JUNE 3, 2013
Christina Gallagher–The House of Prayer
Apparitions True and False
By Fr. Peter Joseph,
[…] Examples of visionaries judged to be false
Some individuals have been pronounced against by name, e.g., Vassula Ryden, and the Little Pebble, William Kamm. Vassula has been condemned twice by the Holy Office (the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), on the grounds that her revelations do not come from God, and because they contain errors against the Faith. You hear people say: “But her writings are so spiritual and so beautiful!” I agree; possibly 99% of Vassula’s messages are in conformity with the Catholic Faith—but that is just how the devil operates to deceive pious Catholics. It is the 1% that does harm. A poison apple is mostly good apple—but will harm you nevertheless. The devil knows he cannot mislead devout Catholics with outright heresy, but he can appeal to their piety and then subtly plant errors within.
In any case, there has been no approved revelation in the history of the Church where God took someone’s hand and gave messages by writing with their pen. But you do find handwriting messages given at séances—and séances are condemned by the Church as a practice of the occult against the law of God.
I have seen one pious magazine defending Vassula by saying that Cardinal Ratzinger never signed the statement against her printed in L’Osservatore
Romano. A man I know sent them the official statement from Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official Vatican gazette, which has the Cardinal’s signature at the bottom, along with [that of] the Bishop Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Unfortunately, the editor of the magazine had neither the humility nor the honesty to print a correction in the next issue.
Another example: the alleged apparitions in Garabandal in northern Spain, in which four young girls alleged that the Virgin Mary appeared to them from 1961-1965. The response of successive bishops of the diocese of Santander has been uniformly negative, and the present Bishop Vilaplaua has concurred with this verdict. Despite this, there are a number of active associations supporting Garabandal. A simple case of disobedience to lawful authority.
This is only one of a countless number. There’s Montichiari in Italy (1947), Necedah in the United States (1949), Palmar de Troya in Spain (1968), Bayside [Veronica Leuken] in the U.S. (1970), Dozule in France (1972), and hundreds of others – to say nothing of all the alleged visionaries and locutionists past and present, such as the Irish lady, Christina Gallagher, and many another poor deluded souls.
Mrs. Gallagher’s messages, in part, read like a frantic worried woman lamenting the state of the world. There are plenty of frantic worried people, lamenting the state of the world, who are good Catholics – but the Blessed Virgin from Heaven does not talk like them, in such a human, earthly, fretful fashion. To attribute such talk to Our Lady is an insult.
“Have visions; will travel” – such publicity seekers are not to be believed. Genuine visionaries fly from publicity. They do not go around with photographers and camera crews. They submit to investigation by Church authorities; but they do not have publicity agents.
Fr Peter Joseph of Wagga Wagga, Australia, has a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, is the editor of the revised version of Archbishop Sheehan’s “Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine” (Saint Austin Press 2001), [vice-rector of Vianney College seminary], and is currently the Chancellor of the Maronite Diocese of Australia.
Statement Regarding the Work of Mrs. Christina Gallagher at the House of Prayer at Achill Most Rev. Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam
Statement of Archbishop Neary, February 29th, 2008
The Tuam Diocesan Office has recently received a considerable number of media enquiries regarding this matter.
In 1996 I established a diocesan commission of enquiry to investigate certain claims regarding and emanating from this work. In 1997, acting on foot of a report from the commission, I issued a lengthy public statement to the effect, in essence, that no evidence of supernatural phenomena had been observed but that the persons involved gave every evidence of good faith. Arising from that, I proposed a basic canonical structure that would gradually integrate the work of the House into the life of Achill Parish and the Archdiocese. While this was then attempted by the Archdiocese, I became increasingly perturbed by an apparent absence of enthusiasm on the parts of Mrs Gallagher and her associates. The relationship deteriorated to the extent that Mrs. Gallagher, in July, 1998, closed the ‘House of Prayer’ at Achill, expressing to the media at the time a sense of having been harshly treated by the Archdiocese. In order to clarify the issue for the faithful I issued another statement, regretting the development and expressing grave misgivings as to the wisdom with which Mrs Gallagher had been advised and had acted in the matter.
Diocesan efforts to integrate this work ended in July, 1998 when it was closed by Mrs. Gallagher. Celebration of the sacraments and reservation of the Blessed Sacrament at the ‘House of Prayer’ are not permitted. Any work carried on since then has been entirely of a private nature and has no Church approval whatever. Neither, for reasons given above, does such work enjoy the confidence of the Diocesan authorities. Nothing has been brought to my attention to indicate that I should change from this position in the future. Over the years since then, the Tuam Diocesan Office has clearly and consistently replied to enquiries in respect of this work, which Mrs. Gallagher recommenced.
I respect the faith and devotion of many people who have been impressed by this work in the past, some of whom have expressed their sadness at my stance. Finally, I wish to remind all Church members that they should not hesitate to enquire, as a matter of course, at local diocesan offices regarding the standing of any work describing itself as Catholic, should they be in doubt.
In summary the ‘House of Prayer’ has no Church approval and the work does not enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities.
Copies of my public statements are available on http://www.tuamarchdiocese.org/news.
+ Michael Neary
Archbishop of Tuam
29th of February, 2008
Prayer centre ‘has no status in eyes of Church’
By Jerome Reilly March 2, 2008 www.independent.ie
The controversial House of Prayer has been disowned by the Catholic hierarchy and has no standing in the eyes of the Church.
In a hard-hitting statement, the Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said the House of Prayer “has no Church approval and their work does not enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities”.
He said that celebration of the sacraments at the House of Prayer was not permitted.
The House of Prayer was founded on Achill Island by Mayo woman Christina Gallagher after she claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary in 1988.
Mrs Gallagher claims to receive regular messages from the Virgin Mary and to suffer from unexplained stigmata.
However, Mrs Gallagher has become the focus of a number of reports in the Sunday World newspaper, which published details of her considerable wealth, her multi-million Euro property portfolio, and use of luxury cars. The claims have been disputed by her supporters.
In his message, Dr Neary gave some background to the Church’s decision.
He said that in 1996, he established a diocesan commission of enquiry to investigate certain claims of supernatural phenomenon. Following the report, a statement was issued which concluded that no evidence of supernatural phenomena had been observed but that the persons involved gave every evidence of good faith.
“Arising from that, I proposed a basic canonical structure that would gradually integrate the work of the House into the life of Achill Parish and the Archdiocese. While this was then attempted by the Archdiocese, I became increasingly perturbed by an apparent absence of enthusiasm on the parts of Mrs Gallagher and her associates. The relationship deteriorated to the extent that Mrs Gallagher closed the House of Prayer at Achill in July 1998, expressing to the media at the time a sense of having been harshly treated by the Archdiocese. In order to clarify the issue for the faithful, I issued another statement, regretting the development and expressing grave misgivings as to the wisdom with which Mrs Gallagher had been advised and had acted in the matter. Diocesan efforts to integrate this work ended in July 1998 when it was closed by Mrs Gallagher. Celebration of the sacraments and reservation of the Blessed Sacrament at the House of Prayer are not permitted,” the archbishop said.
Dr Neary added that any work carried on since then has been entirely of a private nature and has no Church approval.
“Neither, for reasons given above, does such work enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities.”
Dr Neary added that he respected the faith and devotion of many people who have been impressed by this (House of Prayer) work in the past.
“House of Prayer”
Not OK’d by Church
Achill Center Founded by Woman Who Claims to Hear Virgin Mary
TUAM, Ireland, March 3, 2008 (Zenit.org) The Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, clarified that the “House of Prayer,” founded by a woman who claims to have been visited by the Virgin Mary, does not have Church approval. He released a public statement last week clarifying the Church’s stance on the Achill Island prayer house, founded by Christina Gallagher, with other sites in the United States and Mexico. He explained the situation of the House of Prayer, saying that since 1996, he had established a diocesan commission to “investigate certain claims regarding and emanating from this work.” Gallagher claims to receive regular messages from Our Lady and to have the stigmata.
In 1997, the archbishop noted, “acting on foot of a report from the commission, I issued a lengthy public statement to the effect, in essence, that no evidence of supernatural phenomena had been observed but that the persons involved gave every evidence of good faith. Arising from that, I proposed a basic canonical structure that would gradually integrate the work of the house into the life of Achill Parish and the archdiocese.”
However, Archbishop Neary stated: “While this was then attempted by the archdiocese, I became increasingly perturbed by an apparent absence of enthusiasm on the parts of Mrs. Gallagher and her associates. The relationship deteriorated to the extent that Mrs. Gallagher, in July 1998, closed the House of Prayer at Achill, expressing to the media at the time a sense of having been harshly treated by the archdiocese. In order to clarify the issue for the faithful I issued another statement, regretting the development and expressing grave misgivings as to the wisdom with which Mrs. Gallagher had been advised and had acted in the matter.” The 61-year-old prelate clarified that diocesan efforts to integrate the work ended in 1998, when Gallagher closed the house.
“Celebration of the sacraments and reservation of the Blessed Sacrament at the House of Prayer are not permitted,” he continued. “Any work carried on since then has been entirely of a private nature and has no Church approval whatever. Neither, for reasons given above, does such work enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities. Nothing has been brought to my attention to indicate that I should change from this position in the future. Over the years since then, the Tuam Diocesan Office has clearly and consistently replied to enquiries in respect of this work, which Mrs. Gallagher recommenced.” “I respect the faith and devotion of many people who have been impressed by this work in the past, some of whom have expressed their sadness at my stance,” the archbishop acknowledged. But, he concluded, “The House of Prayer has no Church approval and the work does not enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities.”
Cardinal to quiz priest over links to cult ‘prophet’
By Maeve Sheehan, March 16, 2008, www.independent.ie
Cardinal Sean Brady has intervened in the ongoing controversy over the House of Prayer after receiving complaints about the role of a parish priest in the movement.
The Primate of All-Ireland is holding “ongoing discussions” with Fr Gerard McGinnity, a parish priest in Co Louth, credited with being spiritual director to its founder — self-styled prophet, Christina Gallagher.
The role of the priest was questioned by former followers of Ms Gallagher. They claim his involvement lends credence to Achill Island-based House of Prayer, which was disowned by the Catholic hierarchy two weeks ago.
Fr McGinnity reportedly helped raise donations for the centre, which built an international following on foot of Ms Gallagher’s claim to prophetic visions and divine messages from the Virgin Mary. Fr McGinnity, a parish priest in Knockbridge, has been associated with Ms Gallagher for several years. He publicly defended her after a series of articles claimed, amongst other allegations, that she was living in a €4m mansion in Malahide in North Dublin.
The House of Prayer — which offers solace and eternal life to the thousands of pilgrims who flock to Achill each year — has come under intense scrutiny over its financial dealings.
The Sunday World has alleged Ms Gallagher amassed vast wealth as a result of her prophetic work, claims which her supporters deny.
The Sunday Independent has learned that several people who donated money to the centre have contacted the Archdiocese of Tuam, which covers Achill, to discuss concerns about past donations. In a statement, the diocese confirmed this and urged “those with concerns (about donations) to contact the statutory authorities.”
Gardai have made discreet inquiries, but there have been no formal complaints against Ms Gallagher’s movement. The Revenue Commissioners removed the movement’s charitable status two years ago, which leaves the organisation liable for gift tax on donations.
Cardinal Brady was asked to intervene by a number of former supporters of Ms Gallagher’s, who wrote to him in recent weeks expressing concern over Fr McGinnity’s endorsement of the House of Prayer. The cardinal was also given a “dossier” of incidents alleged to have occurred at the centre compiled by former supporters. A statement issued by Cardinal Brady’s office on Friday said he has been “involved in ongoing discussions with Fr McGinnity regarding his involvement with the House of Prayer in Achill.” Messages left on Fr McGinnity’s answering machine were not returned.
One former supporter of the centre, Michael McCrory, has led the inquiries into the House of Prayer’s financial dealings, according to an article in the Irish Catholic this weekend. According to the magazine, he approached the publication last year with allegations of sexual impropriety amongst some followers of the House of Prayer. When he raised the matter with Christina Gallagher and Fr Gerard McGinnity, he claimed he was banned from the centre. He subsequently began highlighting the House of Prayer’s financial dealings.
Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, issued a highly critical statement saying the House of Prayer was acting without Church authority.
Controversial religious group to return funds
By Maeve Sheehan, June 1, 2008, www.independent.ie
The House of Prayer has offered to return donations to its aggrieved followers amid a growing number of complaints about the vast wealth accumulated by the prophetic religious group.
Donations of up to €90,000 to the Catholic religious outfit are being investigated by gardai and the taxman, after allegations about its vast wealth emerged earlier this year.
Four donors have now made formal complaints to gardai, alleging they gave the money in the belief that the House of Prayer was in need of it. At least three more complaints are expected to follow.
Representatives of the House of Prayer have told gardai and the Catholic hierarchy that it is willing to return disputed donations. That may not be enough to avert a garda inquiry, however, as authorities are obliged to investigate complaints.
The probe is likely to prove highly embarrassing for the religious movement, led by the former housewife turned self-proclaimed visionary, Christina Gallagher.
One complaint comes from an elderly couple who claim they are impoverished after donating their €90,000 life savings to the House of Prayer, at the request of Ms Gallagher’s associates.
The investigation is expected to involve interviews with leading figures in the House of Prayer, including Ms Gallagher, the spiritual director, Fr Gerard McGinnity, and another associate, John Rooney.
Gardai may also contact the Catholic hierarchy, which has condemned the House of Prayer and urged people concerned about their donations to contact the authorities.
Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary circulated a damning statement on Ms Gallagher’s movement to parishes across Ireland, as well as America and even as far as the Philippines.
The Revenue Commissioners, meanwhile, is completing its inquiry into the House of Prayer, which lost its charitable status in 2005. That means the House of Prayer is liable for gift tax on all donations it received since then.
Christina Gallagher founded the House of Prayer in the 1980s after claiming to receive divine messages from the Virgin Mary.
Earlier this year revelations emerged about the House of Prayer’s multimillion Euro property portfolio and the lavish mansion in Malahide, north Dublin, which is at Ms Gallagher’s disposal.
Christmas card messages
December 18, 2010
Photo: Gallagher’s ‘stigmata’
The kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women…
– 2 Timothy 3:6
I received a Christmas greeting from a friend and former colleague today. She is perhaps in her 70’s now, but she remains a very young soul. In her day she grew to be quite important in her field and gained much respect. She is Catholic – and was almost always a daily communicant throughout her life. She had some moral issues at one point which obviously did not destroy her marriage – and that is a great grace. Many people called her a phony – but I always knew she was a good phony. If you’d ever seen the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s you would know what I mean by that.
Anyway – my friend noted in her card that she has been visiting a local ‘shrine’ begun by followers of Christina Gallagher, the so-called Irish mystic. (Knowing my friend, she noted it hoping I would be either full of admiration for her piety or terribly curious about these messages from Heaven. She was looking for a reaction either way.) My friend has always been quite convinced of her own ‘devout Catholic’‘ status, therefore I was surprised she would follow such dubious mystics. She is very much like another woman I got to know briefly. She too appears to be a woman very careful of her reputation and status, and quite possibly a bit presumptuous as regards her ‘orthodoxy’ in everything – while foolishly susceptible to unapproved private revelations and/or those who promote them.
I know it is not my place to interfere in another person’s spiritual life, but I did send my friend the ‘notice’ on Christina Gallagher written by Gallagher’s local ordinary – I printed it off from EWTN. There is always the chance these folks do not know that some of these locutionists are also phonies. That said, I will not be surprised if my friend dismisses my concern and offers some grand excuse to continue ‘following’ the group, or she might just blow me off as my other acquaintance had and follow her own instinct.
To each his own – it is no longer my concern. Souvent femme varie, bien fol qui s’y fie.
Vassula Ryden the Rails…
From Rorate Caeli: Patriarchate of Constantinople denounces Vassula Ryden
By Terry Nelson,
March 18, 2011
[…]The mystic circuit
I wrote about Vassula Ryden before and got some flak from a couple of her supporters, one a well known priest. Many of these people appear to be obedient yet they are adamant in their devotion of the seer and seem to be reluctant to accept the judgement of the Church in these matters. What did I say the other day in another post about priests and bishops who look the other way when it comes to dubious revelations and apparitions? They often dismiss the critics saying, “Well, as long as people are praying and going to Mass.” In some cases there are theologians, priests* and bishops who go along with the visionaries and promote their causes – despite the fact other bishops and Church congregations issue warnings that the movements are not supernatural, and may be false and even dangerous.
Another situation is scheduled in the St. Cloud Diocese in the next week or so. Outside of St. Cloud, Minnesota, in Sauk Centre is a House of Prayer established by the followers of Christina Gallagher, the Irish mystic whose work and revelations have been denounced by her Diocesan Bishop in Ireland. Yet she is allowed to promote her messages in the St. Cloud Diocese. These messages play to the mistrust and fears of gullible Catholics who look to Christina Gallagher as a stigmatic in direct contact with the Blessed Virgin. See their website here. I spoke with the chancery in St. Cloud and the chancellor, Fr. Rolfes told me he saw nothing against the faith in their prayer meetings, and that Gallagher’s priest-advisor is a priest in good standing. He is also aware of the problems Gallagher has had with her Bishop. The chancellor told me he intended to be present at the next meeting to see that everything was orthodox. That’s a good sign – I think.
Nevertheless, I’m always a bit surprised how promoters of such visionaries seem to be very skilled at explaining away CDF notices and episcopal condemnations in order to find loop holes for people of good faith to follow along and join the cult – and donate. The practice has been tolerated with the Medjugorje phenomenon for decades.
God Bless Bishops with Courage
Rwanda, Julia Kim, Father Fernando Suarez, Christina Gallagher, Medjugorje
By Richard Salbato, 2-4-2008
The persistence of the bishops of Korea and the quickness of the bishop of the Philippines reminds me of the complete failure of the bishops of Ireland. Many years ago the bishop commanded Christina Gallagher to show an accounting of her finances or close down her House of Prayer. She refused to give him an accounting of her finances even when her secret multimillion dollar house was exposed and filmed. Today we now know she has another multimillion dollar house with guards and security systems with money coming in from her Houses of Prayer all over the world.
Today, however, because of the great investigative work of an Irish Newspaper, The Sunday World, the bishops will be forced to take action. Take away the comfort zone and bring the scandal out in the open, and the bishops will take action. From information I am getting I expect action to come soon, and it should be automatic-excommunication of Gallagher for her refusal to obey the Church.
These same investigative reporters are now investigating the money trail of Anne the Lay Apostle with a view to exposing her as a fraud, and in the business for money.
NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS
PAUL VI/CDF FEBRUARY 25, 1978 & DECEMBER 14, 2011
NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS 02
CDF MAY 29, 2012
PRIVATE REVELATION-RULES FOR DISCERNMENT OF PHENOMENA-FR FELIX BOURDIER
CARDINAL IVAN DIAS PROMOTES CONTROVERSIAL MARIAN APPARITIONS
AKITA, JAPAN-ARE THE SUPERNATURAL EVENTS GENUINE?
FALSE PRIVATE REVELATION OF MICHAEL DIBITETTO – RON SMITH
FR STEFANO GOBBI-MARIAN MOVEMENT OF PRIESTS
JULIA KIM-MARYS ARK OF SALVATION
MARIA DIVINE MERCY-THE WARNING SECOND COMING AND THE BOOK OF TRUTH
MARIA VALTORTA-POEM OF THE MAN-GOD
MAUREEN SWEENEY-HOLY LOVE MINISTRIES
PATRICIA DE MENEZES-THE COMMUNITY OF DIVINE INNOCENCE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 02-MEDJUGORJE
VERONICA LUEKEN-OUR LADY OF THE ROSES
Categories: False Mystics