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Vatican judges apparition inauthentic

LIPA (UCAN): A Vatican decision overruling the local bishop on the validity of reported miracles and Marian apparitions at the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa, The Philippines, around 60 years ago has left some people confused.

“People are unhappy, unsatisfied and not at peace with themselves,” retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said, adding that some followers of Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Graces have been asking for some sort of a review.

“But the matter is closed as far as the congregation and the Holy Father are concerned,” the archbishop pointed out.

However, he added that the pronouncement made by the Philippine bishops that the devotion to Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Graces should be promoted as a private devotion has further confused the issue, as they added that it is not a basis for faith expression.

In a pastoral advisory last July, the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Philippine bishops said devotion “must not be based on the alleged Lipa apparitions.” Two popes have now judged the reported apparition as not being authentic.

“No matter how painful it is, the attachment to Mary becomes stronger and the prayer for the Church more intense,” Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, from Lipa, commented.

Father Melvin Castro agrees, saying that the Vatican decision has made devotion to Mary “stronger and deeper, because it is not dependent on any apparition, but is actually rooted in God’s divine plan of salvation.”

In an earlier statement, the Philippine bishops said there is no need for apparitions to honour the Virgin Mary.

“Her being the mother of Jesus is our first and constant reason for honouring her,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the bishops’ conference, commented.

On 12 September 1948, the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared before a Carmelite postulant, Teresing Castillo, and reportedly she told her she was Mary Mediatrix of All Grace.”

The apparition is said to have been followed by several appearances and unexplainable showers of rose petals.

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