St Michael's World Apostolate, SMWA

Your comments | Home

 
 

BAYSIDE
The Facts Revealed

 

The apparitions of Jesus and Mary to the seer, Veronica Lueken, transpired in the Diocese of Brooklyn (New York) from 1970-1995.  As the prophecies unfold today, the heavenly visitations have produced a powerful and holy site of pilgrimage and a vibrant, soul-saving Mission that reaches out to a troubled world with Our Lady's urgent message.

The responsibility for judging apparitions rests primarily with the local bishop.  He has norms (below) to guide him, but above all, and especially as a shepherd of Christ, he has a serious obligation to the Church and the people of God to conduct a fair and honest investigation.  And so, for many it was an insult and outrage that the late Bishop of Brooklyn, Francis Mugavero, issued a declaration against the Bayside apparitions in November, 1986.  After all, he never even interviewed the seer herself, Veronica!  How could such a flagrant violation of human rights and canon law be taken seriously?

Still a letter, good or bad, signed by a bishop carries considerable weight and, sadly, this contributed mightily to the misinformation, confusion and prejudice that abounds today against Bayside and that exploits the ignorance and fears of clergy and laity alike.

Here are the facts that you were never told.  We trust that this will be enlightening and liberating and hope that you not only revisit Bayside in thought and prayer but also in person by pilgrimage.  Meanwhile, we pray for the only thing that will ever repair this terrible injustice: a true, thorough, canonical investigation of the Bayside apparitions.

 

Some Questions Answered

 

Hasn't Bayside been condemned?

No.  Bayside has never been condemned by the Vatican or the bishop of Brooklyn.  The word "condemned" was never used in the bishop's declaration.  In fact, the then auxiliary bishop of the Brooklyn Diocese and former chancellor, Anthony Bevilacqua (retired cardinal of Philadelphia, Pa.), stated in a 1982 interview: "Condemned is a very strong word.  I'm not hesitant to use it, but it doesn't belong in something like this."  He also stated that it is not sinful to attend the Bayside Rosary Vigils on the sacred grounds.

What about the "thorough investigation" the bishop's statement claims was made?

It never happened.  Webster's defines thorough as "omitting nothing; complete; very exact, accurate, or painstaking, especially with regard to details."  If it were a "thorough investigation" then it certainly would have followed the Vatican norms for judging apparitions (below), but they completely blew them off.  No investigative commission was ever publicly named.  Who was on the commission?  What was their expertise?  When did the investigation begin and how long did it last?  What were their findings? etc. etc.  There are no answers, there is no official report.  (We asked to see it many times.)  How could there be a "thorough investigation" when the principal witness, Veronica, was never even questioned?  The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is named twice in the bishop's statement, yet the CDF norms were ignored!

So you're saying that the so-called "thorough investigation" by the Brooklyn Diocese is a sham?

Exactly.  There has never been a true, thorough, canonical investigation of Bayside.  Period.  Either the diocese violated Church rules or their "thorough investigation" is "the product of a fertile imagination."

But still, wasn't Veronica disobedient to her bishop?

No.  She was the victim of a grave injustice.  Veronica was never contacted by her bishop (or representative) and never spoke with anyone as part of an investigative process. Veronica was judged in absentia.  The diocese broke the law (canon 50, 1983 code): "Before issuing a singular decree, an authority is to seek out the necessary information and proofs and, insofar as possible, to hear those whose rights can be injured." (our emphasis)  Our Lady instructed Veronica that had she been approached in truth and justice, then she would have been subjugated to obedience.  As a deeply committed Roman Catholic, Veronica would normally without hesitation obey her bishop, but the whole so-called "investigation" was such a gross abuse of power.

 
 

So anyone can go to Bayside in good conscience?

Absolutely. An utter travesty of justice has been committed against Our Lady’s message. Unjust laws, as St. Thomas Aquinas (and St. Augustine) teaches, "do not bind in conscience" (Summa I, II, Q96, A4). There’s a difference between true and false obedience. The wise words of St. Peter and the Apostles, the first bishops, apply here: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

Has the Church loosened its restrictions against unapproved apparitions?

Yes. Since 1399 and 2318 of canon law (1917 code) were abrogated by Pope Paul VI in 1966, no ecclesiastical permission is required, neither can anyone incur censure for the publication or dissemination of information dealing with revelations, visions, or miracles. Although the force of the law has been revoked, there is still one essential condition: it can not endanger faith and morals. If it does, then it would be the duty of the bishop to prohibit its publication.

However, in the bishop’s letter, he warns four times that Our Lady’s message is contrary to or endangers faith and morals and yet, strangely, not one example is given. And this from a bishop whose primary duty is to teach? We have the assurance of many clergy that the message is in total accord with Catholic teaching. The late Fr. Malachi Martin, theologian, Vatican insider and advisor to three Popes, stated in 1998: "I believe that Bayside is a true apparition.... Certain circumstances now have led me to believe that in fact it is a true apparition." Fr. Robert Skurla, the former international Blue Army chaplain, declared: "I will stake my reputation on the doctrine contained in the messages." Even the then chancellor of the Brooklyn Diocese, Msgr. Anthony Bevilacqua, stated for the Boston Herald American in 1980 (only six years before the bishop’s statement): "She’s not saying anything contrary to the Faith."

But some say that Bayside is in schism

Bayside devotees are dedicated members of their local parishes, many being daily communicants.  Indeed, one of the major points of Our Lady's message is to remain in our parish church (being a good example of holy tradition) under the governing body of the Church in union with the Holy Father.  Bayside is especially distinguished for its high esteem for the priesthood.  Every Sunday since 1970 we have held a Rosary Holy Hour outdoors for the intentions of the Pope and all clergy.  Moreover, Veronica died a loyal daughter of the Church.  She was a parishioner at Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Port Jefferson, Long Island, where her funeral Mass was celebrated.  She now rests in the Brooklyn diocesan cemetery of Mount St. Mary's in Queens, N.Y.

Why was Veronica chosen?  What was so special about her?

Nothing, if you asked Veronica.  Our Lady said, "When we chose you for this mission, We did this knowing that We had your love and confidence" (July 15, 1973), and "your perseverance, your endurance, and your faith" (April 10, 1976).  Veronica sacrificed everything for this Mission: her health (her doctor called her a walking hospital), her son (shot to death at age 16), and her reputation (constant public slander) are just a few examples.  A psychologist testified in a signed statement that Veronica was mentally sound.  Every Lent for 25 years, she was an eyewitness to the Passion of Our Lord and physically experienced the crucifixion.  When asked, Veronica agreed to suffer as a victim soul for the Church and the priesthood, the very ones from whom she endured her greatest attacks.  Untold suffering, both physical and mental, was her daily companion during her twenty-five years as a voice-box for Our Lady and Jesus, for which Heaven gave her the name, Veronica of the Cross.

The Bible states: By their fruits you will know them. (St. Matt. 7:16)  What are the fruits of Bayside?

For almost 40 years, cures and conversions by the thousands have been reported to the Shrine, cures of cancer, disease and other ills (some with doctor statements) as well as spiritual cures.  People have returned to the sacraments after 30, 40, 50 years or more.  Lukewarm Catholics have become daily communicants, performing regularly the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  Heaven has been bombarded with prayers for peace and atonement for the sins of mankind.  Yet, the extraordinary fruit of Our Lady's visitations have never been examined by the Brooklyn Diocese.

With Veronica deceased how relevant, really, is this message?  And who's leading the Mission now?

Extremely relevant.  Just read the messages and it will be quickly known how critical and urgent they are for the welfare of the Church and the world, but also the great historic events that will be transpiring in the near future.  For example, curative waters will come forth and a basilica will be built on the sacred grounds.  In any event, Our Lord said, "We have made Our home upon these grounds" (June 18, 1991).

The Lay Order of St. Michael (est. 1977), a vibrant community of celibate men headed by Michael Mangan and committed full-time to the cause, lead this Mission.

So why the coverup?  What's the big deal?

In this feel-good era, this is a tough, soul-provoking message that challenges people to face the unvarnished truth: change your sinful or misguided ways or face the consequences.  For some this is liberating, but for others it is disturbing or it requires a lot of humility they don't have.

Our Lady says it best: "Understand, My child, were you speaking and giving to them, Our sons the clergy, a message that would feed their pride and build their arrogance, you would be accepted.  But I do not come to earth to go about in praise.  I come to warn of an urgency upon earth" (Aug. 14, 1981).

So if you don't like the message, you attack it.  Or try to bury it.

 

Norms for Judging Apparitions

On Feb. 25, 1978, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued Norms of the Congregation for Proceeding in Judging Alleged Apparitions and Revelations.  With regard to apparitions and the bishop's solemn duty, the document states: "The competent ecclesiastical authority has the serious obligation to inform itself without delay and to carry out a diligent investigation."

The bishop appoints an investigative commission of experts.  For their judgment, the commission applies these four norms:

1. The moral certainty, or at least great probability, of the existence of the miraculous must be established by means of a serious investigation.  The members of the investigative commission accomplish this by seeking out eyewitnesses, especially the visionaries themselves; by visiting the place of the alleged apparitions; by conducting interviews with any or all who can provide the necessary information to assure that the actual facts have been established.

2. The personal qualities of the subjects who claim to have the apparition: their mental equilibrium, honesty, moral attitude, sincerity; their attitude of obedience to ecclesiastical authority; their ability to return to the regimen of normal practices of the faith.

3. The content of the revelation or message: it must be theologically and morally true and free of error.

4. The apparition must produce sound devotion and rich spiritual fruits which last (e.g., the spirit of prayer, conversion, increase of charity).*

The commission gathers and reviews all available evidence.  After months and even years of study, the investigative team submits a report, signed by the chairman, to the bishop with their verdict.

*There is also five negative criteria that can be applied.  The text is from Discerning the Miraculous: Norms for Judging Apparitions and Private Revelations by Fr. Frederick Jelly, O.P., published in the annual Marian Studies, 1993, p.41-55.