Friday, October 27, 2017

Breakaway Philippine church marks 20 years of female priests Philippine Independent Church vows to pursue policy of providing equality for women

The Philippine Independent Church vowed to continue to empower women as it marked this week 20 years of ordaining them as priests.
The church, also called Iglesia Filipina Independiente, is a Christian denomination that split from the Catholic Church in 1902 due to the alleged mistreatment of Filipinos by Spanish priests.
In 1996, the church, which has about 6 million followers in 42 dioceses, approved the ordination of women.
"The ordination of women has enabled the church to become more relevant to its time and to society," said Supreme Bishop Rhee Timbang.
He said this year's celebration acknowledged the service of 30 female priests and nine female deacons who have become "vital in the lengthy struggle of introducing women to priestly ministry."
Rosalina Rabaria, the first woman ordained a priest in 1997, said the acceptance of women as part of the clergy is a "historical victory in the struggle against biblical patriarchy [and] church hierarchical and cultural biases."
Erahvilla Maga Cabillas, another female priest, said the ordination of women is a "revolutionary breakthrough" even as she admitted that, "discrimination against female priests still exists."
Noel Dionicio Dacuycuy, chairman of the Council of Priests of the Philippine Independent Church, said the "total liberation of women ... can only be achieved through a dynamic involvement in the struggle of the vast majority of poor Filipinos."

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