Retired justice vows to press fight over Lipa apparitions

Retired justice vows to press fight over Lipa apparitions

/ 05:20 AM January 27, 2024

Retired Sandiganbayan Justice Harriet Demetriou said she will not give up her legal battle against Fr. Winston Cabading, a priest and exorcist who challenged the authenticity of the Lipa Marian apparitions 75 years ago.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Demetriou expressed her dismay over the dismissal of the perjury case she filed against Cabading by a Makati City prosecutor. “It’s not the end of my fight for truth and justice in the Mediatrix case,” Demetriou said.

“I’ll exhaust all legal remedies to rectify the unjust resolution of the Makati City Prosecutor based on unfounded and twisted facts,” she said.


She added: “The Supreme Court will be the final arbiter of my perjury case against Fr. Winston Cabading.”


READ: Bishops told not to hold rites on Lipa ‘apparitions’

Demetriou, a devotee of the Mediatrix of All Grace, the title given to the Virgin Mary who allegedly appeared to a nun in Lipa, Batangas, in 1948, accused Cabading of lying in a petition he filed in the Department of Justice, where he cited the Vatican’s declarations that the Lipa apparitions had no supernatural origin.

Cabading, a former secretary general of the University of Santo Tomas, denied the allegation and said that his statements were based on the official documents of the Catholic Church.

In a resolution dated Jan. 19, Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Crystal Embido-Buenaventura found no evidence to support Demetriou’s claim, and recommended the dismissal of the complaint against Cabading for insufficiency of evidence.

A question of belief

“In view of the foregoing, it is respectfully recommended that the complaint against respondent Winston Ferdinand Roman F. Cabading be dismissed for insufficiency of evidence,” the resolution read.

This is not the first case that Cabading faced and won. This came after a Quezon City judge threw out the charge of “offending religious feelings” against him last year.

The Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism posted on Facebook: “We praise and thank the Lord for this development. Thank you for those who have been praying with us.”


The Lipa Marian apparitions have been a source of controversy and debate among Filipino Catholics for decades. The apparitions were initially approved by the local bishop in 1951, but later condemned by the Vatican in the same year.

The case was reopened in 1991 by another bishop, who allowed the devotion to resume. In 2015, the archbishop of Lipa declared the apparitions as supernatural and worthy of belief, but his declaration was overruled by the Vatican a few months later. The Vatican reiterated its negative judgement on the apparitions in 2016, but allowed the local devotion to continue. INQ

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TAGS: apparitions, Lipa

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