The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXI, 1624
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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898

Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century,

Volume XXI, 1624

Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.


Preface 9 Documents of 1624

Ecclesiastical affairs of the Philippines. Miguel Garcia Serrano, and others; 1574-1624 19 Conflict between civil and religious authorities in Manila. [Unsigned and undated; 1624?] 79 Seminary for Japanese missionaries. Alvaro de Messa y Lugo, and others; Manila, July 23-August 5 84 Extract from letter to Felipe IV. Miguel Garcia Serrano; Manila, August 15 95 Royal orders regarding the religious. Felipe IV; Madrid, August-December 98

Early Recollect missions in the Philippines. Andres de San Nicolas, Luis de Jesus, and Juan de la Concepcion. (Extracts from their respective works, covering the history of the missions to the year 1624.) 111 Bibliographical Data 319


Title-page of Historia general de los religiosos descalzos ... del gran padre ... San Augustin, by Andres de San Nicolas (Madrid, 1664); photographic facsimile from copy in library of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago. 109 Title-pages (the first engraved) to Historia general de los religiosos descalzos ... del gran padre ... San Augustin, by Luis de Jesus, Augustinian Recollect (Madrid, 1681); photographic facsimiles from copy in library of Edward E. Ayer, Chicago. 187, 189 Title-page of volume iv of Historia general de Philipinas, by Juan de la Concepcion, Augustinian Recollect (Manila, 1788); photographic facsimile from copy in library of Harvard University. 261


This volume, dated 1624, is entirely devoted to religious matters, ecclesiastical or missionary in their scope. The current documents for that year are concerned with conflicts between the diocesan authorities and the religious orders, and between the civil and religious authorities in Manila; the defeat by the Audiencia of the late Governor Fajardo's attempt to found a seminary for the training of Japanese missionaries to be sent to labor in their own country; and efforts by the Spanish government to check the assumptions of the religious orders. Then follows a historical account of the early Recollect missions in the islands, down to the year 1624, compiled from the works of Andres San Nicolas, Luis de Jesus, and Juan de la Concepcion.

A document entitled "Ecclesiastical affairs in the Philippines" contains letters, decrees, etc., bearing on this subject, dated from 1574 to 1624. Instructions to Gomez Perez Dasmarinas (1574) jealously restrict to the crown or its officials all exercise of the royal patronage; and give minute details of the course to be pursued by the governor and the provincials of the religious orders in matters where that right is involved. This is followed by various official documents issued in the controversy between Archbishop Serrano and the religious orders (1622-24) regarding the right claimed for archbishop and bishops to exercise the same jurisdiction and authority over the religious of the orders, when charged with the care of souls, as over the secular clergy. Serrano fortifies his position by various royal decrees and papal bulls. These documents show that much laxity has prevailed in selecting missionaries for the Indians, some of these teachers not even knowing the language of the natives to whom they minister; also that the friars claim even greater authority over their parishioners than that exercised by the archbishop and bishops in whose dioceses their missions are located. On June 20, 1622, the archbishop begins his official visit in the parish of Dilao (near Manila); and his edict announcing this calls upon the people of the parish to bring to him any complaints or information that they may have regarding any fault, illegal act, or neglect of duty in their cura or parish priest. Fray Alonso de Valdemoro was then in charge of the Dilao mission; refusing to obey the archbishop's commands, he is excommunicated by the latter, and sentenced to imprisonment in a monastery. But the Audiencia refuse to support the archbishop, who accordingly writes a letter to the king complaining of the resistance made by the friars. Felipe IV, in a decree dated August 14, 1622, orders that the missions in the Philippines shall be subject to the provisions of another decree (issued June 22 of the same year) promulgated for the missions in Nueva Espana. This provides that the same procedure be followed therein as in the missions of Peru; that the missions remain in charge of the orders, but that hereafter the religious be not placed in charge of missions; that they shall be subject to the archbishop in matters pertaining to the churches and the care of souls, but that anything relating to the personal character of such priest shall be privately referred to his superior in the order, who shall try and correct him.

An unsigned and undated document (1624?) gives an interesting account of a conflict between the civil and religious authorities in Manila over the question of a criminal's right to asylum in a church. It is decided, at least for the time, in favor of the ecclesiastical authorities.

At the death of Governor Fajardo (July 11, 1624) the Audiencia take charge of the government. One of their first measures is to revoke the grant made not long before by Fajardo of certain monopolies to a seminary founded by him for educating Christian Japanese to go as ordained missionaries to their own country. The members of the Audiencia claim that this was an ill-timed act, in view of the persecution of Christians in Japan, and the edicts of its ruler expelling Spaniards from his realm, and forbidding his subjects to trade with them. Moreover, the seminary building is being erected in a place selected in violation of a royal decree, and which has been arbitrarily seized from its owners; and the monopolies granted are a grievance and injury to many persons, especially to the Indians who reside near Manila. The Audiencia accordingly revoke these, and order that the seminary building be demolished; and they issue a royal decree in accordance with this decision.

In a letter dated August 15, 1624, Archbishop Serrano advises the king either to give more power and authority to the Audiencia, or to suppress it. In the latter part of the same year the king issues some decrees affecting the religious in the islands. The first (dated August 30) cites earlier decrees regulating the privileges and jurisdiction of the religious, and orders that these be strictly observed. In a letter to the archbishop of Manila (dated October 8), Felipe gives some directions regarding the religious orders. A letter (dated November 27) to the Dominican provincial enumerates various abuses practiced toward the Indians by the friars of that order, and directs him to see that these be corrected.

An interesting chapter of ecclesiastical history is provided in the accounts of the early Recollect missions in the islands. These are selected from the printed works here named: Historia general de los religiosos descalzos del orden de San Avgvstin, by Andres de San Nicolas (Madrid, 1664), and the second part of the same work, by Luis de Jesus (Madrid, 1681); and Historia general de Philipinas, by Juan de la Concepcion (Manila, 1788). From all these books we select, as has been already announced, only such portions as closely concern our subject, and such as contain information of special value, or which is otherwise not accessible.

From San Nicolas's work we take his account of the foundation of the Recollect missions in the islands. This is begun in May, 1605, by Fray Joan de San Jeronimo, who sets out with thirteen other religious; they arrive at Cebu on May 10, 1606, one of the missionaries having died on the voyage. After a brief description of Luzon and Manila, the writer recounts the entrance of the Recollects into that city, their hospitable reception from all, and their establishment in a house of their own outside the walls. After some of the fathers have learned the Tagal language, they begin their missionary labors at Mariveles, not far from Manila, whose native inhabitants are unusually brutal and ferocious. A brief outline of the customs and beliefs of these people is presented, which, although slight, is valuable as being another original source of ethnological information about the Filipino peoples—the early Recollect missionaries, like Chirino and his co-laborers, having gone among wild Indians who had had little acquaintance with the Spaniards; and their observations are therefore of natural and primitive conditions among the natives.

The missionaries first sent to Mariveles soon die from hardship, privation, and penances; but others at once volunteer to take their places. Rodrigo de San Miguel is the first of these to go; and he, with others, accomplishes a wonderful work among the fierce Zambales. Details of the labors of each, and of marvelous escapes from death, are related. At Masinglo a convent is founded by Andres del Espiritu Santo, which becomes a center of missionary work for a large district. The missionaries are kept under strict rule and discipline, that their self-abnegation and frugal mode of life may emphasize their preaching; and regulations are laid down for their missionary work and their relations with the Indians. The main residence of the Recollects is, after some years, removed within the walls of Manila; and a handsome building is erected for it, and endowed, by a pious citizen. Some notable images in its church are described.

Attempts being made, in both Rome and Spain, to suppress the new order of Augustinian Recollects, various testimonies to the value of their work, and to their piety and zeal, are furnished by various officials, both civil and ecclesiastical; and in connection with these is a statement of the scope and character of the occupations and services of the Recollects, in both peace and war. Convents are founded by these missionaries at Bolinao and Cigayan. At the latter place, one of the fathers is slain by an Indian, and the church is burned by the revolting natives; but the indefatigable missionaries return to the unpromising field, again subdue the wild Indians, and restore what these had destroyed. Another residence is established at Cavite, which accomplishes great good among the seamen who live there.

The history of the discalced Augustinians is continued by Luis de Jesus. In 1621 the reformed branch of the Augustinians is erected into a congregation independent of the original order. In that year a convent of the discalced is founded in Cebu, and, through the generosity of their benefactor Ribera, another at Calumpan, outside the walls of Manila; the latter serves as a quiet retreat for the fathers, to the benefit of both their physical and spiritual health, and under its care is placed the village of Sampaloc. In it is kept a miraculous image of the Virgin. In 1622 the Recollects begin to evangelize Mindanao, of which island there is a brief description, with more detailed ones of certain curious birds and animals found there, and of the customs and beliefs of the natives. Their government is simply the tyranny of the strong over the weak, a condition of oppression and cruelty and wretchedness. Slavery, formerly a common practice among them, has been broken up where the missionaries have introduced the Christian religion. In 1609 the natives of Caraga are subdued by the Spaniards, as also in 1613 a revolt by them is quelled; and finally (1622) the Recollects carry the gospel among them. The missionaries do much to subdue these fierce savages, and make many converts—notable among whom is a powerful chief named Inuc, whose example is followed by many. A flourishing mission has also been established on the river of Butuan, where had formerly been a Christian mission, now abandoned. Detailed accounts are given of the labors and dangers which the fathers undergo, and of certain conversions. Our historian does the same for the missions in Calamianes and Cuyo. It may be noted that the Recollect missionaries vigorously pursued the same policy as that of the Jesuits in forming "reductions" or mission villages of their converts. Various miraculous events in the experience of the missionaries are related, especially the exorcism of certain demons who attempted to drive the Spanish soldiers out of the country. Another mission is opened on the Cagayan River in Misamis, northern Mindanao; the fathers meet great trials and hardships, but finally succeed in converting the leading headman on the river, with many of his followers. They are greatly aided in this by the successful revolt of these Indians against the Mahometan chief Corralat, in which they ask and receive the assistance of the Spanish troops stationed at Tandag. From the records of the provincial chapter held at Manila in 1650 is compiled a list of the Recollect convents in Mindanao and Calamianes, with the number of families attached to each. The writer goes on to relate some of the trials, hardships, and dangers experienced by the Recollect missionaries in their work, several being martyrs to their zeal. In 1624 is held the first chapter meeting of the new Recollect province of Filipinas; Fray Onofre de la Madre de Dios is chosen provincial, and certain regulations for the conduct of the religious of the order there are adopted.

With these earlier narratives may be compared that of Juan de la Concepcion, in his Historia (vols. iv and v), which contains some matter additional to the others, although his account is largely drawn from these. The Recollects, like the Jesuits, form "reductions" of their scattered converts, in order to carry on their instruction more advantageously. The difficulties between the observantine and reformed branches of the Augustinian order are recounted with some fulness. A singular epidemic of demoniacal obsession at Cavite is dispelled by the religious services held at the new Recollect church there. At the request of the bishop of Cebu, the discalced Augustinians extend their work—a reenforcement of missionaries having arrived from Spain—to the Visayan Islands and to Mindanao (1622); some account of their successes in the latter region is given. They also push forward into the Calamianes Islands and Paragua (1622). Of these islands the writer presents an interesting account, describing their principal products and natural resources, as well as the character and religious beliefs of the natives. Among these people, unusually brutal and fierce, go the undaunted Recollects, and soon establish flourishing missions, collecting the people in "reductions." Then they send to Manila a request that Spanish soldiers come and take possession of Paragua, which is done. The missions spread farther, and a large part of the island is subdued to the Christian faith and the crown of Spain.

The Editors

October, 1904.


Ecclesiastical affairs of the Philippines. Miguel Garcia Serrano, and others; 1574-1624. Conflict between civil and religious authorities in Manila. [Unsigned and undated; 1624?] Seminary for Japanese missionaries. Alvaro de Messa y Lugo, and others; July 23-August 5. Extract from letter to Felipe IV. Miguel Garcia Serrano; August 15. Royal orders regarding the religious. Felipe IV; August-December.

Sources: The first of these documents is obtained from Pastells's edition of Celin's Labor evangelica, iii, pp. 674-697; the second, from the Ventura del Arco MSS. (Ayer library), i, pp. 515-523; the others, from the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla—save the second of the "Royal orders," from the "Cedulario Indico" of the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid.

Translations: The third document is translated by Robert W. Haight; the second part of the fifth, by Arthur B. Myrick, of Harvard University; the remainder, by James A. Robertson.


Royal Instructions to Gomez Perez Dasmarinas Regarding Ecclesiastical Affairs

The King. To Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands, or the person or persons in charge of their government: I ordered a decree of various articles to be given to my viceroy of Nueva Espana, in regard to what was to be done and observed in that country for the preservation of my patronage, as is contained at length in the said decree, whose tenor is as follows:

"The King. To our viceroy of Nueva Espana, or the person or persons who shall, for the time being, be exercising the government of that country: As you know, the right of the ecclesiastical patronage belongs to us throughout the realm of the Yndias—both because of having discovered and acquired that new world, and erected there and endowed the churches and monasteries at our own cost, or at the cost of our ancestors, the Catholic Sovereigns; and because it was conceded to us by bulls of the most holy pontiffs, conceded of their own accord. For its conservation, and that of the right that we have to it, we order and command that the said right of patronage be always preserved for us and our royal crown, singly and in solidum, throughout all the realm of the Yndias, without any derogation therefrom, either in whole or in part; and that we shall not concede the right of patronage by any favor or reward that we or the kings our successors may confer.

"Further, no person or persons, or ecclesiastical or secular communities, or church or monastery, shall be able to exercise the right of patronage by custom privilege, or any other title, unless it be the person who shall exercise it in our name, and with our authority and power; and no person, whether secular or ecclesiastical, and no order, convent, or religious community, of whatever state, condition, rank, and preeminence he or they may be, shall for any occasion and cause whatever, judicially or extra-judicially, dare to meddle in any matter touching my royal patronage, to injure us in it—to appoint to any church, benefice, or ecclesiastical office, or to be accepted if he shall have been appointed—in all the realm of the Indias, without our presentation, or that of the person to whom we commit it by law or by letters-patent. He who shall do the contrary, if he be a secular person, shall incur the loss of the concessions that shall have been made to him by us in all the realm of the Indias, shall be unable to hold and obtain others, and shall be exiled perpetually from all our kingdoms and seigniories; and if he shall be an ecclesiastical person, he shall be considered as a foreigner, and exiled from all our kingdoms, and shall not be able to hold or obtain any benefice or ecclesiastical office, and shall incur the other penalties established against such by laws of these my kingdoms. And our viceroys, audiencias, and royal justices shall proceed with all severity against those who thus shall infringe or violate our right of patronage; and they shall proceed officially, either at the petition of our fiscals, or at that of any party who demands it; and in the execution of it great diligence shall be exercised.

"We desire and order that no cathedral church, parish church, monastery, hospital, votive church, or any other pious or religious establishment be erected, founded, or constructed, without our express consent for it, or that of the person who shall exercise our authority; and further, that no archbishopric, bishopric, dignidad, canonry, racion, media-racion, rectorial or simple benefice, or any other ecclesiastical or religious benefice or office, be instituted, or appointment to it be made, without our consent or presentation, or that of the person who shall exercise our authority; and such presentation or consent shall be in writing, in the ordinary manner.

"The archbishoprics and bishoprics shall be appointed by our presentation, made to our very holy father [i.e., the Roman pontiff] who shall be at that time, as has been done hitherto.

"The dignidades, canonries, racions and media-racions of all the cathedral churches of the Indias shall be filled by presentation made by our royal warrant, given by our royal Council of the Indias, and signed by our name, by virtue of which the archbishop or bishop of the church where the said dignidad, canonry, or racion shall be shall grant to him collation and canonical installation, which shall also be in writing, sealed with his seal and signed with his hand. Without the said presentation, title, collation, and canonical installation, in writing, he shall not be given possession of such dignidad, canonry, racion, or media-racion; neither shall he accept the benefits and emoluments of it, under the penalties contained in the laws against those who violate our royal patronage.

"If in any of the cathedral churches of the Yndias there should not be four beneficiaries—at least resident, and appointed by our presentation and warrant and the canonical installation of the prelate—because of the other prebends being vacant, or if appointments to them have been made because the beneficiaries are absent (even though it be for a legitimate reason) for more than eight months, until we present them the prelate shall elect four seculars to fill out the term of those who shall have been appointed as residents, choosing them from the most capable and competent that shall offer, or who can be found, so that they may serve in the choir, the altar, the church, and as curas, if that should be necessary in the said church, in place of the vacant or absent prebendaries, as above stated. He shall assign them an adequate salary, as we have ordered at the account of the vacant or absent prebendaries; and the said provision shall not be permanent, but removable at will [ad nutum], and those appointed shall not occupy the seat of the beneficiary in the choir, nor enter or have a vote in the cabildo. If the cathedral church has four or more beneficiaries, the prelates shall not take it upon themselves to appoint any prebendaries, or to provide a substitute in such post, whether for those that become vacant, or for those whose incumbents may be absent, unless they shall give us notice, so that we may make the presentations or take such measures as may be advisable.

"No prelate, even though he have an authentic relation and information that we have presented any person to a dignidad, canonry, racion, or any other benefice, shall grant him collation or canonical installation, or shall order that he be given possession of it, unless our original warrant of the said presentation be first presented; and our viceroys or audiencias shall not meddle by making them receive such persons without the said presentation.

"After the original warrant of our presentation has been presented, appointment and canonical installation shall be made without any delay; and order will be given to assign to him the emoluments, unless there is some legitimate objection against the person presented, and one which can be proved. If there is no legitimate objection, or if any such be alleged that shall not be proved, and the prelate should delay the appointment, installation, and possession, he shall be obliged to pay to such person the emoluments and incomes, costs, and interests, that shall have been incurred by him.

"It is our desire that, in the presentations that shall be made for dignidades, canonries and prebends in the cathedral churches of the Yndias, lettered men be preferred to those who are not, and those who shall have served in cathedral churches of these same kingdoms and who shall have had most experience in the choir and divine worship, to those who shall not have served in cathedral churches.

"At least in the districts where it can be conveniently done, a graduate jurist in general study shall be presented for a doctoral canonicate, and another lettered theological graduate in general study for another magistral canonicate, who shall have the pulpit with the obligations that doctoral and magistral canons have in these kingdoms.

"Another lettered theologue approved by general study shall be presented to read the lesson of the holy scriptures, and another lettered jurist theologue for the canonicate of penitence, in accordance with the established decrees of the holy council of Trent. The said four canonries shall be of the number of those of the erection of the Church.

"We will and order that all the benefices, whether sinecures or curacies, secular and regular, and the ecclesiastical offices that become vacant, or that, as they are new, must be filled, throughout the realm of the Yndias, in whatever diocese it may be, besides those that are provided in the cathedral churches, as stated above, shall, in order that they may be filled with less delay, and that our royal patronage may be preserved in them, be filled in the following manner:

"When a benefice (whether a sinecure or a curacy), or the administration of any hospital or a sacristy or churchwardenship, or the stewardship of a hospital, or any other benefice or ecclesiastical office, shall become vacant, or when it has to be filled for the first time: the prelate shall order a written proclamation to be posted in the cathedral church, or in the church, hospital, or monastery where such benefice or office is to be filled, with the suitable limit, so that those who desire to compete for it may enter the lists. From all those who thus compete, and from all the others whom the prelate shall believe to be suitable persons for such office or benefice, after having examined them and after having informed himself concerning their morals and ability, he shall choose two persons from them—those whom, in the sight of God and his conscience, he shall judge most suitable for such office or benefice. The nomination of the two thus named shall be presented to our viceroy or to the president of our royal Audiencia; or to the person who, in our name, shall exercise the superior government of the province where such benefice or office shall become vacant or must be filled, so that he may select one from the two appointees. He shall send that selection to the prelate, so that the latter in accordance with it, and by virtue of that presentation, may grant the appointment, collation, and canonical installation—by way of commission and not by perpetual title, but removable at will by the person who shall have presented them in our name, together with the prelate. And should there be no more than one person who desires to compete for such benefice or office, or the prelate shall not find more than one person whom he desires to receive the nomination to it, he shall send the name to our viceroy, president, or governor, as above stated, so that the latter may present him. Then by virtue of such presentation, the prelate shall make the appointment in the form above directed. But it is our desire and will that when the presentation shall be made by us, and we shall expressly state in our presentation that the collation and canonical installation shall be by title and not by commission, those presented by us be always preferred to those presented by our viceroys, presidents, or governors, in the form above mentioned.

"And in the repartimientos and villages of Indians, and in other places where there shall be no benefice or any regulations for electing one, or any form of appointing a secular or religious to administer sacraments and teach the doctrine, providing it in the form above directed, the prelate—after posting a proclamation, so that if there shall be any ecclesiastical or religious person, or any other of good morals and education who may go to teach the doctrine at such village—from those who shall compete, or from other persons whom he shall deem most suitable and fitting, shall elect two, after informing himself of their competency and good character. He shall send the nomination to our viceroy, president, or governor who shall reside in the province, so that the latter may present one of the two thus nominated by the prelate. If there shall be no more than one, by virtue of that presentation the prelate shall appoint him to the mission, giving him installation, as he has to teach the doctrine. He shall order to be given to such person the emoluments that are to be given to ministers or missions, and shall order the encomenderos and other persons, under the penalties and censures that he shall deem suitable, not to annoy or disturb such person in the exercise of his duty and the teaching of the Christian doctrine; on the contrary, they shall give him all protection and aid for it. That appointment shall be made removable at the will of the person who shall have appointed him in our name, and that of the prelate.

"We also will and order that the religious orders observe and maintain the right of patronage in the following form.

"First: No general, commissary-general, visitor, provincial, or any other superior of the religious orders, shall go to the realm of the Yndias, without first showing in our royal Council of the Indias the powers that he bears and giving us relation of them; and without the Council giving him our decree and permission so that he may go, and a warrant so that our viceroys, audiencias, justices, and our other vassals may admit and receive him to the exercise of his office, and give him all protection and aid in it.

"Any provincial, visitor, prior, guardian, or other high official, who may be elected and nominated in the realm of the Yndias shall, before being admitted to exercise his office, inform our viceroy, president, Audiencia, or governor who shall have in charge the supreme government of such province, and shall show him his patent of nomination and election, so that the latter may give him the protection and aid necessary for the exercise and use of his office.

"The provincials of all the orders who are established in the Yndias, each one of them, shall always keep a list ready of all the monasteries and chief residences [maintained there by his orders] and of the members [resident in each] that fall in his province, and of all the religious in the province—noting each one of them by name, together with a report of his age and qualifications, and the office or ministry in which each one is occupied. He shall give that annually to our viceroy, Audiencia, or governor, or the person who shall have charge of the supreme government in the province, adding to or removing from the list the religious who shall be superfluous and those who shall be needed. Our viceroy, Audiencia, or governor, shall keep those general lists which shall thus be given, for himself, and in order that he may inform us by report of the religious that there are, and those of whom there is need of provision, by each fleet sent out.

"The provincials of the orders, each one of them shall make a list of all the religious who are occupied in teaching the Christian doctrine to the Indians, and the administration of sacraments, and the offices of curas in the villages of the chief monasteries. They shall give such list once a year to our viceroy, Audiencia, or governor, who shall give it to the diocesan prelate, so that he may know and understand what persons are occupied in the administration of sacraments and the office of curas and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and who are in charge of the souls for whom he is responsible; and in order that what is or must be provided may be apparent to him, and from whom he has to require account of the said souls, and to whom he must commit what is to be done for the welfare of those souls.

"Whenever the provincials have to provide any religious for instruction or for the administration of sacraments, or remove any who shall have been appointed, they shall give notice thereof to our viceroy, president, Audiencia, or governor who shall exercise the supreme government of the province, and to the prelate; and they shall not remove any one who shall have been appointed, until another shall have been appointed in his place, observing the above order.

"We desire, in the presentations and appointments of all the prelacies, dignidades, and ecclesiastical offices and benefices, that those most deserving, and who shall have been engaged longer and to better profit in the conversion of the Indians, and in instructing them in the Christian doctrine, and in the administration of sacraments, shall be presented and appointed. Therefore we strictly charge the diocesan prelates, and those superiors of the religious orders, and we order our viceroys, presidents, audiencias, and governors, that in the nominations, presentations, and appointments that they shall have to make there, as is said, in conformity [with this decree], they shall always prefer, in the first place, those who shall have been occupied, by life and example, in the conversion of the Indians, and in instruction and in administering the sacraments, and those who shall know the language of the Indians whom they have to instruct; and, in the second place, those who shall be the sons of Spaniards and who shall have served us in those regions.

"In order that we may better make the presentation that shall become necessary of prelacies, dignidades, prebends, and the other ecclesiastical offices and benefices, we ask and charge the said diocesan prelates and the provincials of the religious orders, and we order our viceroys, presidents, audiencias, and governors, each one of them, separately and distinctly by himself, without communicating one with another, to make a list of all the dignidades, benefices, missions, and ecclesiastical offices in his province, noting those of them that are vacant, and those that are filled. Likewise they shall make a list of all the ecclesiastical and religious persons, and of the sons of citizens and Spaniards who are studying for the purpose of becoming ecclesiastics, and of the good character, learning, competency and qualities of each one, stating clearly his good parts and also his defects, and declaring, so that prelacies, dignidades, benefices, and ecclesiastical offices shall be suitably filled, both those that shall be at present found vacant, and those that shall become vacant hereafter. Those relations shall be sent us closed and sealed, in each fleet, and in different ships; and what shall be deemed advisable to add to or to suppress from the preceding ones that shall have been sent before, shall be added or suppressed; so that no fleet shall sail without its relation. We charge the consciences of one and all straitly with this matter.

"In order that we may not be deceived by those who come or send to petition us to present them to some dignidad, benefice, or ecclesiastical office, we desire, and it is our will, that he who shall thus come or send appear before our viceroy, or before the president and Audiencia, or before the one who shall have charge of the supreme government of the province; and, declaring his petition, the viceroy, Audiencia, or governor shall make the relation officially, with information concerning his standing, learning, morals, competency, and other details. After it is made, he shall send it separately from those persons. Likewise the approval of their prelate shall be obtained, and warning is given that those who come to petition for a dignidad, benefice, or ecclesiastical office without such investigation shall not be received.

"We desire and it is our will that no person can hold, obtain, or occupy two dignidades, or ecclesiastical benefices in the provinces of the Yndias, either in the same or in different churches. Therefore we order that if any one shall be presented by us for any dignidad, benefice, or office, he shall renounce what he shall have held previously, before his collation and appointment.

"If the one presented by us does not present himself, within the time contained in the presentation, to the prelate who must make the appointment and canonical installation, after the expiration of the said time the presentation shall be void, and no appointment and canonical installation can be made by virtue of it.

"Inasmuch as it is our will that the above-contained be observed and obeyed, for we believe that such procedure is expedient for the service of God and for our own, I order you to examine the above, and to observe and obey it, and cause it to be observed and obeyed in all those provinces and villages, and their churches, in toto, and exactly as is contained and declared, for what time shall be our will. You shall accomplish and fulfil it, in the ways that shall appear most advisable to you. You shall take for this purpose such measures and precautions as shall be advisable, in virtue of this my decree; and I give you for that complete authority in legal form. Accordingly we request and charge the very reverend father in Christ, the archbishop of that city, and member of our Council, and the reverend fathers in Christ, the archbishop of Nueva Espana, the venerable deans and cabildo of the cathedral churches of that country, and all the curas, beneficiaries, sacristans, and other ecclesiastical persons, the venerable and devout fathers provincial, guardians, priors, and other religious of the orders of St. Dominic, St. Augustine, St. Francis, and of all the other orders, that in what pertains to, and is incumbent on them, they observe and obey this decree, acting in harmony with you, for all that shall be advisable. Given in San Lorenzo el Real, June first, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.

I The King By order of his Majesty: Antonio de Eraso"

I order you to examine the said decree, and its sections above-incorporated, and you shall observe and obey it, and cause it to be observed and obeyed in toto, as is contained and declared in it and in each one of its sections, as if it were given for those islands and directed to you. I charge the reverend father in Christ, the bishop of those islands, the venerable dean and cabildo of the cathedral church of the islands, all the curas, beneficiaries, sacristans, and other ecclesiastical persons, and the venerable and devout fathers provincial, guardians, priors, and other religious of the orders of St. Dominic, St. Augustine, St. Francis, and all the other orders, that in what pertains to, and is incumbent on them, they observe and obey it, acting in harmony with you in every way that may be advisable and necessary. Given in San Lorenzo, September thirteen, one thousand five hundred and eighty-nine. [1]

I The King By order of the king our sovereign: Joan de Ibarra Signed by the Council.

[The litigation between the prelate and the religious orders originated from the visitation of the village of Dilao (which belonged to the ministry of the Franciscan fathers), commenced by Archbishop Miguel Garcia Serrano, June 24, 1624, [2] with the dictation by him of the following:] [3]

Act. In the village of Quiapo, which is near the city of Manila, on the twenty-second day of the month of June, one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, his Excellency, Don Fray Miguel Garcia y Serrano, archbishop of these Philipinas Islands, member of his Majesty's council, etc., declared that, inasmuch as the eleventh chapter of the twenty-fifth session of the holy council of Trent rules and orders that the religious who exercise the duties of curas of souls be immediately subject, in regard to such duties and in all that pertains to the administration of the sacraments, to the jurisdiction, visit, and correction of the bishop in whose diocese they minister; and that no one, even though he be admovibilis ad nutum, can exercise the said office of cura without having obtained beforehand the consent and examination of the bishop or his vicar, etc., [4] which is ordered to be strictly observed and obeyed, both by the bishops and the superiors of the religious, and by the religious themselves, by the twenty-second chapter following, notwithstanding any privileges, constitutions, rules, customs, rights, and others non obstantibus, etc.; besides which, his Holiness Gregory Fourteenth, by his brief which was obtained at the instance of his Majesty, under date of Roma, April 18, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, charges and orders the archbishop of these islands to visit the missions and the religious in them. [5]

All of the above is ordered to be observed and obeyed in these islands by decrees of his Majesty, under date of June first, five hundred and eighty-five; December twenty-one, five hundred and ninety-five; and November fourteen, one thousand six hundred and three. [6] In conformity with these decrees, his most illustrious Lordship, wishing to observe what his Holiness and his Majesty have ordered, as it is a matter very advisable and necessary for the service of God our Lord and that of his Majesty, and the welfare and increase of the conversion, teaching, and instruction of the natives of these islands, notified the very reverend fathers-provincial in Christ of the sacred orders of St. Dominic and St. Augustine, and the commissaries of that of St. Francis, of these islands, by means of an order signed by his most illustrious Lordship, which was given to them in the first part of April of this current year, so that, understanding it, the matter might be facilitated and observed on the part of the said orders, with the good-will and exactness that is proper, and which they have always had in obeying and observing the orders of the holy apostolic see, and those of his Majesty. And inasmuch as it is advisable that there be no more delay in the above, his most illustrious Lordship intends to go to visit the mission of the natives of the village of Dilao, outside the walls of the city of Manila, which is in charge of the Order of St. Francis, on the day of St. John the Baptist. He has advised the father guardian of the said convent thereof, in order that the Indians of the said convent may be assembled in the church at the hour of high mass, and so that all other necessary arrangements be made for making the said visit. His Lordship ordered the above to be set down as an act, together with the copy of the brief of his Holiness Gregory Fourteenth, and of his Majesty's decrees, of which mention is made above; and he signed the same.

Fray Miguel, archbishop.

Before me:

Licentiate Alonso Ramirez

In the town of Quiapo, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of June, one thousand six hundred and twenty-two, the illustrious lord Don Fray Miguel Garcia Serrano, archbishop of the Philipinas, member of his Majesty's council, etc., declared that he ordered—and he did so order—that that notification that his illustrious Lordship ordered to be made and that he made, to the superiors of the religious orders—namely, the order mentioned in the act of the twenty-second of this month, which was made on account of the visitation of Dilao—be filed with the [records of the] said visitation, which is to be begun on this said day, of the said mission and ministry of Dilao. Thus did he decree and order.

Fray Miguel, archbishop.

Before me:

Licentiate Alonso Ramirez

Very reverend fathers in Christ, the provincials of the holy orders of these Philipinas Islands: Being obliged to carry out the ordinance and mandate of the holy council of Trent and the decrees of his Majesty in regard to the examination and visitation which I have to make of the religious who are administering the missions of natives in my diocese, I deemed it advisable, in order to attain my object better, to inform your Paternities of it before beginning it—so that, understanding the matter, it might be facilitated and observed by your Paternities with the good-will and exactness that are proper, and which you have always displayed in obeying and observing the mandates of the holy apostolic see and those of his Majesty.

As your Paternities know, chapter 11 of the 25th session of the holy council of Trent, De regularibus et monialibus, rules and orders that the religious who exercise the duties of curas of souls be immediately subject as regards such duties, and in everything that pertains to the administration of sacraments, to the jurisdiction, visit, and correction of the bishop in whose diocese they administer; and that no one, though he be amovilibis ad nutum, may exercise the said duty of cura without first having obtained the consent of, and been examined by, the bishop or his vicar, etc. Both the bishops and the superiors of the religious, and the religious themselves, are strictly ordered to observe and fulfil the above, as ordered by article 22 following, notwithstanding any privileges, regulations, rules, customs, and rights, and others non obstantibus, etc.

This decree then, of the holy council of Trent, has two parts—one in which it is ordered that the said religious be immediately subject in regard to curas, and in all that pertains to the administration of sacraments, to the jurisdiction, visit, and correction of the bishops; and the other that, before being admitted to the said duty, they must obtain the consent of, and be examined by, the bishops or their vicars. There has never been any innovation in the first; for, although the second part had the innovation that appears in two briefs issued by his Holiness Pius V—one in general for all Christendom, which he conceded at the instance of the mendicant orders, under date of Roma, July 17, 1567, in the second year of his pontificate, whose beginning is, Etsi mendicantium ordines; and the other a special one for the Yndias, at the instance of his Majesty, under date of Roma, of March 26, of the same year—in those briefs there was no innovation in regard to the first part. On the contrary, in the brief of his Holiness Gregory XIV which his Majesty sent to these islands, and which was obtained at his instance, under date of Roma, April 18, 1591, the first year in which he commits to the archbishop of Manila the adjustment and restitution of what the conquistadors and other persons had in charge among the Indians, and prohibits religious from going from a pacified district to convert one unpacified, without the permission of the bishops, there is a clause of the following tenor ...: Praeteria cum praecipuum munus Episcoporum sit proprias oves per se ipsos pascere et visitare. [7]

In regard to the second part of the two things ordered by the holy council—that is, that the religious, before they can exercise the duties of the care of souls, must first get the consent of, and be examined by, the bishops or their vicars—that order also appears today in its entire force and vigor. For although it is true that his Holiness Pius V reserved the said religious from the said permission and examination, by the two privileges above mentioned, afterward his Holiness Gregory XIII reduced these and all the other favors and concessions given to the mendicant orders by Pius V to the terms of law and the holy council of Trent, as appears by his motu proprio given at Roma, on the kalends of March, 1573, the first year of his pontificate, whose beginning is In tanta rerum, etc., and which father Fray Manuel Rodriguez inserted in the book that he published concerning the privileges of the orders, [8] in number 38 of those of that same supreme pontiff.

Although it is true that it is stated in the memorial which the Order of St. Francis in Nueva Espana presented regarding the substance of the privileges of the mendicant orders in the Yndias, at the provincial council that was convened in Mexico in the year 1585, at the instance of the same council (as is mentioned by father Fray Juan Baptista, of the said order, in the second part of his book of advice for confessors), that the said revocation had no effect, because the cardinal protectors of the orders immediately appealed from it, asking his Holiness to suspend the said motu proprio and that it be not promulgated; and that his Holiness agreed to it, and that, accordingly, no account was taken of it—it appears that no attention must be paid to that, for the said memorial has no further proof or authority than the certification of Father Master Veracruz, who was in Sevilla when the motu proprio of Gregory XIII was issued, and because Father Manuel Rodriguez, of the same Order of St. Francis, affirms the contrary—who some years later, while residing in Salamanca, where there was more notice of it than in the Yndias, published his books of "questions concerning the regulars," as appears in article 7, question 8, of the first volume, [9] as well as in other places. With the same agrees father Fray Alonso de Vega, in his conclusion, chapter 62, case 4, Questio de confessione, and it appears by the declarations of the holy congregation of the cardinals, which Marcilla reports in article 20, of section 25, de regularibus, and in article 15, of section 13, de reformatione, [10] besides others, by which it is manifest that it is a privilege that his Majesty obtained for what he then judged advisable for the proper government of the churches of the Yndias, and the greater increase of their Christianity. It ought not, nor can it, be understood to be to the prejudice of the privileges that the holy apostolic see has conceded to the kings of Espana for the same purpose, such as that of Alexander VI, in his bull of the concession or confirmation of the Indias, as follows: Hortamur vos quamplurimum ... et infra sit—insuper mandamus vobis in virtute sanctae obedientiae (sicut etiam pollicemini) et non dubitamus pro vestra maxima devotione et regia magnanimitate vos esse facturos, ad terras firmas et insulis praedictas, viros probos.... [11]

And Adrian VI, in his Omnimodo, as follows: Dum tamen sint tales sufficientiae ... and of the right of the royal patronage. [12]

And since it is now his Majesty's will that the fitness and approval of the said religious in regard to curas must be to the satisfaction of the bishops, which he says to be thus advisable for the discharge of his royal conscience and that of the said bishops, it is clear that we are bound to fulfil it as a command of the holy apostolic see.

The above is in respect to the mandates of his Holiness. Coming to that which is ordered in this regard by the decrees of his Majesty, it appears that his Majesty having despatched his royal decree on the sixth of December, 1585, that if there were any capable clergy they should be preferred, in the benefices and missions of the Indians to the religious who held them, and who should have held them, by virtue of another royal decree of May twenty-five, of five hundred and eighty-five, his Majesty gave notice to the Order of St. Francis, of Nueva Espana, that he had ordered the suspension for the time being of the execution of this decree; and that the said missions be held, as hitherto, by the orders and religious; that there be no innovation in the manner of presentation and appointment; that the bishops in their own persons (these are the words of the royal decree), without committing it to any others, shall visit the churches of the missions, where the said religious may be, and in the missions inspect the most holy sacrament, the baptismal font, the building of the said churches, and the service of divine worship; and that they also visit the religious who should reside in the said missions, and correct them in matters concerning curas.

That royal decree is in the book of advice to confessors of Indians which father Fray Juan Baptista, of the Order of St. Francis, published in Mexico, in the year six hundred; it is on folio 380. On folio 259, it contains what the provincials of the orders of St. Dominic, St. Francis, and St. Augustine, of the province of Mexico, answered to it on the twenty-eighth of November, of the said year, 585. That answer was to accept the said missions non ex votis charitatis, but with the obligation of in se et justitia; and in regard to being visited, they say that, inasmuch as the obstacles of their disturbance and relaxation of discipline were always to be found, which induced the apostolic see to exempt them from the visits of the ordinaries—which obstacles would be more and greater in the Yndias, if authority were given for it—they would not refuse the reverence, respect, and submission due to the bishops, as prelates and shepherds of the Church of God. They said that they were under greater obligations to them than to any one else, and would respect them and receive them into their convents with proper reverence, as they had always done; and that, obeying what his Majesty ordered, they would be very glad to have them visit in their churches the most holy sacrament, the baptismal font, and what concerns it; but in all matters outside the above-mentioned, they petitioned his Majesty not to give the bishops authority or entrance, for that would mean the perpetual disquiet and ruin of their order.

But as for that which the said orders of Nueva Espana declared in that reply, namely, that the obstacles of disturbance and relaxed discipline were bound to follow the visits of the bishops, for which the apostolic see was induced to exempt them from their jurisdiction; nevertheless, it will be considered that a very different reason will be found to prevail in this case in respect to which, as regards religious from whom visits are exempted, they have their special rules and regulations, which are peculiar to each order. Both for that reason, and because their institute, life, and government is of the cloister, and they have no administration, dominion, and jurisdiction over persons of the world, it was most advisable to give them superiors who had been reared in the same life, customs, and rules of religion, since, moreover, their profession was simply that of religious.

But the ministry of the care of souls that the religious exercise is not of the cloister, nor does it depend on their special rule or institute; nor in regard to such are they at all different from the secular curas, both touching the religious ministers themselves, and touching the persons who are ministered to, whose spiritual government is in charge of the bishops.

And since it is a fact that the religious who accepts an executorship is obliged to give a strict account of it to the bishop—nor does he fulfil his duty by giving it to his superior, if it is a matter with which the deceased entrusted him, who made election and a confidant of him—with very much greater reason ought an account of the administration of the souls that are immediately in charge of the same bishop be given to him; and although in proof of that many other arguments might be adduced, none will be so effective and so conclusive as to consider that while there were, as is true, so many so aged, learned, grave, and holy religious of all the orders present in the holy council of Trent, who propounded as many difficulties and obstacles as they could offer, yet the holy council decreed and ordered as we have seen.

In conformity with that, notwithstanding the said reply which the orders of Nueva Espana gave to the decree of his Majesty, the orders of his Majesty in regard to the said visits seem to have been obeyed, for ten years after another royal decree was despatched, which the said father, Fray Juan Baptista, mentions on folio 396 of the said book, as follows:

"The King. Reverend father in Christ, bishop of the city of Antequera, of the valley of Huajaca, of Nueva Espana, and member of my council: Inasmuch as I have heard that the religious who reside in those regions, busied in the instruction and conversion of the Indians, give out that it is a cause of great disquiet and uneasiness to them for you to send to visit them, in regard to curacies, by clerics or religious of other orders; and as it is advisable to avoid all occasions that may divert them from their chief end, especially since (as they say) it is contrary to their institutes, and is the occasion of their living disconsolate, and that they are molested: I request and charge you that when you are unable to visit in person the missions of that bishopric—in accordance with the order in my decree of June first, one thousand five hundred and eighty-five, [13] where this matter is discussed at greater length—for the said visits of religious who shall be in those missions, in regard to matters of curacies, of the most holy sacrament, of the baptismal font, of the building of churches, and all else concerning them, and the divine worship, you send religious of the same orders. Consequently, where there are Dominican friars, a friar of the same order shall be sent as visitor; and the same shall be observed with Augustinians, Franciscans, and those of the Order of Mercy, and of the Society. That shall be observed for the cases and in the manner contained in the above-mentioned decree. Given in Madrid, December twenty-one, one thousand five hundred and ninety-five. [14]

[I The King]

By order of the king our sovereign:

Juan de Ybarra"

But since it was not expressed in the said royal decree of the year 585 that the religious who should administer the benefices and missions of the Indians should first be examined and approved by the bishops; and since the remedy for the public excesses of the said religious should be limited to the bishops in the decree, if there should be any excesses even in respect to curacies—the bishops proceeding in this, not in the form ruled by the said article II, of section 25, of the holy council, but by that which is declared in article 14, of the same section: his Majesty afterward decided, for considerations that satisfied him, that the authority and jurisdiction of the bishops in regard to the above be extended further, as the holy council rules; and accordingly, on November 14, one thousand six hundred and three, he despatched his royal decree for the metropolitan churches of the Indias, one of which he sent to the archbishop of these islands, which is of the following tenor:

"The King. Very reverend father in Christ, archbishop of the city of Manila of the Philipinas Islands, and member of my council: Notwithstanding that it is very carefully ordered that the ministers who are appointed to the missions of the Indians, both seculars and friars, must know the language of the Indians whom they have to instruct and teach; that they shall have the qualifications that are required for the duties of the curacies that they have to perform; and that the religious missionaries be visited by the secular prelates in regard to the curacies: I have been informed that it is not obeyed as is advisable; that the prelates do not exercise the care that is advisable in examining the said religious missionaries, in order to satisfy you that they are competent and that they thoroughly understand the language of those whom they are going to teach; and that many of their omissions and excesses in the administration of the sacraments and the exercise of the duties of curas are not remedied in the visitations. That is a great obstacle, and consequently the Indians suffer considerably in the spiritual and temporal. I have heard that their superiors are less careful in this, and in the choice of the persons, than they ought to be. And inasmuch as it is advisable for the service of God our Lord and for mine, and for the welfare of the Indians, that the ministers of instruction be such as are required for this ministry, and that they know the Indians' language, I charge you strictly that, in accordance with what is decreed and ordained, you do not permit or allow, in the missions in charge of the orders in the district of that archbishopric, any religious to come to perform the duties of cura or to exercise that duty, unless he shall first be examined and approved by you or by the person who shall be appointed by you for that purpose, in order to satisfy yourself that he has the necessary ability, and that he knows the language of the Chinese or Indians whom he has to instruct. Those whom you shall find, in the visits that you shall make, who have not the competency, good qualities, and good example that are requisite, and who do not know sufficiently the language of the Indians whom they are to instruct, you shall remove; and you shall advise their superiors, so that they may appoint others who have the necessary qualifications, in which they also must be examined. You shall advise me of all that you do in this matter. Given in San Lorenzo, November fourteen, one thousand six hundred and three.

I The King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Juan de Ybarra"

With the above royal decree was despatched another to the royal Audiencia, in which its observance and fulfilment is ordered and charged; and another to the same archbishop, which only contains the statement that he is strictly charged with its fulfilment. [15] His Majesty says in it that it is advisable to do this for the relief of his royal conscience and that of the archbishop himself. Those decrees having arrived in the ships that came in the year six hundred and five, Don Fray Miguel de Benavides, archbishop at that time, as soon as he received them, presented all three in the royal meeting held on the second of June, of the said year, and they were obeyed and ordered to be fulfilled. But as the said archbishop died within two months, he could not carry them out; and consequently they were left unobserved, because the cabildo succeeded to the government of the vacant see. Afterward, Archbishop Don Diego Vazquez de Mercado, either because he knew nothing about them, or because he was so far prevented by his age and infirmity (as all know), did not put them into practice. At his death, Don Fray Diego de Arce, bishop of Zibu, governed this archbishopric; but he did not know of the said decrees. But as they have come to my notice, and since we are obliged, both myself and your Paternities, to observe and obey what his Holiness and his Majesty order in regard to this, as above stated, we cannot excuse ourselves from immediately putting it into execution.

We shall not be able to delay the observance of the said royal decree, by saying that since twenty years have passed since its issue, without having given it a beginning, it will be well to await his Majesty's will once more; for, besides that things are today in the same condition as then, it appears that his Majesty, having heard that the said royal decree was not being observed in Nueva Espana, either because the bishops had no knowledge of it, or for other reasons, gave it again to the viceroy, Marquis de Guadalcazar, under date of November nineteen, six hundred and eighteen, in which, inserting word for word the first decree above mentioned of November fourteen, six hundred and three, he orders it to be obeyed in the following words:

"And inasmuch as it is my intention and will that what I have ordained and ordered in regard to the above be strictly observed and executed, I order you to examine the said my decree which is here incorporated, and to observe and obey it in toto, according to its contents and declarations, just as if I were talking with you, and it were directed to you. Such is my will, notwithstanding that in the lapse of time, and with the claims of the prelates and missionaries, it has been winked at or another custom introduced, which shall, under no circumstance, be in any manner allowed. Given in Madrid, November nineteen, one thousand six hundred and eighteen.

I The King

By order of the king our sovereign:

Pedro de Ledesma"

And the archbishop of Mexico having reported to his Majesty that the above decree of his Majesty of six hundred and eighteen had not been shown by the viceroy, although he had had it in his possession for some time, his Majesty despatched other new decrees to the said viceroy and archbishop, under date of February eighteen and August twenty-five, six hundred and twenty, in which, he again orders them to observe and obey the said first decree to the said archbishop, in these words: "And since your person is authorized, not only by the council of Trent, but by the declaration of the cardinals, and by common law, to proceed to the visit for the reformation of all the missionaries, both seculars and regulars, you shall endeavor to relieve your conscience and mine."

Consequently, neither of us will by any means satisfy our obligations, if we neglect to carry out the commands of his Holiness and of his Majesty in this regard, so that we may report to his Majesty in the first ships that his royal will has been fulfilled.

From the above, and from the jurisdiction and authority conceded to the bishops over their sheep by the sacred canons, councils, and briefs of the holy apostolic see, it is manifest with what want of reason and foundation has been the assertion and declaration made three or four times by Father Pedro de San Pablo, provincial of the Order of St. Francis, in the royal courts about one month ago, while reporting a suit of the fiscals of the missions of the Indians—namely, that the provincials of the orders of these islands, and the regular ministers of the Yndias, had more jurisdiction and power, by virtue of their privileges, over the Indians in regard to matters concerning the ministry of their missions than had the bishops and archbishops in whose dioceses the said missions are located. That appears to be a universal sentiment and practice of the said religious, by what we have experienced in the course of the visitation to the Indians of our archbishopric that we have as yet made. Given in Manila, March twenty-nine, one thousand six hundred and twenty-two. [16]

Fray Miguel, archbishop.

[On April two and three, Don Gabriel de Mujica, the archbishopric's secretary, delivered in person a similar copy of the above notifications to [each of] the fathers-provincial—namely, Fray Juan Henrriquez, Augustinian; Fray Miguel Ruiz, Dominican; Fray Cristobal de Santa Ana, commissary visitor of St. Francis. On June 20, the archbishop began his visits through the parish of Dilao, causing an edict of the following tenor to be published from the pulpit during high mass.]

We, Don Fray Diego Garcia Serrano, by the grace of God and the holy apostolic see, archbishop of the Philipinas, member of his Majesty's council, etc.: To you, the faithful Christians, citizens, dwellers, residents, and inhabitants of the village of Dilao, which is administered by the Order of St. Francis, of whatever state, rank, and preeminence you may be, greeting in our Lord Jesus Christ. We cause you to know that the holy fathers, inspired personally by the Holy Spirit in their sacred councils, piously and rightly ordered and commanded that all the prelates and pastors of the universal Church be obliged, in person or through their visitors, to make annually a general visit and investigation of their subordinates and clergy, both seculars and regulars, who have in charge the administration of souls. This shall include the offices that they hold, in curacies and in churches, hermitages, hospitals, and confraternities, all which should be directed to the spiritual welfare of souls—which consists in being, through the grace of God, our Lord, separated from sins, especially public and disgraceful sins, which offend His [Divine] Majesty so greatly. In order to fulfil this our obligation, we admonish and order that those of you who shall know or who shall have heard anything said concerning the father cura, your minister, who has charge of you in the matter of the administration of sacraments, or of any other person, which cannot or ought not to be tolerated by the citizens and inhabitants of this said village of Dilao, of whatever nation and rank he be, shall tell and declare it to us; especially if he shall have committed what will be mentioned and related to you later in this edict, in whole or in part, or any other thing similar to it. You shall declare and manifest the same before us within the three days first following after this our letter and edict shall be declared and read to you.

First, if you know or have heard said whether the said father cura N., your minister, has been remiss and negligent in the administration of the holy sacraments of baptism, penance, the eucharist, extreme unction, and matrimony.

Item: Whether anyone has died without holy baptism through his neglect and carelessness, or without confession, communion, or extreme unction.

Item: If you know whether the said your minister has not said mass for you on every Sunday or feast that is observed; or whether he has made any signal omission in this; and whether he preaches and teaches the Christian doctrine to you, as he is obliged.

Item: Whether the administration of the holy sacraments takes place with the reverence and propriety that is fitting; whether he has married anyone before daybreak, or without the admonitions ordered by the holy council, or without the notification of our vicars, and their permission having preceded, in the cases in which it ought to be made and asked for; and whether the baptisms that have taken place have been in the baptismal font of the church, with all respect and reverence.

Item: If you know whether the said your minister keeps the tariff of the fees—both those which pertain to him and those that pertain to singers, fiscals, and sacristans—written and placed openly where all may read it, so that they may know what they have to pay; or whether he has forced the natives to give more alms than they owe or are willing to give for marriages, baptisms, or burials, whether in money or in other things.

Item: Whether the said your minister is careful to execute the pious foundations and the wills of his parishioners; or whether these have failed to be observed through his fault.

Item: Whether the said your minister is careful to register his parishioners, both natives and those of other nations, at the time of Lent; and whether he has confessed them during that time, or tried to confess them; and whether he has, after Lent, made any effort to ascertain whether they fulfilled their duties to the church according to their obligation.

Item: If you know whether the said your minister has concealed any public or notorious sin of his parishioners, that has come to his notice, and has not endeavored to have it remedied by the persons who can remedy it.

Item: If you know whether the said your minister has not looked after the property of the church, the silver, and ornaments, and everything belonging to it; and whether any property has been lost by his carelessness and negligence.

Item: If you know whether the said minister, in the public sins that have come to his notice and that he has punished, has condemned the sinners to pecuniary fines, or something of value, such as wax, cloth, or other things; and whether he has failed to apply the said fines to those to whom they belong, in accordance with his Holiness's brief and his Majesty's decrees.

Item: If you know whether the fiscals have performed their duty poorly; or whether they live in sin, or are dishonest, or they conceal sins or concubinage; or whether they receive bribes; or whether with their authority as fiscal they have annoyed the Indians, or have taken rice, fowls, or other things at a less price; or whether they have imposed any tax under pretext of alms for the church, by their authority that they possess as ministers of it; or whether they have taken more fees than belong to them by our tariffs.

Item: If you know whether the choristers and sacristans have likewise taken larger fees than are assigned them by our said tariffs, for burials, funeral honors, and other things that belong to them; and whether, when any poor man has died who has not the wherewithal to pay the fees, they have refused to bury him unless they are paid, or unless they receive pledges that they demand before burying him.

Item: If you know whether there are any apostates of our holy Catholic faith; or who practice any evil worship; or who possess or read books of it.

Item: Whether there are any who are living in public concubinage, or as whoremongers; or who keep in their houses slave women, or other women or men of evil life, in order to commit sins.

Item: Whether there are any who have not confessed, or fulfilled the precept of the church, according to their obligation; or whether there are any who have eaten meat unnecessarily during Lent on the fast of Friday or the four ember days.

Item: Whether there are any married twice while the first husbands or wives are living, or who are married to relatives in the degree prohibited, without dispensation from him who can give it.

Item: If you know whether there are any usurers who loan money at usury and interest; or who sell on credit at a dearer price than the things are worth when cash is paid; or who buy at a less price in order to give the money advanced with the imposition or fraud and usury.

Item: If you know whether there are any, either of you natives, or of any other nation, either men or women, who are sorcerers, or witches, or magicians; or those who pray to the devil, or who cast any kind of lots, whether to discover theft, or to ascertain other things by enchantments and witchcraft.

And inasmuch as the above evil is a very great offense and disservice to God our Lord; and as it is advisable to remedy that herein contained that has been committed: we order, exhort, and admonish all the citizens, dwellers, residents, and inhabitants of this said village of Dilao [to make known these things], within the said term of three days—under penalty that, if they know it and do not declare it, they shall, if it be proved, be punished most severely.

Given in this village of Dilao, June twenty-four, one thousand six hundred and twenty-two.

Fray Miguel, archbishop. By order of the bishop, my master: Licentiate Alonso Ramirez

[While the archbishop was proclaiming the visitation in the church of the above village, father Fray Jose Fonte, secretary of father commissary Fray Cristobal de Santa Ana, presented to him the following petition.]

Fray Christoval de Santa Ana, preacher and commissary visitor of the discalced Franciscans of this province of San Gregorio, etc.: I declare that, as I have been informed that your Lordship intends to visit the missions and their ministers of the said my order in this archbishopric—which is not only an innovation, and a thing not done by the other archbishops, the predecessors of your most illustrious Lordship, but also contrary to the ordinance of the brief of his Holiness Pius V, despatched in Roma, March twenty-four, one thousand five hundred and sixty-seven, in which, notwithstanding the ordinance of the holy council of Trent, authority is given to the religious who are occupied in the conversion of, and preaching to, the Indians, to perform the office of curas and administer the holy sacraments, with subordination to the superiors of their order, and exemption from the bishops and ordinary judges—accordingly the said my order receives violence and injury from your Lordship's endeavor. [17]

I petition and entreat you, in observance of the ordinance of his Holiness, to preserve the said ministers and the said my order in their exemption and privileges; if this be not done, I protest that I shall make use of the other powers conceded to my order by the apostolic see, and the remedies that belong to it by law. I petition justice, etc.

Fray Christoval de Santa Ana, commissary-visitor.

... His Lordship having seen the said petition and having noted the brief of his Holiness and its contents, declared: That besides that the said brief is revoked by a motu proprio of his Holiness Gregory XIII, under date of Roma, on the kalends of March, of the year five hundred and seventy-three, by which are revoked all concessions and privileges that his Holiness Pius V conceded to the religious of the mendicant orders, reducing them to the terms of the law and of the holy council of Trent, even in case that the brief of his Holiness Pius V, which has been read, is not comprehended in the said revocation, his Holiness Pius V did not make any innovation in the rulings of the holy council in regard to the religious who administer souls being immediately subject as far as such ministers are concerned, and in everything that pertains to the administration of sacraments, to the jurisdiction, visit, and correction of the bishop in whose diocese they minister. For, as is evident by the said brief, his Holiness was requested, at the instance of his Majesty, to be pleased to decree concerning as many things as had been ordered in the holy council of Trent; namely: first, that marriages should not be allowed to be celebrated except in the presence of the parish priest or by his permission; second, that the religious could not preach without the permission of the bishop; third, that they could not hear confessions without having been examined by the ordinary; fourth, that the bishops could erect new parishes in places very far apart. [18]

And in regard to the fact that the religious were exercising the duties of parish priests in the Yndias, it was necessary to provide relief in the above four things. His Holiness, in accordance with that petition and request, decides the first three points in favor of the said religious, so that, having been examined and approved by their superiors, in the form ordered by the said brief, the permission of the ordinaries was not necessary in order to exercise their offices; and then his Holiness, immediately providing for the fourth, orders that there be no innovation by the ordinaries in the custom followed before. Consequently, his Holiness decided in this regard that, if it were the custom before the council for the ordinaries to erect new parishes in the missions administered by the religious of the Yndias, his Holiness orders that that custom be retained; and if not, that there be no innovation; and that the said brief does not treat of other things. Consequently, his Lordship orders that the visitation that he has commenced be continued; and he made declaration to that effect through the interpreter, Christoval de Vera. Thus did he decree and order, and he affixed his signature.

Fray Miguel, archbishop. Before me: Licentiate Alonso Ramirez

[Father Fray Alonso de Valdemoro, definitor of the province of San Gregorio, was then president and minister of the mission and ministry of Dilao. In consequence of the aforesaid, the archbishop having ordered him to open the sacristy, in order to inspect the holy sacrament, and to examine the adornment that was there, he said that he could not do it. Notwithstanding that reply, the prelate ordered him once more to open the sacristy, where the most holy sacrament was kept, in order that he might proceed with the said visit, "which he was to obey immediately under penalty of the greater excommunication, latae sententiae ipso facto incurrenaa, and four years' suspension from the office of the ministry of souls." The father minister, having been informed of the act, insisted on his reply, basing his action on the pontifical privileges of his order. In respect to the royal decrees, he said that he was obeying them, but that it was necessary that they should be communicated to his own regular superior, who had the right of answering them; "and consequently, that in virtue of the said briefs, by which he is exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishops in regard to the ministry and visit that his Excellency intends to make; and by law, inasmuch as he is not the archbishop's sheep or subject, the said excommunication ... does not oblige or bind him. Accordingly, let his most illustrious Lordship determine that matter with his superior, whom the said father is bound to obey; and, while this matter is not clear, he does not consider as harmful the penalties and censures imposed by his Excellency. He affixed his signature, witnesses being Captain Gregorio de Galarca, Alferez Antonio de Viana, and Don Melchor de Valdes, and many other persons.

Fray Alonso de Valdemoro, definitor.

Before me, and I attest it:

Licentiate Alonso Ramirez"

Thereupon the archbishop ordered his notary to read the act passed on the twenty-second of the same month, "in which is discussed the right of his Excellency to make this visitation. Together with it the archbishop ordered the clause of the brief of Gregory Fourteenth to be read and communicated to him, which treats of this visitation and the decrees of his Majesty which are in these acts, so that the said father should not pretend ignorance of it. Thus did he order, and he affixed his signature.

Fray Miguel, archbishop."

The definitor responded "that in consideration of the fact that when his Holiness concedes any indult, and orders any new mandate, he is seen to address himself, as is his constant custom, to the chief men, to whom it pertains to carry out any new mandate, the same law extends to the decrees sent by his Majesty, which are directed to the chief persons, to whom it pertains to answer the said decrees and mandates of his Holiness. Consequently, as it does not appear that his prelate and superior, to whom it pertains to receive and answer the said decrees and clauses of the said brief that have been communicated to him, has been notified of them; and as it is not apparent to him from the said reply: he cannot make any innovation until such time as the will of his superior, with whom those matters must be discussed, is known to him...."

Having received that reply, the archbishop "declared the said father, Fray Alonso de Valdemoro, to have incurred the penalty of greater excommunication and of suspension from his office as minister, which is imposed on him; and that, as such excommunicate, he was deprived of what excommunication deprives one; and in order that he might not allege or pretend ignorance, this declaration, stating that he has incurred the censures imposed, is to be read and communicated to him...."

Having heard the act, Father Valdemoro replied: "that, in consideration of the replies that he has given, and his protestation against the violence that his Excellency has exercised toward his order, and the lack of summons, [19] which are an intrinsic right in excommunication, he does not consider himself as such excommunicate, until information has been given to his superior, as he has said, and in the meantime he does not consider himself injured...."

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