From the foundation of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, until we became independent in 1946, the archbishops of Manila were foreigners. American sovereignty meant that the Vatican and the
religious orders began sending non-Spaniards: the last Spanish Archbishop of
Manila, Bernardino Nozaleda, resigned in 1901 and Manila was administered by
Cebu until the first American Archbishop of Manila, Jeremiah J. Harty, arrived in 1904.
he was succeeded by Michael J. O’Doherty who established the Archbishop’s
Palace after World War II in Villa San Miguel, because he loved playing golf
and living in Mandaluyong placed him close to the Wack-Wack golf club.
Archbishop O’Dougherty liked to claim he was the Primate of the Philippines,
which wasn’t true.
In 1949, Manila
gained its first Filipino Archbishop, Gabriel Reyes, who died in 1952. In
1960, his successor was Rufino Cardinal
Santos, who’d been Archbishop of Manila since 1953. Then his successor from
1974, was created Jaime Cardinal Sin, in 1976; and in turn, his successor, from
2003 when Sin’s retirement was accepted, was created Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales
in 2006 after Sin had passed away.
Upon Cardinal Rosales’ retirement, his successor became Archbishop Chito Tagle, who is now a Cardinal-designate until the Consistory on November 24, when he will be created a Cardinal: an unusual step, since his predecessor is still alive. However, the death of Cardinal Sanchez recently, reduced the “Philippine quota,” so to speak; and furthermore, both surviving Filipino Cardinals, Rosales and Vidal, are past voting age.
Cebu gained its first Filipino bishop much earlier than
Manila, in the person of Juan Bautista
Gorordo in 1909. In 1933, the diocese of Cebu was made an
archdiocese, with Archbishop Gabriel Reyes as the first Filipino archbishop.
Cardinal Rosales was created the first Cardinal Archbishop of Cebu in 1969,
followed by the creation of Ricardo Cardinal Vidal in 1985.