THE Diocese of Cáceres (Nueva Caceres) was established as the suffragan of Manila, together with Cebu and Nueva Segobia on August 14, 1595. This was by virtue of the Papal Bull “Super specula militantis ecclesiae” issued by Clement VIII.
The official name given to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction is “Ecclesia Cacerensis in Indiis Orientalius.” The name was taken from “Ciudad de Cáceres,” also indicated as the seat of the diocese.
However, the bull did not specifically state the extent of the territorial jurisdiction, and thus has caused conflicting claims among the new dioceses. The conflict was ended when the Apostolic Nuncio in Spain intervened.
The Diocese of Caceres
According to a 1742 report, the diocese extended over the provinces of Camarines and Albay as far as and including the islands of Ticao, Masbate, Burias and Catanduanes; the province of Tayabas as far as and including Lucban; and, in the contracosta of Mauban to Binangonan, Polo, Baler and Casiguran.
Luis Maldonado, O.F.M. was the first Bishop. Reference: Bikol Annals, Domingo Abella.Illustration by John P. A.