Proclamation on Holy Love Ministries Will Test Hearts and Obedience

Finally, the Church has spoken authoritatively on Holy Love Ministries and its 83-acre site of Maranatha Spring and Shrine in Ohio. Despite all the usual Catholic trappings — chapel, statues, rosaries and religious bookstore, not to mention the throngs from across the country and globe — the purported visions by Maureen Sweeney-Kyle have been condemned. Bishop Richard Lennon, head of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, has issued a decree to clergy and laity of the diocese that Holy Love Ministries of Lorain County is officially off limits.

According to The Morning Journal newspaper of Ohio, Bishop Lennon’s decree was issued Nov. 11, 2009:

“Having been directed by the Holy See (in Rome) to act definitively in the matter of the alleged apparitions … and having reviewed the theological content of the alleged apparitions to Maureen Sweeney-Kyle and having consulted an expert in this matter, I … declare that the alleged apparitions and locations … are not supernatural in origin.” Lennon’s decree states he “forbid members of the clergy of any ecclesiastical jurisdiction” to celebrate the sacraments on the site of Holy Love Ministries.

“I admonish the faithful of the Diocese of Cleveland to cease gathering for any religious, liturgical, spiritual or devotional purpose on the site of Holy Love Ministries and declare that the Confraternity of the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary is not an approved association of the Christian faithful in the Diocese of Cleveland and may not legitimately use the name “Catholic” or represent itself as a Catholic group,” Lennon said in his decree.

Rogue Apparitions

People have been going to this shrine since the early 1990‘s, drawn by founder Sweeney-Kyle’s claim that Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary and a host of saints are appearing to her with messages. On the surface, everything about the site appears to be Catholic, but they are not Catholic. They say so themselves. Therefore, this official proclamation by the Bishop will be of little regard to Sweeny-Kyle, or her husband Don Kyle, the director of Holy Love Ministries.

The Journal reported that Kyle responded to Lennon’s decree by stating:

“We at Holy Love ministries are, and always have been, an ecumenical ministry. We have no affiliation with the Diocese of Cleveland. We are sorry that the bishop has taken this position. As it has always been, all people of all faiths are welcome to join us in prayer and the peace that Heaven offers at this site.”

This, fellow Catholics, should have been the red flag that immediately exposed the apparitions long before an official proclamation. When in the history of the Catholic Church have approved apparitions consisted of a Blessed Mother going freestyle outside the Church? When has Jesus rejected His own authority — that of the Catholic Church? The final Church proclamation comes as no surprise.

In 2005 an article in The Plain Dealer newspaper of Cleveland, OH reported on this ministry and its many suspicious claims:

“The ministry was formed around 1986, meeting in homes of followers or a few welcoming churches. Then came a time of upheaval. Sweeney insisted that the Virgin Mary’s messages demanded that she be given a new title, one recognized by the Catholic Church, that of “Our Lady Protectress of the Faith.” The Cleveland Catholic Diocese turned down this request. And soon the lengthy messages that Sweeney dictated into a tape recorder began denouncing the Catholic Church; others commented on political details of the day. Several members of Sweeney’s small ministry became disillusioned and left.”

The ministry changed locations and names several times and Sweeney-Kyle even changed husbands, divorcing and then remarrying two years later. The organization has been at odds with the Catholic Church almost from the start. It sought approval through official channels for several years, but instead, in 1999, the Catholic diocese issued a statement urging extreme caution. At that point, Holy Love Ministries took an “ecumenical” approach. Yet, as an ecumenical ministry it found time and space in many of its printed materials to rail against the Church. Would Jesus and His Blessed Mother and the saints choose Sweeney-Kyle to give the Catholic Church a tongue-lashing? No way.

Obedience or Defection?

The question now is, will those that were enthralled with this Shrine, accept Church authority or continue to follow a ministry that has officially been condemned?

I myself have visited a couple apparition sites that proved to be false. I understand this sort of devotion although I’m much more cautious these days. Yet, if everyone had awaited an official pronouncement from the Church, the 60,000 people that witnessed the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal would have stayed home that day. Nor would there have been the initial miracles to report at Lourdes, France if people did not flock to the miraculous spring. (Oh, and by the way, Holy Love Ministries has one of those miraculous springs. They had them at a couple of their locations.)

It’s not wrong to go to a site where purported apparitions are occurring. Catholics must keep their heads on straight and not wander from Church teachings, but praying at an apparition site is not wrong.

However, once the Church has condemned a site and declared it off limits to clergy and laity, it’s a different ball game. Then, it becomes a matter of obeying Catholic authority or thinking you know better. “The one who listens to you listens to me and the one who rejects you rejects me; and he who rejects me, rejects the one who sent me,” Luke 10:16.

Either we accept the authority of the Church, or we reject it. Those at Holy Love Ministries have openly rejected it. The question now is how will the many followers respond to the Bishop’s decree? I fear that many, enthralled by what they believe to be a miraculous site, will disregard the Church.

The Snares of the Devil

I used to wonder why the devil would have a hand in false apparitions when they inspired so many faithful Catholics to increase their prayer life and devotion to God and the Blessed Mother. What would the devil get out of the deal? This, my friends, is what he gets out of it: There will be a number of people who believed they were healed or their faith brought to life through Holy Love Ministries that, like a rebellious adolescents, will respond, “We don’t have to listen to the Church .”

Consider the options the devil has available to trap faithful Catholics? Such people will not be attracted to obvious evil. So, instead, the devil uses a Catholic facade to lure them in. Then, when God’s authority on earth — the Church — speaks against the fraud, a number of otherwise good Catholics get caught in the trap.

In November of 2006, I wrote an article for Catholic exchange exposing the Holy Love site. (http://catholicexchange.com/2006/11/06/94475/ ) After an angry backlash of emails telling me how wrong I was, I promised never to write about alleged apparitions again. In addition, there are a number of followers in the area where I live who were irritated by my observations. My life is stressful enough without stirring up such pots, I reasoned. I am proving, however, that we should never say never . After the Bishop’s decree, I felt compelled to appeal to all Holy Love followers, to accept the fact that the Church has the authority to condemn this site. Jesus told us that the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church and he promised to send the Paraclete to keep the Church free from error.

“If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 18: 17-18).

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (John 16:12-13).

If Jesus were giving messages on “all truth” to individuals, the result would not be thousands of denominations going in different directions. He speaks through His Church. The Church has spoken on Holy Love Ministries.

What of the many miracles and increased devotion so many experienced at the site? I did not save all the impassioned emails I received three years ago, but I did find similar comments on a site discussing Holy Love. One woman credited her father’s conversion from a Sunday church grumbler to attending Mass and saying the rosary daily — even two years after his visit to the site. Another person said that her fallen-away Catholic friend that once ridiculed the site became a believer. Someone said that such compelling evidence of positive fruits proves this is from God. No, it does not. That is why we have the Church, so that we don’t get led astray by what looks good on the surface.

The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, always looks below the surface because all that glitters isn’t gold and regardless of how many people visit or how many statues are erected or rosaries said, it does not constitute proof.

I once read that people bring their own holiness to these sites. They pray and love God. God answers prayers. All this is holy in nature but is not proof of authenticity of purported apparitions. Too often, after apparitions are condemned people feel betrayed and give up on God and the Church. Then, all their gains are lost. Or, disappointment leads them to reject Church authority thinking that they are right and the Church is wrong.

Rather than allow such disappointment to derail them, they can instead take a big step closer to God. By giving their disappointment to God and continuing to walk with him, they acknowledge that his Church is bigger than a single ministry or the claims of any purported visionary.

The past prayers and experiences of Holy Love followers were very real. If people were inspired or received what they believe to be miracles at this site, then praise be to God! God can use all things for good. But now the line has been drawn. People can follow Sweeny-Kyle or the Church, but not both.

Patti Maguire Armstrong

By

Patti Maguire Armstrong and her husband have ten children. She is an award-winning author and was managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’s Amazing Grace Series. She has appeared on TV and radio stations across the country.  Her latest books, Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and children’s book, Dear God, I Don’t Get It are both available now. To read more, visit Patti’s Catholic News and Inspiration site. Follow her on Facebook at Big Hearted Families and Dear God Books.

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  • deirdrew

    interesting.,,what apparitions have ‘endorsed’ the Church? the bishop(s)? i will have to do more research on this

  • patti

    They all have. Read St. Faustina’s diary or the story of St. Margaret Mary. It was clear every step of the way that their only assurance that the messages were from God and not the devil was to be obedient to their spiritual director and to remain under Church authority. Even when there were temporary hurdles, such as at Fatima and Lourdes, never did the Blessed Mother or any visionary reject Church authority. St. Padre Pio was even silenced for a time and he ALWAYS remained completely obedient and respectful to the Church. Of course bishops and priests are not always right about things, but if the apparitions are from God, He will ultimately have His way.

    If a visionary claims he/she is not under the Church and does not have to answer to it, consider what it being said.

  • daveknecht

    I live and grew up near Holy Love, and have been skeptic of their claims. I have driven but it
    100s of times over the years. Friends have tried to get me to go in “just to see”, but my feeling
    is why tempt God. A local priest during a homily on the Eucharist, asking the faithful ‘Why go up the road to a controversy when you can receive the real Body of Christ here every day here.

    Something to pray on ponder on.

  • annat

    I was involved with HL for a number of years, and when I could finally discern that there was doubt about the veracity of the “messages” it was still very difficult to detach from what seemed a personal experience from heaven. I think many people who pursue private devotions and revelations are looking for a void they feel in the “modern-day” Church. They want to experience religion personally in a way they can touch and feel, with a sense of familiarity. They want explanations of scripture that make sense in their daily lives. They want authoritative guidance in the mine field of today’s world that’s not laced in the legalese of Church proclamations, or coming from bishops they have learned not to trust. Ms. Sweeney-Kyle provided that in a mixed bag of personal heavenly messages based on ideas seemingly taken from many older popular devotions and books. The good things found in the “messages” were not original. Someone with an extensive background of spiritual reading could fairly easily discover the sources. And what was not theologically sound in the messages could also be traced. Nonetheless, it is very confusing to those trying to discern the veracity of HL to find elements that really speak to their heart spiritually, but then be told it isn’t true. It helps when you are recovering from a false spiritual attachment to remember that good has been mixed with the bad.

    A confusing thing for those who are HL devotees is the spiritual experiences they have had at the property in Ohio, which perhaps even included what seems to them to be miraculous. I believe that our loving Father hears our prayers and sees our sacrifices no matter where we might be, even if we are in a place that could misguide us. God sees into good hearts and may well have rewarded them, in spite of, rather than because of, the ministry’s circumstances. As to other physical phenomena (photographs, lights, etc.) there can be other physical and spiritual sources for these, and that is why we rely on the authority of the Church for interpretation.

    In the end what prompted me to disbelieve and try to detach myself from depending on the direct messages from heaven, was HLs deliberate avoidance of Church authority, and in fact a general attitude of dislike towards the hierarchy. It would seem HL did not start relying on the mantra of being ecumenical until about 1999 when they discovered ecumenism as a loophole for not having to listen to anything from the diocese.

    The scripture quotes which helped me were: John 10:1 & 10, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Ms. Sweeney-Kyle is encouraging people to take a way other than that of the Church’s guidance – and the Church is the sheepfold’s door. Another Scripture is 1 Samuel, 15:22 “To obey is better than sacrifice.” And in I John 4:6, “We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” Ms. Sweeney-Kyle would have nothing to lose spiritually if she were to quietly obey and wait. If she is authentic, Jesus Christ the son of God, would certainly find a way to authenticate the “messages” in the Church at the right time, if He is the author of those “messages”. If you are concerned that the Church is wrong in this decision, just remember Who is really in charge of the Church and have confidence that He will make everything right in the end – but He requires obedience so He can do His work. I can understand people feeling decrees are wrong, since we have been inundated with reminders of the hierarchy’s weaknesses in the past few years. But nonetheless, Jesus works through His imperfect members and promises us Truth through that Church.

    I would encourage those who want to disregard the authority of the Church and instead continue to depend on the “messages” and the wonderful feelings of a personal spiritual experience, to re-examine their own “heavenly” relationship. When you drop your allegiance to these “messages” you continue to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which He earnestly desires to fill with wondrous and growing Love. You don’t need “messages” or a pilgrimage to Ohio for that. And it is not true (as the “messages” frequently quote) that Jesus would be defending HL by saying “If you are not for Me you are against Me”. That would not be the loving Jesus who gave us His Church authority to guide us. Use that same quote from the point of view of the Church He gave us. If you are not for Jesus and His Church (and its teaching authority), then you are against Him and His Church.

    For me, in the end, although the overall departing experience was difficult, it did force me to take a very close look at what I really believe, and the true character of my relationship with Jesus and Mary. Reception of Jesus in the Eucharist and praying with the Scripture have become enormously important to me, since there I can be sure to find what Jesus actually has said to us. Surely it is more difficult to pray and discern what Our Lord wants of us in our daily lives than it is to hear it in a message directly from heaven. But He said He was in the still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11-12) and in the voice of the Church He gave us (Luke 10:16).

    What the Church has given us from the Bishop of Cleveland is relief – we simply need to obey and trust that Jesus knows what He is doing in His Church. Our obedience gives Jesus freedom to work in His Church.

    I earnestly pray for healing and peace in the hearts of all those involved with HL, that they will find Jesus and Mary’s Love in the abundance of our Holy Mother, the Church.

  • ortizsoto

    I truly believe that the church knows what it is doing because Jesus leads it. As soon as they categorized their apparitions as outside of the Catholic church then it did not feel right to me. That is why faith exists because we believe without seeing. But obedience is key here or we could easily be mislead by evil forces. Fatima and Lourdes faced many adversities but the truth was revealed in the end. I too loved the devotion that came from the Prolife rosary that came from this site. But I recognize that the Catholic Church is the authority that Jesus left in his place on earth. We go against the Church then we go against all that is divine in Heaven.

  • http://arkanabar.blogspot.com Arkanabar Ilarsadin

    The infallibility of Holy Mother Church is a logical necessity; see http://arkanabar.blogspot.com/2007/10/regarding-doctrine.html

    I have no doubt that God does sometimes rain down His graces through heterodox, schismatic, heretical, and even pagan religious groups. There are times when all of them are with Him. But only in Holy Mother Church do we have the Sacraments with grace that NEVER fails, because God has promised it to us.

  • incredulous

    This is all such a shame! This article includes false accusations and attacks to stop Jesus and Mary from helping their children to prepare for difficulties that are coming soon, and why, I do not know. The Bishop apparently doesn’t want this apparition “stuff” happening in his diocese, just as those Bishops in Medjugorje, Emmitsburg, Achill Island, etc. do not want it either, and he is using his power to make his “personal opinion” stand. He did NOT condemn it, contrary to what is stated above because he has no basis for doing so. He has used strong language to convey a certain impression and told everyone not to go there, not because anything goes against Church teachings of faith and morals (otherwise he would have to condemn it – but he has no basis to do this – and so has not condemned it) but, he himself, goes against the Church’s teaching that if a place of apparitions is not condemned, and there is nothing taught there against faith and morals, then the faithful are free to believe and participate. The Church usually does not describe alleged apparitions as supernatural until they are over and everything is reviewed. People are also not required to believe even if it is approved. He is trying to circumvent this very important doctrine, by using his “position” of authority to exert power over people to do HIS bidding, based on his personal feelings. He is not infallible, only the Pope can be declared to be so in certain circumstances. He is acting in a pharisaical way – the same spirit that led the pharisees to try to stop people from listening to Jesus and his apostles after Jesus’s death.

    Acts 4: 18-22 “So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in this name (Jesus). Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.’”

    The impression is given that the Pope or Vatican has told the Bishop to close Holy Love down. As has been done elsewhere, I am sure that the Bishop asked the Vatican if he could make a decision about Holy Love and they said, yes, go ahead. The usual twisting of words to make it appear as it is not. Also, Holy Love is an ecumenical mission, to draw all God’s children to conversion. This does not mean that the people themselves are not Catholic – they are faithful, practicing Catholics, so they do make use of rosaries, statues, etc. as all Catholics do (or should) in their devotions. The Bishop is trying to stop Catholic prayers and devotions, for some odd reason, and telling them to stop trying to represent themselves as a Catholic group. They are an ecumenical
    group, drawing all people, and are utilizing their Catholic identity only. The Bishop can ask them not to have Masses held on the property, that is within his jurisdiction, but he cannot tell people they cannot meet on private property to pray Catholic prayers. Is he next going to order Jesus and Mary to not be there?

    Just as Jesus spoke about the pharisees, to the pharisees, which I am sure was very controversial in His time, He is now speaking, as is God the Father, against this pharisaical spirit. Yes, I believe that this is what is happening. We desperately need these Heavenly words of guidance and comfort, because there is so much confusion within our Church, due to neglect of the flock by the very bishops condemning apparitions! There are way too many bishops who are politically correct, non-confrontational, politicians (in other words, pharisees of our day). Unless there is a good reason not to, I will continue to believe and participate in prayers, messages etc. from Medjugorje, Holy Love and Emmitsburg. These are very holy places and should be respected and encouraged by the clergy, not vilified for their own purposes. I love our Holy Mother Church and believe all that is taught and I obey Her, but when the leaders abuse their power for their own purposes, I cannot go along with it.

    This is a serious matter when Heaven intercedes for us and pleads with us to hear and heed their words. God is not playing games. When He speaks to us through His prophets, we must listen. These times require more help from Heaven than ever before (ie, abortion, rampant homosexuality, pornography through technological means, etc.)so it would be wise to pay attention, clergy and laity alike! Yes the Pope and magisterium have been given the authority of Jesus. If the Bishop had actually condemned Holy Love, in matters of faith and morals, then I would obey, but he has not condemned it. Words can imply something that is not the way it actually is, and this is the case here.

    If it was not for the little people who continued to believe and promote apparitions in times past, they would have been ignored into oblivion. We just recently read about Our Lady in Lipo, Phillipines. It has just been approved after 58 years of disbelief and marginalizing of the believers. I know that believers have continued to promote and go to this apparition site all these years, in spite of the attacks against them. That is why it did not go away and has finally been recognized for what it is. But, we are running out of time, and these messages of preparation and personal conversion are urgent. I cannot ignore my Mother and Her Son, my Lord when they are here speaking to us – I would have trouble facing them when I die!

    Acts 5: 28-40 “We gave you strict orders to stop teaching in that name (Jesus)…..but Peter and the Apostles said in reply “We must obey God rather than men.”…..When they heard this they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death. But a Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel……said to them “Be careful what you are about to do to these men……….for if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”

  • Katherine Bohuslav

    I remembering reading some of the messages given to Ms. Sweeney years ago and I recall that just like in the messages of Medjugorge the birthday of the Blessed Mother is said to be on August 5th. To me, just that says that this is against the Catholic church as the Church always celebrates Blessed Mother’s birthday on September 8th.
    Another thing that I’ve noticed as also like in Medjugorge is that when you see the image of the supposed Blessed Mother you do not see her feet. And so I started looking at all of the approved apparitions for the exposed feet or foot, or at least a shoe (as in Our Lady of Mount Carmel)of the Blessed Mother. I found that in all the approved apparitions, Her foot, shoe or feet are exposed.
    I was told by the mother of a priest that if a foot, shoe or feet of the Virgin Mary are not exposed that that is a sign of a false apparition. As the devil never shows his feet because they are hooves and that would be a dead giveaway. So like in Medjugorge, the devil hides in a cloud.

  • patti

    Dear Incredulous,

    I was actually expecting comments such as yours. Look what you are saying. You are twisting Scripture and putting the Church in the role of the Pharisees and the non-Catholic Holy Love in the role of Jesus. It’s to be expected that the messages are claimed to be from God and anyone that stands in the way of them is from the devil. Such is the devil’s trick to confuse people.

    Below are excerpts I came across from today’s adorotedevote.blogspot.com regarding Holy Love which reveals how the HL is using this ploy. The blog reports on HL messages written after the Bishop’s decree.

    HL: “Please realize that Satan is actively opposing this Ministry. He is trying to transform belief in the truth of these Messages into a forbidden act of disobedience. Do not be tricked, but realize that Heaven is offering abundant graces and fruits here to those who will open their hearts.”

    “Here at this site Heaven is trying to win the war against evil in hearts. Such an effort should be encouraged by one and all. Instead, it is presented as something to avoid. It is mankind who seeks to destroy. Heaven will not be conquered by Satan’s lies. Truth will reign victorious. No one can rule against Heaven’s grace.”

    Blog commentary: They are inspiring people to DOUBT and DISOBEY the Bishops, but by no means should they disobey the messages of “Holy Love.” I actually saw many messages, going back even beyond 1996, that continued to say that Satan would oppose their “ministry” and they shouldn’t worry about that. THAT FAR BACK.

    It is my opinion, based on this, and more, that Holy Love Ministries is probably a Cult, and it’s getting more and more dangerous to souls by the day. It has been working long to exercise mind control over people, and now that there has been a Condemnation from the Diocese of Cleveland on behalf of the Faithful Catholics there, “Holy Love” has cranked up the message-generating machine in order to try to do “damage control.”

    Use extreme caution, and if you have loved ones involved with that place, realize now why you can’t reason with them: they’ve given over their ability to reason to a Cult.
    … It occurred to me at Mass tonight how easy it is for any of us to lose our way. But when a place that predatory that disguises itself as an angel of light and pretends to be doing great things, but with a clear diabolical agenda…well…that’s just plain scary.

    Catholics, you don’t need private revelations in order to be Saved. If you stay close to the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, spend time in prayer each day, read Sacred Scripture, practice virtue, and live your life as a Catholic seeking holiness, you’ll be fine. That’s what you need. Stay close to Christ.”

  • incredulous

    Read for yourselves the reactions of Jesus and God the Father. It is worthwhile reading….with an open mind, the love and patience exhibited toward those who are trying to thwart Heaven’s plan, but also the stern warnings. No one on earth is perfect, and we all make mistakes, however we must seek honestly to do the right thing.

    http://www.holylove.org/files/med_1258412639.pdf

  • patti

    Dear Incredulous,

    You have been sucked in and are blind because you have given complete trust over to an entity that acts against Catholic teaching. I went to the site you suggested. You are not reading things clearly. Look what it said:
    “I have given you this Mission during these times to protect the Tradition of Faith at a time when tradition and faith itself are under attack. Let no one – no matter authority or title – discourage you from praying here.”

    HL Ministries could not get endorsement of the Catholic Church so it proclaimed itself ecumenical and not under the authority of the Church. Yet, the messages are claiming to protect the Tradition of Faith. What tradition is that? In the next breath, it says no matter the authority or title, let no one discourage you from praying there. Catholic Tradition is not one of protest and disobedience.

    Sure, don’t let anyone discourage you from praying there; this has such an innocent sound to it. Don’t let the Catholic authority stop you from praying. Anyone that would do such a thing would be the bad guy? Right? NO, NO, NO! This isn’t about prayer. It’s about going to a women with false messages.

    You don’t need these messages to be saved. You need Christ. The Sacraments are the greatest gift of Christ to His faithful. You can only get them from the Church. Maureen isn’t going to save anyone. God is not using her, outside His Church, to attack His Church.

    Incredulous, you love God and want to serve Him. You can’t serve God by following people who flaunt their contempt and disregard for the Church Christ founded.

  • patti

    I am wondering if Incredulous can tell me what evidence there is that Maureen is telling the truth? HL followers seem ready to accept anything she says, even that a hair she pulled off her blouse belonged to the Blessed Mother because Jesus told her.

    Can anyone explain to me the evidence for their faith in the HL messages?

  • mirlove

    More red flags with HL:
    1)Why would Our Lady, in June of 1996, “advise Maureen to obtain a good Canon lawyer.” ??What??

    2)and this: “June 13, 2005 “AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR OPPONENTS”
    Blessed Mother is here as Mary, Refuge of Holy Love. She says: “Praise be to Jesus.”

    “Dear children, you have chosen to oppose My work here at Holy Love. You are confusing discernment with rash judgment. I have come here to reconcile souls with their God. I come to renew hearts in the two great Commandments of Love. Do not listen to Satan’s lies. Do not encourage a spiritual pride which breeds self-righteousness. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth. True discernment is a gift that God alone can place in the heart. You must not presume to have this gift when you do not.”

    “You ask for credentials from My messenger here proving her worthiness. You set up your own criteria with which to judge her interior life. Humility does not defend itself. I have instructed My messenger, in humility, not to defend herself, but to remain silent.”

    “If you continue to persecute her after My warnings, do not seek My defense when you most need it. There is never a just cause to slander another, calumnize, detract or rash judge (Jas. 3:6-18; 4:11-12). There is never a good and just reason to lie about another. Your position in church circles or the community does not change lies into the truth, or sin into virtue.”

    “Do not oppose Heaven’s plans here. You will not win. I correct you always as a loving mother corrects her children. I await your loving response.”

    BIG RED FLAG! We are not to seek Our Blessed Mother’s defense? ?????? We don’t have the gift of discernment?

    This is not a message of love. This is a threat. Our Mother threatens us??

    How can anyone find truth in this?

    3)Red Flag: If they are NOT Catholic and only an ecumenical, why do they keep using Catholic Law and Catholic Truths to “protect” themselves?? Sounds more *Protest*-ant then anything.

    How is all this bringing forth the love of Christ?

  • http://www.renewamerica.com mattcabbott

    Good article, Patti. I think “Incredulous” contacted me as well. The sad thing is, Holy Love supporters are impervious to reasoned argument.

  • exymo

    It is wise to be careful and prudent, but lest we forget so easily, the Church needs quite a lot of help given the dreadful condition of her over the last few decades. I’ve had priests declare that adoration is ‘wafer worship.’ I’ve had nuns proclaim, with the priest’s support, that there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit. I know lots of people who will never allow their boys to be altar servers, or go to confession without a parent right outside. When convents and monasteries can call themselves Ashrams, and the church uses very poor translations in her liturgy, the truth isn’t shining out like a clear and great light. Its hidden behind a fog, buried in smoke.

    The Church is well known for suppressing apparitions that later turned out to be true, Fatima being an excellent example. Are we really supposed to believe that it was God’s Will that the Fatima messages be suppressed, and therefore hundreds of millions of people died unnecessarily in a global war? That suppression was a better approach than thinking about the messages carefully, seeking the formidable gift of discernment, and then making not only a reasoned approach but a heavenly, spiritual one, toward such important messages?

    Yes, those who suppressed Fatima were being obedient, and allowed Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini & Chairman Mao full opening to slaughter untold numbers of souls, without even permitting heaven to assist in mitigating that horror.

    Remember Lepanto.

  • joeinsd

    I have to say that much above is true. Once a person truly discerns what is happening in Ohio at HLM, it is easy to see that mistakes were obviously made. I don’t like the part where Maureen divorced her husband because Mary had instructed another person to join this mission. See this link: http://www.apparitionsites.com/apparition-sites/holy-love-ministries-maureen-sweeney-kyle.htm This is a huge no-go for me. Would not the grace of paitence and understanding come upon her first husband if this this was truly from Heaven? However, I do believe that good can come from all things. I do believe that we need to reach to all people of all faiths in order to continue the works of Jesus. This is a great way to do this. I believe God will use this somehow to reach all people, and if we can get more people to pray the rosary, in a truly loving way, then only good will come from it. I do have a problem with the disobedience of the churh and feel that if they followed the guidance of the church, this might have turned out a bit differently. I don’t think it’s a total scam, and those who have turned full heartedly to this ministry really need our love and understanding more now then ever. annat makes very good and clear points above in the statements made. I agree that we as Catholics must be obedient to the church in all her teachings. This is not optional. However, reaching out to people in an Ecumenical way is not a bad thing either, as long as you don’t go out of bounds in doing so. I think HLM went out of bounds more than once, but was it a simple mistake, misunderstanding, or just plain evil? This is what we have to discern. Peace.

  • joeinsd

    I made a mistake in my previous post. I put “annat” when I meant to put Patti as this is where I felt I needed to make a statement in addition to what she stated. Very good article indeed Patti. God bless.

  • incredulous

    I really feel sorry for all of you. You have no idea of what you are doing because you are using your brains rather than your hearts. We know that we do not need these apparitions to be saved, nor do we think Maureen will save us, Patti. She is merely an instrument, and no one goes to Holy Love to see her. You just don’t get it. When your mother and father comes to visit do you turn away from them or ignore them? We know that the Church and Sacraments were given to us by Jesus, and growing faith in Him and all He has taught, will bring us the holiness we need to spend eternity with Him, as a result of His sacrifice for us. But, when He feels it is important enough for us to get extra help to get through these unprecedented dangerous times, I am going to give Him and His Mother the courtesy of listening to what they have to say and changing as they ask, praying more. What have I got to lose? I would rather believe and be wrong than to not believe and be wrong!

    Everything that I and others have experienced has been beautiful and has eased our journey toward a closer relationship with Jesus and Mary, even our relationship with God the Father. I have grown closer to God – from atheism prior to 1995, to returning to the Church after 30 years, through Our Lady of Medjugorje when I was not looking for anything other than to live my life as it was – without God. She got my attention, brought me to Jesus after cleaning me up and dressing me in a new white gown through confession, miracles, and leading me by the hand step by step to the Truth. Not to mention the conversions among the people who knew me before and after my astonishing conversion. Many returned to the Church and the Sacraments after years of ignoring God. A woman without any religious affiliations went to Medjugorje with me after hearing my story, and ultimately became a Catholic! This is not the fruit of the devil. It is lasting and strengthening. And mine is only one story out of millions of stories that would be just as beautiful and enlightening.

    The enemy could not sustain this type of peace and joy within us, because he is hatred itself. This sustained closeness to Heaven for the last 14+ years (for me) would be a ridiculous accomplishment for the devil. If you do not see the problems within the Church, you need to remove your blinders. I know that many Israelites refused to see Jesus as God, and in spite of the actions of their priests they held on to their old ways, refusing to conform to what God was trying to do for them. He cleaned house and built up a new one, but many of them did not follow, so the Lord turned to the Gentiles to increase the fold. I don’t know God’s plans but I do recognize a renovation project when I see it! And because so many Catholics will not listen, He is bringing people of other faiths into the fold – thus, the ecumenical call by Catholics at Holy Love was established. Like it or not, this is what is happening and you cannot stop God, try as you may with hurtful, condemning words. We know who wins in the end.

    Just reading your comments related to the messages makes me very sad and I am sure Our Lord and Our Lady are also very sad. Stop trying to prove you are right, and really listen to what Jesus and Mary, as well as God the Father, are saying through the many prophets they have sent. They are trying to help us and in return receive nothing but persecution. If you cannot see that your self-righteousness is driving you to say these things, then you will never stop persecuting, calumniating and harming your brothers and sisters in Christ. Stop arguing and start listening with your hearts.

    And mattcabbot, I did not send you anything…

  • patti

    Dear Incredulous,

    The messages of the Sacred Heart of Jesus through St. Margaret Mary, The Divine Mercy devotion through St. Faustina, also Fatima and Lourdes are all Church approved messages from heaven that have deepened my faith and directed my life. Even Medjugorje influenced me many years ago when, at 30, I did not even know how to pray the rosary but became inspired to learn and pray it every day. I actually followed messages at Conyers, GA and in Kettle River, MN. I helped start a prayer group through the influence of the Kettle River messages. Conyers and Kettle River fell away. Although I don’t think they were officially condemned, (maybe I’m wrong) they fell apart.

    With each non-approved vision, I proceeded because I believed God could send his mother or other heavenly messengers including Jesus himself, just as He has before. Yet, I was always ready to accept whatever the Church decreed regarding the messages. You are not. Yes, I do know the Church is not perfect. For instance, I have issue with the CCHD collection this Sunday.

    Incredulous, I can feel the love you have for God and His mother. You are angry at me for my negative reporting on HL. You are not looking objectively at HL because you are very emotionally involved. If you only look at the messages with your heart and not your mind, then yours is purely an emotional response.

    Incredulous, aside from your heart, which we know can and does often lead people astray, why are you choosing to side with HL rather than the decision of the Bishop? Why do you think HL, which is so very different from any visions ever approved in the history of the Church, is authentic. Examples of conversion and feeling closer to God are not proofs. Every religion in the world has those.

  • vmchristianus

    I believe that we must heed Jesus Christ when he says, ‘Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.’ (Jn 20:29). I had applied for membership in the Holy Love Confraternity and Orders, but as soon as I was informed by a dear friend about the Bishop’s decree, I withdrew.
    I haven’t been to the ‘Shrine’ but just for the information of those misled by the messages, the Ka’bah of the Moslems is also a place of great peace and the spring that flows there is also claimed to be miraculous. That doesn’t make it Holy, for it rejects the Church of Christ.
    I have a particular standard that might be helpful for those seeking membership in confraternities and Holy Orders: if at any time, an applicant is asked or encouraged to buy something, then that thing is plainly wrong. Jesus will turn their stalls over like the Temple stalls. Holy Love Ministries does encourage members to order things, http://www.holylove.org/gift_shop.php go to the spiritual life section and enter the The Way to Heaven Through the United Hearts section and you’ll see plain self-advertisement.
    It is shameful that retorting to the Most Rev. Bishop’s authority, the next HL message I received was simply a response to the Bishop’s words. As if the Holy Virgin Mary doesn’t have anything else to do.
    However, I wouldn’t say that Mrs. Maureen Sweeney-Kyle is a Satanist. She is simply deceived by the Devil. St. Padre Pio had many encounters with the Devil, but sometimes the Devil would appear to him as St. Michael, sometimes as Jesus and sometimes as Mary. Yet,the Holy Saint held on to the faith. Indeed, once even I an unworthy worm, had a dream of Jesus Christ. Yet, how can I possibly receive Jesus in a state of Mortal Sin as I was then?
    Indeed, most of the approved apparitions only got approval much later on; however, the Church is generally very slow in Her actions and that is something that the Church should really work on as it is the biggest turn-away of most Catholics. However, that doesn’t prove anything, since we can’t predict the future. What if the Church never approves the HL Ministries?
    Every approved apparition has some things in common, as one was stated by Katherine Bohuslav May God Bless her for shedding light on this mystery, another characteristic is that they don’t happen everyday, another being the fact that they usually cause many healings, conversions, confessions, and so on. However, I have observed that most (if not all) of the approved apparitions are spread usually over a short period of time and they are never frequent; Jesus and Mary seldom appear to the same person in CONVERSATION (not referring to just seeing as in Fatima of the Holy Family); they normally don’t give directions like ‘go make the Order of……….’ and usually the visionary is almost never asked to write down the message ON THE SPOT and the only material object in relation is usually the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    Finally, I think Patti Maguire Armstrong has done a great job in voicing the Most Rev. Bishop’s message. After all, we don’t even need Jerusalem or the Temple now, as WE are the Temple of God, and we attain our highest standard by receiving Christ, and we can only fully receive Him in a Church, during Eucharist. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the Hour of Our Death, Amen.

  • annat

    Dear Incredulous,

    I agree with Patti that your heart is in the right place. But when you ask why we aren’t willing to listen to Jesus and Mary you have already jumped over the stumbling block for faithful Catholics. HOW DO WE KNOW IT’S JESUS AND MARY TALKING? You are willing to believe it is – without the authority of the Church, but only the authority of Maureen. As Catholics we don’t believe it’s Jesus and Mary unless the Church says so. Jesus gave authority to the Church so Truth could be preserved. It is not that those who want to follow the Bishop don’t believe the world is in a mess, or don’t believe that we need lots of prayer and devotion, or don’t believe that Jesus and Mary are yearning for our love of God and neighbor, or don’t believe the Church itself has members including priests and hierarchy who need a lot of prayers.

    You refer a lot to the positive spiritual experiences of many people at HL. But are you aware of the many people whose faith has been shattered by Holy Love Ministries, who have had spiritual darkness because of it, whose families have suffered or fallen away from the faith because of their relatives’ involvement? Are you aware that when now it comes down to a choice of staying with the Catholic Church or believing what Maureen says she hears and sees, MANY souls could be leaving the Church?

    Those are things of deep concern. You are not willing to believe the Bishop, but are willing to believe Maureen. You seem to base that on your personal experiences. And you automatically assume the Bishop is wrong, because Maureen said so (through a message). PLEASE step back and reflect upon the choice you are making. Jesus through His Church, or Jesus through Maureen.

    Anna

  • exymo

    There is little difference if one is mislead by their heart, or their mind, or their pride. Each can do its dirty work, but the Lord’s call to love Him will never lead one astray.

    When Jesus reveals himself, whether it is at HL, or at Medjugorje, at Church, or elsewhere, it changes things! Once that happens a soul can never deny that experience, or Him, again.

    Jesus showed himself crucified to me at Medjugorje, and in that moment I was taught how to love- to TRULY love.

    Jesus showed himself to me at HL, saving a lost soul, He did it so tenderly, with such unfathomable mercy, that I was suddenly taught how to deeply love with all sacrifice.

    The Beloved will manifest Himself when and where He chooses.

    Patti, you say that examples of conversion and feeling closer to God are not proofs. Neither is there ‘proof’ that the Eucharist is the true flesh and blood of Christ. There is no ‘proof’ that there is truly absolution of sins in confession. There is no ‘proof’ that Jesus rose from the dead. There are many in the world that will not accept ‘proofs’ that the Catholic Church is the true and authentic Church of God. If scientific evidence is the proof you seek, or that you require, then what is the purpose of ‘faith’ or is faith also just an emotion that can mislead? Certainly we Christians are taking a real hit from the secular world for our faith- they consider it lunacy!

    In my humble opinion, this issue and others like it is exactly the reason that this mission started out as ‘ecumenical’ in the first place, and like much of Catholic media, deciding NOT to be under the auspices of a bishop.

    It isn’t possible for ANY of us to have perfect knowledge- indeed, we look through a glass darkly. Christ is the light, and the truth, and if we love him and look to love him, he knows it.

    HL has taken its hits right from the beginning, and I really feel for Maureen.

    One day, out of the blue, I experienced a healing of something medically incurable. It happened right in front of my family, and it was astonishing. I hadn’t even prayed for a healing. It turned out it was the answer to a humble prayer by someone who loved God very much and I had no idea I was even the subject of their prayers. But more astonishing still was that that miracle that occurred right before the eyes of my family members HAD NO EFFECT ON THEIR SOULS. Not one of them thought ‘this is important!’. Not one of them decided it was a good idea to seek God.

    Even medical proofs aren’t enough to convert some souls, much to my sorrow.

    If that didn’t work on them, it can’t be any surprise that Fatima, Medjugorje, Guadalupe or the Church won’t work either.

    God knows what he’s doing, even if we don’t.

  • patti

    I’d like to respond to this comment: “Patti, you say that examples of conversion and feeling closer to God are not proofs. Neither is there ‘proof’ that the Eucharist is the true flesh and blood of Christ.”

    You are right. I cannot prove the Eucharist and other teachings. I believe in Jesus Christ but it is not up to me to prove anything. Instead, I follow His Church whom He promised the gates of hell would not prevail against and that He would send the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, to lead in all truth.

    It’s a complicated world. I cannot navigate truth and untruth on my own. I trust in the Church to do that for me. It is the Church that is the fire and pillar of truth, not our own hearts and feelings.

  • incredulous

    Patti – Your quote: “The messages of the Sacred Heart of Jesus through St. Margaret Mary, The Divine Mercy devotion through St. Faustina, also Fatima and Lourdes are all Church approved messages from heaven that have deepened my faith and directed my life.”

    All of the above “approved” messages from heaven suffered through the same attacks as present day apparitions are enduring now. Our Lady of America was approved by a Bishop in the 1950′s, and Our Lady said that if her statue was processed into the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, that America would be saved. It is 50+ years later and the statue is currently sitting in the John Paul II Cultural Center. The Bishops have finally approved placing the statue in the Basilica, but someone is blocking this. Do you not suppose that America will suffer unnecessarily because of the obstinacy of some persons in high positions in the Church, dragging their feet because they don’t want to accept anything that may subject the Church to ridicule? Being Catholic does not mean being safe and comfy with the world. It means taking a stand that will ensure ridicule, as Jesus and the Apostles endured. We are supposed to be different than the rest of the world. Fools for God if necessary – dry martyrdom, not politically correct!

    As I mentioned previously, Our Lady in Lipa, Phillipines was attacked by a Bishop who destroyed the seer’s diary and the rose petals that came from heaven with religious images on them, but the apparition has now been approved 58 years later. What changed in the interim? Absolutely nothing except that the original Bishop did not believe in the supernatural, and the current one does! Which one is to be obeyed? Which one is wrong?

    These decisions by Bishops are merely matters of their opinions, and the damage done to the world is incomprehensible when you hear what we are being told by Heaven. The problem is that some Bishops, as in Medjugorje, are against the apparitions for personal reasons. Bishop Zanic at first believed, then did not like a message that Mary gave which criticized him for having dismissed a young Franciscan priest unfairly, and he began his personal attacks on the apparitions. He selected his successor, the current Bishop Peric who has continued the attacks against Medjugorje. We know that John Paul II approved of Medjugorje, even taking away the decision from the Bishop and turning it over to a commission. Bishop Peric still persists in attacking Medjugorje even though he was asked not to do so. He has a personal agenda. There are other Bishops who have gone there, are now going there, who speak very highly of the fruit, (Cardinal Schonborn is one) but unfortunately they are not in charge of that diocese – so we must endure the constant attacks of Bishop Peric!

    The same is true of other places, especially in America, where nothing is ever accepted in the supernatural sense. We must look realistically at the behavior and attitudes of individuals toward these things. Unfortunately, I personally know how the truth has been exaggerated, twisted and manipulated at a certain apparition site (not Holy Love) in order to deceive the people, so that it would be brought to an end, for no good purpose, except for the inconvenience of controversy. Many of our Bishops are non-confrontational and don’t want the hassle that goes with apparition sites. The same language was used – not supernatural – which, I reiterate, is not condemnation, but the implication is that it is condemned – exactly like at Holy Love. There is no disobedience at Holy Love. I am sure that they will do as asked and not have any Masses said there. The Bishop has asked people not to go there, but for no valid reason, he did not reveal anything against faith and morals, which is the basis for condemnation. All of the scandal that you all have been repeating about Maureen Sweeney is rumor and gossip and no one knows the truth about what happened in her marriage. Were any of you there? That is the sinful behavior being carried out in this situation.

    The website mentioned above and elsewhere, apparitionsites.com, is on an equal par with “The National Enquirer” or other newspaper rags, filled with untruths that people repeat to one another destroying reputations unnecessarily. This is all based on conjecture and there are always some people who are unhappy because things are not going the way they hoped, so they turn away from what they are pursuing. The website even lumps valid apparitions with New Age nonsense.

    Anna’s Quote: “Are you aware that when now it comes down to a choice of staying with the Catholic Church or believing what Maureen says she hears and sees, MANY souls could be leaving the Church?”

    This is an example of a broad sweeping statement that has no backup or proof, just conjecture which is then repeated as truth. This is what is happening too frequently. It is better to be quiet than to have to later wish you had never said anything.

    I am not believing Maureen versus the Bishop. I don’t know Maureen – it has nothing to do with her. I am hearing the words and devotions coming from Heaven through Holy Love and know them to be truth. Discernment is a gift I prayed for constantly after my conversion, and I believe that I have received that gift – it is not about feelings nor judging other peoples’ opinions. It is based upon understanding, wisdom and knowledge received from Heaven to help guide me through the mine-fields within the Church, keeping me on a steady course, whether anyone believes it or not.

    Anna, how do you know what I am willing to do or not do? Or that I automatically assume the Bishop is wrong? Or that I have not reflected upon my choice. You don’t even know me or how I have reached my conclusions. This is the type of conjecture and rumor mongering I spoke of earlier. You are making sweeping statements about me, about Maureen, about Holy Love and you have never met either of us, nor probably been to Holy Love. All of you who have replied to my responses have done the same thing.

    I can only hope that you are each put into this type of a situation. Perhaps the Blessed Mother will appear to you, and then you can deal with all that comes with it. It is not a job anyone would seek, because there are no benefits in this world. Those will come in the next world. May God bless all of you.

  • incredulous

    Thank you exymo, for your beautiful words and witness!

    Patti – your quote: “It’s a complicated world. I cannot navigate truth and untruth on my own. I trust in the Church to do that for me. It is the Church that is the fire and pillar of truth, not our own hearts and feelings.”

    When we stay with the Church, which is the pillar of truth, and we believe what She teaches through the Pope in union with the Magisterium, we are safe. When we do not discern individuals within the Church making decisions based on personal agendas or opinions, whether they are Bishops or laity, which does not conform with the Church’s teachings (ie, that we may believe in apparitions unless it is validly condemned for actual heresy against faith and morals) we are in error, because human nature will take us where we do not want to go. We cannot blindly trust any human being. The Holy Spirit was conferred upon each of us at confirmation, and He is active within us if we are quiet and listen for Him to speak to us. This is not about feelings. We receive from the Holy Spirit our own personal communication with Him in the way that God wishes to speak to us. It is a language that cannot be conveyed to others. When the Holy Spirit speaks, we hear truth, and it does not go against what the Church teaches. The Church does not teach that Bishops are infallible. When Jesus steps in, it is after-all, His Church – He is the Head – we all are the body, Bishops and laity alike. If Bishops make mistakes, and as I said they are not infallible, who can correct them but the Head, Jesus? If Jesus comes to correct what is happening in the Church and no one listens, then other measures will have to be taken, which will be much more uncomfortable for us than if we had listened to His prophets.

    How often did this happen throughout Biblical history? The prophets came, no one believed them, and punishment followed. Why does anyone think that today is different? We must not allow individuals in the Church to go off on their own paths, taking many with them. Just as we should not have allowed individuals in our government to do the same. The condition of the government and the Church is very similar. We have trusted individuals too much and have been busy playing and being entertained. God will stop all of it soon, unfortunately, because all is out of control. We have been told for years about the current world condition we are presently in. Everything has unfolded as foretold. Some of those who warned us are on the aforementioned weird website. What does that tell you? It tells me that the website should shut down due to lack of readers.

  • exymo

    I agree with incredulous. There are many examples of condemned apparitions that were later approved. Rwanda, for example, which turned out to be all-too-true. They were ignored and therefore hundreds of thousands of people died heinous deaths. What comfort or help to those poor dead souls in accepting some or all of the apparitions AFTER THE FACT, when heaven was doing extraordinary things to help us avoid horrors to come? If I could have been at Fatima, or at Lourdes, during the apparitions, I would have wanted to be and await the day when the Church changed her mind and approved them.

    JPII held out his hope on the Divine Mercy messages and devotion, despite the suppression of the Church. Thank God for Him! Even now few churches actually celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, and I have to go out of my way to find one that does.

    These things, at Poland, at Medjugorje, at HL, are a great blessing. It is our misfortune that seers are every bit as fallen and sinful as we are, but God is willing to work with all of us through intercession, through prayer, through service in all kinds of ways.

    I haven’t seen any errors in faith or morals as taught by the Church at HL or at Medjugorje. As long as that is the case, I will maintain hope that one day those apparitions will be approved, and I thank God for the great gifts, graces and blessings available at the Church and through these very special visits, special places, and special people.

  • patti

    As far as comparing HL with other approved apparitions of the Church, we really cannot do that. There are many differences. Yes, some were not immediately accepted as is happening with HL. In the approved cases, there was never a word of protest spoken against the Church, bishops or priests at any point. Not one.

    On a different note, it suddenly occurred to me that much of this discussion is actually missing a big point. HL has said they do not fall under Catholic authority. The Bishop has said these messages are not Catholic. So, under the circumstances, of course these are not going to be Church approved, they are not part of the Church.

    We can go around in circles, but the bottom line is that I personally do not believe that Jesus and Mary are working outside the Catholic Church and criticizing it in their messages.

  • patti

    Dear Incredulous,

    You said: If Jesus comes to correct what is happening in the Church and no one listens, then other measures will have to be taken, which will be much more uncomfortable for us than if we had listened to His prophets.

    If the Catholic Church is the body of Christ and Jesus is the head, then what is the head doing outside of the body? HL says it is echumenical and does not fall under authority of the Church–the body.

    Who is not listening to His prophets? Private apparitions, even approved are not required to be accepted. What other measures have to be taken? This sounds threatening. If we live the life of a faithful Catholic, we have nothing to fear. Not listening to Maureen’s messages is not going to make us more uncomfortable.

    Look at the difference between Martin Luther and St. Francis. Both saw real corruption and a need to change within the Church. St. Francis is the one that worked within the Church and brought about real reform. Martin Luther rejected Church authority and split the body.

  • dutchman1847

    If the Apostle’s followed the dictates of the Temple authorities, there might not be Christianity…

    The following questions illustrate the point:

    1. Did the Blessed Mother ask permission from the Temple elders to say yes to the Archangel Gabriel?
    2. During the Presentation in the Temple why didn’t the priest recognize that Jesus was the Messiah?
    3. Why did the chief priests and elders fail to recognize Jesus as Messiah?
    4. Were not the Apostle’s disobedient to Temple authorities in continuing to follow Jesus?
    5. Once a loyal sheep learns to recognize the Master’s voice and why is it so surprising that the sheep will follow the Master regardless of detractors whoever they may be?
    6. If you were alive during the time of Jesus and lived in Israel who would you believe: Temple rulers or Jesus?

    The experiences of three shepherd children at Fatima symbolize the condition of humanity.

    One Lucia could see, hear and speak with the Blessed Mother.
    Jacinta could see and hear but not speak with the BVM.
    Francisco could only see Her.

    Francisco was essentially ‘deaf’ to the words of Mary.
    Jacinta could hear her words but could not respond to them – she could not speak back to the BVM.
    Only Lucia could fully interact with the BVM. Demonstrating she responded to the Heavenly visitor.
    Each child represents the spiritual state of a third of humanity.

    The final question people need to ask themselves, is this,

    “Do I have the Holy Spirit in my heart so that I would recognize the Master’s voice if He was speaking to me, listen to His words and RESPOND?”

    The Holy Love apparitions are authentic, just as the Garabandal apparitions are authentic. This will be recognized a few short years from now.

  • exymo

    Patti, point well taken. I am NO protestant.

    Some things are far more important than others. In all things charity…

    The church will be moved from the inside out, from the heart outwards, and therefore the importance of receiving communion!

    My hope is that we will all do whatever the love of God requires of us and thereby save souls.

  • incredulous

    Dear Patti;
    Quote: “In the approved cases, there was never a word of protest spoken against the Church, bishops or priests at any point. Not one.”

    This again is a very broad sweeping statement, pure conjecture, about what happened at approved apparition sites in the years before they were approved. It was pointed out previously that they were all pretty much under attack by public authorities and those in positions of power within the Church. The people who knew that Heaven had reached out to them held on to their belief, and continued to go to the apparition sites, in spite of the opposition. This is why they were eventually approved, because the people would not let go. The false apparitions have been uncovered quickly and easily because the evil one cannot love and therefore cannot continue to be believable for very long. These apparitions under attack have been occurring for a long time and have produced good fruit, which evil cannot do. It would be working against itself!

    I make no protest against the Church, Our beloved Mother Church, but the difficulty, as I stated before and will repeat, is with individuals within the Church, whether they be religious or laity, who are fighting God’s work. We are all sinful and prone to error, otherwise we would not all have to go to confession. The perfect ones would be excluded from this requirement and there are none fitting that mold, including bishops.

    I am not Protestant, in fact I have been involved with apologetics, and have been part of bringing people into the Church. I love my Church dearly and would never leave it. However, we must see error where it exists and speak out against it, because it spreads and becomes like a diseased limb. That is how St. Francis worked within the Church to revive it.

    Patti’s Quote: ” ‘You said:If Jesus comes to correct what is happening in the Church and no one listens, then other measures will have to be taken, which will be much more uncomfortable for us than if we had listened to His prophets.’ If the Catholic Church is the body of Christ and Jesus is the head, then what is the head doing outside of the body? HL says it is echumenical and does not fall under authority of the Church–the body.”

    The Head is not outside of the body, Jesus is in His rightful place. He is trying to bring ALL of His children (inside or outside of the Church)into His fold. Who was more ecumenical than John Paul II, reaching out with love to all peoples? Or Mother Theresa? These saints reached out to every person they came in contact with, oftentimes being criticized by those within the Church. God’s ways are not our ways, and we must be careful to not draw lines of demarcation to keep others out if they do not qualify for our narrow boundaries. That is a spirit of pharisaism, which is prevalent today as it was when Jesus was walking amongst us. We seem to think we know more than God about His ways, when they don’t conform to what we have experienced before. God always presents new surprises to me in my walk with Him, unexpected delights that I could not have imagined! All within the boundaries of Truth as taught by the Church.

    Patti’s quote: ” ‘You said: If Jesus comes to correct what is happening in the Church and no one listens, then other measures will have to be taken, which will be much more uncomfortable for us than if we had listened to His prophets’ …This sounds threatening. If we live the life of a faithful Catholic, we have nothing to fear. Not listening to Maureen’s messages is not going to make us more uncomfortable.”

    Exymo’s pointing out of Rawanda was right on target. An excellent example of what happens when we do not obey God through His prophets. The carnage that happened there, as well as in Sarajevo, near Medjugorje, is what I meant when I said that other measures will have to be taken – meaning when we don’t obey God’s requests he pulls back his protection because we are rejecting it, and the dice will fall as they may – in that instance many people had to die needlessly because those in the Church did not heed the requests, because they did not believe it was a valid apparition. If we wait for “approval” it is usually too late to stop what we are warned will happen.

    Jesus and Mary in apparition do nothing more than to beg us to turn to God more fully, to pray more, sacrifice and repent, then we will all be protected and happier and be closer to Him. Frustrating God’s plans only hurts US. I have no fear at all, in fact I have great peace and joy within. I also am not angry, as you implied somewhere previously, I am merely defending truth. I am continuing to hope that all will come to their senses and hear beyond what they are hearing, see beyond what they are seeing. Get the full picture of what is going on all around us. I have also said previously, Patti, that we are not required to believe even an approved apparition, but what are we then missing out on? Special graces and blessings, like bonuses, and who does not want to get bonuses when they are offered?

    As exymo said, even the Divine Mercy promises are still rejected. We do not have to participate, but who wouldn’t? Many don’t, even priests will not have the Divine Mercy devotions in their parishes, some bishops won’t encourage them, many even don’t believe it’s important. What a loss for souls who have been robbed of this wonderful devotion and it’s promises of protection for families and souls in purgatory! This is shocking….and the attack on apparitions is along the same lines. Let them be, and see what comes of it, rather than trying to stop what God may be trying to do for us, especially when much good has come from those sites. No harm has been done, except through the alarmists who may be hurting others who could have been helped spiritually.

    Martin Luther rejected the authority of the Church – ie, the Pope in union with the Magisterium. I and others who believe in valid apparitions that are under attack do not reject the authority of the Church – we reject the opinions of those who are working against what God is trying to do to help His Church. We must defend the truth. Not Maureen’s truth, God’s truth. As I said, she is just an instrument who has obeyed what has been requested of her by God Himself. It is not about who is right or wrong – it’s about God’s Will being done, to save all souls, even those who have not heard the truth yet, to reach them through His prophets.

    And lastly, charity is lacking with regard to those who attack the Sweeney-Kyle family and friends, as well as the seers in Medjugorje, the Sullivans in Emmitsburg, the Gallagher’s in Ireland, and countless others, as well as those who support them in their difficult work of obedience to God. They have been self-righteously maligned, misrepresented, misquoted, spit upon, threatened, marginalized, calumniated, etc., etc., etc, from those who claim to be faithful Catholics. Through all this they have persevered, which is why they were selected, not because they are perfect – they have not claimed to be so.

  • patti

    You are very wrong on one point. If you don’t believe me, do some research and consult higher ups in the Church. Get 2nd, 3rd, 4th….100 opinions and you will hear the same answer. The Church NEVER approved a message because of outside or inside pressure from people. NEVER! You speak of persecution. No one knows more about persecution than the Church.

    There is something that we do agree upon–that if we don’t listen to Heaven, things will get worse for us. Our Lady of Fatima told us this much. Wars are caused by sin. She pleaded with us to pray the rosary daily. Nothing has changed. There is a misrepresentation of past apparitions with HL, however. Fatima messages began in 1917 and were approved in 1930. Yes, slow by our standards, but someone said that if the Church had approved them sooner we could have avoided WWII. That is obviously not true. Most of the persecution came from the government, not the CHurch.

    The Church rightly keeps a distance and then proceeds very carefully and skeptically. It must. Emotions can not rule the day.

    I also agree with you that it’s a tragedy that more priests don’t embrace the Divine Mercy devotion. It is so powerful. But on that topic, I don’t understand why you don’t put more energy behind Divine Mercy, approved messages that JPII endorsed that were given to a cannonized saint, St. Faustina. Fatima, the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy brought us powerful messages and promises. There is nothing new in HL except the fact that it is not within the Catholic Church. If you love the Catholic Church so much, why aren’t you staying within it.

    I am not against praying with non-Catholics and also, I think many of them are holy and will go to heaven. But I’m blessed to be Catholic and have all the gifts Christ left his Church. Even when priests and bishops are not as enthusiastic and loyal to the Church as I hope they would be, I’m certainly not going to go outside the Church.

  • incredulous

    Dear Patti,

    I did not say that the Church approved apparitions because of pressure, but that the faithful remained strong in their belief and never let it be forgotten, by following the devotions. I am sure that it was a constant reminder to the officials in the Church that it had not gone away, and they revisited it, with new people in positions of power recognizing that there was nothing against faith and morals involved. The individuals were able to make a more unbiased appraisal and did not feel their authority was threatened, which is what this all boils down to. Unfortunately, much precious time was lost in most cases, and tragedies could have been avoided.

    I know of the Church’s persecution – which is a true sign of it’s validity – that’s why I am so sad that those within the Church are persecuting each other as well. I also believe that the more an apparition is persecuted, the more likely it is valid – as the devil wants to stop anything good from God, including His Church and apparitions. The false ones go away quietly.

    Regarding Fatima, World War II might have been avoided in that more people would have heard and believed the messages, and perhaps changed their ways, praying, fasting, repenting. Wars are prevented by people’s entreaties to God, and His Mercy, not through human works. If more people had been doing as Our Lady had requested, the war could have been avoided altogether. Our Lady said, if her requests were not heeded, an even worse punishment would come. She said it….I didn’t! What about the messages at Akita, Japan? Those are pretty tough words for an approved apparition!

    Proceeding carefully means using proper discernment through prayer and fasting, not using “emotional feelings” as you keep implying I am doing. I have said this several times already and I mean it. Skepticism is a spirit that attempts to deter. Not a good choice of words to describe what the Church should be doing with regard to Heaven’s intervention.

    How do you know how much energy I exert with regard to Divine Mercy? You, again, are making an assumption about me that you do not know. Because I am responding to this attack on Heaven’s messengers, I am thought to be only focused on Holy Love. I don’t spend much time on Holy Love at all. I have been there a couple of times and pray the rosary for the unborn, which is very powerful indeed. I do, however, go quite frequently to the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, MA, as often as possible considering the distance.

    I am staying with the Catholic Church, I have not left it nor it’s teachings, I am not outside the Catholic Church. I am one of it’s most loyal supporters, speaking out against the detractors from without and from within. I have witnessed a supposed Catholic “theologian”, approved by the Bishop, teaching people in a Catholic Church that most of what St. Paul wrote in the Bible was not to be taken literally. I have witnessed posted notices that a local convent was having a retreat, approved by the Diocese, featuring a “swami” as retreat master, who was once one of the sisters. I have seen courses at parishes that were New Age teachings, all approved by the Diocese. I have protested these things through witnessing and letters. I have also knelt outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in rain, snow and sunshine, trying to stop the atrocity that is abortion. How many Bishops do you see praying outside of these clinics, organizing Eucharistic processions to overcome the legality of abortion? And I could go on and on and on about how I defend and protect the teachings of Holy Mother Church, so please do not accuse me by implication of things that are not true.

    It won’t matter what I tell you because you will continue to put me into a neat little package, defining me by using imaginary motives behind my words, and implying my alleged separation from the Church, to try to belittle what I say, even though you don’t know anything about me. And all this simply because I am pleading with you and those you are influencing to open your hearts to the possibility that you may be the ones being deceived.

  • veritascaritas

    That hearts may not be wounded, some basic truths expounded:

    Is the decree infallible? No, it is fallible personal opinion dealing with private revelation.

    Is the “Forbid” directive of the Decree in connection with conducting Church sacraments on Holy Love Ministry premises obligatory? Yes.

    Is anything condemned to be contrary to the teaching of the Church on Faith or Morals? No.

    Has the Bishop excercised his right and duty as specified in Canon 823 section 2 to condemn writings which harm correct faith or good morals. No.

    If the Bishop has not condemned can others rightly assert he has? No.

    Is Maureen Sweeney for any reason proven a Fraud? No.

    Is Holy Love Ministries proven Fraudulent in operation? No.

    Is it illicit to continue fund raising in support of Holy Love Ministries ecumenical operations, operations which are not proven fraudulent? No.

    Does a devout Practicing Roman Catholic in a state of grace lose their Catholic Identity by belief the private revelations associated with Holy Love are authentic? No.

    Can an objective judgment be made that Cleveland Catholics sin by visiting Holy Love give the Bishops use of the word “admonish”? No.

    Did the Bishop officially “forbid” Cleveland Catholics from visiting the Holy Love Ministries grounds by excercising a legitimate authority vested in him in his office as Bishop of the Cleveland Diocese, thus restricting Catholic and civil rights by officially restricting such an acts of visitation? No.

    Can Cleveland Catholics still choose to visit the grounds of Holy Love Ministry without incurring sin? Yes.

    Can any Catholic still visit the grounds of Holy Love? Yes.

    Has the bishop defined what he means by dialog? No.

    Has the bishop detailed his opinion of why dialog was unsuccessful? No.

    Does the Bishop recognize the alleged charasmatic grace as authentic. No.

    Does the Bishop identify his expert? No.

    Are there expicit details regarding anything the “expert” claims, asserts, argues, or proves in the Decree and letter? No.

    Are the personal opinions of the expert elucidated? No.

    Can erroneous conclusions be drawn and fallacy be held due to some making invalid inferences given the actual language of the Decree and attendant letter. Yes.

    Are opinions of consulted experts in support of the authenticity of the private revelations cited by the Bishop in his Decree and Letter? No.

    Can anyone properly infer or deduce from the language of the decree or the accompanying letter that there exists absolute proof of inauthenticity? No.

    Is it the Bishop’s personal opinion state that the alleged private revelations are supernatural in origin? No.

    Does the personal opinion expressed in the Decree indicate the Bishop believes the alleged private revaltions are not supernatureal in origen? Yes.

    Can the Bishop be wrong in his assessment of the alleged charasmatic grace? Yes.

    Should the Bishop’s personal opinion be dismissed without consideration? No.

    Has proof or argument been made in the Decree and accompanying letter that the alleged private revelations are demonstrably and certifiably not supernatural in origin? No.

    Are proofs and arguments maded why the the Bishop personally believes that the alleged private revelations are not supernatural in origin? No.

    Can hurt and harm to some persons result in this situation. Yes.

    Is it possible some will now make assertions that are not true and judge persons and actions by their own personaly opinion and also by what can be proven is not true? Yes.

    Have any actual acts of disobedience been judged to be proven confirmed? No.

    Will the evil one successfully lure by temptations some people to flaunt their faults of righteousness? You be the judge.

    By keeping the answers to the question posed here in mind, we might not fall into believing fallacy and hopefully will not source hurt others by wounding them with our opinion. (Should there be error be found in the Q&A above I humbly submit to those proofs in advance.)

  • incredulous

    Decree

    Whereas, on April 12, 1951 the then Apostolic Administrator of Lipa, Rufino J. Santos, D.D., issued a decree banning public veneration of the image of Our Lady Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace;

    Whereas, while the Carmelite nuns and some others, most specially the Lipa clergy, obediently observed the ban, the great majority of ordinary faithful silently but perseveringly continued their prayer to and devotion towards the Mediatrix of All Grace;

    Whereas, on July 16, 1991 after 40 years of silence the Most Rev Mariano G. Gaviola in effect lifted the ban and allowed the veneration of the Image of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace for the people to pray for world peace;

    Whereas, the fervour of numerous faithful from the Archdiocese of Lipa and from elsewhere continued and even increased throughout the subsequent years and many miracles of physical and spiritual healing have been ceaselessly reported;

    Whereas, increasing number of pilgrims heed the supposed call of the Blessed Mother Mediatrix of All Grace by visiting the monastery making penitential processions and praying almost everyday but most of all on first Saturdays and every twelfth day of the month;

    Whereas, the faithful seek from the official church guidance and assistance in deeper faith;

    Whereas, the local church of Lipa that will celebrate its centenary from April 10,2010 to April 10, 2011 looks forward to a deeper renewal of faith in all the faithful and the increase missionary fervour with the help of Mary, the Star of Third Millennium Evangelization;

    Whereas in the last one hundred years apparently the issue on the Mediatrix of All Grace, regardless of the authenticity or not of the so-called Marian apparitions in the Carmel of Lipa, is the most celebrated event recorded of this local Church;

    So, therefore, I, the undersigned Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lipa declare and publicly announce:

    1. That pursuant to the instructions and conditions issued by my predecessor Archbishop Mariano G. Gaviola, the decree of 1951 is hereby reversed;
    2. That the public veneration of the image of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace in the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa be continued and made available for the prayer of the pilgrims for true peace in our nation and the sanctification of all priests;
    3. That the contemplative and prayerful atmosphere of the Carmelite monastery as willed by the reforms of St. Teresa of Avila be properly maintained for the edification and spiritual growth of the pilgrims who join the prayers of the contemplatives of the said place;
    4. That all bans written or unwritten intended to curtail or diminish the devotion to Mary Mediatrix of All Grace be lifted;
    5. Finally, that a new commission be established to review the documents about the so-called apparitions in 1948 as well as to compile further documents thereafter up to the present.

    Given this 12th day of November in the year of the Lord two thousand and nine.

    Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, D.D.
    Archbishop of Lipa

  • annat

    Dear Incredulous,

    May I share with you my own personal experience with HL? I’ve been hesitant to do so for fear of reprisals, but perhaps my witness is important. I was part of HL for many years. The messages were attractive because they closely reflected many other types of private revelations I felt were reliable and spiritually inspiring, with the added bonus of happening right now within my own life. It did not occur to me to refer to anyone in authority about whether the messages were authentic or not. I felt I was using informed discernment and they seemed genuine to ME, and the organization seemed like a likely catalyst to get people to actually do something about their spiritual lives and the ills of the world.

    To make a very long story short, I discovered the strong likelihood (actually many proven examples) that the messages were frequently drawn from the extensive reading and personal acquaintances of the visionary, as well as her very creative imagination and her own will. Also within the ministry itself EVERYTHING was run by messages. Besides the public ones available at the web site, there are those for the ministry operations, and also personal messages. If Maureen did not like what someone was doing, they would receive a negative message from a heavenly messenger. If a person actually began to doubt the messages and was foolish enough to make that known, you would be shocked to see what kind of names they could be called, how they were cast as being against Jesus and Mary, how denigrations to their character (by heavenly visitors) were given in messages, etc. Those who left HL were frequently treated as evil and were shunned. Some were told they needed exorcisms. Most people who visit and follow the messages have no idea what goes on in the background. There is an inner circle where these things happen. In particular, those who could be big contributors or can bring in a lot of believers or priests were given very special treatment and special personal messages from heaven.

    It was the messages that brought me into HL, but it was also the messages that convinced me to leave. Besides those personal messages that were TREMENDOUSLY manipulative, controlling and often uncharitable – supposedly coming from Jesus and Mary – there was a constant negative attitude towards Church authority of almost all kinds. And as time went on, the theology and spirituality became shakier and shakier. You have spoken about the ecumenism aspect, Incredulous, but that is not where HL began. They specifically used information from a canon lawyer and a priest in 1999 (long after they had been in operation) to make a decision to emphasize ecumenism so they would never have to conform to Church standards. That (getting around the Church) is a fact they frequently bragged about behind the scenes.

    I have seen rumors of Maureen personally and of the ministry which are out of line and judgmental, and often not true. I certainly don’t condone that. For example, whatever caused the divorces of she and her husband (and no one would really know), they did obtain annulments before marrying each other. There was no obvious impropriety concerning funds within the ministry of which participants were aware at the time I was involved. Lack of charity is certainly wrong from supporters or critics alike. I have no idea what is in Maureen’s heart when she gives these messages. But the facts as I experienced them for years truly support the Bishop’s decree of “not supernatural”.

    I myself experienced tremendous personal pain and turmoil in trying to detach from considering these messages as heavenly and from looking to them daily as a guidepost. Having to detach affected my spiritual relationship with the Blessed Mother for a long time. In the end it was a negative and painful experience that God made use of for the good of my soul, but I surely wouldn’t recommend it to others as a spiritual exercise! And I’ve know so many others with similar painful experiences, that I really worry about the decisions many followers are now facing.

    Is their faith in these messages, or is their faith in Jesus’ Church? The problem with believing the messages are supernatural is that they are given the authority of God. Maureen could say anything she wishes or believes to be true, and people will believe it is from God, once they have decided her source is supernatural. If she restricts the messages to “safe” subjects (whatever those would be) that is one thing. But she is now specifically telling people not to pay attention to the authority of the Church. That is dangerous. If Maureen simply presented her messages as her own thoughts, the whole situation would be different. She could be running an ecumenical ministry to help the poor, inform people of spiritual needs in the world, give meditations on scripture and spirituality, rouse people to defend life and fight corruption – anything like that. She could give speeches instead of messages. You could take it or leave it on a human discernment level. But she decided to give her words the authority of heaven. That way (from her point of view) they can’t be challenged, and she has a captive audience for whatever she wants to say in the future. She can even decide to threaten that a person’s soul is in danger if they don’t believe or if they obstruct the messages. (For example, Jesus saying “If you are not for me you are against me” in the context of obstructing the messages.) We really do need the authority of the Church for discernment of prophets who purport to teach us God’s ways.

    There are many personal experiences I could share to try and convince you of this ministry’s false premises, but it probably wouldn’t be wise, and perhaps none of it is effective anyway. So let me just summarize that at least in my own extensive experience with HL and seeing how these messages are generated and applied, they are most definitely not supernatural, and I pray heartily with great compassion for those affected.

    Anna

  • veritascaritas

    Anna,

    Be not afraid. Where you say, “There are many personal experiences I could share to try and convince you of this ministry’s false premises, but it probably wouldn’t be wise, and perhaps none of it is effective anyway.”

    Please disabuse all persons you believe have misconceptions, and enlighten the truth so that all whom you might believe are on the path to perdition, may one day attain eternal life. Certainly, Our Lord will hold you accountable for this specific knowledge invalidating the alleged private revelations as inauthentic (something not even the Diocese has detailed specifically). Vague references aside, by the Mercy of God, disabuse the sheep being misled whom you might believe will plunge into the precipice of the deceived. Vague allusions need not be included but precise errors and proofs of inauthenticity will need to be necessarily exposed and precisely expressed apart from subjective experience.

    Thank you so much in advance for this assistance in helping those so eternally endangered.

  • patti

    Concerning the examples of the Jewish Temple authorities judging Jesus negatively, such a comparison is putting HL of the same level as Jesus coming in fulfillment of the Old Testament and is comparing apples and oranges. After Jesus and the advent of Christianity, there has never been apparitions from outside the Catholic Church that has ever been accepted.

    Some have felt my mention of Maureen’s second marriage in the midst of her messages as being suggestive of scandal where there is none. Good that there is an annulment, of course. I brought up a few of the many things I am aware of that make these messages unlike anything that has ever been accepted by the Church. Moving locations and having the miraculous spring move with it, rejecting Church authority outright, the visionary divorcing and getting remarried and her 2nd husband becoming director of the ministry…these were just a few things I mentioned that would cause one pause.

    When I wrote the article, I mentioned that one way the devil can use false apparitions is to cause followers to turn against the Church when the Church rejects the messages. You judge for yourself if this is the case.

    People are picking and choosing arguments to their own ends. Maureen’s messages and the ministry’s operation, is nothing like any approved messages in the history of the Church. All saints and visionaries gave complete obedience to the Church, even at times when they were judged unfairly. Maureen, instead, comes up with scolding and warning messages from Jesus and His Mother against the Church which she states has no authority over her anyways.

    I believe that the devil is pulling the same scam he always does; turn things upside down and calling good, evil and evil, good. Anyone who speaks against the messages is pegged as a tool of the devil, trying to block Jesus. The messages are supposed to be from God so they are good and the Church won’t accept the messages so they are bad.

    It’s ecumenical, so if Jesus is trying to reach His Catholic children, He is going about it in a strange way that has never been successful in the history of Christianity.

    We have an abundance of gifts within our Church without HL. We have Fatima and Lourdes and other approved messages. We should all have a devotion to the Sacred Heart. Have the Sacred Heart enthroned in your homes. Go to http://www.sacredheartapostolate.com to find more. Say a daily rosary. Practice the First Friday and First Saturday devotion. Go to Mass and receive Holy Communion every Sunday and every other day you can make it. Receive the Sacrament of Penance regularly. Spend time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Say a chaplet of Mercy every day and celebrate the Feast of Mercy. Read the Bible and the lives of the Saints.

    These are the devotions we have from our Holy Catholic Church. There is nothing to be gained by following condemned messages. There is nothing Maureen can offer you that is not contained in all of the above devotions. It seems exciting to think you are hearing messages from Heaven. It makes you feel like an insider. We all want to be insiders with God. But God has never worked in this manner before and I don’t believe He’s taking a new approach now.

    I appreciate everyone who has taken time to write in. I think it is important that we pray for one another and continue to seek God’s will in our lives.

    God bless you all.

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  • Bill

    I am for Paul, I am for… No we are for The Church.

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  • Lb13b

    If this Ministry is open to anyone of any faith or no faith at all,  why would the Catholic Church worry about it.  They are not at the door preaching.  You go and walk around in peace.  It is calm and quiet. It allows you to get your thoughts together.  No intrusion.

  • Mary

    Even though my husband and I visited the site a few years ago, I will never waiver from my Catholic faith and we will remain loyal to my Catholic teachings. For all appearances, the site seems religious and encourages devotions, however, I reiterate, I will never deviate from my Catholic faith and if the Church is condemning Holy Love Ministries, it must have compelling and solid reasons. Thank you for this article.

  • Kit

    As a devout Catholic I struggle with discernment and pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. This being said I use my God given gifts of wisdom and knowledge to know man and institutions are fallen. A few year ago the Cleveland diocese gave some of our hard earned Catholic Charity dollars to Acorn who totally promotes abortion.Does that mean I no longer give to CC? No. Discernment. If this site brings people to peace in Jesus and His Blessed Mother and increases conversions to the Holy Catholic Church should it be condemned? I think not. If there is heresy then make that known but as you reference scripture the diocese maybe shouldn’t cast this stone.

  • JMCA

    Knowing and learning more about the Holy Love Ministries has not taken me away from the Catholic Church. In fact, the prayers that I have engaged in through this ministry have not led me to believe that the ministry is against the Catholic Church in any way. There are messages that have been given which point out perversion or denial of truth within the Christian community, but that is due to human error and is not unlike an attempt to correct a child who needs corrected. How can revealing and defending truth be wrong? I do not believe this ministry is asking us to choose between following a visionairy or following the church. This ministry points to following the truth and living a life of holy love, which is what all of us should strive to do anyways – regardless of our faith denomination.

  • LER

    I have been going since 2004 and my experience at the Shrine is the peace and the messages are in tune with the teachings of the Catholic Church and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and this is not what I feel when reading your comments about the Shrine and the Visionary, Maureen Sweeney. Your are full of hatred and that is not Holy Love. If I was you I will be more careful to save my soul instead of disparaging this place like the Pharisies did with Jesus

  • Marie

    The Catholic Church has approved the visionaries and their messages in Kibeho, Rwanda. Our Lady appeared to visionaries in a convent and many of the girls living and receiving a Catholic education in the convent were muslim. When the visionaries asked Mother Mary about their fate because of their faith, Mary said that people from other faiths can pray the rosary and they can also be admitted into heaven if they are ‘faithful’ to their faith. This to me says that although the visionaries are catholic, one does not need to be catholic to visit the site and pray the rosary and convert the hearts of sinners. If Jesus were alive today (and he seems to be in many parts of the world) he would not exclude the souls from heaven of other faiths. A merciful Jesus would not do this. It goes against his teachings. Within the Catholic church there have been many in high places who have disobeyed the Truth and the commandments. I cannot imagine that Jesus would only include Catholics in heaven given the turmoil in the church today. Pope Francis reaches out to other faiths. He knows Christ more than any of us here on this site. The teachings of the faithful are for ALL of the faithful, not just Catholics.

  • Allan

    The last line of this article gives lie to the entire piece, and points to the division that the devil has inspired. “People can follow Sweeny-Kyle or the Church, but not both”. NO ONE is following Sweeny-Kyle. I wouldn’t know her if I saw her on the property. NO ONE who is Catholic abandons his faith or his Church after having visited there. Quite the opposite in fact. I made sure I got to confession before visiting there in June. Holy Love Ministries has increased my faith, clarified the Truth and inspired me and instructed me. Until I see messages contrary to faith and morals, I will continue to read, pray and believe. I wish the Church would condemn same sex marriage with the same vigor that has beleaguered this poor woman. Australia has its first saint! Mary MacKillop is also the first person ever excommunicated to be declared a saint! Apparently, she was excommunicated for ‘insubordination’. Hmmmm. On his deathbed, this same bishop lifted the excommunication. I guess a bishop can make mistakes after all. The bishop of Cleveland has been persuaded by the wrong voices, just like the bishop in Australia. I would bet there are more prayers in support of the Catholic Church emanating from the Holy Love property than in the entire rest of the diocese. As Our Lady has said from this site; “Fatima would not be approved if it occurred today”. This is how far our faith in the supernatural has subsided. Look at Medjugorje. The Virgin Mary has appeared to (now 4 children) EVERYDAY for 32 years and the Church has ‘condemned’ that also. (Your assertion of condemnation is another flaw in your article, Holy Love has the same status as Medjugorje in the eyes of the Chuch). So, as a faithful Catholic who witnesses the Church stand by while our sacrament of marriage is desecrated, I begin to wonder where our leaders are?

  • Shilaly

    It is right on the home page of the site the information about the “investigation” done there. The previous bishop ordered it and the person who conducted it was not qualified to judge it. Bishop Lennon simply rubber stamped this. There is NOTHING being taught there that does not conform to the teachings of the church. I have been there many times, and will continue to go. I am also a Catholic. People must realize that bishops are people with flaws like everyone else, and can make rash judgments based on inferior knowledge of the things that are going on there. The Vatican can only go on what the bishop says, so it has been one long string of faulty information all along. And for those of you that know about Fatima and Lourdes- the children involved in these now famous and approved apparitions were very much persecuted by church authorities at the time. It is no different now. So do not let this keep you from going- the bishop actually has no right to tell you that. Then decide for yourself. Go with an open mind and heart, and you may find the peace and comfort that you will find nowhere else.

  • Mehmehsangels

    Let us also not forget that the Third Secret Of Fatima that was supposed to be released in 1960 never was even till this very day. Not by “any” of the Popes. So much for obedience of the Catholic Church to Our Blessed Mother’s wishes. I would never let anything take away my faith in Jesus, the Blessed Mother or the Eternal Father. Not one of the messages says anything against the church and it’s teachings. And considering all the changes the church has made and the dark scandals and cover ups, I really don’t think any of them have a right to tell anybody anything! I follow God, and the teachings of the Bible. The church hierarchy has strayed so far from the TRUTH they wouldn’t know it if they fell over it. I follow my Catholic religion in all it’s beauty as it was taught to me as a child. What is going on today no longer resembles the religion I was brought up on. Holy Love Ministries is pointing all people of all faiths to TRUTH and Salvation. I see nothing dark, sinister or evil going on. The world is about to be judged and they are trying desperately to lead all souls away from a sinful life and back to Our Lord Who has been so rejected by the world. Does the Catholic Church feel that they alone have a monopoly on Salvation? What about non-Catholic Christians? The bishop has condemned this ministry? Our Lord too was condemned…..and what was His sin….preaching love of God and neighbor. Until I see evidence pointing otherwise, I feel that Holy Love Ministries has been a shining light of Hope and Truth in a dark and sinful world.

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