The Controversy Surrounding the Pro-Life Rosary

rosary unbornML writes: “Have you heard of the rosary of the unborn? I have come across a website that sells special rosaries with teardrop hail Mary’s with a baby inside. The website has a section of heavens words  on abortion. were these words spoken to?”

This is a great question!

The Rosary of the Unborn is a rosary made of hollow beads containing a tiny plastic embryo to symbolize the babies killed in abortion. It is being promoted by Holy Love Ministries in Elyria, Ohio, where an alleged seer named Maureen Sweeney-Kyle claims to be receiving apparitions of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and various saints.

Sweeney-Kyle said she was praying the Rosary of the Unborn on July 2, 2001, when Our Lady appeared and gave her this message: “I see you are using the new Rosary of the Unborn. I affirm to you, my daughter, that each Hail Mary prayed from a loving heart will rescue one of these innocent lives from death by abortion. …” Maureen asks: “Blessed Mother, do you mean any Hail Mary or just one prayed on the Rosary of the Unborn?” Blessed Mother: “This is a special grace attached to this particular rosary.”

Ever since then, Holy Love Ministries has been promoting the rosaries.

The problem is that Sweeney-Kyle’s activities and alleged messages from Mary, Jesus and the Saints, do not have Church approval.

In fact, Bishop Richard Lennon of the Diocese of Cleveland issued a pronouncement on these apparitions in 2009 in which he stated that Sweeney-Kyle’s apparitions and locutions are not supernatural in origin.

“I, Richard G. Lennon, hereby declare that the alleged apparitions and locutions to Maureen Sweeney-Kyle are not supernatural in origin,” the decree pronounces. “I forbid members of the clergy of any jurisdiction to celebrate the sacraments on the site of Holy Love Ministries. I admonish the faithful of the Diocese of Cleveland to cease gathering for any religious, liturgical, spiritual or devotional purpose on the site of Holy Love Ministries.”

According to the Pro-Life Action League, Holy Love Ministries responded to this pronouncement by publishing a statement in which they claim Bishop Lennon was simply voicing his opinion and that his declaration was not binding on the faithful. (Holy Love has since scrubbed this response from their website – but it can be found here, courtesy of the Pro Life Action League.)

They went even further to suggest that Jesus, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Catherine of Siena all appeared to lend their support to Holy Love’s position against Bishop Lennon. To even suggest that Jesus and the saints would encourage disobedience to the Church is one of the most obvious signs that whatever is going on in Elyria is not authentic.

Since that time, Holy Love Ministries has declared itself to be “ecumenical” which many believe was done to enable them to escape the Church’s purview.

Praying the Rosary is a powerful enough weapon to wield in the face of the continuing scourge of abortion in our world. There is no need to buy any special kind of beads, especially not those whose proceeds will go toward a supporting a ministry that has exhibited open defiance of the Church.

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