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Vatican reveals decree rejecting the Philippines' 'Lipa apparition' 

After years of controversies and different allegations against the Catholic Church priests, the Vatican finally released the 1951 decree rejecting the Lipa apparition in the Philippines.

Last Tuesday, March 19, as the Philippine church celebrated the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Archdiocese of Lipa announced that the Vatican had released the original 1951 decree declaring that the alleged apparition of the Virgin Mary in Lipa, Batangas, was not supernatural.

The devotees and the clerics have long debated this issue because the devotees claim that no existing decree or document exists. We remember last year that an influential individual sued a priest, and the priest was even arrested and detained for “offending religious feelings” and discrediting the reported apparition of Mary in 1948.

However, this recently publicized decree from the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) vindicates that the accusations against the priest were all wrong, and here is the solid proof.

In a Circular letter released on March 19, 2024, Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera announced that the DDF “has released a copy of the much-awaited 1951 decree regarding the conclusion of the Holy See on the alleged apparition in Lipa.”

The bishop explained that the DDF is the Vatican’s department in charge of doctrinal matters and declared this decree “upon the fervent request of His Excellency Most Reverend Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.”

1951 Decree of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. The English translation reads:

S.O. 226/49

By order of the Most Holy Father’s will:

The apostolic delegate is to authorize the apostolic administrator to issue a document from the Curia in which it is declared that the events of Lipa, after serious examination, turn out not to have a supernatural origin or character.

In an audience with His Holiness

Thursday, 29th day of March 1951

Certified authentic:

Victor Cardinal Fernandez, Prefect

On March 29, 1951, Pope Pius XII approved the Vatican ruling in an audience, and Cardinal Victor Fernandez, the current DDF prefect under Pope Francis, authenticated it.

The ruling received approval from Pope Pius XII on March 29, 1951, and Cardinal Victor Fernandez, the current DDF prefect under Pope Francis. 

The reported Lipa apparition has long been a source of discussions and debates, even online, between Catholic Church officials and the devotees of what they call “Our Lady of Lipa,” also known as Our Lady, Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace. 

The clergy repeatedly said that nothing miraculous happened during the 1948 apparition, but devotees have questioned such statements by bishops and priests.

According to the report of Rappler, an online news platform in the Philippines, in a letter to Bishop David, Cardinal Fernandez of the DDF said he was not only providing a copy of the 1951 Vatican decree on the Lipa apparition but also furnishing them a copy of the letter “in which Sister Mary Sicilia of Jesus, OCD, then the superior of the convent where the known events occurred, confessed guiltily to having deceived the faithful about the alleged apparitions in Lipa and consequently asked for forgiveness.”

“This fact definitively and directly confirms the non-supernatural nature of the events in Lipa,” Fernandez said.- Leahna Villajos


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