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70 Years of Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See & the Philippines

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

by Margaux Salcedo


Aside from 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines, we are also celebrating 70 Years of Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and the Philippines this 2021.


The Holy See and the Philippines established diplomatic relations on April 8, 1951.


Last April 8, the anniversary was celebrated with a virtual event entitled “70 Years of Philippine-Holy See Bilateral Relations: Reflections on the Filipino religious diaspora and its impact on the overseas Filipino diaspora and the contribution of the Church towards their social-pastoral care”.


Moderated by Fr. Gregory Gaston, rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome, the participants included Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines; Cardinal Jose Advincula, Archbishop of Manila; and Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).


Nunciature Webinar with UST


The Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippines is continuing the celebrations with a virtual lecture / webinar on November 18, 2021 at 4:00 PM. This is in collaboration with the oldest university in the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas.


Entitled 70 Years of Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and the Republic of the Philippines, the webinar will include messages from Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Holy See Secretary for Relations with States; Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr.; Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps; and UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, OP.


It will also feature a talk by Fr. Nestor Impelido, SDB, entitled "An Overview of the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and the Philippines". Fr. Impelido is a professor of Church History at the Don Bosco School of Theology and Archivist of the Salesians of Don Bosco. There will also be two Reactors: Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes, who is Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Church Cultural Heritage, and UST Assistant Archivist Fr. Louie Coronel, OP.


70 Years of Diplomatic Relations


It was on April 8, 1951, under President Elpidio Quirino, that representatives of the Holy See and the Philippines signed their first treaty establishing ties. The agreement raised the Holy See’s Apostolic Delegation to the Philippines to the status of Apostolic Nunciature.


Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi became the first Apostolic Nuncio, appointed on April 9, 1951.


Read the full speech Archbishop Vagnozzi on the occasion of the presentation of his credentials of President Elpidio Quirino at Malacañan Palace on June 20, 1951 HERE.


Meanwhile, the first Philippine ambassador to the Holy See was Chief Justice Manuel Moran, who was Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Philippines in July 1945 before becoming the first Philippine Ambassador to Spain and the Holy See. He presented his credentials to Pope Pius XII on June 4, 1951.


Watch this video by the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs on the friendship between the Holy See and the Philippines throughout the years:



The Department of Foreign Affairs, in a statement by Sec. Teddboy Locsin when he welcomed Archbishop Charles Brown upon the Nuncio's arrival, affirmed that it will work closely with the Holy See on shared advocacies, e.g. concerns related to migration and climate change, as well as the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Holy See.




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