Religious Schism

"Remember that the blood of your brother is still fresh in our fields. If that precious blood had been shed, if our Revolution took place, it was because of the sytem of spoilation practiced by Rome, which drove our people to risk all perils and sacrifice to emancipate our land from monastic oppression."

Definition of "schism": a split or division in an organized group or society, especially a curch, as the result of difference of opinion, or doctrine, etc.
When Aguinaldo returned from his Hong Kong exile to resume the second phase of the Philippine Revolution,  he appointed Rev. Fr. Gregorio Aglipay as Military Vicar General of the Revolutionary Government in order to serve the religious and spiritual needs of the government and its constitutents. In a series of bold decisions, Rev. Aglipay urged the Filipino priests to organize themselves in the event of national emergency in line with the government's nationalistiic ideals and make provisions to take over parishes that were vacated by the Spanish friars. The nationalistic activities of Rev. Aglipay alarmed Manila Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda and the Church authorities, which  led the Archbishop to excommunicate Rev. Aglipay . 

The Philippine independence movement was not only a political struggle but also a religious struggle of the Filipino friars, who had endured centuries of discrimination and indignition under the intellectually "superior" Spanish friars, which eventually led to the formation of the Philippine Independent Church.

The religous schism motivated by the struggle for emancipation of the Filipino friars, , is one of the forgotten episode of the Philippine independence struggle. 

      • P.A.W.C.I.
Photo of Bishop Bernardino Nozaleda, Archbishop of Manila during the revolutionary days. He excommunicated Rev. Fr. Aglipay when he could not stop him from his nationalistic activities.Before the capitulation of Manila, Bishop Nozaleda fled to Shanghai on board a German steamer Darmstadt. Photo of Rev. Gregorio Aglipay, sparked the church schism through his nationalistic activities when he was appointed as Vicar-General of the Revolutionary Army by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. During the Independence War, he retreated to the Ilocos region where he led a guerilla band serving under the Tinio Brigade to resit the Americans. After the war,  he continued his nationalistic activities and feeling betrayed by both the Vatican and the U.S. in the treatment of the Filipino friars and the unjust handling of the confiscated friarlands, he founded the Philippine Independent Church, known among his followers as the Aglipay Church. In 1935 national elections, he run for President of the Philippine Commonwealth Government against his fellow-veterans of the Independence War: Emilio Aguinaldo and Manuel Quezon, for which he and Aguinaldo lost badly to Quezon. Bishop Aglipay died in 1940. 

Chronology of Religious Schism
Date Religion Related Event
October 20 Aguinaldo issued a decree appointing Rev. Gregorio Aglipay as Military Vicar General, thereby making Aglipay the religious leader of the revolutionary government.
October 21 Aglipay issued a letter to the Filipino clergy urging them to organize themselves into a cohesive body geared to the national emergency. The letter also urged the creation of a Cabildo or Council in order to ask the Pope to appoint Filipinos in all Church positions, from archbishop to the lowest parish priest.
October 22 Aglipay issued a manifesto asking the Filipino clergy to organize themselves and to take charge of all vacant parishes.
April 29 Rev. Aglipay's nationalistic activities alarms Manila Archbishop Nozaleda, charged Aglipay with usurpation of power and urged the Ecclesiastical Tribunal to punish Aglipay.
May 5 Archbishop Nozaleda excommunicates Rev. Aglipay with the blessings of the Tribunal.
October 22 Mabini directs a manifesto to the Filipino clergy urging them to organize a Filipino National Church.
October 23 Rev. Aglipay calls the Filipino clergy to an Ecclesistical assembly General at Paniqui, Tarlac, with the aim of framing the provisional constitution of the Filipino Church.
1899 Rev. Aglipay leads a guerilla band in the Ilocos region.
February 4 Outbreak of Filipino-American hostilities.
1900 Rev. Aglipay joins the Tinio Brigade in resisting the Americans in the Ilocos region.
April 26 Rev. Aglipay surrenders to Col. William MaCaskey at Loag.
August 3 Founding of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) by members of the Democratic Labor Union headed by Isabelo de los Reyes
September 27 Aglipay breaks with Roman Catholic Church;  Civil Governor Taft and the Church authorities of his demand that the cathedral of Manila be turned over to him as head of the IFI.
October 1 Aglipay presides over the meeting of the Council.
October 26 Bishop Aglipay celebrates inaugural mass by  installing himself as Obispo Maximo in the newly formed Filipino Independent Church.
November Personal representative of Pope Leo XIII arrives in Manila with a new apostolic constitution for Philippine Roman Catholicsm.
January 18 Bishops of Isabela, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Abra, Nueva Ecija, Cavite and Manila.consecrates Aglipay was as Supreme Bishop. 
1904 Philippine Commission enacting the Friar Lands Act.
November 24 IFI lost its claim on friarlands on a 6-to-1 Supreme Court decision, its American appointed members who were Catholics.
1907 Pope Pius X appoints Benedictine monk as papal delegate to preside over the Philippine Provincial Council (PPC), ppatterend after the Plenary Council of Latin America held in Rome in 1899. PPC set in motion a counterreformation in response to the challenges of Aglipayanism, Protestanism, and the trend toward the secularization of Philippine society.