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Archbishop cautions against
 woman's alleged apparitions

Sarah Fortney
Frederick News-Post Staff

(10/15/2008) The Archdiocese of Baltimore has ordered a Pennsylvania woman to stop disseminating messages she claims to receive from the Virgin Mary.

Gianna Talone-Sullivan, of Fairfield, Pa., has claimed that the Holy Mother first appeared to her more than two decades ago. She began to share her alleged messages during weekly meetings at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Emmitsburg in 1993.

Talone-Sullivan attracted hundreds of followers from across the country to the church. In 2000, the archdiocese asked that she take her messages elsewhere; three years later, a commission issued a decree after finding her messages were not compatible with Catholic teachings, said Sean Caine, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

Talone-Sullivan continued to use other means to distribute her messages, including the Internet; in 2002, she compiled them on a website she created -- www.centeroftheimmaculate

Earlier this month, the archdiocese decided more needed to be done to bring an end to the messages; a pastoral advisory was written Oct. 8, Caine said, warning Talone-Sullivan not to talk or write about the alleged apparitions anywhere within the archdiocese, including Baltimore city and nine Maryland counties.

The advisory comes following Talone-Sullivan's recent messages that implied the end of the world, causing confusion and an apparent divide between Catholics, Caine said.

The advisory, signed by Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien, went out to parishes to distribute, putting them in church newsletters and bulletins, Caine said. Last weekend, the advisory went to parishes in Frederick County.

"I strongly caution Mrs. Gianna Talone-Sullivan not to communicate in any manner written or spoken, electronic or printed, personally or through another in any church or any other place public or private, within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Baltimore any information of any type related to or containing messages or locutions allegedly received from the Virgin Mother of God," the advisory states.

"It is my hope that this warning will result in greater clarity for the faithful and resolve the divisions created by this situation."

Talone-Sullivan could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

"People who expect the world as it is to end soon
 do a lot of very strange things."

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