60 clergy and lay of the Diocese of Misamis Oriental, Bukdinon and Camiguin came together at the Diocesan Christian Education and Nurture Training (DCENT) Center, Pro-Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro city for the diocesan forum on the Declaration of Faith and Articles of Religion (DFAR) of the IFI. The activity was aimed at advancing the reading and understanding of the DFAR with the IFI nationalist heritage in mind. This is in line with the continuing Christian education program of the diocese under the MOBUCA 2012 consistent to the Ten Year Strategic Plan (TYSP) of the IFI.
The Revd Dr. Terry Revollido, SThD, rector of the Aglipay Central Theological Seminary and the honored resource person who gave the topics: (1) IFI Heritage: Grounding the DFAR; (2) Understanding DFAR through the Lens of the IFI Heritage, said that to his knowledge this was the first time for a diocesan activity purposely held to discuss the DFAR. He also mentioned that it was his first speaking engagement after receiving his doctorate degree. It was also his first time to discuss DFAR at a fuller length.
The delegates appreciated very much the resource person and his mastery of the subject. They learned many things. Remarkable is that (1) during the Aglipay era the IFI weakened orthodoxy while maintaining a very high level of nationalism; (2) during the Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., era the IFI regained orthodoxy while the nationalism of the Church weakened. But most importantly during the discussion the resource person made it clear that in the present era the IFI as a Church lived as both an orthodox and a nationalist Church as exemplified by the Most Revd Alberto Ramento. He suggested that any discussion on IFI faith should go beyond DFAR. He even showed samples of interpreting the articles of religion in the eyes of the nationalist heritage of the Church.
The Right Revd Felixberto L. Calang, diocesan bishop, said the activity was just a beginning of the diocese of MOBUCA’s effort to educate the faithful of the local church of the basic teachings of the IFI. The program cabinet of the diocese, the diocesan Committee on Christian Education will formulate a catechetical module on the DFAR which will be based largely on the forum. The said module will be used by the parishes in the diocese for the education campaign so that there will be a unified understanding of the DFAR. The forum also resolved to submit a resolution to the SCB for the SCB to formulate an official commentary on the DFAR to be used in the dioceses.