Apparitions and Mystical Phenomena: April 2003 Archives

Écrasez l'infâme!

"Squash the wretched thing!" In this case, the thing needing to be squashed was the self-promotion of a phony mystic who brought her "messages" from Scottsdale to Maryland and tried to start a lay movement around herself. The Vatican has confirmed that Cdl. Keeler had the right to put a stop to Gianna Talone-Sullivan's prayer meetings. CNS says:

Vatican affirms Baltimore cardinal's decision against alleged visions

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The Vatican has confirmed Baltimore Cardinal William H. Keeler's September 2000 decision to prohibit prayer services at a Maryland church in which a woman claimed to receive messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary. Gianna Talone-Sullivan said she received messages from Mary during Thursday evening prayer services at St. Joseph Church in Emmitsburg from 1993 until the archdiocesan ban. In an April 2 letter to Vincentian Father William O'Brien, pastor of St. Joseph, Cardinal Keeler reported the Feb. 15 ruling of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that Baltimore's archbishop is in a position to conclude the matter with a decree that the alleged apparitions are clearly not miraculous ("constat de non supernaturalitate"). Cardinal Ratzinger said his opinion on the decree was made after careful consideration of the report of a three-member theological Commission of Inquiry appointed by Cardinal Keeler. The commission concluded there was nothing supernatural going on and that there were, in fact, "negative elements" contained in some of the apocalyptic prophecies that Talone-Sullivan made public.

Phony apparitions and locutions were really a scourge of the Church from the '70s to the '90s, luring the faithful into various kinds of error and sometimes apocalyptic sectarianism. While they demand great credulity, they are harmful to the virtue of faith, which believes what is revealed by God without seeking constant reassurance from miracles, visions and oracles. A faithless generation demands signs and wonders (cf. Matt 12:39).

Cardinal Keeler's panel, after interviewing worshippers who attended the services and conducting a 16-month investigation, wrote in its review that with a worldwide "growing addiction to the spectacular, we think that the Church should not promote or encourage persons claiming to have extraordinary channels to God."

...the panel also noted that Mrs. Talone-Sullivan's proclamations included "apocalyptic forebodings and the prediction of catastrophic events," such as the death of all the fish in the world. (AP)

(Thanks, Amy, for mentioning the announcement.)

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Apparitions and Mystical Phenomena category from April 2003.

Apparitions and Mystical Phenomena: March 2003 is the previous archive.

Apparitions and Mystical Phenomena: March 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.