella Buzon 24 May 2016

(Appointment; former Bishop of Kabankalan)

Incumbent (6 years, 105 days)
Coat of Arms of Patricio Buzon.svg

Affiliated Bishops

See also


  1. ^ UCANEWS PAIRSERVER. "Bacolod Parishes". Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Catholic Hierarchy. "Diocese of Bacolod". Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  3. ^ Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. "Diocese of Bacolod". Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  4. ^ GCatholic. "Diocese of Bacolod, Philippines". Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  5. ^ Catholic Hierarchy. "Archdiocese of Jaro". Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  6. ^ "About". dioceseofbacolod.org. Retrieved 2021-09-21.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ a b "Bacolod church declared procathedral". Manila Standard. 1 January 1995. p. 15. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  8. ^ Pope Pius XI, Apostolic Constitution creating the Diocese of Bacolod Ad Christi regnum (5 April 1955), Acta Apostolicae Sedis 25 (1933), 357-360. De Jarensis et Nominis Iesu seu Cæbuanæ dioecesium in Philippinis Insulis dismembratione et novæ dioecesis «de Bacolod» erectione.
  9. ^ a b c Sa-onoy, Modesto (2007). Church on a Hill: History of Diocese of Bacolod.
  10. ^ "La ereccion de la nueva Diocesis de Bacolod". Boletin Eclesiastico de Filipinas. XI (122 (August 1933)): 562 – via UST Miguel de Benavides Library and Archives Digital Collections.
  11. ^ "Consagracion del Exclmo. Mons. Lladoc". Boletin Eclesiastico de Filipinas. XI (123 (September-October 1933)): 630 – via UST Miguel de Benavides Library and Archives Digital Collections.
  12. ^ "Toma de Posesión de Mons. Lladoc". Boletin Eclesiastico de Filipinas. XI (124 (November 1933)): 700–701 – via UST Miguel de Benavides Library and Archives Digital Collections.
  13. ^ "Exequias del primer obispo de Bacolod". Boletin Eclesiastico de Filipinas. XXV (281 (November 1951)): 707–715 – via UST Miguel de Benavides Library and Archives Digital Collections.
  14. ^ "Diocese of Bacolod". www.dioceseofbacolod.org. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  15. ^ a b Carla, Gomez. "A Man of Peace". Archived from the original on 28 October 2005.
  16. ^ Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution creating the Diocese of San Carlos Resonant Usquequaque (30 March 1987), Acta Apostolicae Sedis 79 (1987), 1042-1043.
  17. ^ Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Constitution creating the Diocese of San Carlos Certiores Quidem (30 March 1987), Acta Apostolicae Sedis 79 (1987), 1040-1041.
  18. ^ Rufo, Aries (2013). Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church. Journalism for Nation Building Foundation.
  19. ^ "Bacolod diocese sets anti-RH rally on April 27". GMA News Online. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  20. ^ Gomez, Carla P. (24 February 2013). "Diocese ordered to remove "Team Patay" list". Inquirer News. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  21. ^ Dangcalan, Danny B. (27 February 2013). "On team buhay/Team patay: Bacolod diocese to follow Comelec order resizing tarp". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  22. ^ Avendaño, Christine O., Jocelyn R. Uy, Philip Tubeza (March 6, 2013). "Church wins tarp war; more dioceses to post 'patay' list". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  23. ^ "The Bishop". dioceseofbacolod.org. Retrieved 2021-09-21.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ Madriaga, Mariano (1958). "The Coats-of-Arms of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions in the Philippines". Philippine Studies. 6 (2): 165–173. ISSN 0031-7837. JSTOR 42719371.