Editor's note: The following article was written by someone who was closely involved in the work at the Shrine office in New York. He is a very credible witness as he was present and a participant of the events he describes. To those who say one should not air such things publicly, I quote St. Gregory who said that it is better that scandal arise then that the truth be covered up.
There are few things more demoralizing than people who use God and religion as a co-conspirator to defraud or manipulate people. Such is the case with the St. Michael World Apostolate, or as we will call it by its acronym, the SMWA. The SMWA has betrayed Our Lady of the Roses and the Mission of the Shrine by elevating their personal ambitions and animosities over obedience to Our Lady of the Roses.
It must be emphasized that no one truly represents Our Lady of the Roses Shrine, except Our Lady Herself, in all Her immaculate perfection. All of us, in our wounded and weakened human nature, barely live the message, and at best feebly represent Our Ladys Shrine. Furthermore, the true authority over Our Ladys Shrine rests with the Bishop of Brooklyn, a successor of the Apostles, and not with a mere layman. Everyone else is merely a steward, with a divine trust to spread the message, awaiting the time when his Excellency receives his sign and then believes.
The antics of the SMWA, I am sure, has the Bishop of Brooklyn and many clergy justly alarmed and scratching their heads in bewilderment. How can it be that the SMWA leadership, as well as many followers of Our Lady of the Roses, have rationalized blatant violations of Gods law, which the Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Roses so clearly condemn?
Lies, distortions and intimidation
A lengthy trail of Clintonesque lies, distortions, and intimidation has been the hallmark of the SMWA. The list grows ever longer of SMWA actions that have brought scandal and derision to Our Ladys Mission. Unfortunately, there seems to be no genuine regret, or even acknowledgment, of any wrongdoing on the part of the SMWA.
I wish to make an appeal to the faithful and true devotees of Our Lady of the Roses to disassociate themselves from the immoral, disobedient and shameful leadership of the SMWA. You have no obligation to sinful man, but you all have an obligation to uphold the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. Some well-meaning promoters of Our Lady of the Roses have become accessories to the immoral offenses of the SMWA, especially by their silence, and well as by their defense of objectively evil actions.
Our Ladys Mission is not to promote a clique or social club, but to restore the Catholic Church to her former glory. Insofar as a person violates Gods Commandments, he becomes part of the problem that Our Lady came to remedy.
We all make mistakes, but dont kid yourself: if you find yourself in any way justifying the thefts, lies, and slanders perpetrated by the SMWA, you have chosen man over God, sinful human respect over obedience to the Commandments of God. You have not been faithful, and are no longer acting as a morally upright Catholic. To err is human; to remain obstinate in sin is diabolical.
I find the SMWA leadership so morally adrift and their words and actions so reprehensible as to consider them the antithesis to Our Lady of the Roses' message, which portrays so beautifully and clearly our individual call to holiness. There are several laments from Proverbs that seem particularly appropriate when considering the misdeeds of the SMWA:
There are six things the Lord hates
a lying tongue (Proverbs 6:16-17)
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22)
The false witness will not go unpunished, no one who utters lies will go free. (Proverbs 19:5)
Some may brush aside this letter with the self-righteous we are being persecuted phrase. Many in the Bayside ranks are presently suffering just punishment on account of their silence or active complicity in sins and offenses that would make nonbelievers blush for shame.
My gratitude towards Our Lady of the Roses compels me to speak out concerning the delusion that has overcome many well-meaning and, at one time, fervent promoters of Our Ladys messages. Not only do I speak out for the sake of those who believe in the message, but also for the sake of his Excellency, Bishop Thomas Daily, who will receive a copy of this letter so that he may have for his records a testimony to the validity of Our Ladys message that sought to prevent this present SMWA disaster at every turn, but alas, sinful man failed to cooperate and obey.
The clash that occurred several years ago between Michael Mangan and his followers against Our Lady of the Roses Shrine was actually predicted by Our Lady in an apparition years before this sad situation materialized:
To all workers in the shop: Listen to Me, My children. If you do not listen to Me I cannot protect you. You will meet with a satanic attack. Two will not return. Satan is at war against all who have joined My Son in these days of sinful man666. The battle for souls rages. Do not fall into satans web. I will guide you all, always. (apparition of Our Lady to Veronica Lueken, October 11, 1991)
Her message was quite clear: (1) there was an approaching onslaught from the devil; (2) the deception would encompass all the workers; (3) the solution was to listen to Me (Our Lady) rather than others (Michael) and to prepare prayerfully for the attack. This apparition might well be called the Third Secret of the workers; it too was hidden away, ignored, and the predicted onslaught came.
Michaels faulty judgment
Certainly Michael is not without faults, as he is a mere man. But when an individual sets himself up to manipulate and lie to others, to aggrandize himself at the expense of others, this is wrong; it is a sin. Many of the Bayside followers have great interest in the locutions from Our Lady, but here are some that have been suppressed, because these messages from Our Lady have not been self-serving to the agenda of the SMWA:
(1) In 1989, when the workers moved to their new house, Michael decided on his own to rearrange the weekly schedule, severely limiting the free-time of the volunteers. He told the workers that he had conferred with Veronica and Arthur about these changes, and had received her approval. But lo and behold! A worker called Veronica and discovered that Arthur and Veronica did not know anything about these changes, that Michael had not conferred with them at all. Veronica was quite upset about this, and told Michael that things were to remain the same. In confirmation of Veronicas decision, within a few days Our Lady gave a locution for the benefit of the workers, protecting their liberty from Michaels interference. Michael had blatantly lied to all the workers. Our Lady defended the other workers from Michaels deceit.
(2) One of the workers transcribed the vigil message of October 2, 1989 and included Veronicas description at the end of the vigil tape message. Upon a proofreading of this message (after an edit by Michael Mangan), the worker asked why this description was removed by Michael. Michael replied that it wasnt necessary. Appalled at Michaels cavalier attitude to strike out an entire paragraph from Our Ladys message at a whim, that worker wrote to Veronica. Our Lady told Veronica in locution the description was to remain. Michael, again, had erred in judgment. Our Lady, again, corrected Michael.
(3) In 1992, one of the workers continued to question Michael why he would not work on the early messages, requested since 1985. To defend his non-response to Our Ladys request, Michael said, After all, it took 6 years to do Occulations from Heaven.
What a disappointing response! This same worker (and others) offered to work overtime on this project. They were refused by Michael. By this time, this worker had serious doubts as to Michaels commitment to obeying Our Ladys message.
Sensing a threat to his authority, Michael attempted to coerce this worker to discontinue his attempts to fulfill Our Ladys requests, and accused the worker of disobedience. That worker replied, I will not apologize for Our Ladys words, and pointed out to Michael that his attitude was quite similar to those bishops who knew of the Fatima message regarding the consecration of Russia, but obstinately refused to obey Our Lady.
At this point, Michael had made up his mind: to misinform Veronica of what had transpired, and remove the worker under false pretenses. And so it happened. Because of Michaels distortion of the facts of the situation, the worker was removed without being able to tell Veronica and Arthur his side of the story.
At the next vigil, Our Lady repeated Her ignored plea that the Shrine reprint the back messages. Michael, again, had erred in judgment. Our Lady, again, corrected Michael.
(4) Now we come to the time that Veronica was on her deathbed. Michael asked Veronica if Our Lady had spoken to her. Veronica told Michael: You will be scourged! Mrs. Ann Ferguson confirmed that these words referred to Michael and not Veronica. Mrs. Ferguson explained that had this message referred to Veronica, Veronica would have said, I will be scourged. We may recall that Our Lord endured His scourging on account of mankinds sins of pride. Michael, again, erred in judgment.
These actions betray the SMWAs deliberate decision to flout the Churchs moral teachings and arrogate to themselves a right to invent a set of values that bear no resemblance to the teachings of Christ or His Church. The above incidents are just a sampling. Certainly these incidents are scandalous in themselves, but they only constitute pieces to an overall picture of manipulation, deception, and love of power.
Again, these events are also to inform his Excellency that these actions are primarily the product of one mans perverted will, and in no way can be attributed to Veronica or to the Our Lady of the Roses message. This is important because these incidents have cast a pall over the Mission, and have brought immense scandal and ridicule to the cause, and must be renounced as contrary to Our Ladys message.
Other SMWA misdeeds include:
1. Michael Mangan forbade Our Lady of the Roses pilgrims from attending Pope John Paul IIs 1995 Mass in Central Park, New York. One family flew from California and was told not to go to Central Park, and so they remained in their hotel room, watching the event on TV (yes, believe it or not, this really happened!);
2. Michael stopped producing the publication, Directives from Heaven for four years, contrary to the express directions in Our Lady of the Roses message;
3. Michael arbitrarily decided to tell Our Lady of the Roses believers that the worldwide Warning was going to occur in 1997, even though the Our Lady of the Roses' message specifically states many times that no dates will be given. Michaels actions were erroneous and caused immense damage to the credibility to Our Lady of the Roses Shrine when the event did not occur. The error was entirely due to Michael Mangan and the SMWA, and cannot be attributed to Veronica or Our Lady of the Roses message which never gave such a date;
4. Michael attempted to coerce Maureen Ferguson to write a letter siding with the SMWA and condemning her own mother, Ann Ferguson (Veronicas personal secretary);
5. stealing of Shrine mailing list (and leaving Shrine with an outdated list);
6. sabotaging printing equipment;
7. lying to pilgrims when questioned about the whereabouts of the original Shrine statue. SMWA concocted the story that the statue was in for repairs. Actually, they were buying a replica (the original Shrine statue was then in the custody of Veronicas husband, Arthur). Most people were deceived;
8. attempted to take over the radio stations of These Last Days Ministries;
9. used stolen money to influence the Flushing Meadows Parks officials in his favor;
10. attempted to take over Our Lady of the Roses corporation, in which a court case ensued and the SMWA lost;
11. consuming vast economic resources of the supporters of Our Lady of the Roses in a court battle that would not have occurred, had the SMWA listened and obeyed the October 11, 1991 message of Our Lady directed to them;
12. changing of vigil dates for the prayer vigils (some vigils are no longer on the Eve of the feast days, as per Our Ladys express instructions);
13. Ann Ferguson has testified that several times Veronica called her on the phone, crying, because of the verbal ill-treatment she had received from Michael while on the phone with him.
The SMWA has expended so much energy and time trying to portray their actions in a favorable light that they have lost their ability to humbly and objectively acknowledge their misdeeds and disobedience to Our Lady of the Roses.
Consider that for four years the SMWA leadership did not publish any new directives, in spite of the fact the command from heaven was that a new one was to be produced ever two weeks.
Our Ladys mission is far too important and precious to put up with leaders that more closely resemble self-centered politicians than servants of God and their neighbor.
As Catholics we are not to abdicate our personal responsibility, turn a blind eye to evil and go into autopilot mode, slavishly surrendering our allegiance to a mere prideful man. This, folks, is the stuff cults thrive on, and shame on anyone who has been silent or complicit in the SMWAs efforts to dismantle Our Lady of the Roses Shrine.
Some have said, and others will say, God will take care of the situation. But it is our responsibility and the purpose of our very existence to defend God and His laws. One cannot remain a neutral observer to a morally offensive situation, especially when you have the power to change events.
A copy of this letter will be sent to his Excellency Bishop Thomas V. Daily, to assure him that there is at least one Bayside believer that rejects Michael Mangan as being representative of the Our Lady of the Roses message, and to assure his Excellency that I recognize many of the events listed above as grave sins against Catholic morality, actions that are intrinsically evil. In other words, these actions cannot be justified for any reason whatsoever; and, contrary to what the SMWA leadership has falsely asserted, the end never justifies using sinful means to arrive at that end. Also, I assert that the Bishops apostolic authority is God-given, and that Michael and his group will have to answer to that authority one day.
It would appear that now is a decisive moment for the SMWA members to make restitution to the reputations they have slandered, and to make restitution for the financial damage that they have inflicted on Our Lady of the Roses Shrine and These Last Days Radio program.
I also wish to assure his Excellency that I prayerfully await the day when he takes over the reins of Our Lady of the Roses Shrine, as many lay people have amply demonstrated their unworthiness and insensibility to multiple and major offenses against Catholic morality; they have failed to uphold Gods law. You, your Excellency, are the only one competent and divinely authorized to remedy the situation that sinful man has brought about.
Our Ladys workers