The Filipino Archbishops of Manila

In the middle of the 20 th century, the archdiocese finally came under the leadership of Filipino bishops.


Jose F. Cardinal Advincula (2021-Present)

Born on March 30, 1952 in Dumalag, Capiz. Took up seminary formation at the St. Pius X Seminary in Roxas City, Capiz, and the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary in Manila. Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Capiz on April 4, 1976. Studied at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) where he earned his Licentiate in Canon Law. Ordained Bishop of San Carlos, Negros on September 8, 2001. Appointed Archbishop of Capiz in 2011. Elevated by Pope Francis to the College of Cardinals in the Consistory of November 28, 2020. Designated as the 33 rd Archbishop of Manila on March 25, 2021 and took canonical possession of the See of Manila on June 24, 2021. As a member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, he was chairman of the Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and of the Office on Women, a member of the Commissions on the Doctrine of the Faith, on Social Action, Justice and Peace, and of the Committee on International Eucharistic Congress.


Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle (2011-2020)

Born in Manila on June 21, 1957. Studied at San Jose Seminary in Quezon City. Took up licentiate and doctorate in theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Became Rector of Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol in Tagaytay City from 1984-2011. Became a member of the International Theological Commission from 1997-2002. Ordained Bishop of Imus on December 12, 2001. Formally installed as Archbishop of Manila on December 12, 2011. Elevated to the Cardinalate on November 24, 2012. Member of different Congregations and Pontifical Commission: Permanent Council of the Synod of Bishops, Congregation for Catholic Education, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Pontifical Council for Family, Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, Pontifical Council for the Laity, Pontifical Council for Cor Unum. Serves as President of the Catholic Biblical Federation and Caritas Internationalis. Appointed by Pope Francis as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in 2020.


Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales (2003-2011)

Born on August 10, 1932 in Batangas City. Studied at San Jose Minor Seminary and at San Jose Major Seminary, Manila. While as Bishop of the Diocese of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, accompanied local church in its gallant struggle against unbridled commercial and illegal logging, and represented Malaybalay in the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Became Archbishop of Lipa in 1992, where later he founded the Pondong Batangan, a value-based community foundation, and organized the Lipa Archdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly (LAGPAS), forerunners of the now-operational Pondo ng Pinoy and of the first Manila Interdiocesan General Pastoral Assembly (MIGPAS) in 2004, which he also organized. As chairman of the Episcopal Commission of the Clergy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), convened the first National Congress of the Clergy in the Philippines in July 2004. Chosen to represent CBCP in three World Synods of Bishops (1990, 1997, and 2001). Elevated to the Cardinalate on March 24, 2006.


Jaime L. Cardinal Sin (1974-2003)

He served from 1974 to 2003. He presided at very significant events which led to a reinvigoration of the faith and of a deeper assessment and evaluation of the life of the local Church. In 1979, he convened the Fourth Synod of Manila which saw, for the first time, the active and full-fledged membership of the laity in an archdiocesan synod. In February 1981, the country was blessed with the visit of Pope John Paul II who presided over the grace-filled event of the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz who, in 1987, would be canonized as the first Filipino saint. In April of the same year, the Manila Cathedral was elevated to a Minor Basilica.


Rufino J. Cardinal Santos (1953-1974)

He served from 1953 to 1974. He succeeded Archbishop Reyes and held the distinction of being the first Filipino cardinal. Cardinal Santos paved the way for the establishment of Catholic Charities, St. Paul Hospital (now the Cardinal Santos Medical Center ). He also re-established the Philippine Trust Company and the Catholic Travel Office. During his term, the Manila Cathedral, which was damaged by World War II, was reconstructed and dedicated to the patronage of the Immaculate Conception on December 10, 1958 . It was also during his term that His Holiness Pope Paul VI made a pastoral visit to the Philippines, the first ever by a Supreme Pontiff in the history of the Philippine Church. The Holy Father’s journey was also occasioned by the Asian Bishops’ Meeting, which was graced the presence of the Holy Father himself.


Gabriel M. Reyes19 (1949-1952)

He is the first Filipino Archbishop of Manila, served from 1949 to 1952. Among his tangible achievements were the establishment of the San Carlos Seminary and the parochial schools. His vision to build a Catholic center was realized by his successor with the building of the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center on U.N. Avenue in Manila .

Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Manila Metropolitan Cathedral

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