control; and (3) the decision by the Archbishop of Manila to appoint large numbers of Filipino secular priests.10
The British occupation of Manila in 1762-64 during the Seven Years' War was an additional factor behind the church's decline. It was the Spanish religious orders who organized the resistance against the British, with the militant Augustinians particularly successful in mobilizing Filipinos against the 'heretics'. However, these efforts at resistance did not occur everywhere, for the British occupation coincided with and indeed stimulated the outbreak of uprisings against abuses by the colonial administration in the provinces of Pangasinan, Cagayan, and Ilocos. Diego Silang's insurrection in Ilocos, in particular, challenged both Spanish civil and ecclesiastical authority, and the Bishop of Vigan and the Augustinians felt compelled to raise a large army against him.
In the late 1760s, another attempt was made to settle the visitation problem in accordance with Pope Benedict XIV's bulls of 1744 and 1745. When Basilio Sancho, a court prelate, arrived in 1767 as the new Archbishop of Manila, he immediately directed the friars in the parishes to submit to visitation. The tensions increased when Simon de Anda, the hero of Spanish resistance to the British occupation of Manila, returned to the Philippines as governor-general in July 1770. Known for his antagonism towards the mendicants, he also demanded that they submit to the requirements of the royal patronage (patronato real) system. The first Council of Manila was convened in 1771 to implement reforms, including the subordination of the friar-curates to episcopal jurisdiction. In October 1771, after the Augustinians in the province of Pampanga failed to comply with orders from the archbishop and the governor-general, Anda sent troops to apprehend the recalcitrant friars who 'were herded to Manila and then shipped to Spain'.11
The vexed jurisdictional dispute between bishops and friars was closely related to the controversy between the regular and the secular clergy for possession of the parishes. As has been indicated, the secular clergy were never very numerous. In any case, since the ecclesiastical territory had largely been divided amongst the religious orders, there was little scope for the seculars. Moreover, most of the latter preferred the prebendaries and benefices of the Manila cathedral rather than parish work in the isolated hinterlands. Two decrees of King Ferdinand IV in 1752 and 1757 required a gradual takeover of parishes by the secular clergy upon the death of the incumbent friars. However, as a result of the expulsion of the Jesuits as well as of some Augustinians, a considerable number of parishes suddenly became vacant in the early 1770s.
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