Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore, has ordered a woman who claims to receive visions of the Virgin Mary to stop disseminating alleged Marian messages within his archdiocese.
Gianna Talone-Sullivan, now a resident of Fairfield, Pennsylvania, claims she began receiving messages from Mary since before she and her family moved from Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993. She and her husband founded Mission of Mercy, a nonprofit that provides health care to the poor and uninsured in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Texas.
Sullivan complied with the archbishop’s order by suspending her monthly appearances at a Frederick County conference center. She also pledged not to disseminate messages in written, spoken, or electronic form within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Associated Press reports.
Archdiocesan spokesman Sean Caine said Archbishop O’Brien’s letter was prompted by confusion and anxiety resulting from strong apocalyptic language in Sullivan’s June 1 message, which read in part:
“After awhile, you will see a time when there is another body in orbit around your solar system, coming between Earth and the Sun and leading to tremendous devastation… Approximately 60-70% of the world's population, as you know it, will cease. Of those who survive, 60% of them could die of disease and starvation."
In 2000, Sullivan was banned from delivering her messages during weekly appearances at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Emmitsburg. In 2003 the Vatican supported the conclusions of an investigative commission which concluded the apparitions were not supernatural.
A February 15, 2003 letter from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, told then-Archbishop of Baltimore William Cardinal Keeler that the latter was in a position to conclude the matter with a decree that the visions were not supernatural.
A June 7, 2003 decree from Cardinal Keeler ordered that there was to be no public activity related to the visions in the churches, oratories, and other properties of the archdiocese.However, Sullivan still retains followers who have attended her appearances and have posted her messages on the internet.