Lipa prelate quits after row with Vatican


THE outspoken Archbishop of Lipa, Ramon Arguelles, has resigned, months after getting a well-publicized rebuke from the Vatican over the authenticity of alleged Marian apparitions in a Carmelite monastery in 1948.
The Vatican announced on Thursday that the bishop of Daet, Gilbert Garcera, 58, had been appointed by Pope Francis as the new metropolitan archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lipa in Batangas.

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles

No reason was given for Arguelles’ sudden resignation, but the news service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines noted that the prelate resigned three years ahead of the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Arguelles, who served the Lipa archdiocese for almost 13 years, was a vocal opponent of the death penalty, divorce and the Reproductive Health bill, among other national issues.

His November 2009 decree lifting the ban on the public veneration of the image of “Mary, Mediatrix of all Grace” and forming a new commission to reexamine the 1948 apparitions was welcomed by Marian devotees, but apparently did not sit well with the Vatican.

In September 2015, Arguelles released an official statement approving the apparitions, and 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.”

Arguelles’ declaration was overruled by the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which issued a decree in December 2015 stating that the apparitions to a Carmelite postulant, Teresita Castillo, were a hoax.

The decree, made public in June 2016, also ordered 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 CDF disclosed previously sealed findings of a probe it conducted from 1949 to 1951, in which the prioress of the Carmelite convent supposedly admitted to “deception.”

It also revealed for the first time that Pope Pius XII himself had confirmed the results of the CDF investigation, which meant that the apparitions could no longer be examined.


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  1. Irreligion is for ego-trippers. Do we need lone wolves or Atheists who do whatever they want and say the Bible alone, Jesus or their conscience told them to do it or validated it?

  2. Hymmn! who should I believe,Jesus Christ who lived 2,000 years ago who claimed to be God,and proved it by many miracles, whilst fulfilling the scriptures that had been written about him, and left us with teachings of unparalleled love and wisdom, and has transformed the lives of billions of people throughout the last 20 centuries? or should I follow some chap called Jordan Maxwell,who waffled about sex, drugs and rock and roll – I’ll put my trust in Jesus
    COVERT GEOPOLITICS—No the Catholic faith is about the incredible love of god for each and everyone of us,and the depths he plunged to, for the salvation of our eternal souls- and there’s so much more!
    God bless you.

  3. aladin g. villacorte on

    Sad news indeed. Archbishop Arguelles is one of the few outspoken leaders of the Catholic Church. Just a couple of weeks ago he came out to defend the Church from President Duterte’s renewed broadsides, stressing that the sins of some priests or bishops should not be blamed on the entire institution.

    “Churchmen are not perfect, nevertheless they are supposed to proclaim what is right and proper even if they themselves fall short of what they teach,” he said. He likened the Church to a sick doctor still trying to cure other people’s illnesses aside from his own.

    We could only hope and pray that Archbishop Arguelles’ resignation would not weaken his voice or undermine his credibility, especially at a time like this when the Church’s moral leadership, nay, our Catholic faith, is under siege.

  4. The reason given for Arguelles’s departure is unbelievable. Arguelles accepted the 2015 CDF decree. Then never afterwards made an issue of it. And since then it has been a non-issue. What’s the real reason?

    • At the Rorate-Caeli blogspot a writer claims that Arguelles was forced out because he welcomed a group of seminarians from the traditionalist Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate,which Francis had gagged and shut down.

  5. What is that psychedelic hat sitting on his head? Is he taking hallucinogenic drugs which has qarped his mind?