Thursday, July 26, 2012

Archbishop Socrates Villegas issues decree on the Nicene Creed

In the Philippines, since the 1970's, the Apostles' Creed has been the usual or default Creed for Masses on Sundays and Solemnities, except in a few parishes and a few dioceses (such as the Diocese of Tagbilaran). This practice predates even the universal permission given in the 2002 edition of the Missal of Paul VI (also known as the "2002 Missal" or the "Missal of Bl. John Paul II") for the Apostles' Creed to be substituted for the Nicene (or Nicene-Constantinopolitan) Creed. The result? At least two generations of Filipino Catholics who are largely unfamiliar with the Nicene Creed and its strong and unavoidable affirmation of the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit. In a country beset by heresies relating specifically to Christology and the Trinity this is disastrous, to say the least. (It is true that the Apostles' Creed accurately proclaims the Catholic faith, but it does so with less detail and less explicitness particularly about the Divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit.)

The Nicene Creed in Latin
Now, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, has issued a decree on familiarizing the faithful of his diocese with this glorious Creed, and mandating that it be returned to all Masses on Sundays and Solemnities in his Archdiocese.

I personally hope that more Filipino bishops will follow suit. The Year of the New Evangelization should, by its very title, be concerned above all with bringing the basics of the Gospel and therefore of the Catholic faith back to the minds and hearts of the faithful. The Gospel cannot be boiled down to a mere set of encouragements to moral and upright living, and the Catholic faith is not merely about being kind to everyone. The Gospel and the entire Catholic faith are centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and to preach Christ entails proclaiming the whole truth about Him, including His Divinity, His perfections, and His claims as the sole Way, Truth and Life. What better way to start (at least in the Philippines) than by reminding our people once more of the Nicene Creed?

I would like to point out as well that the re-introduction of the Nicene Creed to the Mass will not "endanger" the Apostles' Creed. In addition to being a catechetical mainstay, the Apostles' Creed will continue to be said at the beginning of the favorite devotion of numerous Filipinos: the Holy Rosary.

The original Greek text of the Nicene Creed

From the website of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan:

July 31, 2012

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Circular 2012-22

RE: Using the Nicene Creed

My dear brothers in the priesthood and religious sisters:

When the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI opens the Year of Faith on October 11 this year, culminating on the Solemnity of Christ the King next year on November 24, the focal point of all the programs for the year will be the profession of faith. The Holy See has expressed its earnest intention to make the profession of faith a daily prayer for all Catholics. The Holy Father himself wants all Catholics to become more familiar with the Nicene Creed which is the profession of faith prescribed in the Missal for Sundays and solemnities. Here is the translation of the Nicene Creed in the third edition of the Roman Missal that is now prescribed for public praying daily beginning October 11:

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. And one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

In obedience to the Holy See, please observe the following directives:

1) The Nicene Creed must be taught in all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan beginning August 1, 2012 in preparation for the opening of the Year of Faith; 
2) Parishes and schools must reproduce copies of the Nicene Creed in order to help our Catholic faithful pray the profession of faith daily beginning October 11. 
3) The Nicene Creed must be prayed by all pupils in our Catholic schools at the start of each class day either in the classroom or after the flag ceremony. 
4) Beginning October 14, 2012, the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Nicene Creed will be the form of the profession of faith that we shall use in all Sunday Masses and solemnities.

Let us avail of the opportunity before us to renew among our Catholic faithful love for the Lord, loyalty to the Church and pride in our Catholic tradition during the Year of Faith and through the years ahead.

Sincerely yours,


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan


  1. Peace of Jesus and Mary!

    Do we also have the Tagalog version of the Nicene Creed?

    Thank you.

  2. I believe I saw one translation though not sure if there was ever a CBCP or a holy see approved tagalog version of it.

  3. at least now, I know the difference.