Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila

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File:New Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila.png
New Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Manila

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (popularly known as Archdiocese of Manila, formerly known as Diocese of Manila) is a particular church or diocese of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. It is also considered as the primal see of the country.


The original Diocese of Manila was canonically erected on 6 February 1579 encompassing all of the Spanish colonies in Asia. It was a suffragan of Mexico. The diocese was elevated to an archdiocese on 14 August 1595. Over the course of Philippines history and the growth of Catholicism in the region, the Archdiocese of Manila carved new dioceses from its territory.

On 14 August 1595, Pope Clement VIII raised the Diocese to the status of an Archdiocese and created three new dioceses as suffragan to Manila: Nueva Caceres, Nueva Segovia, and Cebu. The territory of the Archdiocese was reduced to the city of Manila and the ten civil provinces near it: Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales, and Mindoro.

On 10 April 1910, Mindoro was established as an independent diocese by virtue of a Decretum Consistoriale executed by Pope Pius XI implementing the Bull “Quae Mari Sinico” of Pope Leo XIII. Also on that date the Diocese of Lipa (later known as the Archdiocese of Lipa) was created. It had jurisdiction over the provinces of Batangas, Quezon Province, and some parts of Masbate.

On 19 May 1928, Pope Pius XI established the Diocese of Lingayen, dividing Manila and Nueva Segovia. 26 parishes were then separated from Manila.

On 11 December 1948, the Apostolic Constitution, “Probe noscitur” further divided the Archdiocese of Manila by separating the northern part of the Archdiocese and establishing it as the Diocese of San Fernando.

On 25 November 1961, the Archdiocese of Manila was again divided. Bulacan in the north and Cavite in the south were separated from the archdiocese. Bulacan became the Diocese of Malolos and Cavite became the Diocese of Imus.

On 24 January 1983, the eastern part of Rizal was removed from the Archdiocese of Manila. 15 towns and two barangays were also removed to form the Diocese of Antipolo.

In 2002, two more dioceses were removed to form the Diocese of Novaliches and the Diocese of Parañaque.

In 2003, upon the recommendation of the late cardinal Jaime Cardinal Sin and by papal decree by John Paul II, the Archdiocese was further subdivided to form three new Dioceses: Diocese of Cubao, Diocese of Kalookan, and Diocese of Pasig.

Territorial jurisdiction

The Archdiocese of Manila is presently made up of seven cities: Manila, Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Pasig (excluding Santolan and Rosario District), Quezon City (excluding Northern part from Tandang Sora Avenue and Mactan), Kalookan and five municipalities, namely, San Juan, Taguig, Pateros, Malabon and Navotas. With a land area of 315.26 square kilometers, it is bounded by the Diocese of Malolos (Bulacan) in the north; Diocese of Antipolo (Rizal) in the east; Diocese of Imus (Cavite) and San Pablo (Laguna) in the south; and the Manila Bay in the west.

Archbishop of Manila

The Archbishop of Manila's episcopal see is located in the Manila Cathedral, under the patronage of the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The Archbishop of Manila is also the metropolitan bishop of several suffragan archdioceses and dioceses. He is also the Primate of the Philippines.

After having been served by a single residential bishop, 19 Archbishops of Manila appointed from Spain served the archdiocese. In 1903, the Archdiocese of Manila received its first archbishop from the United States as appointed by the Holy See. Following the leadership of Archbishop Jeremiah James Harty from St. Louis, Missouri, an Irishman was appointed in succession. On 6 September 6 1916, Michael J. O'Doherty was received by the Filipinos.

Archbishop O'Doherty led the Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines in its most difficult times. Filipinos had seen years of petitioning for independence from the United States and then the Japanese attacked Manila on 8 December 1941. The Philippines would become subject to the brutality of Japanese soldiers during World War II through 1945. Finally, the Philippines gained its independence with Archbishop O'Doherty leading the nation through spiritual thanksgiving.

When Archbishop O'Doherty died, the Vatican chose the first Filipino to become Archbishop of Manila. Fr. Gabriel Reyes was already serving as Coadjutor Archbishop of Manila before being raised to the position. His successor, Archbishop (later, Cardinal) Rufino Jiao Santos, became the first Filipino to become a Cardinal in consistory.

Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin became the most recognized Archbishop of Manila worldwide when he challenged the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Becoming only the third Filipino cardinal created in consistory, Archbishop Sin was credited as one of the architects of the People Power movement that forced the dictator into exile.

Currently, the Archbishop of Manila is Jose Advincula.


List of Archbishops of Manila

No. Name From Until
1 Domingo de Salazar.jpg Domingo de Salazar, O.P. February 6, 1579 December 4, 1594
2 Ignacio Santibanez.jpg Ignacio Santibáñez, O.F.M. August 30, 1595 August 14, 1598
3 Miguel de Benavides1.JPG Miguel de Benavides, O.P. October 7, 1602 July 26, 1605
4 Diego Vasquez de Mercado.jpg Diego Vázquez de Mercado May 28, 1608 June 12, 1616
5 Miguel Garcia Serrano , O.S.A. (1620 - 1629).jpg Miguel García Serrano, O.S.A. February 12, 1618 June 14, 1629
6 Hernando Guerrero , O.S.A. (1635 - 1641).jpg Hernando Guerrero, O.S.A. January 9, 1634 July 1, 1641
7 Fernando Montero de Espinosa (1644 - 1645).jpg Fernando Montero Espinosa February 5, 1646 1648
8 Miguel de Poblete y Casasola (cropped).jpg Miguel de Poblete Casasola January 21, 1649 December 8, 1667
9 Juan Lopez.jpg Juan López Galván, O.P. November 14, 1672 February 12, 1674
10 Felipe Pardo.jpg Felipe Fernández de Pardo, O.P. October 28, 1681 December 31, 1689
11 Diego Camacho y Avila (1697 - 1705).jpg Diego Camacho y Ávila August 19, 1696 January 14, 1704
12 Francisco de la Cuesta.jpg Francisco de la Cuesta, O.S.H. August 12, 1707 September 27, 1723
13 Carlos Bermudez Gonzalez (1722 - 1729).jpg Carlos Bermúdez de Castro y González November 20, 1724 November 13, 1729
14 Juan Angel Rodriguez.jpg Juan Ángel Rodríguez, O.S.T. May 18, 1731 June 24, 1742
15 Pedro de la Trinidad.jpg Pedro de la Santísima Trinidad Martínez de Arizala, O.F.M. February 3, 1744 May 28, 1755
16 Manuel Antonio Rojo del Rio Vera.jpg Manuel Rojo del Río y Vieyra December 19, 1757 January 30, 1764
17 Basilio Sancho de Santa Justa.jpg Basilio Sancho de Santa Justa, S.P. April 14, 1766 December 15, 1787
18 110px Juan Antonio Orbigo de Gallego, O.F.M. December 15, 1788 May 17, 1797
19 110px Juan Antonio Zulaibar, O.P. March 26, 1804 March 4, 1824
20 Hilarion Diez.jpg Hilarión Díez, O.S.A. July 3, 1826 May 7, 1829
21 Jose Segui , O.S.A. (1830 - 1845).jpg José Seguí, O.S.A. July 5, 1830 July 4, 1845
22 110px José Aranguren, O.R.S.A. January 19, 1846 April 18, 1861
23 Gregorio Meliton Martinez (1862 - 1875).jpg Gregorio Melitón Martínez Santa Cruz December 23, 1861 September 30, 1875
24 Pedro Payo , O.P. (1876 - 1889 ).jpg Pedro Payo y Piñeiro, O.P. January 28, 1876 January 1, 1889
25 Bernardino Nozaleda O.P. (1889 - 1902).jpg Bernardino Nozaleda y Villa, O.P. May 27, 1889 February 4, 1902
26 Jeremiah James Harty June 6, 1903 May 16, 1916
(Transferred to Diocese of Omaha)
27 1940 Portrait Archbishop Michael J. O'Doherty.jpg Michael J. O'Doherty September 6, 1916 October 13, 1949
(Died in office)
28 Gabriel Reyes October 13, 1949 October 15, 1952
(Died in office)
29 Bust of Cardinal Santos Manila Cathedral Crypt.png Rufino Santos February 10, 1953 September 3, 1973
(Died in office)
30 Cardinal Jaime Sin in 1988.jpg Jaime Cardinal Sin March 19, 1974 September 15, 2003
31 Cardinal Rosales.jpg Gaudencio Rosales November 21, 2003 October 13, 2011
32 Luis Antonio Tagle in 2016.png Luis Antonio Tagle December 12, 2011 February 9, 2020
(Appointed as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples)[1]
33 110px Jose Advincula June 24, 2021 Present

Coadjutor Archbishops

  • Romualdo J. Ballesteros, O.P. (1845-1846)
  • Gabriel M. Reyes (1949-1952)

Auxiliary Bishops

  • Ginés Barrientos, O.P. (1680–1698)
  • Jose Maria Segui Molas, O.S.A. (1829–1830), appointed 21st Archbishop of Manila
  • William Finnemann, S.V.D. (1929–1936), appointed Prefect of Mindoro
  • Cesar Maria Guerrero y Gutierrez (1937–1949), appointed Bishop of San Fernando
  • Rufino Jiao Santos (1947–1953), appointed as 29th Archbishop; made Cardinal by John XXIII in 1960
  • Vicente Posada Reyes (1950–1961), appointed Bishop of Borongan
  • Hernando Izquierdo Antiporda (1954–1975)
  • Pedro Bantigue y Natividad (1961–1967), appointed Bishop of San Pablo
  • Bienvenido M. Lopez (1966–1995)
  • Artemio G. Casas (1968–1974), appointed Archbishop of Jaro
  • Amado Paulino y Hernandez (1969–1985)
  • Gaudencio Borbon Rosales (1974–1982), appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Malaybalay; later appointed as 31st Archbishop; made Cardinal by Benedict XVI in 2005
  • Oscar Valero Cruz (1976–1978), appointed Archbishop of San Fernando
  • Protacio G. Gungon (1977–1983), appointed Bishop of Antipolo
  • Leonardo Legaspi, O.P. (1977–1984), appointed Archbishop of Caceres (Nueva Caceres)
  • Manuel C. Sobreviñas (1979–1993), appointed Bishop of Imus
  • Gabriel V. Reyes (1981–1992), appointed Bishop of Kalibo
  • Teodoro J. Buhain, Jr. (1983–2003)
  • Teodoro Bacani (1984–2002) appointed Bishop of Novaliches
  • Leoncio L. Lat (1985–1992)
  • Ramon Arguelles (1993–1995), appointed Military Ordinary of the Philippines
  • Crisostomo A. Yalung (1994–2001), appointed Bishop of Antipolo
  • Rolando Joven Tria Tirona, O.C.D. (1994–1996), appointed Bishop of Malolos
  • Jesse E. Mercado (1997–2002), appointed Bishop of Parañaque
  • Socrates B. Villegas (2001–2004), appointed Bishop of Balanga
  • Bernardino C. Cortez (2004–2014), appointed Prelate of Infanta
  • Broderick S. Pabillo (2006–2021) appointed Vicar Apostolic of Taytay


The Archdiocese of Manila is considered to be the richest in the Philippines and one of the richest archdioceses in the world. It has a considerable number of real estate holdings located in Metro Manila and financial interests in some institutions, even after the division of its territories in the past few years. For one, the archdiocese owns 8.5% of Bank of the Philippine Islands, the Philippines' second largest bank and has shares in San Miguel Corporation, Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage company. The archdiocese also owns schools, hostels, charitable institutions, and a travel agency.


The Archdiocese of Manila has registered a total of 3,673,000 baptized Catholics. The faithful are served by the archdiocese's 640 secular priests (271 diocesan and 369 religious priests) under 87 parishes.

Formation of priests

The archdiocese operates San Carlos Seminary, which is responsible for the formation of future priests for the archdiocese and for its suffragan dioceses. Located in a sprawling complex in Makati City, it has collegiate- and theologate-level formation houses as well as formation houses for Filipino-Chinese future priests and a center for adult vocations. The seminary offers civil and ecclesiastical degrees in philosophy, theology, and pastoral ministry.

The archdiocese also operates Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary, a seminary for young men in the secondary school level. It is located a few blocks away from San Carlos Seminary.

Other major seminaries that serve the spiritual and pastoral needs of the archdiocese include the San Jose Seminary (under the administration of the Jesuits, located within the Ateneo de Manila University complex) and the UST Central Seminary, the Royal and Pontifical Interdiocesan Seminary of the Philippines, (under the administration of the Order of Preachers, located within the University of Santo Tomas campus).

Apostolic Nunciature

The official residence of the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines is located within the archdiocese, although the nuncio is not subject to the authority of the archbishop. The present papal nuncio is The Most Reverend Archbishop Charles John Brown.