Fr. Aglipay was an activist Catholic priest at a time of rising patriotism and anti-imperialism in the Spanish-occupied Philippine Islands. He was a moderate politically, defending the Spanish clergy from militant attacks, but the Roman hierarchy would brook no dissent and excommunicated him. He gathered followers, including Isabelo de los Reyes, and formed the Philippine Independent Church in 1902. This church is recognized by the Anglican Communion, and a few American clergy are honorary canons in the Philippine church.