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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An Evaluation of the messages of Maureen Sweeney Kyle (holylove.org), Part 2

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2. Maureen Sweeney-Kyle of 'Holy Love Ministries Maranatha Spring and Shrine'
Elyria, Ohio in the Diocese of Cleveland

A. False Claims about the Antichrist

Like so many claimed private revelations, the messages to Maureen Sweeney-Kyle claim that the Antichrist is in the world today. One message, some years ago, claimed that Boris Yeltsin was the Antichrist:
"One message had Mary proclaiming that Boris Yeltsin was the Antichrist. Another decreed that then-President George Bush would be reelected in 1992." (Cleveland Scene, 'Blessed Other,' August 12, 1999, page 3; http://search.clevescene.com/1999-08-12/news/blessed-other/3)
These kinds of errors cannot reasonably be attributed to a misunderstanding on the part of the recipient of a claimed private revelation. And neither Jesus, nor Mary, nor anyone else in Heaven can possibly be mistaken in what they know and reveal, for all in Heaven have the Beatific Vision of God who is Truth. Therefore, such errors clearly indicate that a claimed private revelation is false.

Other messages claim that the Antichrist will control minds with an implanted computer chip, and also that the chip will be used to locate people.
Jesus: "Satan is taking charge of the world's finances. He is putting into place the 'angel' chip which in years just ahead all will find necessary to have in order to conduct even the simplest of business on a day-to-day basis. This 'angel' chip--so named to give it a positive image--will be inserted under the skin. It will be touted as a way of finding lost children, making financial transactions more expedient and making readily available personal data in case of emergencies.

"Here is the truth. This 'angel' is a 'dark angel'. It will be used by Satan to seat the antichrist upon his throne. By means of this chip--which will carry with it the mark of the beast--the adversary will be able to control minds. He will, in an instant, know the whereabouts of all who wear it. Through this little chip he will be able to ignite his brand of spirituality worldwide.

"Those who love Me--those who seek to live in the Divine Will--must never concede to wearing this 'dark angel' under their skin. You, My chosen ones, must not allow Satan to manipulate you in this way. You are Mine and I desire that you remain so. Your welfare is in the Refuge of Our United Hearts….

"I have not come to frighten you, but to expose the truth of these times in which you live. The days of the antichrist's power will be shortened for the sake of the elect. See that he is already preparing to mount his throne."
http://www.holylove.org/messages_by_year.php?year=2004
Such claims contradict both faith and reason. For faith teaches that all have free will, and reason indicates that it is not possible for a chip to be implanted in the brain to control the mind.

B. The Veneration of Ordinary Objects

The relics of Saints and Blesseds may be venerated by the faithful. However, the messages of this claimed private revelation ask the faithful to venerate a piece of carpet, and also a single strand of hair.

Her adherents venerate a piece of carpet, called 'the Blessing Point,' on which Ms. Sweeney-Kyle used to stand when receiving visions in a corner of her living room. Messages speaking about this piece of carpet:
Mary: "Dear children, I leave you this sign of My presence amongst you. Press your rosaries and other objects to it. Kiss it and venerate it. THIS IS WHERE HEAVEN AND EARTH HAVE MET. I promise many, many graces to those who do so." March 22, 1992

Jesus: "The graces given at My Mother's Blessing Point let faults rise to the surface so that the soul is awakened and prodded into dealing with them." August 1, 1992

Jesus "Encourage My children to come to My Blessing Point, for it is here I will open My Heart to humanity." March 8, 1993
http://www.holylove.org/about_shrine.php
Her adherents also venerate a single strand of hair, which Sweeney-Kyle found on her blouse one day. "She noticed the long strand, picked it off, and threw it on the floor. 'And I was told [by Jesus], "You shouldn't have done that. That was Our Lady's hair." So I had to get down on the floor and find it.' Donald Kyle leans forward: 'Jesus told Maureen to have it put in a little relic,' he says. 'And if people would venerate that strand of hair, untold graces would be theirs.' " (Cleveland Scene, 'Blessed Other,' August 12, 1999, page 8; http://search.clevescene.com/1999-08-12/news/blessed-other/8)

This strand of hair "is kept in a glass case in a small prayer room off the Holy Love chapel. The faithful file in, kneel, and 'kiss' the hair, wiping their lip prints off the glass with Kleenex from a box on a nearby nightstand." (Cleveland Scene, 'Blessed Other,' August 12, 1999, page 8; http://search.clevescene.com/1999-08-12/news/blessed-other/8)

Messages speaking about this single strand of hair, allegedly the Virgin Mary's hair:
Mary: "My daughter, I give you the strand of My hair to venerate; and, as you do so, to see the frail position earth has placed herself in. Only with much love, prayer, and sacrifice will the frail strand remain. Oh My daughter, how I weep for the plight of the world today. How I weep. And My Son, I can no longer console Him. You must have courage. You must make this known." June 4, 1998

Jesus: "Tell My people who assemble tonight I will walk in their midst. I will heal them. When they touch the holy relic of My Mother's hair, untold grace will be theirs." March 6, 1998 http://www.holylove.org/about_shrine.php
Now the Church rightly incorporates, to a limited extent, some veneration of what is not Divine into the true worship of God. But it is contrary to the constant practice of the Church to venerate a mere piece of carpet where a living human person, who is not a Saint or Blessed, stood when allegedly receiving private revelation. It is also contrary to reason to claim that a single strand of hair, which was merely found on the shirt of a human person today, is somehow the hair of the Virgin Mary.

C. Theological Error

The statement, "I am your Jesus, born Incarnate," occurs at the beginning of numerous messages allegedly from Jesus. However, the Incarnation occurred at the conception of Jesus, not at His birth. The phrase 'born Incarnate' is at best theologically deficient, and at worst it is an absurdity. The birth of Christ is not His Incarnation. It does not make sense to say 'born Incarnate'. Therefore, this is not the type of statement that Jesus would make.

D. False claim of the imminent Return of Jesus Christ

Claimed private revelations, containing numerous doctrinal errors, often also claim that Jesus is returning for this generation.
"I am preparing souls for My Second Coming. Alleluia!" May 11, 1994
http://www.holylove.org/about_shrine.php

"Before My Son returns, each soul will be made to know his state before God. Many await anxiously this hour of enlightenment." July 10, 1998
http://www.holylove.org/about_shrine.php

St. Pio of Pietrelcina: "Your mission is to prepare the world for Our Lord's Second Coming through Holy Love." November 30, 1996
http://www.holylove.org/about_shrine.php

"You are living in the days described in the Book of Revelation-the last days. All around you the final secret of Fatima unfolds. My dear children, My dear brothers and sisters, cling always to Holy Love." (Jesus / January 30, 1999)
http://www.holylove.org/way_to_heaven.php
The messages use this claim about the imminent Second Coming to bind the devotee more firmly to this one particular claimed private revelation. The term Holy Love refers to the messages and teachings of these particular messages, not to the Love of God, not to the teachings of the Church, not to the Catholic Faith in general. This idea exalts claimed private revelation as if it were necessary not only for the plan of God, but for the Return of Jesus. And the Catholic Church, apart from these messages and their adherents, seems to have no significant role in this distorted portrayal of the plan of God. To the contrary, the Catechism teaches: "The Christian faith cannot accept 'revelations' that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment…." (Catechism, n. 67). These messages portray themselves as more essential to the plan of God, culminating with the Return of Jesus, than the Divine Revelation of Tradition and Scripture, than the Church Herself. Therefore, these messages are not compatible with the Catholic Christian Faith.

E. False Ecumenism

The messages treat priests from the Orthodox Church as if they were no different from priests in the Catholic Church. The messages even treat the Orthodox Church, the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, and the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church as if all three were of equal standing.
Jesus: "I will call these priests-priests united in Holy and Divine Love. I will call all alike-Eastern Rite, Latin Rite and Orthodox." August 14, 2007

Jesus: "As there are many priests coming here, both Orthodox and Roman Rite, I desire at this time to address them." May 31, 2005
http://www.holylove.org/priests_united.php
The confraternity (allegedly approved by now-deceased Archbishop Ganaka of Jos, Nigeria) is said to be open equally to Catholics and non-Catholics, with no distinction between them.
The Confraternity of the United Hearts is an association of the faithful, set in place by the "Hand of God's Will" and according to His purpose, to be an "Oracle of Truth" in the Tradition of Faith, an instrument for the salvation of many souls, and the "backbone" of the Remnant Faithful, as it calls Catholics and non-Catholics alike to "incarnate" the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary in these last days, in preparation for the Victory and Triumph of the United Hearts in hearts and in the world. (Jesus / August 12, 2007)
http://www.holylove.org/way_to_heaven.php
As long as one adheres to the messages of this particular claimed private revelation, no real distinction is made between Catholics and non-Catholics. There is a pointless distinction made within the confraternity of two membership levels, the first for Catholics and non-Catholics, called 'Missionary Servants of Divine Love,' and the second only for Catholics, called 'Missionary Servants of the United Hearts'.

The sign at the front entrance to the main location of this group states: "Welcome To HOLY LOVE AN ECUMENICAL MINISTRY AND SHRINE." Yet the messages purport to be entirely consistant with Catholic teaching, and they strive to attract Catholics as devotees.

F. Denigration of the Church

The Church on earth is said by these messages to consist only of a few who are truly faithful, scattered on the earth. It is claimed that God intends all of these so-called 'remnant faithful' to be united by the messages and revealed devotions of the claimed private revelation to Maureen Sweeney-Kyle. Thus the true Church is portrayed as consisting of few persons and of those who adhere to a claimed private revelation. The vast majority of the faithful are treated as if they were not "of the true Tradition of Faith," and the role of the Pope and Bishops in salvation is largely absent.
Jesus: "Throughout the world in these times, there are scattered small pockets of devout followers of the true Tradition of Faith. These people are faithful to the Holy Father and devoted to My True Presence in the Holy Eucharist. They are firm in their devotion to My Mother, as well. It is through the journey into the Chambers of Our United Hearts that I hope to unite these Remnant Faithful. In this way Our United Hearts would be a thread that would bind all the Remnant Faithful together." October 23, 2003
http://www.holylove.org/way_to_heaven.php

"We offer this decade for the unification of the Universal Church in the Tradition of Faith. We pray that what is in darkness will be brought into the light, and compromise will face defeat." (Second Mystery of the so-called 'Rosary of the Confraternity of the United Hearts', Confraternity booklet, p. 24).
Numerous other messages mention the so-called remnant faithful and the necessity of this claimed private revelation in the salvation of the world. Such an exaggeration of the importance of one claimed private revelation is typical of many alleged revelations: each one claims to be the essential element, formerly lacking, for the safety and salvation of the world in the last days. The role of the Pope, Bishops, diocese and parishes, in salvation is ignored, and the only priests who are said to be important to God's plan are those who adhere to the particular claimed private revelation.

G. The Confraternity

The stated purpose of this confraternity is to promote the unapproved claimed private revelation to Maureen Sweeney-Kyle:
"According to Archbishop Ganaka, the Confraternity exists, among other things, to propagate: (1) the understanding of the Revelation of the United Hearts as given to the visionary and mystic, Maureen Sweeney-Kyle, since 1985; (2) the impact of this Revelation on personal holiness; and (3) devotion to the United Hearts. (Confraternity booklet, "The Confraternity of the United Hearts - Prayers and Devotions", p. 6)
http://www.holylove.org/way_to_heaven.php
The confraternity is said to call "Catholics and non-Catholics alike to 'incarnate' the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary in these last days…" (Confraternity booklet, p. 7). It is also said to be an " 'Oracle of Truth' in the Tradition of Faith, an instrument for the salvation of many souls, and the 'backbone' of the Remnant Faithful…." (Confraternity booklet, p. 7)

The confraternity has proclaimed a new feast day in the liturgical calendar of the Church, the Feast of Holy Love on May 5th, and a memorial day for Archbishop Gabriel Ganaka on November 11th, and another feast day, of "the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary" on the second Friday after Corpus Christi.

Confraternity members are told to make an examination of conscience, one which centers around this claimed private revelation.
o Am I living the Message only on my lips (for others to see-superficially); or do I have the Message in my heart, thus having a private relationship with Jesus through Mary?
o Did I use the world-people, places, and things-to promote the Message of Holy Love?
(Confraternity booklet, p. 32).
Thus it is claimed that anyone not living the Message, and not promoting the Message, of this claimed private revelation has the commission of a sin on their conscience. Members of the confraternity are required to evangelize the 'message of holy love' as a condition of membership (Confraternity booklet, p. 35). This kind of confraternity does not serve to bind the members more closely to the Church, but rather to one particular claimed private revelation.

H. Absurd Teaching about the Hearts of God

The messages presents what are called the "six chambers" of the united hearts of "the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Immaculate Mary" as a path to holiness. This figure of a six-chambered heart is absurd, since one heart has four chambers, there is no explanation offered as to why the figure has six chambers. The Catholic Faith often speaks to the faithful about the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. However, it is not traditional, nor is it theologically coherent, to claim that the Trinity has a heart, and that the Father has a heart, and that the Holy Spirit has a heart. Jesus has a Sacred Heart, which refers to His human heart united to the Divine Nature; thus, it is a heart and it is sacred.
Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life…. He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, 'is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings' without exception. (Catechism, n. 478; inner quote from Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas).
Notice that the Catechism teaches that the Sacred Heart is based on the Incarnation; Jesus had a human heart due to His having united His human nature to His Divine Nature. But the Father and Spirit are not Incarnate and have no human heart. Therefore, it is false and theologically absurd to talk about the united hearts of "the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Immaculate Mary."

I. False teachings about the path to holiness

The alleged spiritual meaning of the 'six chambers of the united hearts' is that of a description of the path to holiness.
"Here is the way of salvation, holiness, perfection, and sanctity, simply put."
http://www.holylove.org/way_to_heaven.php
But this 'way of salvation' as described in these messages contains numerous assertions not found at all in Tradition, Scripture, or the teachings of the Magisterium. In effect, this set of messages is claiming to present a teaching that is necessary to salvation, that is in fact the only path of salvation, and yet which is not found at all in the teaching of the Church. Again, note that: "The Christian faith cannot accept 'revelations' that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment…." (Catechism, n. 67). Moreover, this 'way of salvation' contains serious theological errors and absurdities, and is not at all in conformity to Catholic teaching throughout the ages on the true path to holiness.

The First Chamber or first step in this 'way of salvation' is said to be Salvation. This is theologically absurd; there are said to be six steps in the way of salvation (represented as a six-chamber heart), but the first step is salvation itself. This salvation is said to occur with 'surrender to Holy Love.' Now 'Holy Love' is variously described in these messages; sometimes it is said to be merely the commandments to love God and neighbor. But a closer reading of numerous messages reveals that the term 'Holy Love' is inextricably bound to this one claimed private revelation. It is disingenuously claimed, concerning the 'first chamber' that it is merely love of God and neighbor, since these messages consistently present the messages themselves as essential to salvation, to the plan of God, and even to the Return of Jesus Christ.

In the description of the first chamber, which is said to be Salvation, there is no mention of the Church or the Sacraments, no mention of Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium. Nor is there any such mention in any of the six alleged steps to salvation. Even salvation itself is described as depending on this one particular claimed private revelation.

The Second Chamber or step is said to be holiness, which is vaguely described as merely a greater surrender to Holy Love. So the first step is said to be surrender to Holy Love, and the second step is a greater surrender to Holy Love. But no reader of these messages could fail to notice that the term Holy Love is also used to refer to this claimed private revelation, and to the headquarters which promotes the same. These six steps are not the 'way of salvation,' but rather a way to promote a claimed private revelation.

The Third Chamber or step is said to be Perfection, which is described in this way:
"The soul, now rooted in Holy and Divine Love, puts all his effort into being perfected in the virtues. He practices the virtues diligently, prays for them in his soul, and when God sees a worthy effort, He infuses the soul with these virtues."
http://www.holylove.org/way_to_heaven.php
Notice that perfection is said to be based, first on one's own efforts, and that God gives grace and virtue only in response to the soul's efforts. This contradicts Catholic teaching that grace is before, during, and after every good act. Furthermore, it is absurdly claimed that God 'infuses the soul' with the virtues AFTER the soul has achieved the first two steps, salvation and holiness, and AFTER the soul has 'put all his efforts' into practicing the virtues diligently. This contradicts Catholic teaching that the theological virtues are infused at Baptism. It is also patently absurd to claim that one receives the virtues AFTER achieving salvation AND holiness. How is it that one can be saved and be holy, and yet not have received the virtues?

The Fourth Chamber or step is said to be Sanctification. This claim contradicts the claim that salvation, holiness, and perfection are achieved in the prior steps. It is theological nonsense to claim that one needs sanctification after receiving salvation, holiness, and perfection. In this step, the devotee is cautioned that "There are still two entities: the soul who continually seeks conformity and is successful in this; and the Divine Will of God."

The Fifth Chamber or step is said to be 'Union with the Divine Will.'
"Few reach this inner sanctum of Our Lord's Heart. There is now only one entity. Self is no longer present. The soul is one with God and His Divine Will. This is the New Jerusalem. (St. Anthony / May 20, 2000)"
http://www.holylove.org/way_to_heaven.php
Few devotees reach this level of absurdity. We are now supposedly two steps beyond perfection. The soul is said to be literally one with God; the self is said to literally no longer be present. And yet there is one more step. The devil must be thoroughly amused that so many persons who call themselves Christian would ascribe to a false doctrine that is so thoroughly absurd.

Certainly, the claim that the way of salvation leads to a point where a human person is literally one with God and no longer exists as a separate 'entity' is not only absurd, but abject heresy. Likewise, the claim that 'this is the New Jerusalem' is also absurd.

The Sixth Chamber or step is said to be 'Immersion in the Divine Will.' This is said to be achieved by some persons 'in this life,' and yet it is also said that such persons have 'reached the highest Heaven.' It is further claimed that even some of the Saints and martyrs do not reach this level until after they have died and gone to Heaven.

We are now several steps beyond the absurd. In the previous step, it was claimed that the soul ceases to be a separate entity; yet now it is claimed that the same soul is immersed in the Divine Will. Such contradictions are present throughout this set of six chambers or steps.

Finally, the reader should note that, throughout all six steps in the way of salvation, nothing at all is said about Tradition, Scripture, or the teaching of the Magisterium, nothing about the Church, nothing about the Sacraments. The entire way of salvation is described as if it were based entirely on this one particular claimed private revelation.

J. A Schismatic Group

Representatives from the Holy Love Ministries met with officials from the Cleveland, Ohio diocese. Afterward, the diocese issued a cautionary statement:
"We would caution anyone considering support of such a venture to realize that this organization has no approval or support from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. In a meeting held with diocesan officials, leaders of 'Holy Love Ministries' made it clear that although they encourage Catholic practices, the ministry is ecumenical, and therefore not subject to the authority of the Catholic Church."
http://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/record/PDF%20files/Holy%20Love%20Ministries%20-%202005-09-29.pdf
The 'Holy Love' Ministry has become a schismatic group by formally declaring to officials from their own diocese that they are "not subject to the authority of the Catholic Church." They have separated themselves from the Catholic Church. However, they continue to attract practicing Catholics to their teachings and devotions, representing these as if they were Catholic.

K. Exhortations to Holiness, Conversions, and Alleged Miracles

As is often the case with false claims of private revelation, the apparitions are claimed to be genuine on the basis of various signs and wonders, including alleged miracles, and on the basis of conversions of members of the faithful. But such signs and wonders as cannot be explained by natural events or by human intervention, can be explained by the action of preternatural forces, that is, by the abilities of fallen angels. There are very many claimed private revelations in which false and heretical teachings occur alongside various great signs and wonders. The signs and wonders cannot be from Heaven, since the teachings are contrary to the true Faith. But these signs and wonders cannot all be explained by natural events or by human intervention. Therefore, these signs must be from fallen angels.

Sacred Scripture warns the faithful about false miracles such as these.

[Matthew]
{24:24} For there will arise false Christs and false prophets. And they will produce great signs and wonders, so much so as to lead into error even the elect (if this could be).
{24:25} Behold, I have warned you beforehand.

[2 Thessalonians]
{2:9} him whose advent is accompanied by the works of Satan, with every kind of power and signs and false miracles....

Therefore, the appearance of great signs and wonders along with a claimed private revelation does not prove that the claimed private revelation is truly from Heaven. Jesus himself warned us beforehand against believing in false prophets because of great signs and wonders. Although the false visionary claims to receive apparitions and messages from Christ himself, the figure seen by the visionary is a false Christ, and the visionary is a false prophet. These signs and false miracles are the work of Satan, as Sacred Scripture clearly states.

Now true conversions are found even amid some of the most heretical and schismatic of the claimed private revelations. But this is not due to the false messages, nor is it due to the action of fallen angels. Instead, it is due to the great mercy of God, who will give grace for conversion to anyone who is willing, even if they are in a bad situation, even if they are following the messages of a false visionary.

Finally, it is often said that a claimed private revelation must be from God because the messages contain some exhortations to holiness and some true teachings about the Catholic Christian faith. But all heretical and schismatic sects also offer some exhortations to holiness and some true teachings, along with their various errors and sins. And my study of numerous claimed private revelations readily reveals that all claimed private revelations contain some exhortations to holiness and some true teachings, even when the alleged visionary has been excommunicated, even when the messages and apparitions have been condemned by the Church, even when abject heresy and schism is found in the messages. The fallen angels who are responsible for most false apparitions and their messages mix truth with error, and exhortations to holiness with exhortations that lead people astray, so as to more effectively deceive the faithful. If a claimed private revelation contains no truth and no exhortations to holiness, no one would be deceived.


by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
March 10, 2008


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