You may have wondered why last week we printed Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s statement on the alleged apparition of Our Lady of the Roses in Bayside.
Very simply, despite years of explaining that there is absolutely no validity to the claims of the late Veronica Leuken and her followers, devotions to “Our Lady of Bayside” persist.
The diocese’s chancellor, Msgr. Anthony Hernandez, recently sent a communiqué to all pastors warning about a suspended priest who encourages these devotions and is planning an appearance in Queens.
It stated: “Recently, our Diocesan Bishop, the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, received confirmation from the Holy See that the Reverend Nicholas Gruner, who is currently incardinated in the Archdiocese of Hyderabad, in India, continues to labor under the canonical sanction of suspension, cf. Can. 1333, which has been confirmed by the Apostolic Signatura in Rome.
“Father Gruner is scheduled to appear at the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel Ballroom on June 22, 2014 at an event to mark the 44th anniversary of the alleged apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Bayside. This event is to benefit St. Michael’s World Apostolate.
“Please be advised that the Diocese of Brooklyn has consistently rejected the veracity of the claims concerning the alleged Marian apparitions in Bayside, Queens. Recently, Bishop DiMarzio released a statement reaffirming the positions of his two predecessors, Most Reverend Francis J. Mugavero and the Most Reverend Thomas V. Daily. This statement was printed in The Tablet (June 7) and is posted on the diocesan website in order that the faithful of the Diocese of Brooklyn be fully informed of the Church’s decision on this matter.
“Given that Father Gruner remains suspended, and, given that the alleged Bayside apparitions have been rejected by the legitimate ecclesiastical authorities, the faithful are strongly discouraged from participating in any events connected to Father Gruner or St. Michael’s World Apostolate.”
The statement speaks for itself. The local Church undertook an exhaustive study of the claims and has concluded that the Blessed Mother did not appear in Bayside, and any services organized around this title should stop.
This is not a condemnation of the people who have been duped by this movement. A strong mail campaign was carried out, and a regular newsletter is published by the organizers as part of a public relations drive.
As the late Bishop Francis J. Mugavero explained and Bishop DiMarzio has reiterated, there are many theologically erroneous statements issued by this group. They are dangerous to the unity of the Church and threaten to lead the faithful into false notions about the identity of Jesus and the role played by Mary in the history of salvation.
All the while, the small but fervent followers of Mrs. Leuken have defied Church authorities and are speaking in opposition to Church authorities.
We would all love to believe that the Blessed Mother has appeared in our figurative backyard. When the Mother of God has spoken to humankind, it always has been within the beliefs and tradition of the Church. We recall the messages of Lourdes and Fatima, which have official church approval.
Sorry to say, the Blessed Mother did not appear in Bayside. It is a complete fraud. No one should waste their time following such beliefs.