Vatican and archbishop at loggerheads over apparitions

The Vatican and an archbishop in the Philippines are engaged in a tug-of-war over the validity of alleged Marian apparitions.

A few months ago, Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa announced that alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a local nun in 1948 were supernatural.

But last month, Archbishop Arguelles stated the Holy See had re-iterated an earlier negative ruling on the apparitions.

The Holy See considers the phenomenon “not supernatural in origin”.

Devotion to the apparitions of the “Mediatrix of all Grace” is very popular with the local people, including the archbishop.

One of the phenomena associated with the apparition is rose petals that seem to fall from heaven.

The petals were reportedly emblazoned with images of Jesus, Mary and the saints.

In 2009, Archbishop Arguelles officially lifted a 1951 ban by the Philippines hierarchy on public veneration of the image of the “Mediatrix of all Grace”.

This ban came despite a positive ruling on the phenomenon by a local bishop at the time.

Archbishop Argeulles formed a new commission to re-examine the apparition and related phenomena.

About a year later, the Vatican shut it down.

Then, in September 2015, Archbishop Arguelles released an official statement of approval of the apparitions

He declared “that the events and apparition of 1948 also known as the Marian phenomenon in Lipa and its aftermath even in recent times do exhibit supernatural character and is worthy of belief”.

The Vatican made him revoke this statement.

Complicating the matter further are reported, but unsubstantiated, death-bed statements by some of the bishops on the 1951 committee.

The bishops reportedly said that they ruled the way they did under duress, specifically the threat of excommunication.


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