His Eminence 
Gaudencio Borbon Rosales
Cardinal Archbishop of Manila
The Archbishop in the 1950s.
See Archdiocese of Manila
Enthroned November 21, 2003
Reign ended Incumbent
Predecessor Jaime Sin
Created Cardinal March 24, 2006
Other Archbishop of Lipa
Personal details
Born August 10, 1932 (1932-08-10) (age 85)
Batangas City, Batangas

Gaudencio Borbon Rosales (born August 10, 1932) is the current Cardinal Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, succeeding Jaime Sin in 2003. Rosales concurrently holds the titles of Metropolitan and de facto Primate of the Philippines, and is the Cardinal Priest of SS. Nome di Maria in Via Latina. He is only the fourth native Filipino Archbishop of Manila — following centuries of Spanish and Irish-American episcopacy.

Early life and ordination

Rosales was born in Batangas City, Batangas. Rosales' grandfathers were Julian Rosales, a former mayor of the town of Batangas and Pablo Borbon, a former governor of Batangas province. Rosales' father, Dr. Godofredo Dilay Rosales, was one of the first Filipino physicians to acquire his medical school and residency training exclusively in the United States of America, after which he returned home to practice in Batangas City. Rosales' mother, Remedios Mayo Borbón, was the first cousin of the great Filipino nationalist, Claro M. Recto. He is the 3rd of 7 siblings, the others being Rosie, Guillermo ( deceased), Gabriel, Tessie, Gilbert and Mary Grace.

As a boy, he wanted already to be a priest. He studied theology at the San Jose Seminary, and has as classmates two other future bishops: Bishop Severino Pelayo, former bishop of the military ordinariate, and Bishop Benjamin Almoneda, former bishop of Daet, Camarines Norte. On March 23, 1958, he was ordained priest by Bishop Alejandro Olalia, and then assigned to teach for 11 years in seminary of the Archdiocese of Lipa (which was then merely a diocese).

Parish priest

In 1970, he was given his first parish assignment—an obscure barrio named Banay-banay. He was told by the other priests not to stay long there because there was nothing much to do there. He replied with the spirit that has characterized his whole priestly life, “I will look for something to do.” And he did. He visited practically every house in his parish, meeting with everyone in the process. Up to now, the people in the place which he served for two-and-a-half years remember the tall, kindly priest.

File:Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales (1950s).jpg

His performance and reputation must have impressed the bishop, for he was transferred to the biggest parish of the diocese, in Batangas City. Ricardo Vidal was then his bishop, and soon afterwards, he was named auxiliary bishop of Manila, the first Batangueño to be made bishop under the stewardship of then Archbishop Vidal. Bishop Rosales was given by the saintly bishop, Alfredo Obviar, his bishop’s staff, which Bishop Rosales has been using ever since.


At the request of Rufino Jiao Santos, Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Rosales was appointed by Pope Paul VI on August 12, 1974 to become auxiliary bishop in the nation's capital. He was assigned to help the Manila archbishop in shepherding a very big area of the archdiocese of Manila. He took care of the ecclesiastical district of Antipolo, as well as San Juan, Mandaluyong, and Grace Park. Rosales was officially ordained as bishop of the titular see of Oescus in a ceremony on October 28, 1974. In 1980, he was assigned as rector of the major seminary, San Carlos Seminary.

His term as rector was brief, though, for on June 9, 1982, he was appointed coadjutor bishop to the then controversial and prophetic Bishop Francisco Claver, of Diocese of Malaybalay, Bukidnon. In this moment of difficulty, Rosales recalled that a stampita (holy picture) dropped from his breviary (liturgy of the hours). It was from Mother (now Blessed) Teresa of Calcutta. When he picked it up, he saw the writing at the back. It read: “Allow God to use you without first consulting you.” These words brought peace to his soul. On September 14, 1984, Rosales succeeded the Bishop of Malaybalay taking complete authority over the diocese. He started his ministry in Malaybalay by forming with his people, especially the priest and religious there, a vision of the diocese: that of the total development of every person and all persons, brought about by Jesus Christ. In that difficult assignment, he was able to bring about the unity of the clergy as they struggled especially for justice, peace and environmental protection. He often looks back to his days there as the golden moments of his ministry.

Archbishop of Lipa and Manila

When Archbishop Mariano Gaviola of Lipa retired, Rosales was appointed on December 30, 1992 to replace him, bringing him back to the diocese where he began his priestly ministry. Rosales was elevated to become Archbishop of Lipa.

With the announced retirement of Cardinal Jaime Sin, one of the beloved architects of the People Power Movement of the EDSA Revolution, the Papal Nuncio told Archbishop Rosales of his impending appointment as archbishop of Manila. He begged the Nuncio with tears not to have him appointed, but the Nuncio did not relent. Appointed by Pope John Paul II on September 15, 2003, Rosales was installed at Manila Cathedral on November 21, 2003.


File:Coat of arms rosales red.JPG.jpg
Styles of
Gaudencio Rosales
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Manila

Rosales's elevation to the College of Cardinals was announced on February 22, 2006. Archbishop Antonio Franco, then the Holy See Representative (Apostolic Nuncio) to the Philippines, personally made the announcement at the Manila Cathedral in the Intramuros where he presided the mass for the 40th anniversary of the Focolare movement, a Church organization.

Pope Benedict XVI officially created Archbishop Rosales a Cardinal in the consistory of March 24, 2006. Rosales joined 14 others, two of them Asians, as the newest member of the College of Cardinals. Pope Benedict told the new cardinals: “I want to sum up the meaning of this new call that you have received in the word which I placed at the heart of my first Encyclical: caritas. This matches well the color of your cardinalatial robes. May the scarlet that you now wear always express the caritas Christi, inspiring you to a passionate love for Christ, for his Church and for all humanity.” A little later, he added: “I am counting on you, dear Brother Cardinals, to ensure that the principle of love will spread far and wide, and will give new life to the Church at every level of her hierarchy, in every group of the faithful, in every religious Institute, in every spiritual, apostolic or humanitarian initiative.” Cardinal Rosales .jpg

On February 3, 2007, Rosales was appointed to for a five-year term on the 15-seat Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Concerns of the Apostolic See. The main job of the council is to look after the organizational and economic affairs of the Vatican.

In 2007, having reached the age of 75, Cardinal Rosales submitted his resignation as required under Canon Law, but the Vatican, through Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re rejected Rosales's resignation.[1]

In 2008, Cardinal Rosales' invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit the third largest Catholic nation in the world; however, the Pope declined it due his hectic schedule. [2]


Political involvement

Archbishop Rosales has been considered by church insiders and analysts as a moderate. Unlike his predecessor, the populist Cardinal Sin, Rosales has been distancing himself from politics. This was very evident when he and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) did not call for President Arroyo's ouster in July 2005 when the calls for her removal were mounting.

The CBCP in their pastoral letter asked the people to remain calm and called for sobriety. It was rumored that then Papal Nuncio Archbishop Antonio G. Franco was sent by Pope Benedict XVI to warn Filipino bishops to stay away from politics.. In October 2005 when CBCP president Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao resigned from his post, Rosales confirmed that he was elected twice to head the CBCP but declined and instead Jaro Archbishop Angelo Lagdameo, a critic of President Arroyo was elected as the next CBCP president.

Instead of directly engaging in politics, he launched his long-time advocacy which he began when he was still Archbishop of Lipa, the "Pondo ng Pinoy" (literally translated as "Filipino's Fund" or Fund of the Filipino). This drive is to urge people to save 25 centavos and donate them in bottles or recycled soft drink cans for the poor.

Police forces

The Church leader once said that there is no such thing as absolute freedom when police forces violently dispersed a group of politicians, priests and nuns including 3 bishops which planned to go to the San Beda College chapel to hear mass. He expressed support for charter change but condemned politicians pushing their personal agenda in amending the constitution.

When the state of national emergency was proclaimed, Cardinal-designate Rosales asked the Filipinos to pray for peace and unity in the country and expressed hopes that the government will not abuse and curtail the rights of the people.

National Statistics Office

In 2007, Cardinal Rosales argued against the National Statistics Office (NSO) requirement that all solemnizing officers/priests to undergo training before conducting wedding ceremonies. He said: “We understand the concern of the National Statistics Office (NSO) because we also know of abuses done by the so called ministers of the Gospel (not priests), but they should not be like that to us, as if we know nothing."[3]

Gay parades during Church feast

In 2008, Rosales clashed with Ang Ladlad founder Danton Remoto on the subject of allowing gays to participate, in drag, in the Flores de Mayo celebration.[4] Rosales threatened parishes that permit cross-dressing homosexuals to play Saint Helena, or female saints in the Santacruzan or Flores de Mayo procession with official punishment and removal from mass.[5]

Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite

In 2009, he wrote guidelines for the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which were interpreted by observers as overly restrictive, given that the document merely gives a permission and does not require such guidelines. This drew a response from Darío Castrillón Hoyos from the Ecclesia Dei commission. [6] In a letter dated the 6 March 2009, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos wrote to Cardinal Rosales, that “Your ‘Archdiocesan Guidelines’ are simply not acceptable as they stand and I ask you to reconsider them”. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos insisted that Cardinal Rosales actively promote the implementation of the motu proprio.

Episcopal Succession

Episcopal Lineage
Consecrated by: Bruno Torpigliani
Date of consecration: October 28, 1974
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Mylo Hubert Claudio Vergara April 30, 2005
Bishop Pablo Virgilio Siongco David 10 Jul 2006
Bishop Broderick Soncuaco Pabillo 19 Aug 2006
Bishop Elenito de los Reyes Galido 8 Sep 2006
Bishop Leopoldo Corpuz Jaucian, S.V.D. 26 Mar 2007
Bishop Francisco Mendoza de Leon 1 Sep 2007
Preceded by
Francisco F. Claver
Bishop of Malaybalay
Succeeded by
Honesto Chaves Pacana
Preceded by
Mariano Gaviola y Garcés
Archbishop of Lipa
Succeeded by
Ramon Arguelles
Preceded by
Jaime Sin
Archbishop of Manila
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Paulos Tzadua
Cardinal-Priest of SS. Nome di Maria in Via Latina
March 24, 2006 – present
Succeeded by


External links


Template:Filipino Cardinals

Template:Philippine Roman Catholic Archbishopsia:Gaudencio Rosalesla:Gaudentius Rosalesno:Gaudencio Borbon Rosalesru:Росалес, Гауденсио Борбон tl:Gaudencio Kardinal Rosales