Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Guidelines to Help Bishops Evaluate the Validity of Apparitions

The owners of the website state that they have generated a new web page on their site because they were alarmed by the June 28, 2008 message of Our Lady of Emmitsburg in which she warns the world of the possibility of a coming astronomical catastrophe. It is called: "'Our Lady of Emmitsburg' Cult Watch." One of the most recent entries is titled: "Pope declares 'holy war' against people who falsely claim to have seen the Virgin Mary." It is written by Simon Caldwell of the DailyMail.CO.UK.

This highly charged article reports that Pope Benedict XVI will soon publish guidelines to help Bishops evaluate visionaries. If this is true, I think that it is a good development for visionaries such as Dr. Gianna Sullivan. It appears to me that in the past, the members of the Diocese of Baltimore did not conduct a thorough job of evaluating Dr. Sullivan and the alleged messages she has been receiving. This has been said not only by the Sullivans themselves, but also by many of the priests who support her.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Is It Possible That a Prediction of the Mother of God Would Not Come to Pass?

Many people have entertained doubts about Our Lady of Emmitsburg's [OLOE] messages to Dr. Gianna Sullivan because one of Our Lady's predictions did not seem to come true. This is the prediction that Our Lady made:

"I have waited patiently for 2000 years for my plan to unfold....I requested, over 80 years ago at Fatima, sacrifice for sinners' conversion in reparation for sins committed against My Immaculate Heart....I predicted a future miracle that all might believe; and now as my plan commences, I once again predict a sign for this October." (OLOE 7-13-2000)

On Sept 8, 2000, the feast of the Birth of Mary, Cardinal Keller of the Baltimore diocese issued a statement to the effect that he was going to investigate Gianna Sullivan and that, until further notice, the Prayer Group in St. Joseph's Church should be suspended. Thereafter, the predicted sign that was to occur in October, did not seem to occur in any obvious way. Was this a false prediction or did Our Lady change her plans?

In the past, when I read comments about visionaries and prophets, I was often puzzled by the fact that the commentator would indicate that, while some of their prophecies came true, others did not. I did not know what to make of this. It certainly put doubts in my mind about those alleged saints and holy people.

However, when this prophecy of OLOE did not seem, to me, to have been fulfilled, I felt that there had to be some explanation that I was unaware of. The many years that I had spent reading all the Lessons from Jesus, that Gianna Sullivan had received and the many messages from Our Lady, left me with an enduring conviction that they were, indeed, from God!

Years later, a message from OLOE to Dr. Gianna Sullivan gave me a new insight into this issue. When Our Lady explained that her plans change due to our permissive will, I began to realize how Our Lady could make a prediction that did not come to pass. Our Lady explains:

There are two wills. There is the Divine Will and the permissive will. I have a plan for the salvation of the world for which I have prayed for a very long time on your behalf. Oftentimes, my plan changes, although it will be fulfilled according to God's Divine Will. It changes because you are gifted with a permissive will. You have the freedom to choose. God, in His Mercy and kindness, allows you to choose. He does not force you. (OLOE 8-5-2007)

There is an interesting example in the life of St. Catherine Laboure relative to how Our Lady's plans changed. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal appeared three times to St. Catherine Laboure in the Chapel of the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Rue du Bac in Paris, France in 1830. Our Lady asked St. Catherine to have a medal struck which was initially called "Medal of the Immaculate Conception" but is now universally referred to as the "Miraculous Medal," because of the many miracles and wonders associated with the medal.

In this case, we learn that Our Lady's plans changed because of the lack of cooperation of St. Catherine's superiors. Speaking of the pilgrimages and miracles taking place at Our Lady of Victories Church in Paris, St. Catherine said: "You know, these miracles could have happened in our chapel." [Fr. Rene Laurentin as quoted in Roses in December, by Dom Forker, p 43.] Further, St. Catherine said that the pilgrimages associated with both Our Lady of Victories Church and with Lourdes, represented changes in the plan of the Blessed Virgin to compensate for what had failed to occur at the Apparition Chapel in Rue du Bac in Paris.

Another example of how the permissive will of human beings interfered with the original plans of Our Lady, happened at Fatima, Portugal. With regard to the famous Miracle of the Sun, Our Lady is said to have indicated to the visionary, Sr. Lucia, that because the Civic Administrator of Fatima had imprisoned the three little visionaries of Fatima and threatened to boil them in oil, that the predicted miracle would not be as great as Our Lady had originally planned!

It seems to me, that it is highly likely, that when Cardinal Keeler had the prayer meetings in St. Joseph's Church in Emmitsburg, MD halted, that this action influenced Our Lady's plans and that the predicted sign was not given by Our Lady in October 2000.

When the investigations of Dr. Gianna Talone-Sullivan were concluded by the archdiocese of Baltimore, Gianna was told that she could continue to hold prayer meetings, as long as she did not do so in any Church or other property of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Thereafter, the public messages of OLOE to Gianna Sullivan, which had stopped in Sept. 2000, were resumed in August 2002 and continued until Oct. 5, 2008. However, the prayer meetings were not held on any church grounds, etc. of the archdiocese. Then on Oct. 8, 2008, the new Archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin F. O'Brien, issued a Pastoral Advisory regarding Dr. Gianna Sullivan, and once again the OLOE Prayer Meetings were stopped. And once again, Dr. Gianna Sullivan and her husband, Dr. Michael Sullivan, accepted the requirements of the Pastoral Advisory.