PONTIFICAL GREGORIAN UNIVERSITY
FACULTY OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY
Author: Fr. Nestor Cachuela Impelido, SDB
Title: The Religious Conditions of the Philippine Church in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century (1700-1750 ca.) according to the Pastoral Writings of the Religious Orders
Adviser: Fr. Francisco de Medina Rojas, SJ
Degree: Historia Ecclesiastica Doctorate
Specialization: Ecclesiastical History
The pastoral writings of the Religious Orders at work in the Philippines in the eighteenth century reveal the life and conditions of the ministers of religion and of the Filipino Christians in the first centuries of the work of evangelization in the Philippines.
The sources of the study (Alonso de Mentrida OSA, “Ritual para administrar los sanctos sacramentos”; Francisco de San Jose OFM, “Baculo de parrochos y ministro de doctrina”; Tomas Ortiz OSA, “Practica del ministerio”; Manuel del Rio OP, “Instrucciones morales y religiosas”; Casimiro Diaz OSA, “Parrocho de indios instruido”; Sebastian de Totanes OFM, “Manual tagalong para auxilio a los religiosos”) are archival in nature, coming from the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid and the archives of the Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits, and Dominicans, both in the Philippines and in Spain. The contents of the pastoral writings of the religious missionaries give orientations and guidelines that show the situation and conditions of the Church in the Philippines. These put into light the sacramental life of the Filipino Christian, thus revealing the level of his commitment to the Gospel.
The pastoral writings certainly contribute to the Filipino-Spanish literature in the Philippines, presenting the status of the Church in the eighteenth century. They reveal a history of the Religious Orders at work in the Philippines and a history of the Church that was marked by the reforms already promulgated by the Council of Trent. They show how the established Church in the Philippines was the fruit of the collaboration of missionaries and of the native Filipino Christians, highlighting the former’s commitment to evangelization and the latter’s availability to be evangelized and to evangelize as well.
The work of evangelization in the Philippines was that systematic that the missionaries belonging to the Religious Orders made use of pastoral books that made their evangelization work more efficient and effective.