Vatican overrules Batangas bishop; declares 1948 Marian apparitions not genuine
By Lito B. Zulueta (Arts & Books editor)
June 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm

The Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog has overruled Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and rejected his 2012 decree declaring that the alleged Marian apparitions in Batangas in 1948 were authentic.

Arguelles himself disclosed the ruling by the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition, in an archdiocesan “communiqué” on May 31.

In its decree, the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) of the Holy See argued that Pope Pius XII had made a “definitive” confirmation in 1951 against “the supposed apparitions” and declared they “were not of supernatural origin.”

“Furthermore, the (CDF) repeats its instruction that any and all commissions studying the question of the alleged supernatural phenomenon of the alleged apparitions in the Carmel of Lipa be immediately disbanded,” the decree adds.

Arguelles said though the decree was signed on Dec. 11, 2015, by German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, the head of the CDF, he only received a copy of it on May 30, 2016.

“My hope and prayer is that (the decree) notwithstanding,” Arguelles wrote, “we will never doubt the love of God and the Blessed Mother for all of us.”

The Batangas prelate added he hoped that “zealous (Marian) devotees from the entire world (would) remain steadfast and determined to bring hope and blessings to many in this troubled world.”

The “Lipa apparitions” were a series of alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title as Mediatrix of Grace at the convent of Carmelite contemplative nuns in Lipa City in 1948.

The incidents became a public cause célèbre especially since the alleged apparitions would be accompanied by a rain of rose petals.

But a commission formed by the apostolic administrator of Lipa at that time, Bishop Rufino Santos, later ruled that the apparitions were not authentic.

Santos later took over the Archdiocese of Manila and became the first Filipino cardinal or prince of the Church.

In 2012, Arguelles reversed the stand of Santos’ commission and ruled that the apparitions were genuine.

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