PH, Holy See to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations

The Holy See and the Republic of the Philippines celebrate the 70th year of their diplomatic ties in 2021. One of the activities for this milestone is a virtual lecture that will be held on November 18, 2021, organized by the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila in collaboration with the University of Santo Tomas.

The online lecture titled "An Overview of the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and the Philippines" will be delivered by Fr. Nestor Impelido, SDB. He teaches Church History at the Don Bosco School of Theology and concurrently serves as the Archivist of the Salesian of Don Bosco Archives. It will be livestreamed for public viewing on the official UST YouTube channel and Facebook page on November 18, 2021, at 3:45 P.M.

This webinar will feature messages from the following officials: Holy See Secretary for Relations with States Most Rev. Paul Gallagher, D.D.; Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Hon. Teodoro Locsin, Jr.; Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Excellency Archbishop Charles John Brown, D.D.; and UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D.

Serving as members of the Panel of Reactors will be: Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Church Cultural Heritage chairman and Bishop of Dumaguete Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D., and UST secretary-general and UST asst. archivist Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P., E.H.L.

The Philippines, as the nation with the largest Catholic population in Asia, has held diplomatic relations with the Holy See in high regard. Key moments in their seven-decade-long joint history include the four Papal Visits to the Philippines, first by Pope Paul VI in 1970, Pope John Paul II in 1981 and 1995, and most recently, Pope Francis in 2015. The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the Catholic University of the Philippines, has hosted Eucharistic Celebrations or encounters with the youth on campus during each pastoral and state visit by the Roman Pontiff.

Diplomatic ties between the Holy See and the Philippines began on April 8, 1951. Its 70th anniversary coincides with the 500th year of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, a country where over 80 percent of its population profess the Catholic faith. The Filipinos are recognized as the third-largest Catholic population in the world.