Fr. Aglipay was a Roman Catholic priest and Filipino nationalist at a time of rising patriotism and anti-colonialism in the Spanish-occupied islands. He was a republican, moderate politically, who defended the Spanish clergy from militant attacks, but the Spanish-dominated hierarchy would brook no dissent and excommunicated him. He gathered followers, including Isabelo de los Reyes, who formed the Philippine Independent Church (IFI) in 1902, and agreed to become its Supreme Bishop. IFI, a member of the World Council of Churches, is recognized by the Anglican Communion; a few American clergy serve as honorary canons in the Philippine Church.

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