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Arrested Manila exorcist reiterates: Vatican decision on Lipa apparition “definitive and final”

Fr. Winston Cabading (Photo: UST YouTube Channel)

Fr. Winston Cabading, OP, strongly reiterated that the Vatican decision regarding the nature of the alleged Marian apparition in Lipa, Batangas, is “definitive and final” and, therefore, cannot be challenged or overturned.

Fr. Cabading was recently arrested and now faces a criminal case for “offending the religious feelings” of Marian devotee and retired justice Harriet Demetriou. This concerns the priest’s stand that the Lipa apparition, formally known as Mary Mediatrix of All Graces, is “not supernatural in nature” and “not worthy of belief.”

In an interview with journalists Julius and Tintin Babao on their daily YouTube program on Wednesday, the priest clarified that his stand regarding the supposed Marian apparition in 1948 is not his personal opinion but the official decision of Rome.

“The case boils down to the reality that they cannot accept the Vatican decision,” Fr. Cabading said.

“My knowledge about that matter is solidly based on theology,” the priest emphasized. “When I speak about the teaching of the Church, my explanation is clear… This is not my personal opinion.”

Fr. Cabading reminded the faithful that the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith had already decided that the Lipa apparition was not authentic as early as 1951, reiterated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 2015.

“The Catholic Church has already spoken regarding this… there is a clear document and a final decision,” Fr. Cabading said. 

Nonetheless, the Dominican priest agreed that the existence of the apparition cannot be denied, but whatever appeared there “did not come from God.”

Fr. Cabading mentioned that the clergy, specifically in the Archdiocese of Lipa, are duly instructed to guide the faithful regarding the proper veneration of the statue and images of Mary Mediatrix of All Graces without relating them to the alleged apparition. He invites Catholics to accept the Church’s decision regarding this matter wholeheartedly.

“Some people insist that the church is wrong and lying,” the priest said. “If you do not listen to the Church and judge the apparition on your own, there will be problems.”

“As Catholics who love the Church and the Blessed Virgin, let us listen to the teachings of the pope, the Church, and our bishops,” he said.

Regarding his pending criminal case for “offending religious feelings,” Fr. Cabading said that the Church hierarchy is concerned with this “gray area” full of loopholes and contradictions.

“Here in the Philippines, there are different sects and religions… and some are very anti-Catholic,” he said. “When they talk, whether online, television, or radio, they attack the Catholic faith. Despite this, we Catholics don’t file complaints because we see these as part of freedom of expression and speech... But when fellow Catholics complain their religious feelings are offended by an official Church decision, that will leave you wondering.”

He also emphasized that as a Dominican priest, a congregation strongly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary like their founder, Saint Dominic, it doesn’t make sense for him to be labeled as a “rabid critic” of the Blessed Mother.

On top of that, Fr. Cabading has also been the exorcist of the Archdiocese of Manila, a member of the Commission on Visions and Extraordinary Phenomena, and a professor of the UST Faculty for Sacred Theology for more than two decades.- Luke Godoy


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