An association of Catholic exorcists has expressed support for Dominican Fr. Winston Cabading, who is facing a court case for “offending religious feelings”.
The Philippine Association of Catholic Exorcists (PACE) came out with a statement Friday, rallying behind the priest for preaching “the truths behind our Catholic faith”.
Arrested and detained on a warrant issued by Quezon City regional trial court on May 13, a Saturday where offices are closed, the priest was only able to post bail on Monday morning, May 15.
The case against the priest, who is also an exorcist of the Manila archdiocese, was filed by lawyer Harriet Demetriou, the country’s former elections chief and former justice of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
Demetriou’s Facebook post said the bottom line in her legal fight against Cabading “is the vindication of truth” in the 1948 alleged Marian apparition in the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa City, Batangas.
She claimed the priest, among others, “are the purveyors of lies and falsehoods against Our Lady, Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace”.
But PACE secretary general Fr. Jose Francisco Syquia said Cabading’s position has always been consistent “with the mind and stand of the Church”.
The Vatican had already decreed in 1951 that the alleged Marian apparition in Lipa did not have a supernatural origin and character.
In 2015, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated the ruling that the “Lipa apparition” is not worthy of belief.
“We therefore stand with Fr. Winston Cabading in his obedience and union with the Pope and the Philippine Bishops of the Catholic Church with regards to this issue,” said Syquia.
The chief exorcist of the Manila archdiocese also said they issued the statement “with permission and blessing” of Cardinal Jose Advincula, the archbishop of Manila.
Cabading said the case filed against him all boils down to the fact that “some people do not want to accept the judgment of the Church”.
“We admonish the Catholic faithful to read the official Church document and discover that the Church has already spoken,” he said. “The case is closed.”