The 60īs 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 opposed 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 issued 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:
1961 | 1962 | 1964 | 1965 | 1967 |