Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Diocese of Kyoto

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Diocese of Kyoto
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In a land area of 17,832 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Kyoto, Shiga, Nara and Mie prefectures.


In the territory of Kyoto diocese, the population is 7,236,492 at end of 2016. Most residents are ethnic Japanese. There are also 150,116 non-Japanese people, according to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.


The territory also has many languages/dialects.


The prefecture apostolic of Kyoto was established on June 17, 1937, from the four prefectures of Kyoto, Nara, Mie and Shiga, which belonged to the diocese of Osaka. It was entrusted to the Maryknoll Fathers.

The first prefect apostolic was Monsignor Patrick Byrne, M.M. However, with his resignation in 1940, Father Yoshiyuki Furuya became prefect apostolic. On July 12, 1951, the prefecture apostolic was raised to the status of a diocese, and Monsignor Furuya was consecrated the first bishop of Kyoto on Sept. 21, the same year.

With the resignation of Bishop Furuya in 1976, Father Ken'ichi Tanaka was appointed bishop of Kyoto and was consecrated on Sept. 23, 1976.

Bishop Tanaka resigned due to health reasons on March 3, 1997, and Father Yoshinao Otsuka was ordained bishop of Kyoto on May 25, 1997.


Airplanes, railways, ships and buses are in use in the diocesan territory.


Throughout Japan, the literacy rate is 99 percent, according to the Central Intelligence Agency, US, 2010.

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