Today we publish a series of articles which indicate the failure of the Catholic Church to respond to the out of control House of Prayer in Achill.
Christina Gallagher, founder of Our Lady Queen of Peace House of Prayer, Achill Island.
Self-styled visionary and multi-millionaire Christina Gallagher should be excommunicated by the Catholic Church, an ex-member of the House of Prayer has said.
Mick Power got involved with the House of Prayer with his wife Paula in 1998, when their only child Tommy died of meningitis.
But the former member of the cult-like movement has spoken out for the first time, demanding that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith investigate Ms Gallagher along with her spiritual director, Fr Gerard McGinnity, for heresy and unproven claims of miracles.
He described Ms Gallagher’s purported divine messages as “appalling” and “all about chastisements and the end of the world”.
“She was always talking about the anti-Christ and the wrath of the beast,” he told the Irish Independent.
The final straw for the 39-year-old came in 2006, when Fr McGinnity read out a message in which Ms Gallagher was allegedly told by Jesus that if pilgrims did not provide money for a new House of Prayer in Texas, he would destroy the whole state.
“I was present when he said that and I said that is the end for me – how could anybody of any intelligence listen to that kind of rubbish?” asked Mr Power.
“It is true heresy. She has told them that the only thing that will save them during the great chastisement is a €250 picture available in the House of Prayer shop. That’s simony.”
Mr Power believes the Irish hierarchy needs to make a more concerted effort to examine the improper nature of Ms Gallagher’s visions and the funding mechanisms employed on behalf of House of Prayer.
A group of concerned relatives of devotees and ex-members is also campaigning for the Archdiocese of Armagh to take a more pro-active stance on the House of Prayer’s spiritual director, Fr McGinnity.
They have called on Cardinal Sean Brady to stand over his agreement to meet their representative to answer questions about the priest, who works in the Archdiocese of Armagh, and who they claim is key to the religious group’s operations.
Last August, Cardinal Brady, who was then the head of the Church in Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, agreed to meet in a monastery with cult expert and the Director, of Dialogue Ireland, Mike Garde.
The meeting was to discuss the role of Fr McGinnity, who is parish priest in Knockbridge in Co Louth.
But Cardinal Brady is accused of doing nothing to address Fr McGinnity’s involvement.
Having agreed on August 15 to meet Mr Garde, Cardinal Brady notified him three weeks ago that he would not meet him.
Cardinal Brady told him that he is no longer Archbishop of Armagh, following the acceptance of his resignation by Pope Francis on September 8.
“I do not believe that a meeting between us would contribute to the resolution of the difficulties which you wish to discuss,” he said.
Mr Power said he was “disgusted and very disappointed” by the Cardinal’s response but not surprised by it.
“Over the years, the Cardinal has used all sorts of excuses so as not to actually deal with this issue directly” he said.
In correspondence seen by the Irish Independent in August, the Cardinal defended his reluctance to tackle Fr McGinnity to Mr Garde, saying: “I am not in possession of evidence that Fr McGinnity is breaking the law – either civil or canonical.
“We do live in a country where citizens enjoy the right to freedom of movement and in a Church where there are many different ministries.”
In the same letter dated August 1, 2014, Cardinal Brady stated that he had discussed the issue of fundraising with Fr McGinnity, who had assured him that he was not involved in fundraising for the House of Prayer and that his activity was confined to spiritually directing Ms Gallagher. However, Mr Garde and a number of people associated with the House of Prayer say they have presented the Cardinal with documents which suggest Fr McGinnity was sent cheques intended for the House of Prayer, including one for €40,000 made out to Fr McGinnity.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Armagh told the Irish Independent that because Cardinal Brady is now retired, all his leadership responsibilities have transferred to his successor, Archbishop Eamon Martin.
“Archbishop Eamon is currently familiarising himself and examining all of the issues involved,” spokesman Martin Long said.
Filed under: House of Prayer |