The 50īs decade ushered
in a profound sense of
nationalism, born of the newfound and finally total independence from colonial rule and foreign domination. But for the Church, this was also a challenging decade because of the rise of Freemasonry
and the looming consequences of a growing move for the separation of the Church and State.
A primary concern of the Bishops during this period was education, specifically religious instruction in public schools, which was strongly opp osed by the
Freemasons and other anti-Catholic groups. Their position and sentiments on this issue are well articulated in the documents of this decade, specifically in the Joint Statement Concerning Optional
Religious Instruction in Public Schools, followed immediately after by the Pastoral Letter on Religious Instruction in Public Schools, a Joint
Pastoral Letter on Catholic Education, and Statement on Adherence to Religion.
This was also the decade when the Philippine Hierarchy is sued a definitive statement on
Freemasonry, and issued their first document focusing on the political process, specifically the Joint Statement on the Electoral Rights of Catholics. There were to be
other documents on elections during this decade -- the Statement on Elections and Joint Statement on the Eve of the National Elections of 1957.
The following is a listing of years under the 50īs, each
containing an index of the documents made within a particular year of the decade:
1950 | 1951 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1959