Roman Catholicism in the Philippines

Roman Catholicism In The Philippines

Roman Catholicism in the Philippines

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The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines (Tagalog and Cebuano: Ang Simbáhang Románo Katóliko sa Pilipinas; Ilocano: Ti Simbaan a Romano Katoliko iti Filipinas; Spanish: La Iglesia Católica Romana en las Islas Filipinas) is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, in full communion with the Pope.

With 73.8 million members in 2005, it is the predominant religion, making the Philippines the third largest "Catholic" nation in the world after Brazil and Mexico, as well as one of the two predominantly Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor. The Archbishop of Manila is the Primate of the Philippines.

Spanish Era

Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had three major goals for the occupation of the Philippine Islands. One was to colonize the Philippines and participate in the spice trade that was at the time dominated by Portugal. Secondly, Spain wanted to utilize the geographical location of the Philippines to trade with China and Japan and to spread Christianity to those advanced civilizations. Thirdly, one of Spain’s main goals was to Christianize the people of the archipelago.

While many history books claim that the first Mass in the archipelago was done on Easter Sunday of 1521, there are other claims that there are evidences that it was done elsewhere. Some books claim that this was done on the same day in a little island near the present day Bukidnon Province. Still, there are legends that say that Saint Francis Xavier, on his...
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