The UST Center for Theology, Religious Studies and Ethics (CTRSE) was granted by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) the privilege to research “The Present State of the Philippine Christianity” in line with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.
The main objective of the project is to describe the current state of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, its historical context, challenges, and future. The essential aspect of the celebration of 500 years of Christianity is the historical dimension.
The 500th anniversary calls on the Catholic Church in the Philippines for an intense reflection inside and outside. As Bishop Broderick Pabillo, then auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Manila, has succinctly expressed in the CBCP Plenary Assembly, “So what if we are celebrating 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines?” Implying that the more important question is to ask about the future of the Church.
This study is significant in the on-going introspection of the CBCP regarding the relevance and the future of the Philippine Catholic Church amidst the growing social issues, concerns, and faith-life of the Catholic faithful and the Philippine society in general.
In the words of Bishop Pablo David, there is a need for comprehensive data to serve as a basis for deciding if it is now high time for the Philippine Church to convene its Third Plenary Council. The research study aims, therefore, primarily to assist the Bishops, through the CBCP, to have a credible and scientific basis of understanding the present state of Philippine Catholic Christianity for the renewal and relevance of the Church in the years to come.
CTRSE Director Rev. Fr. Jannel Abogado, OP, is the project supervisor, while Dr. Pablito A. Baybado, Jr., is the project head. Providing their expertise are: Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P., (Church History), Dr. Emmanuel Batoon, (Political Science), Asst. Prof. Chris Esparagoza (Theology), Dr. Clarence Batan (Sociology). Research Center for Social Sciences and Education Director Dr. Belinda de Castro, is a project consultant.