Emmitsburg and the Holy See
By Rev. John B. Wang, Ph.D., J.U.D.
In 2002, I wrote an article entitled "Marian Apparitions at Emmitsburg, Maryland" to shed light on the difficulties encountered by the investigative commission of the Baltimore Archdiocese on the mystical phenomena Dr. Gianna Talone-Sullivan has been experiencing since 1987. From the positive feedback I received, I can conclude that the writing was helpful. Recently, there have been some new events at Emmitsburg and this new development prompts me to reflect and write again.
In 2001, the
How about the involvement of the Holy See in
this matter? Evidently, Cardinal
Keeler wrote or consulted the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith)
and received a written reply, on
So, that is the problem. How can we get out of this dilemma, this puzzle, this enigma? Let me submit and explore some possibilities.
1. The letter of the CDF to Cardinal Keeler is falsified. The answer: No, not likely.
2. The Mother of God did not know the existence of this letter. The answer: Not possible.
3. The apparitions in question are not
really taking place; Gianna is not receiving messages from Heaven. Well, one may go that route and think
that way. In the matter of private
revelation, one may freely accept or reject. But as far as I am concerned, I can
testify that I have witnessed eight apparitions of our Blessed Mother to Gianna,
three times in Gianna's home, three times in
4. Our Blessed Mother does not consider this CDF letter to Cardinal Keeler a "communiqué from the Holy See" in the TRUE SENSE, because it only affirms the right and duty of Cardinal Keeler to investigate and decide. This is the standard canonical procedure with any local Ordinary in regard to apparitions occurring within the territory of his jurisdiction. In fact, the Holy See has never personally investigated Gianna's case and Gianna has never received any notification from the Holy See. In this sense, it is true that there has been no written communication from the Holy See, as our Blessed Mother asserted. Does this make any sense? It seems there is some hidden mystery here. God's Ways are not human ways.
During the last few decades, Marian devotion in our Catholic Church has suffered a great setback. Many parishes removed our Blessed Mother's statues from the church. The recitation of the Holy Rosary is discouraged. Marian dogmas, such as Mary's perpetual virginity, are denied. Pilgrimages to Marian sites are blamed and faulted. A Marian statue is shedding tears. "So what?" some would say. A Marian picture is oozing oil. "Oh, that's interesting," others would mouth while walking away. I personally heard a bishop mutter, "Mary, she has to obey the Church." Perhaps that bishop forgot Mary is the Mater Ecclesiae, the Mother of the Church. A priest was overheard saying, "If Mary really appears here, let her go away." Incredible! Bold! Daring! The Mother of God is undoubtedly under attack!
Our Blessed Mother is being sent by the Most
Holy Trinity to help us with our salvation. She appears and gives messages in many
places. But her apparitions are
ignored or belittled especially by some members of the ecclesiastical Hierarchy
and clergy. The findings of the
The authentic visionaries are being persecuted and suffering much pain. Indeed, this is the time of purification. They, together with other chosen souls, must suffer in a special way for the salvation of souls. One cannot help wishing that this trying period be shortened. Regarding the constant visits and words of our Heavenly Mother, the CDF must assume its proper role and become more active in discerning them. There is no shortage of qualified Marian theologians and scholars of mystical theology. Why not seek their assistance?
We know the Mother of God has a plan in Emmitsburg and, in due time, Abba, God the Father, will intervene to set things straight. Everything hidden will be revealed and all shall see the Truth. May that day come soon. If on that day I'm still alive, I will give Gianna a gold medal for her heroism.
Fr. John B. Wang's academic degrees include a M.A.T.
(Master of Arts in Teaching) from the
Fr. Wang's statement read and distribution supported by:
Fr. Jacques Daley, OSB, STL, STD Fr. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D.
Gianna’s Spiritual Director Gianna’s Spiritual Advisor
Prof. Courtenay Bartholowmew, MD
International Marian Scholar, Author, and HIV-AIDS Researcher