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Thoughts on OLOE's September Message

A Concerned Catholic

As has been pointed out by other writers on this site, whenever "Our Lady of Emmitsburg" has said something particularly outrageous in the past, and serious murmurs arose among her followers, her usual method has been to deliver pious exhortations for the next several months, waiting for the storm to blow over.

The latest message, delivered at the Lynfield Event Complex on September 7, 2008, shows that OLOE is indeed delivering pious exhortations. But this exhortation nonetheless echoes authentic Christian teaching. OLOE points out that poverty of spirit is the key to attaining heaven one day. She could also have pointed out that Jesus chose to elevate poverty of spirit into the first of His Beatitudes. (Matthew 5:3). What is poverty of spirit? Quite simply, a recognition that we must all one day leave behind our worldly honors and possessions, and that it would be foolish to cling to these in the here-and-now as some sort of replacement for God. We must exercise dominion over our possessions and honors, and not the other way around; we must recognize that our talents are loaned to us by God, and not take undue pride in the things that we do well. In her usual convoluted and talkative way, OLOE delves into these truths. But, if poverty of spirit is so essential for getting to heaven, and humility is a sign that one practices poverty of spirit, why does OLOE encourage Mrs. Gianna Sullivan to act otherwise?

Say that you are an average person going about your daily business. One day, in the privacy of your room, you have an encounter with something you think might be supernatural. This being communicates with you and tells you things you need to do to re-order your life. The being furthermore commissions you to tell everybody about your experiences. After rubbing your eyes a few times to make sure you weren't dreaming, you would want to know if the experience had been for real. After all, if something just shows up in your field of vision that only you can see, this can be a sign that you have mental troubles, OR it can really be from God, OR it can be Satan acting in disguise. Before going out on a limb and carrying out any of the being's instructions, one would think the average person would want to know for sure if the being was really from God.

Mrs. Sullivan has had some lay and clerical friends weigh in on the subject, and assure her that what she has been experiencing is for real. But lay and clerical friends cannot speak for the Church. Only a bishop can do that, and only the bishop of the diocese where the experiences are taking place can have an authoritative opinion on those experiences.

Mrs. Sullivan's Thursday night prayer meetings at St. Joseph's in Emmitsburg were shut down by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in September of 2000. The content of her messages had grown increasingly worrisome to the Archdiocese. This fact, coupled with an implied archdiocesan approval in a video then being marketed, led to the OLOE events being banned from Catholic Church property in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Mrs. Sullivan and her husband kept quiet until the following spring, when they appeared at a Marian conference in Pittsburgh. Among other things in their lengthy talk, they complained that they had never been given a fair hearing by the Archdiocese - as if the Archdiocese could not simply choose to disassociate itself from the OLOE phenomena, based on Mrs. Sullivan's very public statements, and as if Mrs. Sullivan had some sort of right to conduct her events inside a Catholic church - a right that the Archdiocese had somehow violated.

An official commission was soon convened to study Mrs. Sullivan's reported phenomena. Hundreds of pages of testimony were collected. The commission reached its conclusion, which was sent to Rome along with all the accompanying documentation. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger indicated his hearty approval for the commission's thoroughness. Mrs. Sullivan would finally get the official Church verdict she claimed she had been denied in the year 2000. Cardinal Keeler now stated authoritatively that her experiences were not supernatural. In other words she was not communicating with anyone - or anything - from heaven.

Was Mrs. Sullivan's reaction one of humble gratitude? Did she publicly thank Cardinal Keeler for having saved her from a terrible delusion - or worse yet from something demonic? Did she express relief that this decision would now save people from being led into error? No, she ultimately revived her public devotions in rented space. She got her friends to launch an official website to propagate her messages. She also basically acted as though the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the archbishop of Baltimore, and the latter's official teaching were completely irrelevant.

Where was OLOE in all of this? Given her continued "appearances," one must assume OLOE was actively aiding and abetting Mrs. Sullivan in her rebellion. Indeed, in February of 2006, OLOE twice said that Cardinal Keeler had never obtained written approval from Rome for his decree of non-supernaturality. In effect she was labeling Cardinal Keeler a liar. In her April 7, 2007, message, OLOE went so far as to say that disbelievers - especially those among the clergy - were just plain jealous and should be ignored.

This supposedly comes from the same woman who in the Gospels told the servants at Cana to do anything Jesus asked them to do. Faithful Catholics believe that Jesus teaches authoritatively through the bishops of His Church, if those bishops live in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Has the Blessed Mother changed her mind after all these years, and is she now actively encouraging rebellion among Catholics - or are the Blessed Mother and OLOE in fact two different people? The evidence strongly indicates the latter.

'For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths" 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"False messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders in order to mislead, if that were possible, the elect"
Mark 13:22

"No one can go off and start up his own church and call it Roman Catholic."

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