The country has now 24 minor basilicas, with the declaration of St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Taytay, Rizal.
The Vatican announced its decision on Monday, three days after celebrating the declaration of the International Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage in Antipolo City.
“Truly, this elevation to Minor Basilica of the Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist is grace upon grace for us in the Diocese of Antipolo,” said Bishop Ruperto Santos.
“We acknowledge our responsibility that this minor basilica will always be a channel of God’s overflowing graces, a working instrument of charity to our people, and a welcoming home as we go on our Synodality,” the Catholic prelate added.
The title is given to churches around the world in acknowledgment of their historical or cultural significance, artistic beauty, and importance in the life of the Church.
The designation also signifies a closer relationship with the Pope. The title of the major basilica is reserved for certain churches in Rome only.
Meanwhile, the Holy Father has appointed Fr. Napoleon Sipalay as the new head of the Diocese of Alaminos.
The appointment was announced on Sunday. The bishop, 53, will shepherd the diocese in Pangasinan province.
The appointment makes him the third Filipino Dominican to be elevated to the episcopate, following the late Archbishop Emeritus Leonardo Legazpi of Caceres, and the late Auxiliary Bishop Jose Salazar of Lipa.
Sipalay will succeed the then-bishop Ricardo Baccay, who was appointed as archbishop of Tuguegarao in October 2019.
In the last four years, the Diocese has been under the care of Auxiliary Bishop Fidelis Layog of Lingayen-Dagupan as apostolic administrator. (PNA)