The Catholic Sentinel Blog reports (Feb. 10, 2006) that Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu, Philippines sent his resignation letter to the Vatican amidst speculations that this move may be related to the Mary-Is-God Catholic Movement operating in his archdiocese.
The Mary-Is-God Catholic Movement (MIGCM) describes itself as consisting of faithful Catholics devoting our lives to the proclamation of the True Message of Our Lady of Fatima and the preservation of our True Faith. It was founded on September 16, 2005 by Dominic Sanchez Falar, who alleges that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him in August of 1994 and thereafter revealed to him the Sacred Mysteries of the Catholic Faith, mysteries concerning the Church, the Papacy, the Antichrist and the end times. Of the revelations supposedly imparted by the Mother of God to Dominic, three are paramount. The first of these is the Final Dogma of the Catholic Church which states that Mary is God, that Mary is the Soul of the Holy Spirit. The second of these the visionary has confided to only a few Priests. And the third is what he must reveal at an appropriate time to expose the True Antichrist.
MIGCM founder Dominic Sanchez Falar believes that he has revealed the true Message of Fatima. On January 10, 2006, he explained why he waited until Fatima visionary Sister Lucia dos Santos was dead before revealing what he knew. If only my true intention was to prove that I knew something about the Third Secret of Our Blessed Mother, said Falar, right there and then I would have revealed to the world Her True Message at Fatima. But this message is not mine but rather of God. And so I waited until The Most Holy Spirit, in His Infinite Mercy, gave me the sign to reveal His Will.
Falar claims that Pope John Paul II lied about the message of Our Lady of Fatima, allowing the concoction of a fake third secret designed to deceive the faithful into believing that all is already well and that the Third Secret of Fatima concerns no Dogma of Faith. He also accuses Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, of masterminding the false third secret revealed in 2000 by the Vatican. Falar claims that the Dogma Mary-Is-God will, in the end, identify the faithful members of the Most Holy Spirits Church, as totally and absolutely His own and consequently prepare us for the Second Coming of Our Lord and God Jesus Christ.
Archbishop Vidal was ordained on March 17, 1956 and was elected bishop in 1971. He has led the Cebu archdiocese since September 1982.
While The Catholic Sentinel Blog reports that Vidals resignation came after various requests for an official statement on the Mary-Is-God Catholic Movement, another Catholic website, www.catholic-hierarchy.org, states that the resignation was submitted on the occasion of Vidals 75th birthday and quotes him as saying that, If the Holy Father will allow me to stay and if the Cebuanos would want me to stay, I will stay (as Archbishop of Cebu). The site also claims that a source inside the Archbishops Palace revealed that there is a big possibility that the Pope will not accept Vidal's retirement because he is still very strong and able. As of this writing, no official statement has been issued on the matter by the Vatican.
Comment: In The Book of Ecclesiastes we read, Nothing under the sun is new. This is especially true regarding heresy. All the lies and doctrinal distortions that plagued the early Church resurface every now and then under new names and with new vocabularies, but the poison is the same.
Self-styled Marian visionary, Dominic Sanchez Falar, peppers his writing with the things loyal Catholics love to hear. He decries false ecumenism and the assaults against the Catholic Faith (and the Fatima Message) perpetrated by the shepherds in charge of defending it. But his Mary-Is-God Catholic Movement is nothing more that the resurgence of a heresy that afflicted the Catholic Faith from the mid-fourth to the mid-fifth centuries.
These ancient heretics were called Kollyridians. Consisting mainly of women and led by priestesses, the members of this sect offered Divine worship to the Virgin Mary. Combining pagan and Catholic ritual into a new goddess-liturgy, the Kollyridians offered small cakes or special breads to Mary. These cakes or breads were called kollyra, hence the name of the sect. St. Epiphanius of Salamis (+403), Father of the Church, described these heretics thus: Certain women there in Arabia have introduced this absurd teaching from Thracia how they offer up a sacrifice of bread rolls in the Name of the ever-Virgin Mary, and all partake of this bread."
St. Epiphanius was an enthusiastic opponent of the Kollyridians. He addressed their errors in his work, Panarion (Medicine Basket), also known as Adversus Haereses (Against the Heresies):
Yes, Marys body was holy, but it was not God. Yes, the Virgin was surely a virgin and worthy of honor; however, she was not given us for us to adore her. She herself adored Him Who was born of her flesh, having descended from heaven and from the bosom of the Father. Honor Mary, but let the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost be worshiped, but let no one worship Mary....even though Mary is most beautiful and holy and venerable, yet she is not to be worshipped.
One need only look at Our Ladys own Magnificat to see that she never claimed to possess a Divine nature. Quite the contrary, for she sang My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior .... Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is His name. If MIGCM founder Dominic Sanchez Falar saw an apparition which claimed to be both Mary and God, the best thing he could have done was turn and run for his life!
And speaking of there being nothing new under the sun, dont those ancient Kollyridian gals remind you way too much of todays New Age, Gaia-worshipping, ordination-happy, feminist nuns?
Thanks again, Brian, for the exhaustive research on this purported seer and his background. Most informative!