Diocese of Bacolod
Diyosesis sang Bacolod
Diyosesis ng Bacolod
Diócesis de Bacolod
|Territory||3rd and 4th Congressional District of Negros Occidental, Lone Congressional District of Bacolod and Municipality of Hinigaran|
|Area||2,019 km2 (780 sq mi)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2012)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||15 July 1932|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of St Sebastian|
|Co-cathedral||San Diego Pro-cathedral|
|Patron saint||Saint Sebastian|
|Bishop||Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, S.D.B., D.D.|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Jose Romeo Lazo|
|Bishops emeritus||Most 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, 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.
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. The current bishop is Patricio Abella Buzon, SDB, appointed on 24 May 2016 and installed on August 9, 2016.
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). 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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. The diocese further lost territory in parts of Negros Occidental province on 30 March 1987 when the Diocese of Kabankalan and the Diocese of San Carlos 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. 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.
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. 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. The Philippine Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order stopping COMELEC from forcing the removal of the posters.
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”.
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.
|Bishop||Period in Office||Coat of Arms|
|Sede Vacante - Apostolic Administrator||Most Rev. James Paul McCloskey, D.D. † (Bishop of Jaro)||19 May 1933||23 Jun 1933|
|1.||Casimiro Magbanua Lladoc †||23 Jun 1933
|22 Sept 1951
|(18 years, 91 days)|
|Sede Vacante - Diocesan Administrator||Msgr. Flaviano Ariola † (Vicar General)||22 Sept 1951||5 Mar 1952|
|2.||Manuel Porcia Yap †||5 Mar 1952
(Appointment; former Bishop of Capiz)
|16 Oct 1966
|(14 years, 225 days)|
|Sede Vacante - Diocesan Administrator||Msgr. Antonio Fortich † (Vicar General)||16 Oct 1966||13 Jan 1967|
|3.||Antonio Yapsutco Fortich †||13 Jan 1967
|31 Jan 1989
|(22 years, 18 days)|
|Sede Vacante - Diocesan Administrator||Msgr. Victorino Rivas † (Vicar General)||31 Jan 1989||20 May 1989|
|4.||Camilo Diaz Gregorio †||20 May 1989
(Appointment; former Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu)
|28 Aug 2000
|(11 years, 100 days)|
|Sede Vacante - Apostolic Administrator||Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, D.D. (Bishop of Kabankalan)||28 Aug 2000||24 May 2001|
|5.||Vicente Macanan Navarra||24 May 2001
(Appointment; former Bishop of Kabankalan)
|24 May 2016
|(15 years, 0 days)|
|6.||Patricio Abella Buzon||24 May 2016
(Appointment; former Bishop of Kabankalan)
|Incumbent||(6 years, 105 days)|
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