Correspondence and Other Papers Relating to the Petition of the Philippine Independent Church to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. for the Episcopal Consecration of Its Bishops.
No place: Supplement to the Diocesan Chronicle, 1947.
At rare intervals there come certain high moments in the history of Christian Missions when opportunity for strategic action is indicated, which, if taken advisedly, but without any unhappy time lag, is of far reaching importance to Christ's Holy Catholic Church,
On August 12th, 1947, the Obispo Maximo (Supreme Bishop) of the Iglesia Filipino Independiente (Philippine Independent Church), Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., on behalf of his Church, forwarded to the Presiding Bishop, through the Missionary Bishop of the Philippines, a Petition requesting valid consecration for the Bishops of the Philippine Independent Church from the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. This courageous action on the part of the Philippine Independent Church is a challenge to the wisdom, statesmanship and sympathy of the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The Petition, if granted, will bring the Philippine Independent Church, with its two million adherents, into organic relation with historic Christianity and enable the two Churches to work together in closest harmony for the evangelization elf the non-Christian and the unchurched people of the Philippines, and to present to the people throughout the Islands the type of Catholicism received and developed by the Churches of the Anglican Communion.
Those of both Churches who had part in the negotiations which culminated in the presentation of the Petition believe them to be of such spiritual and historic significance that the correspondence and resultant documents should be made available in printed form to the clergy and laity of both Churches. They are therefore reproduced in the following pages.
NORMAN S. BINSTED, Missionary Bishop of the Philippines.
FROM THE SUPREME BISHOP OF THE PHILIPPINE
INDEPENDENT CHURCH, MONSIGNOR
ISABELO DE LOS REYES, JR.
Consistent with the faith and will of an overwhelming majority of our people and clergy, the Supreme Council of Bishops and the General Assembly of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente have unanimously approved and confirmed at their special sessions of August 4th and 5th, 1947, respectively, a solemn Declaration of Faith and the Articles of Religion whereby our Church officially proclaims its exalted faith in the Holy Trinity as contained in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds: the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures as containing all things necessary to salvation, and the seven sacraments.
These fundamental tenets of our Christian Faith have been adopted and proclaimed by the supreme legislative bodies of our Church in perfect accordance with the provisions of our ecclesiastical Constitution, and thus it has become the duty of all the bishops, priests and lay members of our Church to believe in the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and in all the other articles of the Apostles' Creed.
Likewise, the Supreme Council of Bishops and the General Assembly have unanimously resolved to petition the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, a branch of the Anglican Communion, for the gift of Apostolic Succession to our episcopate, This action is the happy outcome of negotiations started more than forty years ago by our founder and first Obispo Maximo, the late Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, in the course of which an active and historic correspondence was started with Archbishop Hertzog of Switzerland, Bishop Miraglia of Italy, Bishop. Brent of the Philippines, and outstanding prelates of the Orthodox Churches of the world. It was during the course of these negotiations that Mons. Aglipay conferred in 1931 with some bishops of the Old Catholic Church in the United States, and in 1934, while in Europe, interviewed important prelates of the Orthodox., Churches in Germany. This correspondence, including [2/3] letters from Mons. Aglipay asking for Apostolic Succession, has fortunately survived the war, and is kept in the records of our central office at Manila.
Through these memorable decisions of our Supreme Council of Bishops and the General Assembly, our beloved Iglesia Filipina Independiente has placed itself within the fold of historic Christianity. We sincerely trust that the documents published hereby will be welcomed by our people and that if any criticism is forthcoming it be in the spirit of genuine Christian truthseeking and loyalty to our Church.
ISABELO DE LOS REYES, JR.
FROM THE HONORABLE BUENAVENTURA OCAMPO, JUDGE OF THE, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE, MANILA.
Manila, August 19, 1947
Rt. Rev. Norman Spencer Binsted,
St. Luke's Hospital, Manila
MY DEAR BISHOP BINSTED:
As one of the humble laymen of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente who has always been devoted to the traditional faith of our Lord Jesus, as was solemnly declared by the founders and first exponents of our Church, and as one of the representatives of my Church in the series of meetings wherein we studied, deliberated and prepared with you the Declaration of Faith, the Articles of Religion, the Constitution and the Canons as adopted unanimously by the Supreme Council and the General Assembly of my Church at their special sessions of August 4th and 5th, 1947, respectively, I am supremely happy to learn that said ecclesiastical bodies have resolved to beg you to mediate in obtaining the blessing of Apostolic Succession for our episcopate from the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.
It is my privilege to express hereby to you my deep gratitude for your precious advice, guidance and help in the realization [3/4] of all these vital matters which involve the spiritual salvation of millions of my people. Your wise and paternal words at our last meeting have fully convinced me of the excellency of keeping identical doctrines and a parallel faith with your Church and in maintaining the Iglesia Filipina Independiente within the fold of Orthodox Christianity.
I earnestly trust that through your efforts and the aid of the Holy Spirit the blessing of Apostolic Succession be granted soon to our episcopate.
Very humbly yours,
FROM BISHOP BINSTED TO BISHOP TUCKER,
PRESIDING BISHOP, OCTOBER 29, 1946.
MY DEAR PRESIDING BISHOP:
On October 24th Bishop Wilner and I had an informal conference with His Eminence, Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., the newly-elected Obispo Maximo (Supreme Bishop) of the Philippine Independent Church, and Bishops Gerardo M. Bayaca and Juan P. Kijano.
You will recall that the Philippine Independent Church was founded by the late Bishop Gregorio Aglipay about fifty years ago, when he and a number of other priests and congregations seceded from the Roman Catholic Church because they could no longer tolerate foreign domination of the Church in the Philippines, and desired to establish a National Church, administered and supported by the Filipino people, and which would be more tolerant of modern learning and the growing spirit of democracy in the Islands.
Bishop Aglipay was consecrated in the early days of the movement by twelve presbyters, which the Bishop believed was a valid consecration. However, because of criticism of his position, a layman, the father of the present Supreme Bishop, was sent to the Old Catholics of Europe by the Philippine Independent Church, and this visit resulted in an exchange of letters regarding [4/5] Episcopal consecration and Catholic doctrine between the Rt. Rev. Edward Hertzog, Bishop of the Old Catholic Church at Berne, Switzerland, and Bishop Aglipay. About the same time took place the conference and correspondence between Bishop Aglipay and Bishop Brent, and doubtless some records bearing on this are in your archives.
William Howard Taft, first civil Governor of the Philippine Islands, was made an "honorary bishop" by the Philippine Independent Church, and through this connection the Unitarian Church in the U.S.A. offered friendship and cooperation, but Supreme Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., is authority for the statement that even in the early days the teaching of the Church was Trinitarian. He says: "All the early Bishops died in the faith of the Holy Trinity." There is a clause in the Constitution indicating that the Independent Church does not intend to depart more than is absolutely necessary from the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church. It is admitted, however, that later.; in life. Bishop Aglipay did have a certain leaning toward Unitarianism. But I am told that most of the priests and people who had been brought up in the Roman tradition continued to teach and practice the Catholic religion which they had been taught.
The Independent Church, without foreign assistance and in spite of persecution and great difficulties, has maintained its independence, and today has twenty bishops, a little less than four hundred priests, and a membership of more than one million five hundred thousand.
In recent yeas, according to Supreme Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., the Church, while strong in its admiration for the integrity, courage and leadership of its founder, no longer holds certain Unitarian doctrines held and to some extent propagated by Bishop Aglipay, but is Trinitarian and desires to places itself in organic relation with historic Christianity.
As a step toward this end, the Supreme Bishop and the Bishops present with him at the conference held on October 24th, asked permission to use the Book of Common Prayer in their Churches. I told them that I saw no reason why such permission should not be granted, but said I would like to have advice in the matter.
 They also expressed a desire to send their theological students to our seminary, which we hope soon to establish in Manila. This should present no difficulties.
The Supreme Bishop also informs me that he, his Bishops and Clergy, accept without reservations the four points of the Lambeth Quadrilateral, and that the Bishops would welcome consecration at the hands of Anglican Bishops, after which they would re-ordain such priests of the Church as had not already received valid ordination in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Supreme Bishop wishes to make it clear that there is no desire on the part of his Church, to give up its independent status, nor is it to be implied that the Philippine Independent Church is seeking material assistance. The sole purpose of the conversations is to discover ways and means for bringing this Church into organic union with historic Christianity. Of course, if this desire is realized, the Philippine Independent Church and the Philippine Episcopal Church would be closely associated in all departments of their work and would be mutually strengthened. It is conceivable that such close association would in the years to come eventuate in complete union.
The questions involved are so important and open up such great possibilities for both Churches that I would like to have your suggestions and advice as to how further to proceed. It occurs to me that if and when the Philippine Independent Church gives official approval to the above propositions and makes a formal request to our Church for. Episcopal consecration, it would be necessary for the Presiding Bishop or the House of Bishops to send a Commission to the Philippines to confer with the authorities of the Philippine Independent Church on questions of faith and order.
This letter has been read by His Eminence, Supreme Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., and meets with his approval. I shall await your instructions before proceeding further.
With kindest regards and all good wishes, believe me, Faithfully yours,
(Signed) NORMAN S. BINSTED, Bishop.
FROM BISHOP BINSTED TO BISHOP SHERRILL,
PRESIDING BISHOP, JANUARY 15, 1947
MY DEAR BISHOP SHERRILL:
I am enclosing herewith a copy of a letter which I sent to the Presiding Bishop under date of October 29, 1946. I realize of course, that the proposals made by the Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church will require careful consideration by the Presiding Bishop and his advisors, but it would be helpful to me to have a simple acknowledgment' of the letter. I would like to be able to inform Supreme Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., how the matter is being handled.
With kindest regards and all good wishes, I am
(Signed) NORMAN S. BINSTED, Bishop.
FROM BISHOP SHERRILL, PRESIDING BISHOP, TO
BISHOP BINSTED, JANUARY 20, 1947
MY DEAR BISHOP BINSTED:
When Bishop Tucker left the office, he left the material contained in your letter October 29th in regard to your relationship with the Philippine Independent Church. Today your telegram has come: "Would appreciate acknowledgment my letter October 29th regarding Philippine Independent Church."
I am somewhat at a loss to know how to reply to this, as I have not been in the situation at all, and I should like to find out from Bishop Tucker just what progress, if any, he has made. But I am quite clear in my own mind that this is a matter which should come before the House of Bishops at our meeting the first week in November.
What I would definitely suggest is that all of this material be put into shape and the matter presented to the House of [7/8] Bishops for their discussion and recommendation. In the meantime I shall be glad to consult with the Advisory Council on Ecclesiastical Relations.
I am sorry that this is such an indefinite answer, but it is the best that I can do today, which happens to be my first day in the office.
With every good wish,
(Signed) HENRY SHERRILL, Presiding Bishop.
FROM BISHOP BINSTED TO BISHOP SHERRILL,
PRESIDING BISHOP, JANUARY 25, 1947
MY DEAR PRESIDING BISHOP:
It was good of you to acknowledge on your first day in office my letter in regard to the proposals made to me by the Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, which I had sent to Bishop Tucker the end of October. I realize, of course, that the matter is of such far-reaching importance that it requires careful study before any action can be taken by our Church, but I did want to be able to inform Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., that the letter had been received.
Yesterday Bishop Wilner and I called on Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., at which time I gave him a copy of your letter. He informed me that he expected to call a meeting of the Supreme Council of Bishops, the governing body of his Church, before the summer, for the purpose of revising their Constitution and Canons, and bringing before the Council for official action the proposals made unofficially to me. I have agreed to meet with the Bishops at the time of their meeting, and give them any information which they may desire in regard to the doctrine and polity of the Episcopal Church. Should the Supreme Council of the Philippine Independent Church officially approve the Supreme Bishop's proposals, and wish to place them before the House of [8/9] Bishops of our Church, I think it would be an excellent thing if the House of Bishops could invite Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., to attend the meeting of the House of Bishops next November, and personally place the proposals before the House. This would give our Bishops an opportunity to ask such questions as they might desire regarding the Philippine Independent Church before taking any official action. In the event that Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., is invited to do this, I think it would probably be well if I accompanied him. I would be glad to have your opinion on this suggestion.
I shall await with interest the result of your consultation with the Advisory Council on Ecclesiastical Relations.
With warm personal regards, and all good wishes, I am
(Signed) NORMAN S. BINSTED, Bishop.
FROM BISHOP SHERRILL, PRESIDING BISHOP, TO
BISHOP BINSTED, FEBRUARY 13, 1947
DEAR BISHOP BINSTED,
I enclose copy of a letter I have received from Dr. Floyd Tomkins to whom I referred the matter of the Philippine Independent Church, and you will note what he has to say in regard to this matter.
I am wondering if you could find out any further information about them, their orders, etc., and let me know this added information.
In regard to your suggestion that the Bishop come to the meeting of the House of Bishops, I am inclined to think that would be embarrassing if his case should not be approved and I have some question as to the advisability of such a procedure anyway for reasons of possible embarrassment.
 I do wish that you could be at the meeting of the House of Bishops where we could take up this whole matter.
With every good wish,
(Signed) HENRY K. SHERRILL.
FROM THE REV. FLOYD W. TOMKINS, D.D., MEMBER OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON ECCLESIASTICAL RELATIONS, TO BISHOP SHERRILL, PRESIDING BISHOP, FEBRUARY 10, 1947
Thank you for your letter of February 7 enclosing the letter from Bishop Binsted about the proposals from the Philippine Independent Church, which I return herewith.
This question came up for brief consideration at the Advisory Council meeting on November 19 (minutes page 4):
"Dr. Hardy reported on a matter referred to him by the Presiding Bishop: a request from the Philippine Independent Church addressed to Bishop Binsted, asking him to consecrate the men whom they had chosen as their bishops. On Dr. Hardy's recommendation it was VOTED to suggest that this body be requested to make a formal application so that their proposal may be submitted to the House of Bishops at its next meeting."
Evidently the letter from Bishop Binsted here referred to is the one of which he sends you a carbon, since it is addressed to Bishop Tucker. It is possible that Bishop Tucker may have supposed that I would reply to Bishop Binsted, but as the matter was not referred to me I assumed that Bishop Tucker was sending the reply, and hence this further letter from Bishop Binsted to you.
I do not have here in Washington, Conn., any further information about the Philippine Independent Church. When I am in New York next week I will see if I can find any in the Ecclesiastical Relations files, now in the basement of the Church Missions House.
 However any such information would be only second hand. I think you should make plain to Bishop Binsted, that in connection with the formal application for the consecration of their bishops, the Philippine Independent Church ought to submit evidence as to its official teaching in regard to faith and order. The statements made to Bishop Binsted sound rather personal, and the fact that they request permission to use the Prayer Book sounds as if they had no prayer book of their own. Adequate information on these points would seem to be a prerequisite for any decision by the House of Bishops.
No doubt you have noticed that this request is strikingly similar to the "extension of episcopacy" advocated by Archbishop Fisher in his sermon at St. Mary's, Cambridge, on November 4. You will find this sermon in "The Living Church" of December 8, 1946. I rather imagine that this idea will come up for lengthy discussion at the Lambeth Conference in 1948, and that action on the Philippine request might well be delayed until after the discussion at Lambeth.
(Signed) FLOYD W. TOMKINS.
FROM BISHOP BINSTED TO BISHOP SHERRILL,
PRESIDING BISHOP, FEBRUARY 27, 1947
MY DEAR PRESIDING BISHOP
Thank you for your letter of February 13th, enclosing a copy of Dr. Tomkin's letter to you of February 10th, regarding the conversations I have had with the leaders of the Philippine Independent Church.
The purpose of my letter to Bishop Tucker of October 29th, 1946, was to inform the Presiding Bishop of the conversations I had had with the Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, and to seek his advice as to how next to proceed.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is a very sincere desire on the part of the leaders of the Philippine Independent [11/12] Church to bring their Church into organic relation with historic Christianity; if possible, through the Anglican Communion. They realize and frankly state that:
1. Their Founder, Bishop Aglipay, who was consecrated by twelve Presbyters, did not have valid consecration, and therefore none of their Bishops has, and only those of their Priests who had been previously ordained in the Roman Catholic Church have valid ordination.
2. Although most of their Priests and ninety-five percent of their laity are orthodox in faith, and have always been so, accepting and using the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, Bishop Aglipay became Unitarian in belief, and therefore caused the doctrinal position of the Church to be questioned.
3. Their Constitution and Canons, which had been hastily framed in the early days of the movement, are inadequate.
4. Their Church has lacked uniformity of worship—some of their Priests using a revised form of the Roman Missal, some using our Book of Common Prayer, and some a service of their own.
For a number of years the consciousness of these deficiencies in faith and order has distressed the Bishops and the better informed laity of the Church, and under the leadership of the Obispo Maximo, Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., they are seeking to remedy them. They have come to us in a spirit of true Christian humility, asking our assistance, and apparently willing to do whatever we may advise.
Yesterday Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., five diocesan bishops, one priest and two laymen, one of whom is a former judge of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, called on Bishop Wilner and me, and we continued our conversations.
After summarizing the talks I had with Bishop de los Reyes, Jr., I emphasized that certain definite action must be taken by the Supreme Council of Bishops (the governing body of the Philippine Independent Church) before I could take steps to bring the matter officially to your attention. I told those present that it would be necessary for the Supreme Council of Bishops [12/13] to clearly state: (1) The present doctrinal position of the Church; (2) To furnish a revised edition. of their Constitution and Canons; (3) That the governing body of the Church should make formal application to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., through the Presiding Bishop, for Consecration of its Bishops.
If and when such official action had been taken by the Philippine Independent Church, I suggested that the probable procedure would be:
1. The petition of the Philippine Independent Church would be presented to the Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church through the Bishop of the Philippines.
2. The Presiding Bishop would present the petition to the Advisory Council on Ecclesiastical Relations for study.
3. The Council would then make such recommendations as it saw fit to the House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
4. The House of Bishops might defer action on the proposals until after the Lambeth Conference.
5. In that event the proposals would be placed on the agenda for discussion at Lambeth.
6. The House of Bishops might then take action on the proposals.
I was assured by all present at this conference that appropriate resolutions would be presented to the next meeting of the Supreme Council of Bishops, and that it was practically certain that the necessary action would be taken to clarify the position of the Philippine Independent Church on questions of faith and order, and that at the same meeting a resolution would be adopted requesting the Protestant Episcopal Church to Consecrate the present Bishops of the Philippine Independent Church.
In brief, this is the situation: Here is a body of about one million five hundred thousand Christians, who, about fifty years ago, rebelled against the authority of the Pope and the domination of the Spanish Priests. They desired to retain Catholic faith and order. Bishop Aglipay, the Founder, sought Episcopal Consecration at the hands of the Old Catholic Bishops, and made [13/14] some overtures to Bishop Brent. However, because he was closely associated with the political independence movement, and was undoubtedly a political as well as a religious leader, and moreover, had come strongly under the influence of the radical theological thought of the times, the Old Catholic Bishops and Bishop Brent withheld approval of the movement pending further developments. Then the Unitarian Church in the U.S.A., perhaps on the advice of the then Governor General, William Howard Taft, offered assistance and cooperation. This Bishop Aglipay accepted, along with the theology of the church. However, I am authoritatively informed that no more than five percent of the people of the Philippine Independent Church at any time accepted this new theology. The great body of the Priests and people remained loyal to the Catholic faith and practice to which they had been accustomed.
Today at least ninety-five percent of the Bishops, Priests and people hold the traditional Catholic faith, accepting the Old and New Testaments as the word of God; the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds as the authoritative statement of the Christian faith; the two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion as generally necessary to salvation; and are earnestly desirous of obtaining valid Consecration for their Bishops and valid Ordination for their Priests.
Those with whom I have conferred wish permission to authorize the Book of Common Prayer as the standard Book of Worship in their Church, and permission to send their theological students to our Seminary after it has been established in Manila.
If and when the Philippine Independent Church officially petitions the Protestant Episcopal Church for the Consecration of the Bishops, and this request has been granted, the Philippine Independent Church would maintain its independent status, but would work in closest cooperation with the Philippine Episcopal Church. We would both use the Book of Common Prayer. There would be intercommunion; there would be joint conferences of the representatives of both Churches; the theological students of both Churches would be educated in one Seminary; and plans for evangelization would be formulated at joint conferences of the representatives of both Churches.
 I am not prepared to commit myself finally on the subject until the Philippine Independent Church has officially taken action to clarify its position on questions of faith and order; but I am convinced of the sincerity of those with whom I have talked, and I can foresee great opportunities opening up before both Churches, should the proposals informally made to me be officially made to and accepted by the Protestant Episcopal Church.
This letter, of course, calls for no official action on your part; I send it so that you may be kept fully informed of the progress of the informal conversations I am having with the leaders of the Philippine Independent Church. Any advice you or the Advisory Council on Ecclesiastical Relations may wish to send me will be most welcome.
With affectionate regards, believe me, Faithfully yours,
(Signed) NORMAN S. BINSTED, Bishop.
FROM BISHOP SHERRILL, PRESIDING BISHOP, TO
BISHOP BINSTED, MARCH 11, 1947
DEAR BISHOP BINSTED,
Your most interesting letter of February 27th in regard to your conferences with the leaders of the Philippine Independent Church has been received and I have read this very carefully. In the light of what you write it all sounds very hopeful and I think that you are proceeding in just the right way in the steps which you have outlined.
I think that it would be better to wait until you have had some formal statement from this Church before taking it up with the Ecclesiastical Relations Committee or in any other way because it would be unfortunate if anything were said from our side until formal statement had been received from them, as you have requested.
 Therefore I will wait further word from you and when this has been received by you then I hope you will let me know and I will begin operations in this quarter to find out what the reaction is. It would seem to me as if this might well be a step of tremendous significance and importance not only in the Philippines but elsewhere.
With every good wish and warm appreciation of all that you are doing,
(Signed) HENRY SHERRILL
FROM BISHOP BINSTED TO BISHOP SHERRILL,
PRESIDING BISHOP, AUGUST 12, 1947
MY DEAR PRESIDING BISHOP:
It is with great satisfaction and pleasure that I enclose herewith a formal petition to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America from the Philippine Independent Church, requesting episcopal consecration for the Bishops of their Church, and a letter addressed to you by the Supreme Bishop, Monsignor Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr.
This petition was drawn up in the form of a resolution which was unanimously adopted by the Supreme Council of Bishops on August 4, 1947, and unanimously ratified by the General Assembly of the Philippine Independent Church on August 5, 1947. Both meetings were held in the city of Manila.
Since I last wrote you on the subject of the Philippine Independent Church, I have had a number of conferences with the Supreme Bishop and with other Bishops and certain laymen of his Church, which resulted in the presentation of the enclosed petition.
In the course of these conversations, I suggested:
1. That the Philippine Independent Church should adopt a "Declaration of Faith," setting forth its belief in the Holy Trinity in unequivocal terms.
 2. That the Church adopt "Articles of Religion," clarifying its position on certain doctrinal and other questions.
3. That the Church rewrite its Constitution and Canons.
My reasons for making the above suggestions were as follows:—
1. The Philippine Independent Church is sometimes suspected of Unitarian leanings. It is true that certain of the early leaders of the Church, including the founder, Dr. Gregorio Aglipay, espoused the Unitarian position, and published several pamphlets defending Unitarian theology. (I have seen and read some of these pamphlets.) It is also true that the original "Doctrine and Constitutional Rules," and the "Fundamental Epistles" of the Church, translations (the originals are in Spanish) of which I have studied, did not clearly commit the Church to a Trinitarian theology. I believe the swing towards Unitarianism was a reaction due to the impact of rationalism on minds trained only in medieval obscurantism, and because Unitarians in America were quick to offer friendship and cooperation.
I am told, and I believe it to be true, that never at any time did more than five percent of the people of the Church depart from the Trinitarian faith in which they had been grounded in their youth in the Roman Catholic Church. In recent years, the clergy and people have consistently adhered to the Trinitarian position (three of their churches are dedicated to the Holy Trinity). However, due to Dr. Aglipay's publications, the stigma of Unitarianism has stuck.
It was evident, therefore, that the Philippine Independent Church, if it wished to clarify its position before the Christian world, should adopt a "Declaration of Faith," asserting unequivocally and officially its faith in the Holy Trinity.
2. There were also other questions on which the Church's position required authoritative clarification by the Church's governing bodies. Hence the "Articles of Religion."
3. The polity of the Church as stated in the "Doctrine and Constitutional Rules" was so mixed up with irrelevant subjects [17/18] that it was difficult to determine the Canon Law of the Church. I therefore suggested a rewriting of the "Constitution and Canons."
These suggestions were graciously accepted by the Supreme Bishop, his episcopal, clerical and lay advisers. Drafts were prepared and submitted to me for criticisms and suggestions. I felt that these documents should reveal the mind of the Philippine Independent Church, and I therefore exercised restraint in offering criticisms or suggestions.
Prior to the meeting of the Supreme Council of Bishops and the General Assembly, these documents, as well as the proposed petition addressed to the American Church, were thoroughly discussed and studied by the Bishops as well as by the clerical and lay deputies to the General Assembly.
On the invitation of the Bishops, I had the honor and privilege of addressing the Supreme Council which met in Manila on August 4, 1947. I enclose herewith a copy of my address. I was present when the "Declaration of Faith," the "Articles of Religion," the "Constitution and Canons," and the resolution embodying the petition to the American Church were presented, discussed and unanimously adopted.
On August 5, I was present at the invitation of the Supreme Bishop at the meeting of the General Assembly, and spoke briefly along the same lines as my address to the Supreme Council of Bishops. At this meeting, the General Assembly unanimously ratified the previous action of the Supreme Council.
I enclose herewith copies of (1) the Resolution authorizing the Supreme Bishop to request episcopal consecration for the Bishops of the Philippine Independent Church, certified to by the Bishop General Secretary and the Bishop President of the Supreme Council of Bishops; (2) the "Declaration of Faith" and "Articles of Religion" witnessed to and signed by the Bishop', clerical and lay deputies to the General Assembly; and (3) the "Constitution and Canons," certified to by the Bishop General Secretary, the Bishop President of the Council, and the Supreme Bishop.
 I think it is fair to say that the fact that the Supreme Council of Bishops and the General Assembly unanimously adopted the Declaration of Faith, the Articles of Religion, and the Constitution and Canons is proof that these documents do not represent a departure from the faith and polity held and practised by the Church for a number of years, but simply restate the faith and polity in clearer terms than in any previous official statements set forth by the Church.
I have asked the Supreme Bishop to prepare a list of the Bishops of his Church, giving me the names of their dioceses, ages, educational background, dates of ordination, consecration, and their civil status, which I will forward to you later.
It is my hope that the enclosed petition may be considered under Article 3 of the Constitution of our Church, and action taken in accordance with Canon 41—"Of the Consecration of Bishops for Foreign Lands." I believe that the conditions prescribed in the Canons have been or can be fulfilled to your satisfaction, and that of the House of Bishops. The Philippine Independent Church is a well-established, self-supporting organization, with congregations in all parts of the Philippines, with a membership of baptized persons conservatively reckoned at 2,000,000. It has the three Orders of the Ministry, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, although they admittedly did not have valid ordination, except in the cases of priests received into their Church from the Roman Catholic Church. It administers the seven Sacraments, stressing the need of Baptism and Holy Communion as generally necessary to salvation. It accepts the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, and holds that the Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation. It has a Book of Offices which fulfills the requirements of Canon 41. This book of Offices, which is a modification of the Roman Missal, is admittedly not a satisfactory book for the use of both clergy and laity, and, therefore, the Bishops have expressed a desire for permission to use our Book of Common Prayer as the official Prayer Book of their Church, after making certain minor changes necessary for its adaptation for use in the Philippines.
In this connection I might add that the Bishops and clergy have read and studied our Book of Common Prayer, "The Religion [19/20] of the Prayer Book," by Walden Pell and P. M. Dawley, and "The Episcopal Church," published by the Presiding Bishop's Committee on Laymen's Work. A few have read of her books on the Episcopal Church.
If the petition is to be considered under Article 3 and Can on 41 of our Church, the necessary statistics regarding those to be consecrated will immediately be forwarded to you.
The Bishops of the Philippine Independent Church are already accepted as the chief pastors by their people and would, of course, be so accepted after receiving valid consecration. The Church has had government recognition since its organization in 1902, first by the Commonwealth, and later by the Republic of the Philippines. It is significant that the Bishops and deputies to the General Assembly, after the close of the session, were received by the President of the Republic and congratulated on the action they had taken in looking to closer cooperation with the Episcopal Church in the United States.
Should the petition be favorably acted upon by the House of Bishops, I presume the procedure would be to consecrate three of the Bishops of the Philippine Independent Church who would in turn consecrate the other Bishops of their Church. Any Bishop who had not received valid ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood would necessarily have to receive such ordination as a preliminary to episcopal consecration. In the event that the Bishop chosen had been ordained to the Priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church, reordination would, of course, not be necessary.
The Bishops also adopted a resolution to the effect that, beginning in 1948, all candidates for the Sacred Ministry of their Church be sent to our Seminary for training, and that this year, those who are just beginning their theological studies should be sent to our Seminary. I was also informally requested for permission to send such of their young women who desire to prepare for Church work to the School which we hope to establish for the training of such women in our own Church.
All my contacts with the Supreme Bishop and other Bishops of the Philippine Independent Church and the laity have been [20/21] most gratifying and inspiring. I am convinced of the sincerity and soundness of their faith and of their loyalty to our Blessed Lord, as well as of the worthiness of their motive in desiring to be received into organic relation with historic Christianity through the consecration of their Bishops by Bishops of our Church. I feel that if and when their petition is granted, the position of our own Church in the Philippines, as well as that of the Philippine Independent Church will be greatly strengthened, and that our two Churches, while for the present maintaining their independence, can work together in closest harmony for the evangelization of the non-Christian and the un-Churched people of these Islands. Such close cooperation will afford us a superb opportunity to inculcate the type of Catholicism for which the Anglican Communion stands, and to train leaders for the future. It is conceivable that after some years, such action as we may take now may lead to the complete union of the two Churches.
Although you expressed in one of your letters some doubt as to the wisdom of having the Supreme Bishop go to the United States to meet the members of the House of Bishops at its meeting this fall, I am still of the opinion, especially if the petition is to be considered under Article 3 of our Constitution, that it would be good to have him present to explain in person the position of his Church, and the earnest desire of his Church for episcopal consecration for its Bishops. Of course, if you consider it necessary to delay action on the petition until you have had a chance to refer it to Lambeth and the General Convention, it might be better for him to postpone his visit to the United States until the -time of General Convention. Whether or not the Supreme Bishop should go to America this fall to meet with the House of Bishops will, of course, depend upon your reaction and that of the Committee on Ecclesiastical Relations to the petition and the accompanying documents.
I believe this is one of those high moments in the history of Missions, when our Church is offered unparalleled opportunity to appreciably strengthen the Kingdom of God, and it is my prayer that it may not be forfeited by a refusal to grant the petition or by an unhappy time lag in its consideration. The [21/22] Philippine Independent Church, with true Christian humility, is prepared to fulfill any reasonable conditions proposed by our Church as a sine qua non to the granting of their petition. I have kept the clergy of our Church in the Philippines informed of the progress of these negotiations, and I believe they would unanimously approve of the granting of the petition.
Awaiting your reply to this letter, which I regret has to be so long, and with my prayers that you may have the guidance of God's Holy Spirit in considering this very important question, I am
(Signed) NORMAN S. BINSTED, Bishop.
P.S. This letter has been read and approved by Mons. Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., Obispo Maximo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
Note: This letter was written before the printed copies of the Constitution and Canons as revised in 1946 had been received in the Philippines; the reference to Canon 41 should be changed to Canon 42. N. S. B.
ADDRESS OF THE RT. REV. NORMAN S. BINSTED
to the Supreme Council of Bishops of the Philippine Independent Church, August 4, 1947
Late in 1941 and again in 1945 I had the pleasure of meeting your Supreme Bishop, Mons. de los Reyes, Jr. In 1941 he called on me in my office with Bishop Fonacier to ask me what I thought would happen to the Christian Churches if the Japanese Army occupied the Philippines. In 1945 we met with Christian leaders of other Churches to discuss Christian educational problems. Then, beginning last fall, I have had the pleasure of meeting with the Supreme Bishop and other leaders of your Church from time [22/23] to time to discuss the possibility of closer cooperation between the Philippine Independent Church and the Philippine Episcopal Church.
Perhaps I am indebted to the Japanese Army for bringing us together. I believe, however, that there were more powerful forces at work and that our first and subsequent meetings were due to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Whatever the power that was bringing us closer together and whether our conversations centered around the problems of Japanese occupation, Christian education, or that subject which called forth that short and beautiful prayer of our Blessed Lord, "that they all may be one," our conversations were characterized by complete frankness, honesty and Christian courtesy.
Like a true Shepherd, your Supreme Bishop has shown Christ-like concern for the welfare of His Church and the people committed to his care. His qualities of leadership combined with a beautiful spirit of humility have made me conscious of my own inadequacy, I think we both felt the Presence of the Master with us as we talked of the things pertaining to the Kingdom.
In all my conversations with the Supreme Bishop and the other leaders of your Church, I have spoken as one member of the House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., and entirely on my own responsibility. I have, however, fully informed the Presiding Bishop of my Church of the substance and tenor of our conversations, so that should your Church see fit to present any petition or request to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., he would have knowledge of the conferences which led to the presentation of such a petition or request.
I am informed that a petition requesting valid Episcopal Consecrations for your bishops may be presented to the Church in America as the result of action to be taken at the meeting of the Supreme Council of Bishops and the General Assembly, now in session. I must warn you of the time element involved in the consideration of such a petition, if and when it is presented. The petition would be received and acknowledged by the Presiding Bishop of the Church in the U.S.A., who would then [23/24] transmit it to our Committee on Ecclesiastical Relations with other Churches. This Committee, in the course of its study, may ask for clarification of certain matters in regard to your Church. Then the Committee, having completed the study of the petition, would make a report to the House of Bishops, who would in turn study the petition. It might then, by action of the House of Bishops, be referred to the Lambeth Conference, which meets in England in 1948, for consideration and advice. If the Lambeth Conference makes favorable recommendations the petition would then probably go to the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., which is scheduled to meet in San Francisco in 1949, for final action. I suggest this possible course of action so that you may be prepared for the length of time you may have to wait before receiving final answer to any petition which may be placed before my Church.
I would not presume to predict what such final action may be, but as a member of the House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church, I am prepared to support the petition which I understand may be approved by this General Assembly before the various bodies of the Anglican Communion who may have it under consideration. Personally I see no reason why my Church should not take favorable action on it.
In the meantime there are a number of ways in which the Philippine Independent Church and the Philippine Episcopal Church may cooperate for the Glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom in these Islands. I suggest some of the following:
1. The education of men for the Sacred Ministry. The Philippine Episcopal Church will be happy to receive into its Seminary such candidates for the Sacred Ministry as may be recommended by the Supreme Bishop.
2. When we open our school for the Training of Women Church Workers, we shall also be glad to receive into that School such women of your Church as you may wish trained.
3. Conference for the study of mutual problems.
4. Retreats for Clergy and laity.
 5. Teaching Missions among our people.
6. A combined Religious Book store.
Other suggestions for cooperation will doubtless occur to the leaders of both our Churches under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Now, permit me to make a few general remarks, which I believe are pertinent to the occasion. The Protestant Episcopal Church is a daughter of the Church of England. The Church was in the British Isles before the coming of the missionaries from Rome. Like your own Church for a long period of time it was completely under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church. At the time of the Reformation the Church in England asserted her independence of foreign control, but she did not renounce nor forfeit her heritage as a Catholic Church. She retained Catholic doctrine, discipline and worship and remained within the stream of historic Christianity. She gave to the people the Bible and the services of the Church in their own language and re-emphasized the right of the Christian to direct approach to God through Jesus Christ. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, she sought to correct such errors and abuses as had crept into the Church, as she has continued to do ever since, and to make amends for her failures, so that she may more perfectly conform to the Mind of God and faithfully fulfil the mission imposed upon her by her Lord.
Your Church has had an honorable history. It has contended with persecution from without and difficulties within. It was born in a day when rationalism was at its height and some of your leaders as a reaction to the obscurantism to which they had been exposed, came strongly under its influence. Then too your Church came into being when great statesmen of these Islands were in rebellion against foreign oppression. It was inevitable that your early leaders should make common cause with such men.
However, through all the stress and strain of political and intellectual revolution, it is evident that God held you very closely to Himself, and caused you to cherish the Faith once for all delivered to the Apostles.
 I understand that you may take action at this General Assembly clarifying the position of your Church on matters of doctrine, discipline and worship, and that you may then seek Episcopal Consecration from the hands of Anglican Bishops. If and when this is granted, you need have no further concern about the position of your Church among the historic Catholic Churches of the world. Such a development will not mean that you have reached perfection, but it will mean that you have the fulness of grace, of life and of power which Christ committed to His Church. And as the Holy Spirit has worked among you in times past, so He will continue to work, guiding, blessing and purifying your Church, that it may be worthy of the high purpose for which, under God's Providence, I am sure it is destined. Your Church is already integrated into the life of the this Republic. You have a great body of Bishops, Priests and Laity. You have knowledge of the language, customs and psychology of your own people as no missionary from the outside will ever have. We missionaries can bring you those wider contacts with the Church Universal and the benefit of the experience of the Church in other lands. This we can do and will do gladly, but the true faith of the Catholic Church can eventually best be conveyed to the people of the Philippines by their own people.
Your Church and my Church will remain truly Catholic as day by day our members are sanctified by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We must hold fast to the Faith once for all delivered to the Apostles and strive constantly to banish from the Church all strange and erroneous teaching, and seek to keep it free from all pagan accretions, which are contrary to the Mind of God as revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and which lead to fanaticism, which is destructive of true worship. We must avoid rigid uniformity in worship, which imperils the life of the Spirit; but all our teaching, acts of worship and discipline should be tested by the life and teaching of Jesus. For this reason we must constantly refer to the Holy Scripture for proof of that which we teach.
Above all, we must keep in mind that the Church was founded by Christ for the salvation of men. He chose to work in and through it to win men from a life of sin to a life of righteousness and purity. Therefore, along with the teaching of the [26/27] Apostles, we must inculcate the zeal of the Apostles in the hearts of our people and inspire them to work for the salvation of others. The Church, if it is truly Catholic, is the Body of Christ, a living organism, which causes eternal life to pulsate in the life of its members.
If under the Providence of God your Church enters the family of the world's historic churches, our two churches working together in these Islands can present to the people of the Philippines a type of Catholicism familiar to those centuries which produced the great Fathers of the Church, which will have a valid priesthood, but not be priest-ridden, and which accepts Catholic tradition but keeps it purged by free use of reason and constant appeal to the Scriptures.
My brethren, we are entering upon a great adventure in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must pray for strength, courage, wisdom, patience and humility necessary to the accomplishment of the objective we have undertaken. And may our striving for greater cooperation between our two churches bring us nearer to Christ, our Supreme Head.
Manila, Philippines, August 9, 1947.
To: THE MOST REV. HENRY KNOX SHERRILL, D.D.,
Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.,
281 Fourth Ave., New York City, U.S.A.
MY MOST REVEREND BISHOP:
The Supreme Council of Bishops and the General Assembly of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in their sessions held respectively August 4th and 5th, 1947, in the City of Manila, with the Rt. Rev. Norman S. Binsted as our honored guest and valued adviser, have unanimously authorized the undersigned, as Supreme Head of the said Church, to prayerfully petition the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America the gift of Apostolic Succession for our Episcopate. To make feasible the granting of the blessing of Apostolic Succession to our Episcopate, the Supreme Council of Bishops and the General [27/28] Assembly have unanimously passed and adopted the Articles of Faith, Articles of Religion, Constitution and Canons herein attached, and have proclaimed the same as our official doctrines and law.
Not less than two millions of Filipinos very respectfully join me in this humble invitation to the Protestant Episcopal Church of America to bestow upon us the grace of Apostolic Succession to allow our Church to remove all objections to the validity of our sacred orders and the validity of our Sacraments, and to be recognized as young sister Church by the Anglican Communion of Churches.
We are earnestly convinced that this decision of our Church to humbly request the Apostolic Succession is a holy inspiration of the Holy Ghost, as it has been consistently one of the highest aspirations of our Episcopate since August 3rd, 1902, when our Church emancipated itself from the Church of Rome. The Rt. Rev. Norman S. Binsted, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, is our attesting witness to the sincerity and earnestness of our appeal to the Episcopal Church of America for the gift and blessing of Apostolic Succession.
Very humbly yours,
(Signed) ISABELO DE LOS REYES, JR., Obispo Maximo.
MANUEL N. AGUILAR
Obispo Secretario General Interino.
DECLARATION OF THE FAITH
ARTICLES OF RELIGION
PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENT CHURCH
We, the Bishops, Priests and lay members, delegates to the General Assembly of the Philippine Independent Church (Iglesia [28/29] Filipina Independiente), held in the City of Manila on the 5th day of August, A.D. 1947, do reiterate our Faith and publicly declare that
WE BELIEVE IN
1. THE HOLY TRINITY:
One God, true and living, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. And that in the unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power and eternity—the Father who is made of none, neither created nor begotten; the Son who is of the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten; the Holy Ghost who is of the Father and the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
2. JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD
Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, after she had conceived by the Holy Ghost. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead, He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty: from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
3. THE HOLY GHOST:
The Holy Ghost, the Lord, and the Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son: Who with the Father and the Son together we worship and glorify.
4. ONE CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH:
The Church, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, which is the Body of Christ, founded by Christ for the redemption and sanctification of mankind, and to which Church He gave power and authority to preach His Gospel to the whole world under the guidance of His Holy Spirit.
 WE HOLD TO THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES OF RELIGION TAUGHT BY THIS CHURCH:
Salvation is obtained only through a vital faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Lord and Saviour. This faith should manifest itself in good works.
2. HOLY SCRIPTURES:
The Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation, and nothing which cannot be proved thereby should be required to be believed.
3. THE CREEDS:
The Articles of the Christian Faith as contained in the ancient Creeds known as the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds are to be taught by this Church and accepted by by the faithful.
4. THE SACRAMENTS:
The Sacraments are outward and visible signs of our faith and a means whereby God manifests His goodwill towards us and confers grace upon us.
Two Sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion, commonly called the Mass, ordained by Christ Himself, are held to be generally necessary to salvation.
Baptism is necessary for salvation. It signifies and confers grace, cleansing from original sin as well as actual sin previously committed; makes us children of God and heirs of everlasting life. It effects our entrance into the Church of God. It is administered with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Confirmation, whereby, through the imposition of the Bishop's hands, anointing and prayer, baptized Christians are strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and confirmed in the Faith.
Penance, the confession of sins as commanded by Jesus Christ.
 The Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, taken and received by the faithful for the strengthening and refreshing of their bodies and souls.
Holy Unction, whereby the sick, especially one in danger of death, is anointed with oil with prayer. He receives, if necessary, remission of sins, the strengthening of his soul, and, if it be God's will, restoration to health.
Holy Orders, a sacrament by which Bishops, Priests and Deacons are ordained and receive power and authority to perform their sacred duties.
Holy Matrimony, a sacrament in which a man and a woman are joined together in the holy estate of matrimony.
5. THE HOLY EUCHARIST:
The Holy Eucharist, commonly called the Mass, is the central act of Christian worship. It is the sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death. Those who partake of it receive the Body and Blood of Christ. All who purpose to make their communion should diligently try and examine themselves before they presume to eat of that Bread and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith a man receive that Holy Sacrament, so is the danger great if he receive the same unworthily.
The Mass is to be said in the official language of the Church in such a way that it can be heard by the worshipers.
The authorized Order for the celebration of the Mass is that set forth in the Prayer Book adopted by this Church.
6. SACRED MINISTRY:
From Apostolic times there have been three Orders of Ministers in the Church of God: Bishops, Priests and [31/32] Deacons. These Orders are to be reverently esteemed and continued in this Church. And no man is to be accepted as a lawful Bishop, Priest, or Deacon in this Church, or permitted to execute any functions pertaining to these Orders, except he be called, tried, examined, and admitted thereunto according to the Canons of this Church, and in accordance with the Order prescribed by this Church for Making, Ordaining and Consecrating Bishops, Priests and Deacons, or hath had Episcopal Consecration or Ordination.
7. CELIBACY OF THE CLERGY:
Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are not commanded by God's law to marry or to abstain from marriage, therefore they are permitted to marry at their own discretion}, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
8. CHURCH BUILDINGS:
Churches for the worship of God are to be erected and separated from all unhallowed, worldly, and common uses, that men may reverence the Majesty of God and show forth greater devotion and humility in His service.
9. THE ALTAR:
The altar is the most sacred part of the Church because there Jesus is sacramentally present. It symbolizes Mt. Calvary, and, therefore, if images of Saints are used for adornment, care is to be exercised that such ornaments may not distract the minds of the worshipers from the Person of Jesus Christ.
10. WORSHIP, RITES AND CEREMONIES:
Only such Orders of Service as have been authorized by this Church shall be used in Public Worship; provided, however, that the Diocesan Bishop or the Supreme Council of Bishops may authorize Orders of Service for special occasions.
 11. LANGUAGE OF PUBLIC SERVICES:
All public services shall be conducted in the official language of the Church, or in any other language the Supreme Council of Bishops may prescribe.
12. PURITY OF LIFE:
Holiness, altruism, obedience to God's Commandments, and a zeal for His honor and glory are incumbent upon Clergy and Laity alike, therefore all should be trained in a clean and disciplined life, not neglecting prayer, study, and the exercise of moral discipline.
All truth is of God, therefore the Church should promote sound knowledge and good learning. No books except those detrimental to good morals are to be prohibited.
14. THE BLESSED VIRGIN:
The Virgin Mary was chosen by God to be the Mother of Jesus Christ. As Jesus Christ is truly God and Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ, she is the Mother of God in His human generation. She whom God honored is to be honored above all.
15. THE SAINTS:
Persons universally recognized for their holiness of life, loyalty and courage, especially the Blessed Virgin and the New Testament Saints, are to be held in reverent remembrance. Veneration of Saints is not contrary to God's commandments as revealed in the Scriptures; but their deification is condemned by the Church as a monstrous blasphemy. Veneration of the Saints must not obscure the duty of the faithful to direct approach to God through Jesus Christ. Honor rendered the Saints must in no wise detract from the honor due the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.
Holy Scriptures teach us that events take place in the natural world, but out of its established order, which [33/34] are possible only through the intervention of divine power, like the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. So-called miracles, based not on well-authenticated facts but on merely fantastic- rumors, are repudiated. Belief in unsubstantiated miracles leads to pagan fanaticism and is to be condemned as destructive to the true faith.
17. ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE ROMAN CHURCH
When this Church withdrew from the Roman Catholic Church, it repudiated the authority of the Pope and such doctrines, customs and practices as were inconsistent with the Word of God, sound learning and a good conscience. It had no intention of departing from Catholic doctrine, practice and discipline as set forth by the Councils of the undivided Church. Such departures as occurred were due to the exigencies of the times, and are to be corrected by official action as opportunity affords, so that this Church may be brought into the stream of historic Christianity and be universally acknowledged as a true branch of the Catholic Church.
18. ATTITUDE TOWARDS OTHER CHURCHES:
Opportunity is to be sought for closer cooperation with other branches of the Catholic Church, and cordial relations maintained with all who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
19. CHURCH AND STATE:
This Church is politically independent of the State, and the State of the Church. The Church does not ally itself with any particular school of political thought or with any political party. Its members are politically free and are urged to be exemplary citizens and to use their influence for the prosperity and welfare of the State.
20. DOCTRINE AND CONSTITUTIONAL RULES OF THE CHURCH AND THE FUNDAMENTAL EPISTLES:
The doctrine and Constitutional Rules of the Philippine Independent Church, adopted on October 28th [34/35] 1903, and subsequently amended, and the Fundamental Epistles of the Philippine Independent Church, are henceforth not to be held as binding either upon the Clergy or Laity of this Church in matters of Doctrine, Discipline or Order, wherein they differ in substance from the Declaration of Faith or the Articles of Religion contained herein. They are to be valued as historical documents promulgated by the Founders of this Church when they were seeking to interpret the Catholic Faith in a manner understood by the people. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the Church has sought to eradicate such errors of judgment and doctrine as crept into its life and official documents in times past.
21. ADDITIONS, AMENDMENTS, REPEAL:
The Declaration of Faith shall not be altered, amended or repealed. However, the Articles of Religion may be amended, repealed or added to by an absolute majority of the delegates to the General Assembly having the right to vote. Such action before it becomes binding upon the Church must be ratified by the Supreme Council of Bishops and approved by the Supreme Bishop.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we set our hands on August 5, 1947:
(SGD.) ISABELO DE LOS REYES, JR. Obispo Maximo
(SGD.) GREGORIO FELIPE
President of Supreme Council and Bishop of Misamis Occ., Misamis Or., Lanao and Zamboanga
(SGD.) EVARISTO PALMOS
Bishop of both Negros and Siquijor
(SGD.) MACARIO V. GA
Bishop of Iloilo and Capiz
(SGD.) TORIBIO G. ILAO
Bishop of Mindoro, Quezon, Marinduque and Bikolandia
(SGD.) SEGUNDO GATDULA
Auxiliary Bishop of Cavite and Batangas
 (SGD.) MANUEL N. AGUILAR
Secretary General (acting), and Bishop of Laguna
(SGD.) GREGORIO GAERLAN
Bishop for Western Pangasinan and La Union
(SGD.) CIRILO SUMANGIL
Vicar General of Nueva Ecija (in absence of the diocesan Bishop who is in the U.S.A.)
(SGD.) GREGORIO A. BALDA
Bishop of Cotabato
(SGD.) EMILIANO REYES
Bishop for Cavite and Batangas
(SGD.) JOSE RECOLETO
Bishop of Cebu and Bohol
(SGD.) LUIS B. JARDINO
Bishop of Surigao and Agusan
(SGD.) TEODULFO P. ANTEJOS
Parish Priest of Iloilo City
(SGD.) MARIANO C. BLANCO
Bishop of Leyte, Samar and Masbate
(SGD.) PABLO TABLANTE
Bishop of Rizal, Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga
(SGD.) ALEJANDRO REMOLLINO
Bishop for Eastern Pangasinan
(SGD.) JUAN P. KIJANO
Bishop of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Abra
(SGD.) DAVID 0. VILLANUEVA
Bishop for Antique, and Romblon
(SGD.) FORTUNATO MENEZ
Diocesan Lay President for Negros
(SGD.) GERARDO M. BAYACA
Bishop of Tarlac and Zambales
(SGD.) CARLOS DE CASTRO
Lay President for Cavite City
(SGD.) ELISEO VER.
Parish Priest of Bacarra, I.N.
(SGD.) P. GODINEZ
Lay President for Samar
(SGD.) VICENTE D. DINOSO
Lay Pres. for S. Marcelino, Zambales
(SGD.) GIL OCTAVIANO
Lay Pres. of Iloilo City
(SGD.) ELIAS FORONDA
Lay Pres. of Vintar, Ilocos Norte
(SGD.) EMILIO AVILA
Parish Priest of Malolos, Bulacan
(SGD.) RAMON C. ESPINO
Parish Priest, Dumangas, Iloilo
(SGD.) JUAN B. DE GUZMAN
Parish Priest, Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija
(SGD.) ROBERTO SADANGSAL
Parish Priest, S. Felipe, Zambales
(SGD.) GODEFREDO TUSON
Lay Pres. of Cebu City
(SGD.) AMADO ESTANISLAO
Parish Priest, Batangas, Batangas
(SGD.) CLEMENTE MITRA
Lay Pres. of Sta. Maria, Pangasinan
(SGD.) DIOSDADO VIDAL
Parish Priest of Paco, Manila
(SGD.) DEOGRACIAS DE LA PAZ
Lay Pres. Marikina, Rizal
(SGD.) JOSE MONTENEGRO
Parish Priest, Sta. Cruz, Laguna
(SGD.) ESTEBAN PARUL
Lay President, Cagayan
(SGD.) ROMAN DUQUE
Lay Pres. of Camiling, Tarlac
 (SGD.) SIMON. ABAQUETA
Parish Priest of Misamis, Misamis, Occ.
(SGD.) SIMEON QUIAOIT
Parish Priest, Binalonan, Pangasinan
(SGD.) FELISA DOLENDO
Lay Pres., La Paz, Iloilo
(SGD.) FEDERICO RICO
Parish Priest, Bacolod City, Negros Occ.
(SGD.) PRIMO CABRERA
Lay Pres., Cabadbaran, Agusan
(SGD.) ANGELA GOYENA VDA. DE QUIZON
Lay Pres. of Rosario, Batangas
(SGD.) CRISTAN ALCANTARA
Parish Priest, Aparri, Cagayan
(SGD.) PEREGRINO SANTIAGO
Parish Priest of Balungaw, Pangasinan
BRIEF OUTLINE OF THE CONSTITUTION AND CANONS OF THE PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENT CHURCH
The Constitution defines the composition and powers of the General Assembly and the Supreme Council of Bishops and designates the powers and responsibility of the Supreme Bishop. The General Assembly is composed of all the Bishops and one clerical and one lay delegate elected by each Diocese. The Supreme Bishop is Chairman of the General Assembly. The Supreme Council is composed of the twelve senior Bishops in order of consecration and is presided over by a Bishop President elected by the Council. The Supreme Bishop is elected by the General Assembly and holds office for four years.
The Canons consist of—
An introduction, which treats of the Church, the Ministry and the necessity for ecclesiastical law.
 Part I—is divided into Chapters on Bishops, Priests and Deacons.
Part II—with a Chapter on each of the Seven Sacraments.
Part III—with two Chapters on Churches and Cemeteries.
Part IV—on the Laity.
Part V—on the election of the Supreme Bishop.
Part VI—on Ecclesiastical Tribunals.