Secularization of the Philippines

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Secularization is a process by which the society is slowly transforming from that having close identification with the religious institution to a more separated relationship. This was considered to be the dawn of Philippine Nationalism, particularly after the execution of Gomburza.

The Gomburza headed the secularization movement. They advocated the right of the Filipino secular clergy over the assignment of parishes rather than giving them to the newly arrived Spanish friars in the country. The seculars were those who were not bound by monastic vows or rules. They were discriminated by the Dominicans, Jesuits, Franciscans and Recollects. The Filipino priests then were assigned as assistants to Spanish friars.

Secularism began in 1861 when the parishes of Mindanao originally managed by the Recollect friars were handed to the Jesuits. The Jesuits were expelled from the Philippines in 1768 because of the conflict they had between the European leaders. However, they returned to the country in 1861 and regain power over the Mindanao parishes from the Recollects who took over during their absence. The Recollects were bestowed the parishes of Manila and Cavite by the colonial government to appeased their loss. The original administrators of the parishes, the Filipino secular priests, naturally protested.


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