FEBRUARY 8, 2013
Errors in Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor – 03
False mystic Vassula Ryden and her messages are promoted
THE REASONS FOR OUR CONTINUING THIS SERIES ON DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE
1. The spirituality of the Divine Retreat Centre [DRC] is “charismatic”. One gets the impression that the DRC’s “charismatics”, both preaching teams as well as regular devotees, believe that they are “superior” to other Catholics.
Since my antecedents are not known to many who visit our web site, I proudly affirm that my spirituality is charismatic.
I must add that one of my spiritual directors, a holy and orthodox French Benedictine priest, actually finds it impossible to reconcile my “conservative” ministry with my being “charismatic”. To him it’s an oxymoron. To me, it seems a natural thing.
I have attended literally dozens of retreats and special events including a Bible College and a training programme in Counselling at the DRC between 1995 and 2000. I still do, as in the past, recommend to others these retreats for the reason that the preaching of the Word of God at the DRC has led to the transformation of many lives.
However, it is generally accepted that the contents of the retreat programmes have not evolved much since their inception over two decades ago and the retreats have continued to be by and large what can only be termed as an “initiation” into the Faith. This has resulted in little growth in the spiritual lives of most regular retreatants for whom the Centre becomes a place of pilgrimage and recourse when in need. Many, lacking “solid food” which they now pursue, end up as Pentecostals.
2a. It has been my observation for a very long time that the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, has been the propagator of errors and abuses, including in the liturgy of the Mass, something that, as an apologist, I now find impossible to ignore.
I admit adhering to and participating in most if not all of them at one time or another for several reasons, the chief among them being ignorance; moreover, no one objected to them and almost every charismatic priest, religious and lay leader practised them. However, circumstances — and the personal counsel of some good CCR leaders who would like to see these abuses and errors stopped — make it imperative that they be now exposed. Some teachings at the DRC are not Catholic.
2b. It has been my experience — when I have pointed out these errors and abuses from time to time — that most die-hard devotees of the Divine Retreat Centre are not very receptive to fraternal correction of any sort, or even discussion of the possibility of the Centre being in error. Their responses have ranged from indulgence to hostility. My pointing out that I am only appealing to the teaching of the Church has not saved me from being labeled “anti-Divine Retreat Centre”.
The DRC has become a holy cow for many both within and without the institution and any criticism is viewed as bordering on the sacrilegious. I can truthfully state that this attitude goes right up to the top of the administration. In case my statements appear outrageous, let the reader be assured that, in the course of this series,
I will provide the necessary evidence
to support them.
3. The focus of the first article in the series was on DRC‘s Enneagrams proponent, Sri Lankan preacher Lalith Perera; see DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01,
It was originally published as ENNEAGRAM PRACTITIONER MINISTERS AT DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE.
The Enneagram is a New Age, occult personality-typing system. See ENNEAGRAMS SUMMARY
for more information on Enneagrams.
Despite the evidence provided to its Director, Fr Augustine Vallooran VC and letters of protest sent to him by several Catholics, DRC continues to invite occult-tainted Lalith Perera to minister at the Centre every year sine our report in 2006.
4. The immediate reason for this series on the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, was the refusal of priests at the Centre to engage in civil correspondence with us in regard to our genuine concern about their promotion of a controversial mystic, see our September 2012 report MAUREEN SWEENEY-HOLY LOVE MINISTRIES
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MAUREEN_SWEENEY-HOLY_LOVE_MINISTRIES.doc. This resulted in the report DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02, http://ephesians-511.net/docs/DIVINE_RETREAT_CENTRE_ERRORS-02.doc.
If that attitude was an isolated one, there would have been no necessity for this series. Unfortunately, it was a repeat of the 2006 enneagram preacher DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01 issue. These first two reports of the series do indeed confirm that the Divine Retreat Centre indeed does not take kindly to fraternal correction or attempt to correct serious error. More evidence of that will be provided.
5. In closing DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02, I wrote, “Apparently, the Divine Retreat Centre has made a habit of promoting false mystics, one such being a Greek Orthodox woman, Vassula Ryden whose messages have been condemned by Rome as dangerous” and to be shunned by Catholics.
That is the subject of the present report, DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-03.
is a controversial Greek-Orthodox “seer” who claims to receive written messages from God.
The at least twice-married divorcee visited Catholic dioceses in several cities in India, December 2012, against scheduled speaking arrangements in Faridabad [Haryana], New Delhi, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Alleppey [Kerala] and Kolkata.
Commencing November 24, 2012, I mailed a brief alert to the Bishops and institutional heads most closely concerned with her visit, from details collected from Vassula Ryden‘s True Life in God web site.
It was followed by a couple of days later by a short report dated November 25, 2012, titled
VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA
This report was updated several times on our web site and was concluded January 13, 2013 at 60 pages.
Between November 25, 2012 and January 14, 2013, I published a total of 6 reports and 53 articles or compilations of articles by other writers, on Vassula Ryden.
Within a few days of my alert to the Bishops, I was informed by the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference that they had stopped her from addressing Catholics across the State of Kerala, while the Bishop of Coimbatore had pulled the plug on her programme at a Catholic institution in the textile city. The Archbishop of Faridabad informed me that he had succeeded in getting the alleged mystic’s local appearance cancelled.
The Cardinal-Archbishop of Bombay grilled Vassula Ryden intensively on the basis of my letter, and so did the then Archbishop of Delhi in the case of her supporters who appealed to him. There is a strong possibility that this so-called seer of ecumenism may not find an Indian trip viable in the future. The Apostolic Vicar of Nepal wrote that she was “no longer in our good books … her one visit was enough for us“.
What has all of that got to do with the Divine Retreat Centre?
Vassula Ryden‘s trip to India was scheduled to commence with a December 1, 2012
“talk at the night vigil at the
Divine Retreat Centre, Faridabad.”
The Divine Retreat Centre, Faridabad, in Haryana, near Delhi, is associated with the Divine Retreat Centre,
Muringoor, in Kerala. They are managed by the priests of the Vincentian Congregation who run charismatic retreat centres at various places in India. The Director of the Divine Retreat Centre, Faridabad is Fr. Joby VC.
It must have been in 1997 that Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil VC from Potta, the founder of the Divine group of institutions went to Switzerland, met Vassula Ryden and invited her to India, as informed to me orally by Muringoor director Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC, after which she performed at Muringoor [on January 22, 1998] as well as earlier at Kochi [again under Vincentian auspices] and then at two locations in Goa. The Kochi programme as well as the two Goa gatherings were held at secular venues as the local bishops in both places had issued advisories to Catholics to stay away.
I remember that the then Archbishop of Goa, Most Rev. Raul Gonsalves, had instructed Catholics not to attend the performances of Vassula Ryden, despite which there was a massive turnout at both venues. I can confirm this because I attended the programmes at Kochi [Cochin] as well as at Goa, being then a dedicated follower of Vassula
Ryden and TLIG. Just for the record, Vassula
Ryden has made a habit of defying the bishops everywhere and holding her shows at halls and stadia and maidans wherever the Church attempted to ensure that she did not meet and address Catholics. She would then gloat about her success in defying the Church in reports on her web site.
Vassula Ryden visited DRC, Muringoor once again on November 24, 1999 and delivered her false messages.
Her web site says:
24th November, 1999
We started our journey to the Divine Retreat center at 12.20 pm and reached it at 2 pm. The priests, sisters and others headed by Rev. Fr. George Thadathil received Vassula and Tom. Divine Retreat Center is a place where retreats are going on all week starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday morning. The meeting began at 2 pm. Vassula was introduced to the people by Prof. C.J John in Malayalam. Dr. P.M. Chacko of U.C College, Alwaye, interpreted Vassula’s talk. She recalled the attention of the people to her first visit at Divine retreat center in 1998. There were about 8000 people. Vassula told the audience that God brought her to the Divine retreat center for the second time. Her talk continued for 2 hrs. After the meeting Fr. George Thadathil, Asst. Director of Divine retreat center gave a memento to Vassula. A senior priest, who had read all the volumes of True life in God messages, proposed the vote of thanks.
On her 2002 trip to the sub-continent, Vassula Ryden visited the Tabor Divine Retreat Ashram, Kalyan, Mumbai. Tabor is also a Vincentian charismatic retreat centre associated with the DRC, Muringoor.
Her web site says:
May 27, 2002
Around 3:15 we departed for Vassula’s second scheduled meeting in Mumbai, at the Tabor Divine Retreat Ashram in Kalyan. Celine [Vieira] and some other young people came with us for this meeting. Fr. Mathew Elavunkal, Director of the Retreat Center, warmly welcomed Vassula and the rest of the group when we arrived.
December 1st, 1999
Tabor Divine Retreat Center Ashram, Kalyan, Mumbai
On Dec. 1st Vassula spoke in Kalyan, a northern suburb of Bombay in another retreat center before some 1,500 people.
In 2002, DRC, Muringoor was a major destination for Vassula Ryden. She had half a dozen engagements there for five days, between February 14 and February 18, addressing crowds at the English language as well as the Malayalam language sections of the Retreat Centre as well as their Bible Colleges, a convention at their nearby Potta ashram and also gave an interview for two Catholic magazines.
Her web site says:
On Saturday, Feb. 16th, Vassula was invited as ‘guest of honour’ to the Bible College which is a complex within the Divine Retreat Center. There she gave out the diplomas to about 200 participants who had just completed 6 weeks of courses there. Then she was invited to speak for 45 minutes. Fr. Eugene Nicolau was also asked to say a few words and also to bless the crowd in Greek.
In the afternoon, at the Sinai Renewal Center in Mundoor, Palakad, Vassula had been invited there by Father Paul, a Capuchin father who had heard of her presence in Potta. About 2,000 people were present, among them many young people and children.
On Sunday, Vassula was again asked to speak at Potta Convention. This time there were more than 100,000 people Reverend Mathew [Naickomparambil] said. He is the founder of Potta Divine which is the name of the complex which englobes the different centers. After Vassula had finished her one hour talk, a large sculpted cross was given to her as a thank you gift. Vassula was asked to pray for 200 couples who have no children. After this prayer, Father Mathew said that 3 couples had been particularly blessed at that very moment.
On Monday, Vassula gave a conference to a gathering at the Bible College composed of people who had already attended several earlier sessions. There were more than 1,200 people present.
In the afternoon a conference was given by Vassula at the Divine Retreat Center‘s English section to a new group of people. There are new groups each week. This group had more than the previous one – there were around 500 in all. After the meeting they all wanted TLIG books.
We left at noon our ears had been filled with charismatic songs since 5 a.m., in stereo, as was the case every day. Those on retreat don’t sleep very much. Last night we were enchanted by an evening at the centre which included dances, sketches, and speeches we couldn’t understand as they were in Malayalam.
The director of the Divine Retreat Center, Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran, was thrilled to be able to welcome Vassula there.
Vassula Ryden‘s first visit to the
Divine Retreat Centre, Faridabad was in 2006.
Her web site says:
Saturday, January 14, 2006, Faridabad
Soon after breakfast Fr. Joe and Pramila D’Souza from the local TLIG prayer group picked us up and after an hour’s drive we arrived at the Divine Retreat Centre in Faridabad for the meeting at 10:30 am. It’s a branch of the DRC in Potta, Kerala, where Vassula has been invited in the past a couple of times and had an attendance of 150,000 people in 2002. Fr. Martin Kalamparambil director of the Centre received us, happy to host Vassula again, knowing her from the other branch of DRC in Mumbai where she spoke in May 2002. Other friends from the N. Delhi prayer group had arrived for this meeting: Christopher Daruwalla, Eutropio and Veronica Peris.
Fr. Anthony Kakkanat, financial director of the DRC, introduced Vassula to the about 2000 people present. When he finished, he reminded the people that Vassula’s birthday was in a few days and the people wished her well by singing “Happy Birthday” 4 days prior to her birthday… Immediately after Vassula’s speech, Mass was celebrated by Fr. Martin and Fr. Joe in English, Hindi and Malayalam through a translator.
Her scheduled December 1, 2012 visit here was cancelled at the instance of the Archbishop of Faridabad, following an alert from this ministry.
I sent the very same alert to the Vincentian Fathers at the Faridabad retreat centre as mentioned by me on the preceding page [“I mailed a brief alert to the institutional heads most closely concerned with her visit”]
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 5:28 AM
Subject: PROGRAMME OF VASSULA RYDEN AND “TRUE LIFE IN GOD” IN DIVINE RETREAT CENTER, FARIDABAD
Dear Fr Joby and other Reverend Fathers at the Divine Retreat Centre, Faridabad… …
but I was not favoured with a response. I wrote a second letter two weeks later
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 7:36 PM Subject: UPDATE: VASSULA RYDEN
Dear Fr Joby and other Reverend Fathers at the Divine Retreat Centre, Faridabad… …
which met with the same fate.
The Vincentian Fathers have either never replied to my letters drawing their attention to errors that are propagated at their retreat centres, or if they ever did, as in the cases of the Enneagram proponent Lalith Perera [DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01] and the controversial mystic Maureen Sweeney‘s devotions [DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02], the letters are evasive or harsh.
Categories: False Mystics