Vassula Ryden – a CDF Notification, Bishops’ Warnings and theologians’ criticisms



DECEMBER 7/17, 2012

Vassula Ryden – a CDF Notification, Bishops’ Warnings and theologians’ criticisms




CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

NOTIFICATION

October 6, 1995
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19951006_ryden_en.html


Many Bishops, priests, religious and lay people have sought an authoritative judgement from this Congregation on the activity of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox residing in Switzerland, who in speech and in writing is spreading in Catholic circles throughout the world messages attributed to alleged heavenly revelations.

A calm, attentive examination of the entire question, undertaken by this Congregation in order to “test the spirits to see whether they are of God” (cf. 1 Jn 4:1), has brought out – in addition to positive aspects – a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine.

In addition to pointing out the suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occurred, it is necessary to underscore several doctrinal errors they contain.

Among other things, ambiguous language is used in speaking of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, to the point of confusing the specific names and functions of the Divine Persons. These alleged revelations predict an imminent period when the Antichrist will prevail in the Church. In millenarian style, it is prophesied that God is going to make a final, glorious intervention which will initiate on earth, even before Christ’s definitive coming, ah era of peace and universal prosperity. Furthermore, the proximate arrival is foretold of a Church which would be a kind of pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine.

The fact that the aforementioned errors no longer appear in Ryden’s later writings is a sign that the alleged “heavenly messages” are merely the result of private meditations.

Moreover, by habitually sharing in the sacraments of the Catholic Church, even though she is Greek Orthodox, Mrs Ryden is causing considerable surprise in various circles of the Catholic Church. She appears to be putting herself above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm, and in effect, is creating an ecumenical disorder that irritates many authorities, ministers and faithful of her own Church, as she puts herself outside the ecclesiastical discipline of the latter.
1.

Given the negative effect of Vassula Ryden’s activities, despite some positive aspects, this Congregation requests the intervention of the Bishops so that their faithful may be suitably informed and that no opportunity may be provided in their Dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas. Lastly, the Congregation invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs Vassula Ryden’s writings and speeches as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church.

Vatican City, 6 October 1995.

Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect

Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary

L’Osservatore Romano, English Edition, N. 43, 25 October 1995, Page 12

Vassula Rydén: the Reasons for the Church’s Negative Reaction

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=10013
EXTRACT

By Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine, O.P., January 2008

 

Mrs. Rydén’s supporters immediately challenged the validity of the Notification, especially because it was published [in L’Osservatore Romano] without the signature of the Prefect of the Congregation. Someone even said it had been written without Cardinal Ratzinger’s knowledge or without his permission, perhaps by some member of the “Vatican Freemasonry”.

A confirmation of these allegations seemed to be reflected in the words addressed by Cardinal Ratzinger to a group of Mexican supporters on May 10, 1996:

«On the basis of what you have told me in your letter about testimonies and conversions, that is very good, we only want you to proceed with discernment, – do not take as the word of God what is considered, for the moment, only human and personal. What we have said is that
Vassula should not present her testimony in churches (inside the church) because she is an Orthodox and her marital status is not yet clear, since she was divorced.
We are studying all this. You may continue promoting her writings, but always with discernment».

 

To cut short the discussions and interpretations, the Congregation had to intervene on November 29, 1996 with a press release, the full text of which is as follows:

I.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received various questions about the value and authority of its Notification of 6 October 1995, published in L’Osservatore Romano on Monday/Tuesday, 23/24 October 1995, p. 2 (L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 25 October 1995, p. 12), regarding the writings and messages of Mrs. Vassula Ryden attributed to alleged revelations and disseminated in Catholic circles throughout the world.

In this regard, the Congregation wishes to state:

The Notification addressed to the Pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church retains all its force. It was approved by the competent authorities and will be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official organ of the Holy See, with the signatures of the Prefect and the Secretary of the Congregation.

Regarding the reports circulated by some news media concerning a restrictive interpretation of this Notification, given by His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect in a private conversation with a group of people to whom he granted an audience in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 10 May 1996, the same Cardinal Prefect wishes to state:

as he said, the faithful are not to regard the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations;

these meditations, as the Notification explained, include, along with positive aspects, elements that are negative in the light of Catholic doctrine;

therefore, Pastors and the faithful are asked to exercise serious spiritual discernment in this matter and to preserve the purity of the faith, morals and spiritual life, not by relying on alleged revelations but by following the revealed Word of God and the directives of the Church’s Magisterium.

II. Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:

1) The interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the “Abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books”, and determined that – after the relevant censures were lifted-the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals. 2.

 

 

2) It should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 823 §1 of the current Code remains in force: “the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement”.

3) Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and, in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

 

The conclusions to be drawn from this press release leave no room for doubt: the Notification is valid and, moreover, explicitly validated by the Prefect. The messages of Vassula Ryden continue to be considered «only as her personal meditations» and the moral obligation neither to spread them nor read them remains.

In 1998, Cardinal Ratzinger said in an interview: «…the Notification is a warning, not a condemnation. From the strictly procedural point of view, no person may be condemned without a trial and without being given the opportunity to express her/his views first. What we say is that there are many things which are not clear. There are some debatable apocalyptic elements and ecclesiological aspects which are not clear. Her writings contain many good things but the grain and the chaff [or darnel, “loglio” in Italian] are mixed up. That is why we invited the Catholic faithful to view it all with a prudent eye and to measure it by the yardstick of the constant faith of the Church» (30 Giorni, Italian edition).

 

Although the presence of unclear elements and even of “chaff” in a phenomenon described as supernatural is not reassuring, the Church refrains from any condemnation: Mrs. Ryden was not contacted directly by the Congregation and, as a Greek Orthodox, does not fall under its jurisdiction.

However, after Vassula Ryden expressed a desire to establish a direct relationship with the Congregation, one of its consultants, Fr Prospero Grech O.S.A., [pp. 49-63] submitted five questions related to the reservations of the Notification. The answers provided by Vassula, written in a clever and theologically developed manner (including quotations of Cardinal Ratzinger) take up thirty pages. The initiative is highlighted in the following letter from the Congregation (July 10, 2004):

 

To the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of France, Switzerland, Uruguay, Philippines, Canada

CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI

10 July 2004

Prot N. 54/92-19631

Eminence/Excellence,

As you know, this Congregation published a Notification in 1995 on the writings of Mrs. Vassula Ryden. Afterwards, and at her request, a thorough dialogue followed. At the conclusion of this dialogue, a letter of Mrs. Ryden dated 4 April 2002 was subsequently published in the latest volume of “True Life in God”, in which Mrs. Ryden supplies useful clarifications regarding her marital situation, as well as some difficulties which in the aforesaid Notification were suggested towards her writings and her participation in the sacraments (cf. Attachment).

Since the aforementioned writings have enjoyed a certain diffusion in your country, this Congregation has deemed it useful to inform you of the above. Concerning the participation in the ecumenical prayer groups organised by Mrs. Ryden, the Catholic faithful should be called to follow the dispositions of the Diocesan Bishops.

In communicating to you the above, I use the occasion to assure you of my lasting and profound esteem».

Yours Eminences/Excellencies, Most Devout
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect

 

This letter is quite well balanced and does not really commit itself: it makes mention of some clarifications on some of the difficulties, with explicit reference to those related to discipline, and, in particular, to the marital situation of the protagonist, who got married in 1966 in the Greek-Orthodox Church, then divorced and remarried on June 13, 1981. Finally, she regularized her situation in her Church five years after the beginning of the revelations, on October 31st, 1990.

 

However, can we really say, as the supporters do, that the situation has now been modified (words attributed to Cardinal Ratzinger), to such an extent as to induce the Vatican to withdraw the Notification from its website?

With regard to this last point, we must specify that the text can not have been removed from the website for the simple reason that it never appeared there*: the same happens with about half of the 60 documents of the Congregation listed on the webpage, which were almost all written before the creation of the website and were not available in the electronic format. *It is now on the Vatican web site. The Notification was earlier sourced from http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrydn1.htm.

3.

 

The Notification still remains the point of reference for the Congregation in regard to Mrs. Ryden, as can be deduced from the following two events.

 

In January 2006, Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik*, pastor of the Los Angeles cathedral, with the support of the city’s Archbishop, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, withdrew permission for a conference on Christian Unity under the auspices of Vassula Ryden of True Life in God. Msgr. Kostelnik wrote that the statements by the organizers, claiming that the Vatican had already given the green light to Mrs. Ryden’s writings, constituted «a serious misrepresentation of the current Vatican view of Mrs. Ryden’s speeches and writings» and that the 1995 and 1996 Vatican warnings remained «in full force». *See page 6

 

The second event dates back to January 25, 2007, and has universal significance for the Catholic Church, since it is a letter of the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed to all the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences. Its full text is as follows:

 

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH 25th January 2007

[http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrydn4.htm]

Prot. N.: 54/92 – 24945

Your Eminence/Your Excellency,

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues to receive requests for clarification in relation to the writings and activities of Mrs. Vassula Ryden. These requests address in particular the import of the Notification of 6 October 1995, and the criteria to be considered by the local Church in judging whether the writings of Mrs Vassula Ryden may appropriately be disseminated.

1) The Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment of the writings examined (see Enclosure 1).

2) Mrs. Vassula Ryden, however, after dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has offered clarifications on some problematic points in her writings and on the nature of her messages which are presented not as divine revelations, but rather as her personal meditations (see Enclosure 2: Letter of 4 April 2002, published in True Life in God, vol. 10). From a normative point of view therefore, following the aforementioned clarifications, a case by case prudential judgment is required in view of the real possibility of the faithful being able to read the writings in the light of the said clarifications.

3) Finally, it remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs. Ryden. Concerning the question of ecumenical meetings, the faithful are to follow the norms of the Ecumenical Directory, of the Code of Canon Law (canons: 215; 223 §2 and 383 §3) and of Diocesan Ordinaries.

Yours sincerely in Christ

Cardinal William LEVADA
Prefect

 

This letter makes it clear that after more than ten years of talks and a continual giving and recalling, nothing in substance has changed for the Congregation: no supernatural value is attributed to Vassula Ryden’s messages, and while allowing a greater autonomy to individual dioceses, the Congregation advises against the participation of Catholics in her prayer groups and reaffirms the universal value of the provisions of canon law regarding ecumenical meetings.

In other words, the above mentioned clarifications, as already stressed, were not enough to lift the reservations regarding “a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine” (Notification of 1995), nor to allow a recognition, in spite of all the good will manifested by the then Prefect of the Congregation.

This also means that the official declarations of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regularly signed by its present or previous Prefects prevail over the unofficial declarations that were given to some journalists and persons, who rushed to conclusions.

If the Congregation continues to refrain from an explicit condemnation, it is for the reasons already mentioned: Mrs. Rydén, a Greek Orthodox, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Church. One may also reckon that the Congregation is trying not to aggravate nor scandalize those Catholics still involved and unaware of the real reasons for the lack of recognition.

 

In a letter of August 2007*, Mrs. Ryden protested against the position taken by Cardinal Levada, for failing to take into account the apparently positive balance of the referred dialogue. Moreover she denies having ever said that the messages «are presented not as divine revelations but rather as her personal meditations». Now, even if we must recognize a certain ambiguity in the wording of the letter, it only takes up again what was affirmed by the Notification of 1995 and the press release of 1996. *SEE PAGES 65-67

The very fact that, as Fr. Prospero Grech [pages 49-63] wrote to the protagonist, «your latest books, too, seem to have laid aside some ambiguous expressions contained in your earlier ones» (March 21, 2003), does not change anything, since the Notification had already pointed that: «The fact that the aforementioned errors no longer appear in Rydén’s later writings is a sign that the alleged “heavenly messages” are merely the result of private meditations» (while the protagonist, for obvious reasons, considers that the revelations are true and real). 4.

 

 

 

Vassula Ryden

http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/VASSULA-%20Mark.htm
EXTRACT

By Mark Waterinckx, Belgium (English translation of originally Dutch article in newsletter AVE*, December 2001)

 

OFFICIAL CHURCH DOCUMENTS CONCERNING VASSULA

Declaration from the Bishop of Sion-Switzerland, Mgr. Heinrich Schwery

September 1, 1991

Vassula is not a Catholic. Her initiatives are purely private and have nothing to do with any official oecumenical discussion group. To support initiatives for the promotion of unity amongst Christians, one must avoid absolutely such private initiatives, which are not recognised by her own (Orthodox) church, or by the Catholic Bishop Conference.

The ecumenical attitude of Vassula Ryden is ambiguous. Real ecumenism, in which we hope and which we pursue in spite of all difficulties, can only exist if all participating churches adhere loyally to their own church. Blurring and confusion cannot lead to unity. Every Christian is necessarily a member of a particular church.

Vassula Ryden owes her success partly to her private revelations, which she claims are dictated directly to her by Jesus Christ. We must warn the faithful against the many dangers which result from this:

3.1 Private revelations, which are accepted by others without reservations, seriously compromise the credibility of the Church. People frequently attach more belief to these private messages then to the teachings of the Church.

3.2 Private revelations must be considered as invalid as long as the Church has not officially recognised them.

3.3 A theological assessment of the private revelations of Vassula obliges the bishop of Sion to prohibit the use of these messages as a basis for prayer, meditation or study in his diocese.

Note: This clear condemnation has not extinguished the burning enthusiasm of Vassula fans in the least. In all possible languages the endless messages are spread worldwide, a commercial but dubious success. Someone who has done a lot of business with the messages of Vassula and those from a great many other not recognised apparition sites is the Swiss André Castella. In Stella Maris, November 2000, he writes the following nonsense: He who claims to speak in name of God or of Our Lady must be believed, as long as proof to the contrary has not been provided. Castella reverses the roles. (Cf. bishop of Sion, point 3.2) The inevitable happened four years later from the Vatican [in the Notification] of

October 6, 1995, the Declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Published in, amongst others, the German Osservatore Romano no. 44 of 3/11/1995 and the French no. 44 of 31/10/1995 and in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis AAS 87 (1996) 956-957 in Italian.

 

In l’Impartial of Nov/Dec 1995, p. 12-13, Pierre Picqué calls on all his readers to accept this ruling of the Roman Catholic Church. He reminds readers of the words of Melanie Calvat of La Salette: One must always obey the church.

The publication decided to stop all further reports concerning Vassula.

 

[VASSULA RYDEN AND VASSULA’S “JESUS” OBJECT]

On 25/10/95 Vassula receives from her Jesus the following message: Today, as you see, you have been sold out by your own people.
You were handed over to the Romans, through one of your own,to be condemned and to be crucified.” You self, Vassula, keep my silence. You have sufficient witnesses to defend yourself. They will remain faithful. In the meantime, while your persecutors rejoice, my seventh angel shall pour out his chalice into the air and cause everything to catch fire… Till now they have been unable to believe that this message comes from Me.

 

Fr. Peter Klos, SSS, president of Vox Populi Dei, Amsterdam, writes that this condemnation from Rome is invalid “and the work of Satan…
It is supposed to be invalid because it lacks the signature of Cardinal Ratzinger. (*AVE has the document, with the signature definitely present- editor). “Only the devil himself writes anonymous letters…

Klos called for a petition to the Pope on 7/11/95 to have the 6/10/95 note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith withdrawn, because it was invalid according to Peter Klos. The same Father Klos, who is continually in conflict with his superiors, obtained his wish from the Pope! In 1996 there appeared a new declaration [see page 2], where Card. Ratzinger himself dotted the i’s, and in which he addressed the problem of publications of supposed private revelations in general.

 

The New Declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [see page 2] appeared in the official organ of the press office of the Vatican (Bulletin no. 447 of 29/11/1996 and in the English L’Osservatore Romanà of 4/12/1996 and the A.A.S 1996, page 966.

The notification was subsequently published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis [Acts of the Apostolic See] – AAS, vol. LXXXVIII, N. 12 (5 December 1996), 956-957.]

 

In Dominus Jesus, an official document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved by Pope John Paul II on 6/8/2000, the Catholic dogma is clearly restated that the objective salvation of all souls can only be found in the faith of the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.

Cardinal Ratzinger, and the then Pope warn expressly against religious relativism and indifferentism, in particular the proposition that one religion is as good as another. In direct contradiction with this ancient teaching of the Church are the supposed messages to Vassula and those of the Franciscan Gospa to the seers in Medjugorje: All religions are equal! 5.

 

 

 

 

Vassula and Medjugorje are opponents of the Pope and the Church, just as the theologians Kung and Drewermann, who also attack Dominus Jesus. Nevertheless Vassula herself says (via her Jesus) that we should obey the Pope blindly, because disobedience does not come from God but from Satan.

The Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomeus I, the leader of Vassula’s church, also attacked Dominus Jesus.

The Papal document states: The only Church of Christ is the Roman Catholic Church, which is led by the successor of St Peter. However, the Orthodox Vassula refuses to become Catholic.

 

L.A. Cathedral Disinvites Christian Unity Event

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jan/10/local/me-visionary10 [Also at http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/archive/2006/01/11/]

By Larry B. Stammer, Times Staff Writer, From Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2006

 

Pastor decides not to allow conference after realizing the role of a self-proclaimed mystic.

The Roman Catholic cathedral of Los Angeles on Monday rescinded its invitation to hold a Christian unity conference later this month after concluding that the principal speaker was to be a controversial self-proclaimed mystic who claimed to speak directly with God, Jesus and Mary.
In a letter to the sponsors, Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, said that what had been represented by sponsors as a Christian unity conference had turned out to be largely a forum for Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox laywoman who has attracted worldwide attention with her reports of sacred conversations.

At the same time, a leading Greek Orthodox priest said Monday he previously had also pulled out of the Jan. 28 conference. “Everything is very suspect. That’s all I’m going to say,” said the Very Rev. John Bakas, dean of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.
A publicist for the conference said a second Greek Orthodox priest, from Brooklyn, had also decided not to attend.
Kostelnik said the decision to withdraw the cathedral’s invitation to play host to the conference was “final and not subject to change.” He said that the meeting was turning into something different than originally proposed. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, had earlier agreed to offer welcoming remarks at the conference but now approved the withdrawal, Kostelnik said.
Kostelnik also returned a $3,000 donation to the cathedral and a $200 deposit for food service.
His letter, faxed to event sponsors Monday, caught them and their public relations firm by surprise. Claire Mansour, one of the sponsors, said she did not know if she and her husband, Antoine Y. Mansour, a general surgeon, could find another location to hold the conference in time. A full-page advertisement had already appeared in Tidings, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Press releases were also distributed, saying that Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant leaders would discuss “a new era of relations” among them.

“To me this is a betrayal by my church,” she said, referring to the withdrawal of the invitation by the Roman Catholic cathedral.
The meeting was to have been under the auspices of Ryden’s “True Life in God” organization and sponsored by the New Jerusalem Foundation, headed by the Mansours, who live in Beverly Hills. They have long supported Ryden and were associated with her Los Angeles appearance in 1995.

Antoine Mansour, in a handwritten Oct. 7 letter to Kostelnik, assured the pastor that Ryden’s writings “have been cleared by the Vatican.” But Kostelnik wrote Monday that Mansour’s assurance was “a serious misrepresentation of the current Vatican view of Ms. Ryden’s speeches and writings.” He said 1995 and 1996 Vatican statements cautioning Catholics against following Ryden remained “in full force.” “The 1995 statement cautioned Catholics that Ms. Ryden’s ‘revelations’ were merely the result of private meditations and contained doctrinal errors. It also advised bishops not to provide any opportunity in their dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas,” Kostelnik wrote. “In short, it is my belief and that of Cardinal Mahony that instead of a Christian unity conference where all participants have an equal opportunity to share and speak, what is now taking its place is a Vassula Ryden conference,” Kostelnik wrote.
During an appearance in Los Angeles in 1995, Ryden told an audience at the Los Angeles Convention Center that Jesus joked with her as she ate ravenously. “Finally,” she told the audience, “he asked, ‘Is it good?’ And I said, “Yes, Jesus. Thank you.’ There was nothing wrong, so I continued eating. After a while he said, ‘Don’t you want me to bless it?'”
Her current website,
http://www.tlig.org, quotes Jesus as addressing her as “My Vassula” and tells her he was giving her his lamp to remove spiritual darkness from the world.

Critics have challenged the authenticity of Vassula’s supposed messages from God because she has changed some of them over time. Vassula, who was in Washington, D.C., and could not be reached for comment Monday, told The Times in a 1995 interview that God gave her permission to make such changes. She said it was possible for a perfect God to regret something he said, just as he regretted creating a race that would fall from grace.
Claire Mansour said Monday that the Los Angeles archdiocese “had all the information” about the conference for months, including Ryden’s appearance. “It was very clear. We didn’t hide anything,” she said, adding that she had expected a full house at the 3,000-seat cathedral. But she said God had the “final word” on the matter. 6.

 

Vassula Ryden Promoters Creating Disunity

http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/Monsour2006.htm
EXTRACT

By Richard Salbato

 

The Catholic Church’s position regarding True Life in God by Vassula

IMPORTANT UPDATE:
The TLIG association is claiming that the Church has recently modified its position regarding the writings of Mrs. Ryden and suggesting that the Notification is no longer valid. This is not true. Please read hereunder our latest updates, which include the text of Card. Ratzinger’s July 2004* letter as well as our correspondence with the Conference of Swiss Bishops* confirming that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has NOT modified its position regarding TLIG.

Official Position of the Catholic Church:

Notification*
of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Cardinal Ratzinger’s Press release regarding the Notification*

Validity of the Notification* (see also “recent developments” hereunder)

The Catholic Church’s official position regarding the TLIG messages and Mrs Vassula Ryden is contained in the 1995 Notification**, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)

The Notification is a very severe warning regarding the errors and negative elements contained in the messages. It requests Bishops not to authorize the promotion of TLIG in their dioceses. It advises the faithful not to consider the messages as of divine origin. 

Since its publication in 1995, the Notification has not been modified or cancelled and therefore is a valid document which figures in the Vatican website in the index of documents issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [CDF]:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/doc_doc_index.htm

*The links to the pages of the bluewin.ch/cafarus site do not open because the site was shut down in mid-2012 by its owner Maria Laura Pio of Switzerland as a result of a civil suit filed against her by Vassula Ryden/TLIG

All the referred documents are however made available in this compilation and/or may be found in several of the twenty-odd other related articles/reports on Vassula Ryden/TLIG at this ministry’s web site – Michael

**http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19951006_ryden_en.html


Recent developments

The Conference of Swiss Bishops confirms that the July 2004 letter is NOT a modification of the CDF’s position

When Mrs Ryden moved to Rome some years ago, she started approaching several congregations of the Holy See in order to try to regularize her situation with the Catholic Church and obtain a revision of the Notification. Her efforts were kindly welcomed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which addressed her five questions for her to answer by writing. The questions concern some of the points contained in the Notification. A copy of this exchange of letters can be consulted in the TLIG official website http://www.tlig.org/cdf.html. In addition to the above, the CDF requested Bishops around the world to give their own opinion regarding the messages and Mrs Ryden’s activities. 

In January 2005, the TLIG association announced that Cardinal Ratzinger had written a letter dated July 2004 addressed to the Presidents of 5 Episcopal Conferences (Switzerland, Uruguay, France, Canada and the Philippines) who had voiced concerns regarding the writings and activities of Vassula Ryden.

A copy of this letter was given to Mrs Ryden, but it has not been published by the CDF. The TLIG association affirms that the letter contains a positive modification of the CDF’s position regarding Mrs Ryden’s writings, and some have even suggested that the Notification is no longer valid. We have requested to see a copy of this letter, but different TLIG sources have systematically refused it to us, saying that it is at this time the decision of Mrs Ryden to provide it only to bishops and priests, together with other documents that “help” understand the meaning of the letter (see the TLIG official website: http://www.tlig.org/cdf.html).

We have therefore written to the Episcopal Conference of Switzerland
asking for confirmation of the above.

Here is the answer we received from the Secretary General of the Conference des Eveques Suisses (CES) on February 23rd, 2005 (the original mail is in French):

 

Dear Madam,

    I willingly answer your question of February 16th.

    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith maintains all it’s reservations regarding the writings and actions of Mrs Ryden.
The past July 13th, the CDF did indeed write to the President of the Conference of Swiss Bishops (CES) to request him to remind the Catholic faithful that their participation in the “ecumenical” prayer groups organized by Mrs Ryden has to follow the directives of the Diocesan Bishops.

    Since the letter is an internal correspondence, I cannot give you a copy of it. However you must know that the position published by the CES some years ago (and that we are sending you by post), and that already reflected a notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, keeps all its value.

    Hoping to have helped you, I present you my distinguished greetings.

    Abbé Agnell Rickenmann – Secretary General

Some days letter I received the position of the CES, which was a copy of the [CDF’s]
1995 Notification. 7.

 

Latest update

Text of the July 2004 Letter signed by Card. Ratzinger, addressed to the 5 Episcopal Conferences of Switzerland, Uruguay, France, Canada and the Philippines

Shortly afterwards, the text of the July 2004 letter was sent to me by a person who had obtained a copy of it.

As the Swiss Bishops indicated above, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) does not indicate that it has modified nor intends to modify its position. In fact, the CDF refers to the 1995 Notification and mentions the dialogue it had with Mrs Ryden
at her request, which concluded with the publication in the latest TLIG book of her letter of April 2002, containing clarifications regarding several points mentioned in the Notification.

Cardinal Ratzinger refers to these clarifications as “useful”, but apparently not satisfying  or thorough enough to modify the CDF’s general position regarding the TLIG writings (not to be considered as of divine origin), nor the instructions given to Bishops in order to avoid the diffusion of the messages in their dioceses.

The second paragraph of the letter is a reminder that the Catholic faithful, even when participating in ecumenical prayer groups, have to follow the dispositions of the Diocesan Bishops. (The instructions for Bishops regarding the activities of Mrs Ryden are indicated in the 1995 Notification) 

I copy hereunder the text in English of the July 2004 letter as it has been published by the TLIG association (click here to see the image of the original in Italian*): [See page 3 where I have already copied it -Michael] *My comment on page 7

[Text of Cardinal Ratzinger’s Letter]

We would also wish to add that it was never the intention of the CDF to make the above letter public. This was indicated to us by the Conference of Swiss Bishops (see above), who refers to the letter as an “internal correspondence”. Moreover, when Vassula received a copy of the July 2004 letter, it was accompanied by a letter signed by the Under Secretary of the CDF Fr. De Noia*, in which he indicated that he was sending her a copy of the letter for her information.

The use that the TLIG association is making of the correspondence with the CDF, presenting it as a reversal of the Church’s position regarding Mrs Ryden’s writings, is clearly abusive. *See pages 64, 65

Thank you for passing on this information to whoever reads the TLIG messages.

Maria Laura Pio, Switzerland 15/03/2005

 

Other interesting articles on the Notification and Church Position

In French:

“A propos de Vassula Ryden: un cas de discernment”, by Joseph Moerman (theologian), in Choisir, num. 434, February 1996, Geneva (Switzerland) by Joseph Moerman (theologian), in Choisir, num. 434, February 1996, Geneva (Switzerland).

“Rome persiste et signe”, by Anita Sanchez Bourdin, Famille Chretienne, num.988, December 19th, 1996, Paris.

[http://web.archive.org/web/20071016220125/http://www.infovassula.ch/choisir_page_1.gif & pages 2, 3, and 4]

 

In English:

NEW
http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2004/features_oct04.html

See in particular the section entitled “The authority to judge and the duty to obey”.

[I reproduce below here the relevant section of the article that is referred to above, and more –Michael]

Apparitions True and False

http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2004/features_oct04.html
EXTRACT

Also at: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7724

Source: CHRISTIAN ORDER – CATHOLIC, APOSTOLIC & ROMAN

By Fr. Peter Joseph,
October 2004

Fr Peter Joseph of Wagga Wagga, Australia, has a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, is the editor of the revised version of Archbishop Sheehan’s “Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine” (Saint Austin Press 2001) and is currently the Chancellor of the Maronite Diocese of Australia

Examples of visionaries judged to be false

Some individuals have been pronounced against by name, e.g., Vassula Ryden, and the
Little Pebble, William Kamm. Vassula has been condemned twice by the Holy Office (the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), on the grounds that her revelations do not come from God, and because they contain errors against the Faith. You hear people say: “But her writings are so spiritual and so beautiful!” I agree; possibly 99% of Vassula’s messages are in conformity with the Catholic Faith — but that is just how the devil operates to deceive pious Catholics. It is the 1% that does harm. A poison apple is mostly good apple — but will harm you nevertheless. The devil knows he cannot mislead devout Catholics with outright heresy, but he can appeal to their piety and then subtly plant errors within.

In any case, there has been no approved revelation in the history of the Church where God took someone’s hand and gave messages by writing with their pen. But you do find handwriting messages given at séances—and séances are condemned by the Church as a practice of the occult against the law of God.

I have seen one pious magazine defending Vassula by saying that Cardinal Ratzinger never signed the statement against her printed in L’Osservatore
Romano. A man I know sent them the official statement from Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official Vatican gazette, which has the Cardinal’s signature at the bottom, along with [that of] the Bishop Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Unfortunately, the editor of the magazine had neither the humility nor the honesty to print a correction in the next issue.
8.

 

 

The authority to judge and the duty to obey

No private individual has the authority to judge definitively and officially which private revelations are true and which are not. The authority to rule on the genuineness of a private revelation rests first with the local Bishop.

The apparitions of Lourdes, Knock, Fatima, Beauraing, Banneux – to name only a few – were approved by the local Bishops. The Popes of the time never issued any judgement on them. The current canonical practice is that the local Bishop must appoint a committee to investigate and rule on any private revelation (if he thinks it worthy of investigation), but the Holy See may intervene if necessary or if the Bishops ask it to. Alternatively, he may ask the Episcopal Conference of his country to assist in the investigation and judgement.

It is forbidden, as well as sinful, to propagate private revelations which have received a negative judgement from the local Bishop, the conference of Bishops, or the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Some people say, “I’m going to follow it until the Pope says it’s false.” This is a useless guide for action in this matter – very rarely does the Pope make a pronouncement for or against a revelation.

As for statements attributed to the Pope (e.g., “I heard that the Pope told Mrs Smith after Mass in his private chapel that he believes in Garabandal and Bayside;” “The Pope told Jack that he could go ahead and print that condemned book”) – no one is entitled to act on such gossip. The Church is governed by publicly promulgated statements – not by hearsay and personal communications… …

Even should the local Bishop mistakenly disapprove of a genuine revelation, obedience to the Church remains paramount. It is a sin to propagate a private revelation disobediently, but it can never be a sin not to propagate one. This applies both to claimed seers and to followers. In fact, if an alleged visionary disobeys a legitimate order from the Bishop, and claims God’s backing for the action, this is a sure sign that the message is not from God. Even if a genuine private revelation has been given, not even God Himself would want or command a seer to spread it against a lawful decree of a Bishop to desist. In fact, there are occasions in the life of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (died 1582) and St Margaret Mary (died 1690) and Sr Josefa Menendez (died 1923) where Our Lord gave them a directive, but then their superior forbade it. What did they do? They obeyed their human superior on earth. What did Our Lord then tell them? -‘You were right to obey my representative.’

On one occasion, the Sacred Heart of Jesus told St Margaret Mary to do something, but her Superior did not approve. When He came again, she asked Him about this, and He replied: “…not only do I desire that you should do what your Superior commands, but also that you should do nothing of all that I order without their consent. I love obedience, and without it no one can please me” [Autobiography of St Margaret Mary].

Spiritual writers have an axiom: A Superior may or may not be inspired by God in his command, but you are always inspired in obeying. (Of course, we’re not talking about where a Superior commands a sin; and, as I said above, it is not a sin to drop a private revelation).

Satan may really promote good things for a while provided that he gains in the long run. The revelations of Necedah, Wisconsin, seemed to have good fruits, yet were false. Rosaries were said to change to gold. Similarly for Bayside. But disobedience showed them false. St Margaret Mary was told by Our Lord: “Listen, My daughter, and do not lightly believe and trust every spirit, for Satan is angry and will try to deceive you. So do nothing without the approval of those who guide you. Being thus under the authority of obedience, his efforts against you will be in vain, for he has no power over the obedient” [Autobiography].

After error itself, the mark of a false mystic is willfulness and disobedience. I love this quote from Saint Faustina Kowalska: “Satan can even clothe himself in a cloak of humility, but he does not know how to wear the cloak of obedience.” (Diary, par. 939). Genuine mystics, like Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), are models of obedience. They never pretend to set up Christ against His Church.

Everyone is free to have an opinion, but all have to submit to the judgement of the Church with practical obedience. What I mean is: you are still free to disagree (the Bishop is not infallible in this matter), but you owe him practical obedience, that is, you may not act against the decree; you may not propagate a revelation that the Bishop has judged negatively, or continue to say publicly that you regard it as genuine. Remember, a Church commission may give a negative verdict for reasons which it cannot state publicly, e.g., it may have found out things against the character of the seer, but will not say so publicly, even though this would justify the decision and help people to accept it.

If a so-called message is judged not authentic for doctrinal reasons, then you are not free to defend such messages, because then you will be defending error. Vassula Ryden is an example of this: the judgement against her was for false doctrine in her writings. How and why pious Catholics defended her after the negative judgement by the Holy See’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is beyond me. Her whole case is black-and-white. Apart from unorthodoxy, her alleged messages, which are meant to be handwritten by Our Lord Himself, contain mistakes in English spelling and grammar!

Can you say publicly that an approved revelation is not genuine? Yes, if you want to. The Church never orders you to accept any private revelation. But any such disagreement should be voiced respectfully.

Caution never does harm

The simple fact is that most claimed revelations are false. It is extremely foolish, therefore, to devote oneself to propagating a disapproved or dubious message, which might actually come from the Father of Lies. If one day you see its falsity for yourself, you will regret it enormously, and be unable to undo the harm done to others. On the other hand, there are more than enough approved messages to spread, if you want to spread them. It is better to keep to what is countenanced by the Church, than to go it alone and risk being a dupe of the devil. 9.

 

 

‘Seers’ and ‘Apparitions’

http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2005/features_jan05_bonus.html
EXTRACT

By Fr. Peter Joseph,
January 2005

The article Apparitions True and False by Fr Peter Joseph in our October 2004 issue provoked a number of comments and questions, the majority very positive. We print here some queries and Fr Joseph’s answers.

“It is not true, as you claim, that Vassula Ryden has been ‘condemned’ by the Holy Office. Further, Cardinal Ratzinger has given interviews in which he has said that Vassula’s writings may be read, and promoted prudently.”

The Holy Office issued two Notifications against Vassula’s ‘messages’. The first, in 1995, says there are “a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine. In addition to pointing out the suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occurred, it is necessary to underscore several doctrinal errors they contain.”

It then refers to ambiguous, confusing teaching on the Holy Trinity and the Church – “contrary to Catholic doctrine”. It also says, “She appears to be putting herself above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm, and in effect, is creating an ecumenical disorder”.

All this amounts to a ‘condemnation’ – unless you believe that error, heresy and illicit behaviour are matters of no importance.

As to whether you can spread the messages anymore, the 1995 Notification says, “this Congregation requests the intervention of the Bishops so that their faithful may be suitably informed and that no opportunity may be provided in their Dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas.”

The second Notification, of 1996, re-asserts that the Bishops of the Church have canonical authority over writings concerning faith and morals, and that private revelations are not exempt from this canon law.

What about Cardinal Ratzinger’s statements since then? From my article, the reader should realise that Cardinal Ratzinger’s private, or public comments – even if authentic – cannot undo a decree of the Holy Office. Only a new decree can undo an old decree – not an interview given to the press! Even the Pope’s personal opinions and beliefs have no authority, and cannot be cited to override Church law or doctrine. As I said in my article, the Church is governed by public statements and promulgated laws, not by personal interviews or private communications.

Even if there is further, or a new investigation, all Catholics are still held to the only official judgement hitherto given, which is negative. END OF ANSWER

 

Please keep in mind when reading this article, that the Notification is not technically speaking a condemnation, but a warning. This is due to the fact that Vassula Ryden is Greek Orthodox, and the Church cannot interfere with the “spiritual life of any other Church’s faithful”, but does have “the duty to clarify and warn it’s faithful about any disorder created by any person’s or organization’s attitude” (see article on validity of the Notification*) *See my comment on page 7

 

Vassula Ryden

http://www.catholicdoors.com/isit/isit07.htm
EXTRACT

Latest update:

In 1995, the Catholic Church‘s
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) published a Notification (a message from the Holy See) on the writings of Rydén, saying her communications should not be considered supernatural, and calling all Catholic bishops to prevent Rydén’s ideas from being spread in their dioceses.
In a letter dated January 25, 2007, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, following continued requests for clarifications on the writings and activities of Rydén, wrote to the Catholic hierarchy around the world stating that “the Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment” of the writings, which should be seen as her own personal meditations and that Catholics should not take part in prayer groups established by Rydén.
In 2011, the
Greek Orthodox Church officially disapproved of Rydén’s teachings, instructing their faithful to disassociate from Rydén.
In 2012, the
Church of Cyprus said that Rydén’s teachings were heretical.

[Source: http://www.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassula_Ryden]

 

Important update regarding Church position (March 2005):

The TLIG association is claiming that the Church has recently modified its position regarding the writings of Mrs Ryden and suggesting that the Notification is no longer valid. This is not true. Please read our updated “Church Position” page, which includes the text of Card. Ratzinger‘s July 2004 letter as well as our correspondence with the Conference of Swiss Bishops confirming that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has NOT modified its position regarding TLIG and that the 1995 Notification remains valid.

 

The True Catholic Church’s position regarding the Vassula Ryden’s “True Life in God” messages (January 2006): 10.

 

The Los Angeles Cathedral decided to withdraw the invitation to play host to a Christian unity conference that would have been under the auspices of Vassula Ryden’s “True Life in God” organization. Msgr. Devin Kostelnik, pastor of the Cathedral of Los Angeles declared that the decision was “final and not subject to change” and that the withdrawal had been done with the approval of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles. Kostelnik also wrote that the organizers’ argument that the Vatican had cleared Ryden’s writings was “a serious misrepresentation of the current Vatican view of Mrs Ryden’s speeches and writings” and that the 1995 and 1996 Vatican warnings remained in “full force”.

 

Official Position of the Catholic Church:
Notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Cardinal Ratzinger‘s 1996 Press release regarding the Notification
The Catholic Church’s official position regarding the TLIG messages and Mrs Vassula Ryden is contained in the 1995 Notification, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
The Notification is a very severe warning regarding the errors and negative elements contained in the messages. It requests Bishops not to authorize the promotion of TLIG in their dioceses. It advises the faithful not to consider the messages as of divine origin.
Since it’s publication in 1995, the Notification has not been modified nor cancelled, and therefore is a valid document which figures in the Vatican website, in the list of doctrinal documents issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
(http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/doc_doc_index.htm).
We are of course aware that Mrs Ryden’s official website presents an impressive list of documents affirming the exact contrary, including letters from some Bishops and priests, most of whom are long-time supporters of TLIG. We do not doubt of their good faith. However, the evidence we present hereunder clearly indicates that, although the CDF did exchange correspondence with Vassula from 2002 to 2004, the result was not a modification or a reversal of the Notification.

 

Recent developments (February 2005):

The Conference of Swiss Bishops confirms to us that the July 2004 letter is NOT a modification of the CDF’s position.
When Mrs Ryden moved to Rome some years ago, she started approaching several congregations of the Holy See in order to try to regularize her situation with the Catholic Church and obtain a revision of the Notification. Her efforts were kindly welcomed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which addressed her five questions for her to answer by writing. The questions concern some of the points contained in the Notification. A copy of this exchange of letters can be consulted in the TLIG official website
http://www.tlig.org/cdf.html. In addition to the above, the CDF requested Bishops around the world to give their own opinion regarding the messages and Mrs Ryden’s activities.
In January 2005, the TLIG association announced that former Cardinal Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict XVI – had written a letter dated July 2004 addressed to the Presidents of 5 Episcopal Conferences (Switzerland, Uruguay, France, Canada and the Philippines) who had voiced concerns regarding the writings and activities of Vassula Ryden. A copy of this letter was given to Mrs Ryden, but it has not been published by the CDF. The TLIG association affirms that the letter contains a positive modification of the CDF’s position regarding Mrs Ryden’s writings, and some have even suggested that the Notification is no longer valid. We requested to see a copy of this letter, but different TLIG sources have systematically refused it to us, saying that it is at this time the decision of Mrs Ryden to provide it only to bishops and priests, together with other documents that “help” understand the meaning of the letter. At a later date, the booklet with all these documents would be sold to all those interested in having it. (Update September 2005: In the meantime, on September 8, 2005, the text of the July 2004 letter was finally published on the official TLIG website, together with the other documents of the booklet).
We have therefore written to the Episcopal Conference of Switzerland asking for confirmation of the above. Here is the answer we received from the Secretary General of the Conférence des Eveques Suisses (CES) on February 23rd, 2005 (the original email is in French):

Dear Madam,
I willingly answer your question of February 16th.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith maintains all it’s reservations regarding the writings and actions of Mrs Ryden. The past July 13th, the CDF did indeed write to the President of the Conference of Swiss Bishops (CES) to request him to remind the Catholic faithful that their participation in the “ecumenical” prayer groups organized by Mrs Ryden has to follow the directives of the Diocesan Bishops.
Since the letter is an internal correspondence, I cannot give you a copy of it. However you must know that the position published by the CES some years ago (and that we are sending you by post), and that already reflected a notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, keeps all its value.
Hoping to have helped you, I present you my distinguished greetings.
Abbé Agnell Rickenmann – Secretary General

Some days letter I received the position of the CES, which was a copy of the 1995 Notification. 11.

 

 

Doctrinal Errors in Vassula Ryden’s writings http://www.mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/tligerrors.htm*

Church Warnings against Vassula Ryden http://www.mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/tligtheologians.htm*

*See my comment on page 7

END of Richard Salbato’s article

 

Vassula Ryden with Pope Benedict XVI

http://catholicdaily.net/ourcatholicworld/2011/10/15/vassula-ryden-with-pope-benedict-xvi/
EXTRACT

By Daniel Klimek, dpk24g@gmail.com
October 15, 2011


 

Just recently – this past week – photos have been made available for the first time of an encounter between the Greek Orthodox mystic Vassula Ryden and Pope Benedict XVI. The newly released photographs show Vassula meeting Benedict during a General Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican in January 2008. Vassula is shown presenting the Holy Father with a copy of the True Life in God messages, a book based on compilations of Vassula’s alleged revelations (and transmitted messages) from God. For years, Vassula has made the powerful, albeit controversial, claim of receiving personal messages (including prophecies) from God.

It was a few years earlier that Vassula originally met then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, when he headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) before becoming Pope as John Paul’s successor. From 2001-2004, the CDF and Vassula partook in a diplomatic dialogue in relation to her revelations and messages. A photograph taken in 2004, with Vassula and Cardinal Ratzinger, at the culmination of this dialogue, is available here

Vassula, like any contemporary mystic, constitutes a controversial figure in the Christian world, including the Catholic Church. The CDF was encouraged to dialogue with her, bringing clarity to her work, for a couple of reasons. One obvious reason pertains to the faithful. While being Greek Orthodox, Vassula Ryden has a strong following among many Catholics as well — plus, her messages often stress traditional Catholic devotions like praying the Rosary and reverence for the Seat of Peter, the Pope as leader of Christ’s Church, in addition to emphasizing ecumenical goals like Christian unity throughout the world.

Notwithstanding, in 1995 the CDF issued a
Notification
on Vassula’s messages and actions, noting particular sacramental concerns and advising very strong discretion against following her work. After the dialogue, Cardinal Ratzinger requested that Vassula publish, alongside her True Life in God messages, the clarifications of the dialogue that the CDF had made in regard to the earlier Notification. Those clarifications, portraying a more positive perspective of her work, have been published in a booklet… …

There are aspects of her messages that appear so orthodox, so authentic, so Catholic (considering her Orthodox background, this is a fascinating trend); but, on the other hand, there are other aspects of her messages that appear unorthodox, perhaps un-Catholic. She is on the right page in terms of advocating the need for the ecumenical movement, but there are facets of Vassula’s ecumenism — like advocating a universal Eucharist open to all (a concern that is alluded to in the Vatican’s 1995 Notification) — that are far from orthodox in appreciating the reverence of the sacrament. Vassula has influential supporters in both the Latin and Eastern churches, including such names like the great French Mariologist Rene Laurentin, perhaps Catholicism’s most renowned living Mariologist. At the same time — as with any mystic — there are many influential Catholics who caution against Vassula and her movement.

 

The Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris warns Catholics against Vassula Ryden‘s November 23-25, 2012 visit to France, November 12, 2012

http://www.paris.catholique.fr/IMG/pdf/AVT_2012_11_12_Mise_en_garde_Vassula_RYDEN-2.pdf

 

We reproduce hereunder the text of the warning signed by Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, and published on the archdiocese’s website http://www.paris.catholique.fr/Mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de.html

 

[TRANSLATION FROM FRENCH] Paris, November 12, 2012

Warning against Mrs Vassula Ryden’s visit to the Ile-de-France region

The French association “True Life in God”, which promotes Mrs Vassula Ryden’s activities, has announced her next visit to Paris and a conference she will be holding at the Pavillon Baltard (Nogent-sur-Marne) on Sunday 25 November 2012.

The Holy See, through the voice of the Roman congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has pronounced itself several times regarding her (Notification dated 6 October 1995*, letters of 4 April 2002 and 25 January 2007**). The Holy See has expressed great reservations regarding her claimed revelations and has not recognized the supernatural nature of the messages that Mrs Ryden claims to have received. The Congregation advises the Catholic faithful not to lend support to Mrs Ryden’s activities or those of the association “True Life in God” by participating in them.
**See page 4 *See pages 1 and 2

Moreover, since Mrs Vassula Ryden is of Greek-Orthodox origin,
the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has published a declaration regarding her dated 16 March 2011, requesting that the faithful do not put their trust in her teachings
***. ***See pages 30 to 32

12.

 

 

 

I want to inform the Catholic faithful of Paris that the visit of Mrs Vassula Ryden and the events that will surround it are in no way connected to the Catholic Church. The acts of religious nature that could take place during it (the celebration of Mass or of deliverance and healing prayers) would be outside the communion with the Catholic Church.

+ André Cardinal VINGT-TROIS

Archbishop of Paris

Note:
The translation is not official and is the work of volunteers who are not professional translators. Please refer to the original text in French. All emphases mine both here and on the following pages- Michael

 


13.

 

Also, the bishops of Nantes, Strasbourg, Belley-Ars, Lyon and Avignon in France have published in the web sites of their dioceses similar warnings against Vassula Ryden, Nov. 2012 See pages 69, 70

– Diocese of Nantes:
http://nantes.cef.fr/textes-officiels/mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-vassula-ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-nantes

– Diocese of Strasbourg:
http://www.diocese-alsace.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2923:mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-vassula-ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-strasbourg&catid=285&Itemid=1432

– Diocese of Belley-Ars:
http://catholique-belley-ars.cef.fr/Mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-Vassula-Ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-Lyon.html

– Diocese of Lyon:
http://lyon.catholique.fr/?Mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-Vassula-Ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-Lyon

– Diocese of Avignon:
http://diocese-avignon.fr/spip/Communique

 

The Bishops of the Province of Marseille warn the faithful against Vassula‘s activities http://marseille.catholique.fr/Mise-en-garde

By Maria Laura Pio, October 31, 2011

 

The following warning, signed by several bishops of southern France – including three archbishops – was issued on October 22, 2011 [I could not retrieve the Marseille bishops’ warning from the above link given on one of Maria Laura Pio’s pages at www.infovassula.ch but got it from elsewhere -Michael:]

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marialaurapio_eng/message/39?var=1

[Also at
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2012/01/false-mystic.html]

Regarding the validity of the Catholic Church’s documents on Vassula Ryden, I copy hereunder the translation into English of a Warning issued last October by the Bishops of southern France, which was widely spread by the French Catholic media and figures on the website of the Diocese of Marseille (http://marseille.catholique.fr/Mise-en-garde):

 

WARNING

Several sources have announced that on November 2011 Mrs. Vassula Ryden will be coming to Marseille. The programme mentions conferences, Mass, deliverance and healing prayers.

The Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has pronounced itself several times on her case, by emitting great reservations and not recognizing the supernatural character of her alleged messages. It advises Catholics not to support this person’s activities by participating in her initiatives.

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople* has recently pronounced itself in a similar way, since Mrs. Vassula Ryden was a member of that Church. *See pages 30 to 32

The bishops of the Province of Marseille want to bring to the attention of the catholic faithful of their dioceses that this event is in no way connected to our Church. The acts of religious nature (Mass, deliverance and healing prayers) – if they take place – will be performed outside the communion with the Catholic Church.

In Marseille, October 22, 2011.

+ Georges PONTIER Archbishop of Marseille

+ Christophe DUFOUR Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence and Arles

+ Jean-Pierre CATTENOZ Archbishop of Avignon

+ François-Xavier LOIZEAU Bishop of Digne

+ Dominique REY Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon

+ Jean-Michel di FALCO LEANDRI Bishop of Gap and Embrun

+ Louis SANKALÉ Bishop of Nice

+ Jean BONFILS Apostolic Administrator of Ajaccio

 

HERE IS WHAT THE BISHOPS OF INDIA HAVE TO SAY

1. Contra
Vassula Rydén

http://justfortranslat.blogspot.in/2010/01/contra-vassula-ryden.html
EXTRACT

lundi 18 janvier 2010

In one article, Vassula mentions meeting dozens of Catholic bishops in India on the subject of Christian unity, and hints that she received support from them. The bishops were later written to by inquisitive minds, and the following responses were received from two:
Bishop Thomas Mar Koorilos, recently appointed to the office of Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla, wrote that Mrs. Ryden was not invited by [the KCBC] to address the conference. She was visiting Kerala and then she requested for a word to speak to the bishops which our chairman has allowed, that is all (private mail dated July 18, 2007).
Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas, Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum and recently appointed Apostolic Visitator in charge of the Malankara Catholic Community in North America and Europe added that it was not intended to support her or to promote her preaching. 14.

 

 

 

On the contrary the Bishops council gave her an opportunity to present her faith before the prelates clergy, religious and the selected laity so that they must get a first hand knowledge about her teaching. The general conclusion was that her teaching was questionable and therefore [the KCBC] is not endorsing her.
Hence the matter is over and we are fully following the teaching of the magisterium of our Church (private mail dated July 18, 2007).

 

From:
Maria Laura Pio
To:
infovassularyden_english@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 5:43 PM

Subject: [infovassularyden_english] Vassula speaks to the bishops of Kerala: clarification

Dear Friends,

In December 2006, Vassula Ryden was in India for a two week conference trip. In the report published by the TLIG official website, it is indicated that Vassula had the opportunity to meet 36 bishops belonging to the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) on the issue of Christian unity (http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2007-06-29/2044/ ). The report also indicates that Vassula continued her journey to Trivandrum, where she held a series of conferences organized by representatives of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.

Following the good advice of Michael Prabhu – who has a ministry in India of exposing the errors and dangers of New Age from a Christian perspective (http://www.ephesians-511.net) – and with his help, I wrote to all the bishops of the KCBC regarding Mrs Ryden’s talk at the KCBC conference. I received two thank you mails and two more detailed answers from bishops belonging to the Syro-Malankara Church.

Bishop Thomas Mar Koorilos, recently appointed to the office of Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla, wrote that Mrs Ryden was not invited by [the KCBC] to address the conference. She was visiting Kerala and then she requested for a word to speak to the bishops which our chairman has allowed, that is all (private mail dated July 18, 2007).

Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas, Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum and recently appointed Apostolic Visitator in charge of the Malankara Catholic Community in North America and Europe, added that it was not intended to support her or to promote her preaching. On the contrary the Bishops council gave her an opportunity to present her faith before the prelates clergy, religious and the selected laity so that they must get a first hand knowledge about her teaching. The general conclusion was that her teaching was questionable and therefore [the KCBC] is not endorsing her.
Hence the matter is over and we are fully following the teaching of the magisterium of our Church
(private mail dated July 18, 2007).

I hope the above information will be useful. Warmly in Christ, Maria Laura Pio www.infovassula.ch
Switzerland

 

ARCHBISHOP OF GOA DOES NOT APPROVE VASSULA‘S PERFORMANCES, DECLINES TO MEET WITH HER.
VASSULA USES THE PRO-VASSULA “EXAMINER” TO HER ADVANTAGE

Vassula’s Goa followers usually journey to Mumbai to meet her whenever she speaks there because she is recognised by the bishops of the Bombay archdiocese. She claims to have been eulogized by the Arch-diocesan weekly, The Examiner [more on “THE EXAMINER”, pp. 39 ff.] All following excerpts from TLIG files.

On her 1998 visits, Vassula Ryden did not have the approval of the Archbishop to speak to Catholics.

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1998/0121-27/
EXTRACT

January 23rd, 1998

The welcome in Goa had a bitter taste, due to the evil one who was in full action using man’s passions and weaknesses to destroy Christ’s message and thus prevent many souls from being converted. An anonymous person who publicised himself as a “well wisher” from Austria, had heard of Vassula’s journey to India and sent the [Vatican] notification of October ’95 which was then published in a local newspaper with the attempt to prevent people from attending Vassula’s meetings. Alarmed clergy responded by warning people not to attend. But again, this did not disrupt Priests, Nuns and laity from coming.

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/2008/asia2008/
EXTRACT

Monday, June 2, 2008

Visit with Card. Oswald Gracias of Mumbai & Public Meeting in St. Peter’s Church, Bandra, Mumbai
We flew from Hyderabad to Mumbai to attend a private meeting with the Cardinal of Mumbai, His Eminence, Oswald Gracias. At the meeting, the Cardinal had invited Fr. Anthony Charanghat, the editor of the Catholic News Magazine, The Examiner which had published a layperson’s letter to the Editor* calumniating Vassula and the Messages, advising the readers to boycott Vassula’s talk that evening in St. Peter’s Church in Bandra, the Christian quarter of Mumbai. Vassula answered the Cardinal’s questions regarding Cardinal Levada’s letter by reminding him of the 2 1/2 yr. study made by the CDF under Cardinal Ratzinger, and informed him that she was seeking to re-establish a continuing dialogue with the CDF. She strongly withstood his attempts to make her admit the Messages were her “private meditations”, she insisted they were locutions from God. The Cardinal received all the relevant information from the TLIG Mumbai Prayer Group members and was finally disposed to inform himself of the facts. After the audience with Cardinal Gracias, Fr. Anthony advised the TLIG Mumbai group to publish a letter in The Examiner in answer to the false statements in the Letter to the Editor.

The Public Meeting in St. Peter’s Church in Bandra** was a great success! She was introduced by the parish priest Fr. Gerard, and spoke to over 1,200 lay people and religious. TLIG Prayer Group members from around the region and Goa helped TLIG Mumbai to organize this activity.

**May 26, 2002, Vassula spoke at the Sacred Heart Church grounds in Mumbai 15.

 

 

*From:
prabhu
To:
Maria Laura Pio
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 9:52 PM Subject: THE EXAMINER: VASSULA

Dear Maria Laura, I was going through old issues of TE today and I saw your letter to the editor of The Examiner published in the issue of July 05, 2008. With your letter, the editor closed correspondence on the subject. I don’t know if I informed you this earlier. Love, Michael

From:
Maria Laura Pio To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 9:01 PM

Subject: RE: THE EXAMINER: VASSULA

Dear Michael, thank you for being so thorough! I followed the whole matter with the help of a lady from Mumbai, who had been the first to write to The Examiner about Vassula’s visit to the region. I was contacted directly by this lady who had learned that Vassula was going to talk in one of the parish churches near her, and that the event was being advertised in several parishes. The local TLIG association wrote a letter to TE accusing me of being a Franc-Masson [Freemason –Michael]! She wrote to TE informing about the Holy See’s warnings regarding Vassula Ryden. She also wrote to the Bishop. And then she contacted me, asking me to intervene also. So I wrote too to TE and to the Bishop. I asked for the right to reply and that was the last letter published by TE on the matter.

Warmly in Christ, Maria Laura [Switzerland] [MORE ON “THE EXAMINER“, pages 39 ff]

 

1999: Vassula Ryden is again compelled to use secular locations to address the people.

Goa Catholics persist in disobeying their Bishop.

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1999/1115-1201/
EXTRACT

November 19 and 20, 1999, Goa

Panjim: On the evening of Nov. 19th, Vassula spoke in Kala Academy, an open-air amphitheater-type place in Panjim, which was packed with well over 2,500 people. Please see the well-documented report written by Dr. Sielda Gomez for details of this meeting.

On Nov. 20th there was a meeting with the local organizers. Following Vassula’s first visit to Goa in January 1998, True Life in God has now been well established in Goa. It is led by Mr. Francis Baretto and has a strong following. This group has organized the printing and distribution of TLIG books as well. It is evident that they have done and will continue to do excellent work for Jesus.

Margao: On the evening of November 20th Vassula spoke in Margao, Goa, India to approximately 1,500 people.

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1999/1119-20/
EXTRACT

Panjim, Goa, November 19th, 1999

About 3,000 people including priests and nuns gathered at the Kala Academy this evening to listen to the modern day ‘prophet and mystic’ Vassula Ryden share her experiences and messages from Christ…

While asserting that the world is coming to the end of time, she clarified that this did not mean the end of life or earth but an end of an epoch. Ms Ryden pointed out that the apostasy that has become very prevalent in today’s times was prophesized in the scriptures

Vassula’s talk was well applauded. Next, the music of the choir led by Mr. Anthony Veigas filled the audience with the hymn of the Holy Spirit… Earlier, Ms Vassula was welcomed by Mr. Francis Baretto. Mr. Baretto recalled Vassula’s last visit to Goa… Mr. Baretto continued, “…God has chosen Mary who has appeared in countless number of places to ask for our conversion. God also continues to speak to us though various visionaries. And today we have among us Vassula Ryden – widely considered as a Prophet by the great Theologians.”

Many hymns and intercessory prayers punctuated the prayer meeting. Ms Raynor Veigas and Ms Julia Menezes led the Holy Rosary. Ms Vassula joined in praying in Aramaic – the language of Jesus.

Meeting with the organisers, November 20th, 1999
Vassula met with the organisers and members of the TLIG group… Before concluding, Vassula prayed over each member present with the relic of the true cross. One member was ‘slain in the Holy Spirit’ and had to be supported by Tom Austin. Another member began crying profusely- probably reflecting a healing…

Earlier on, before the meeting with the organizers, an attempt was made to seek an appointment with the Archbishop; but unfortunately, the Bishop declined as he had other commitments on that day.

Margao, Goa, November 20th, 1999

Vassula’s next public meeting in Goa was in Margao. There were about 1,500 people who gathered in the open grounds, tastefully decorated for the occasion. Dr. Celcio Dias welcomed Vassula and Tom Austin with the words “Ut Unum sint!” (a call for Christian Unity)… Ms Julia Menezes and Mr. W. Verdes led the Holy Rosary. The choir was able managed by Chris Dias. Mention must be made of the Sisters of Charity who sang the Divine Mercy Chaplet thus rendering great fervour to this simple prayer.

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1998/0121-27/
EXTRACT

January 23rd to 27th, 1998

In Goa we were kindly received by the True Life in God committee, who immediately rushed Vassula from the airport to the first scheduled program. There was a press conference attended by 4 journalists from local newspapers and writers from different magazines. 16.

 

 

The welcome in Goa had a bitter taste, due to the evil one who was in full action using man’s passions and weaknesses to destroy Christ’s message and thus prevent many souls from being converted. An anonymous person who publicised himself as a “well wisher” from Austria, had heard of Vassula’s journey to India and sent the notification of October ’95 which was then published in a local newspaper with the attempt to prevent people from attending Vassula’s meetings. Alarmed clergy responded by warning people not to attend. But again, this did not disrupt Priests, Nuns and laity from coming. The organisers faced the first tempests that arose. The opposition in fact, made the organisers even more fervent and united and many new positive articles were immediately published in various newspapers.

The following morning January 24, at 11:30 am a TV recording was planned at the Headquarters of the National Indian Television station, in Panaji, Goa, by Prof. Agnel Crasto, Director of the Institute of Personality Development. This 30 minute recording was broadcast three days later…

At 6 p.m. the prayer meeting was held at the Kala Academy (Art Academy) in Panaji, Goa. The open air stadium made it possible to address many people of all faiths. We were joyfully surprised when, in spite of certain attacks, nearly 5000 people came to this special evening…


As in every other meeting, a large number of priests and nuns were present and one Marian Priest, Fr. Anastasio Gomes, O.C.D., a former Professor of Theology at Alwaye, expressed openly to the gathering his deep appreciation for Vassula’s visit in their town. He attended every other meeting in Goa with great interest and each time he supported True Life in God by speaking after Vassula. Different Goan newspapers wrote very positive articles regarding Vassula’s mission in their region as her meetings continued the following days to various places in Goa.

On January 25 the meeting was scheduled for Margao, about an hour and a half drive south of our residence. The meeting was unique in this trip because it was in a large public park in the middle of the city…

As elsewhere in Goa, news of the old notification of 1995 had reached here as well. Fr. “X” therefore used the Bombay Examiner article as a key aspect of his introduction… [MORE ON “THE EXAMINER“, pages 39 ff.]

The meeting ended with a healing prayer and the blessing with the relic of the true cross. Afterwards, a brief testimony was given by a local priest, Fr. Mazarello, the former rector of the seminary at Rachol…

January 27 was the last meeting in the Goa area, this time the meeting was scheduled for a place named Vasco da Gama about an hour’s drive from our residence. The meeting was held in a large open area. The organizers had sold about 2,500 tickets, but many more had been admitted or were standing near the low wall outside…

Before we actually reached our destination, we stopped at an ancient Portuguese Church which is among the oldest in the area and is more than 400 years old. A meeting had been arranged with Fr. Saturnino Dias.

Father greeted us very cordially and explained why there was a certain concern in the local clergy about the current explosion of charisms, apparitions and prophesies. In fact, there had been some bad experiences with false prophets in the past. Father listened attentively to the latest news from Cardinal Ratzinger, and Vassula explained that there are many false prophets these days, since Satan raises up his own, or else people delude themselves into believing that they have charisms which they do not really have. In fact, Vassula said that in the case he described, she would have been stricter than he was. The meeting was cordial and could have continued, but we had to rush off to the meeting…

At the meeting, Fr. “X” again stressed the remarks of the Cardinal, as interpreted by Bishop Terra, that the notification of 1995 was a “manoeuver” of his secretary. In other words, just as there are parish politics and diocesan politics, there is even Vatican politics. Manoeuver, in fact, is a political word and has nothing to do with theology or a theological judgment on Vassula’ writings. As Jesus once said to Vassula “Was I a politician?” Fr. “X” also made use of the cover story on the Catholic Bombay Examiner in its favorable presentation of Vassula and her writings…

At the end of our meeting, Fr. Anastasio Gomes, a discalced Carmelite, and former seminary professor in spirituality, stood up to give his testimony. He spoke of how he had been trained in theology, and he went on to say that he found only the truth in Vassula’s writings. (We found out later that this priest had been attacked from the pulpit of another parish because of his support for TLIG.)

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1998/0127/
EXTRACT

January 27th, 1998

The penultimate stay of Vassula in Goa drew an audience of around 3,000 at Vasco da Gama, the harbour city of Goa.

Mr Edmund Antao, joined by the local Charismatic group helped the organizing committee. The Holy Rosary was led by Ms. Adelaine Antao and Vassula joined in (as with the other meetings) in Aramaic. The choir with many voices was led by Mr. Seby Fernandes who enthused the audience with a Konkani hymn.

There were a number of Priests present, two were from the nearby seminary. Fr. Anastasio Gomes of the Carmelite Order was also present today. This wise and gifted Priest in the knowledge of God gave a small talk at the end.

Fr. “X”, bearing testimony to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Vassula, urged us to follow the messages in the School of the Holy Spirit. ‘The Holy Spirit is her true Counselor’ he admits humbly. Earlier on Fr. “X” reiterated the position of the Church and quoted the Examiner, the periodical of the Bombay Archdiocese in defence of Vassula.

It is to be mentioned here that the Vasco meeting, earlier, was to have been held at the Regina Mundo School Ground, but the local Bishop prevailed and the venue was therefore changed to the secular Marmagoa Port Trust Grounds. It appeared that there were many who stayed away from the meeting because of the Archbishop’s stand… 17.

 

Fr. Anastasio congratulated the organising committee for the visit of Vassula – in spite of ‘the bombshell’.

Vassula Ryden’s complete disdain for the clergy who decline to entertain her is quite evident. As seen from the TLIG web site, she actually rejoices when Catholics disobey their Bishops and attend her performances.


CHARISMATICS IN HYDERABAD OPPOSE VASSULA RYDEN DESPITE ARCHBISHOP JOJI. BISHOPS FELIX TOPPO OF JAMSHEDPUR AND ANIL COUTO OF JALANDHAR RECOMMEND.

When clergy reject Vassula Ryden, she calls it “persecution”!

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/2008/asia2008/
EXTRACT

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Public Meeting in Muthangi Divine Word Retreat Centre, Hyderabad
We drove 1 hr. from Secunderabad-Hyderabad for the Public Meeting in Muthangi Divine Word Retreat Center with 10,000 people attending. Archbishop [Marampudi] Joji of Hyderabad had given his green light for the Meeting, after Bishops Toppo and Couto informed him of their support for TLIG.

Nevertheless, persecution came from the Vicar General, Fr. Solomon who managed to overrule the Archbishop and ban the distribution of TLIG flyers, the selling of TLIG books and the videoing of the Meeting. In addition to this, a young man from the Charismatic community named Roshan took the initiative to print out negative information from the anti-Vassula websites and distributed copies to the Clergy.

Our TLIG Hyderabad Prayer Group struggled and persevered through the persecution and at the end, the Lord opened doors; they managed to distribute the flyers, sell the books and video Vassula’s talks!

 

Vassula Ryden: Theologians and bishops warn the faithful

http://web.archive.org/web/20100414095217/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligtheologians.htm
EXTRACT

By Maria Laura Pio

 

Many are the theologians, bishops, priests and lay persons all over the world who have publicly issued warnings regarding the writings and actions of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, explaining the reasons for a call to prudence and discernment. We present hereunder some examples (all are documented).

 

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Text of the internal communication of 25 January 2007* directed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to all the Presidents of the Bishops’ conferences confirming the doctrinal judgement of the 1995 Notification.
Read here* *See page 4

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (former head of the CDF, now Pope Benedict XVI) and  Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone (former secretary of the CDF, newly named Secretary of State by the Holy Father Benedict XVI).
According to article 48 of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, “Pastor Bonus”, promulgated by the Holy Father John Paul II on June 28, 1988, «
the duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence». The CDF has issued a Notification in 1995 warning against the doctrinal errors and negative elements contained in TLIG, requesting bishops to inform accordingly the faithful and not to allow the dissemination of those writings in their dioceses. The CDF also invites the faithful not to consider those messages as of divine origin.
More info…
at
http://web.archive.org/web/20100318124702/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm

 

Circular letter of the Archbishop of Monterrey (Mexico) warning against Mrs. Ryden‘s activities in his diocese

In the letter dated January 28, 2009 and addressed to all the priests and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Monterrey, Cardinal Robles Ortega writes that “in accordance with repeated notifications from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (…) I cannot authorize the spreading of her writings and teachings
in our local Church of Monterrey. (…) Therefore we urge all the priests and lay faithful who are in communion with the Church
to abstain from participating in those activities and from any involvement in the spreading of Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings and teachings.

(Source: Website of the Archdiocese of Monterrey:
http://www.arquidiocesismty.org/Detalledocumento.asp?op=2&id=259   An English translation of the letter can be found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/infovassularyden_english/message/22)

 

Communication from the Holy Synod of the Catholic Hierarchy of Greece, May 7, 2004 requesting the faithful not to participate in Mrs. Ryden’s activities without the authorization of the Hierarchical Palace, and asking religious communities not to make their premises available for TLIG events. See an image of the official communication hereunder.
[The image is not reproduced here. Look for it on page 84 –Michael] 18.

 

Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith (ECDF) Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

The ECDF has included the text of the Notification in its official webpage.
Click here…:

http://web.archive.org/web/20100514010620/http://www.cbcponline.net/doctrine_faith/for_info.html

 


http://www.cbcponline.net/doctrine_faith/for_info.html

NOTIFICATION ON THE WRITINGS OF VASSULA RYDEN

 

Many Bishops, priests, religious and lay people have sought an authoritative judgment from this Congregation on the activity of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, A Greek Orthodox residing in Switzerland, who in speech and in writing is spreading in Catholic circles throughout the world messages attributed to alleged heavenly revelations.

A calm, attentive examination of the entire question, undertaken by this Congregation in order to “test the spirits to see whether they are of God” (Cf 1 Jn 4:1), has brought out – in addition to positive aspects – a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine.

In addition to pointing out the suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occurred, it is necessary to underscore several doctrinal errors they contain.

Among other things, ambiguous language is used in speaking of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, to the point of confusing the specific names and functions of the Divine Persons.  These alleged revelations predict an imminent period when the Antichrist will prevail in the Church.  In millenarian style, it is prophesied that God is going to make a final, glorious intervention which will initiate on earth, even before Christ’s definitive coming, an era of peace and universal prosperity.  Furthermore, the proximate arrival is foretold of a Church which would be a kind of pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine.

The fact that the aforementioned errors no longer appear in Ryden’s later writings is a sign that the alleged “heavenly messages” are merely the result of private meditations. 

Moreover, by habitually sharing in the sacraments of the Catholic Church, even though she is Greek Orthodox, Mrs. Ryden is causing considerable surprise in various circles of the Catholic Church.  She appears to be putting herself above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm, and in effect, is creating an ecumenical disorder that irritates many authorities, ministers and faithful of her own Church, as she puts herself outside the ecclesiastical discipline of the latter.

Given the negative effect of Vassula Ryden’s activities, despite some positive aspects, this Congregation requests the intervention of the Bishops so that their faithful may be suitably informed and that no opportunity may be provided in their dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas.  Lastly, the Congregation invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings and speeches as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church.

Source: L’Osservatore Romano, October 25, 1995

 

The Catholic Church in Scotland warns about Vassula, September 6, 2005

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland* has warned people against going to Vassula’s September 11th meeting in Edinburgh. Mentioning the 1995 Notification, he said Vassula “certainly did not” operate with the approval of the Church and that “the advice to Catholics is not to attend her gatherings due to the suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors.”
*See page 85

The complete article can be read at: http://news.scotsman.com/edinburgh.cfm?id=1898192005

 

Catholic Bishop of Iceland, Mons. Johannes Gejsen

In
October 2004,
Mons. Gejsen declined to participate in Vassula’s meeting organized in Iceland. He also refused to place promotional flyers in the church’s vestibule.

 

Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, October 2002

A few days before Vassula Ryden’s visit to Hong Kong, the Catholic Diocese issued a negative declaration regarding this visit inviting the faithful not to attend her meetings. This statement was communicated during Sunday Mass and published in the Diocese’s two official newspapers. Moreover, the official Catholic bookstores of Hong Kong withdrew the TLIG books from their shelves.

 

Archbishop of Kandy, Sri Lanka

In
May 2002, informed of a planned meeting of Vassula in his Diocese, the Archbishop took action: he forbid priests of his Diocese to attend the meeting, had distributed in all parishes the 1995 Notification and had it read out at Sunday Mass. 19.

 

 

Bishop Maurice E. Piat, Diocese of Port-Louis, Ile Maurice, April 2002

In a letter dated
April 5, 2002, Mons. Piat warns the faithful against Mrs. Ryden’s messages. He affirms that they can make one subject to serious deviations to their piousness and to their personal relationship with God. He therefore asks not to allow that Mrs. Ryden’s ideas be spread in the diocese, whether by the selling of their books or the organization of meetings near churches or inside church properties.

 

Bishop Nomura, Japan, November 2001

Mons. Nomura prohibited a priest to say Mass for a group of TLIG followers who had organized a witnessing meeting. He also preached from the pulpit not to follow Vassula for she was a false prophet.

 

Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, February 2001

Consulted by the Diocesan Administrator, Archbishop Bernardini referred to the CDF Notification as the Church’s position. His reply led to the withdrawal of the permission for Vassula to speak to Catholics in Singapore.


 

Father Peter Joseph
of Wagga Wagga, Australia, has a doctorate in dogmatic theology
from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, is the editor of the revised version of Archbishop Sheehan’s “Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine” (Saint Austin Press 2001) and is currently the Chancellor of the Maronite Diocese of Australia and author of several articles discussing criteria of discernment for private revelations in general, and TLIG in particular:

“Seers and Apparitions”
January 2005
www.christianorder.com/features/features_2005/features_jan05_bonus.html Please keep in mind when reading this article, that the Notification is not technically speaking a condemnation, but a warning. This is due to the fact that Vassula Ryden is Greek Orthodox, and the Church cannot interfere with the “spiritual life of any other Church’s faithful”, but does have “the duty to clarify and warn it’s faithful about any disorder created by any person’s or organization’s attitude” (see our article on validity of the Notification). [See pages 8-10 –Michael]

“Apparitions True and False”
Oct. 2004
http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2004/features_oct04.html See in particular the section entitled “The authority to judge and the duty to obey”. [See pages 8-10 –Michael]

“Private revelations: Keep to what is countenanced by the Church”, February 2000
www.ad2000.com.au/articles/2000/feb2000p20_38.html
[EXTRACT]

In the face of the fallen angels’ power to deceive, it is no wonder that the Church is always very slow to declare a miracle or message authentic. It is easier to pronounce against visionaries than in their favour. Some individuals have been pronounced against by name, e.g., Vassula Ryden and the Little Pebble, William Kamm. Vassula has been condemned twice by the Holy Office, on the grounds that her revelations do not come from God, and because they contain errors against the Faith.

“But her writings are so spiritual and so beautiful!” I agree; possibly 99% of Vassula’s messages are in conformity with the Catholic Faith; but that is just how the devil operates to deceive pious Catholics. It is the 1% that does harm. A poisoned apple is mostly good apple; but will harm you nevertheless. The devil knows he cannot mislead devout Catholics with outright heresy, but he can appeal to their piety and then subtly plant errors within.

 

Archbishop of San Francisco, recently appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Benedict XVI, intervened twice regarding the activities of Mrs. Vassula Ryden in his archdiocese.

In 1996 he made an announcement, quoting former prefect Card. Ratzinger’s 1995 Notification: “Catholics should not consider Ms. Ryden’s messages as divine revelations but as personal meditations. The meditations contain elements that are negative in the light of Church doctrine. The faithful are asked to preserve the purity of faith by not relying on presumed revelations but by following the Word of God and the directives of the Church’s teaching authority.

In 1998, he reprinted Vatican warnings against her teachings in Sunday church bulletins across the archdiocese.

Sources: http://www.losangelesmission.com/ed/letters/2004letters/0405lett.htm* and http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/12/25/MN1075.DTL**

 

*BEWARE VASSULA

http://www.losangelesmission.com/ed/letters/2004letters/0405lett.htm

In 1996, when Jesus impersonator Vassula Ryden made appearances in San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Francisco archbishop William Levada, in an announcement, quoted Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ratzinger’s announcement said “Catholics should not consider Ms. Ryden’s messages as divine revelations but as personal meditations. The meditations contain elements that are negative in the light of Church doctrine. The faithful are asked to preserve the purity of faith by not relying on presumed revelations but by following the Word of God and the directives of the Church’s teaching authority.”

According to Archbishop Levada, Cardinal Ratzinger’s statement about Vassula “said her writings contained several doctrinal errors, including ambiguity and confusion about the Trinity.”

 

20.

 

 

Archbishop Levada’s caution is relevant at this time since Vassula Ryden is re-appearing in the Los Angeles area in Glendale on May 20. Those Catholics curious about Vassula can see for themselves the nature of her bizarre actions and “messages” by visiting her websites at www.vassula.org or www.tlig.us. Official Vatican documents and statements by bishops opposed to the Vassula phenomena can be found by searching “Vassula” on www.google.com.

Laurette Elsberry, received via e-mail

 

**Reported New Sightings Fuel Virgin Mary Fervor Millennium uncertainty offered as one reason

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/12/25/MN1075.DTL
EXTRACT

By Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer, Friday, December 25, 1998

[…] Last month, 500 people and a couple of priests ignored the warnings of Archbishop William Levada and turned out to see another pseudo-Catholic channel, Vassula Ryden, at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee,” chanted the Rev. Donald McDonald, leading the congregation in a half-hour rosary preceding Vassula’s arrival. […]

Others trace the latest wave of Marian visions to Medjugorje, the village in Bosnia where six youths reported a vision of Mary on June 24, 1981. Their claim was quickly promoted by a group of Franciscans in the region, even after the local bishop dismissed the alleged apparition as a “collective hallucination.” […]

Other conservative Catholics are outraged that the church has allowed the Medjugorje myth to blossom, and they say it is no more valid than Fowler, Vassula or the next renegade visionary cashing in on popular devotion.

MEDJUGORJE FACTOR

“Medjugorje was a conspiracy that has generated huge amounts of money and has spread all over the world,” said Rick Salbato, leader of Catholic Cult Watch in Campbell. “There is a spirit in Medjugorje, but it is not of God. Those who seek the supernatural open the door to demonic forces pretending to be angels of light.”

Salbato said the Vatican’s refusal to make a clear statement on Medjugorje only encourages copycat mystics like Fowler and Vassula.

“People go to Medjugorje, see how fantastic they are doing there, and start having their own apparitions,” he said.

Last month, on the day Vassula appeared at Herbst Theatre, Archbishop Levada reprinted Vatican warnings against her teachings in Sunday church bulletins across the archdiocese. “Catholics should not consider her messages as divine revelations, but as personal meditations,” the archbishop warned. “The meditations contain elements that are negative in the light of church doctrine.”

Nevertheless, about 500 people came to see Vassula, a former fashion model born in Egypt to Greek parents. She claims to receive divine messages from Jesus, Mary and an angel named Daniel, and writes them down in an elegant script.

BOOKS SELLING WELL

Books containing reprints of her handwritten revelations were selling briskly in the theater lobby.

On stage, Vassula stood at a lectern in front of a large painting of Jesus, his long hair parted down the middle and falling into his face — a hair style remarkably similar to Vassula’s own coiffure. Flower arrangements with sparkling gold shrubbery, like two burning bushes, stood on each side of the podium. To her right was an easel with a blue-and- white picture of the Virgin Mary.

Since her last appearance two years ago in San Francisco, Vassula’s message has become more apocalyptic.

“We are living in the end of time — not the end of the world, but the end of one epoch,” she said. “The evil one wants to destroy the church of Christ. He will not, but he is doing a lot of damage. Jesus will say, ‘Enough.’ And the time is soon.”

Vassula has also added a faith-healing service to her performance. At Herbst Theatre, about 25 people climbed on stage to have the 56-year-old mystic lay her hands upon their heads.

Among them was Nick Cassimus of San Rafael, who came to the theater with his wife and developmentally disabled daughter, hoping the healing service would help her “awaken.”

“I’m not a big believer in evangelists, but there is something about Vassula,” he said. “I don’t believe what the church says about her messages not being true. Anyway, I don’t follow the priests.”

‘IT IS FROM GOD’

Outside in the lobby, Rafael Lahoz of San Bruno was buying one of Vassula’s books. Church warnings about her teachings do not concern him. “I go by what I feel on the inside,” he said. “She seems very sincere. I believe it is from God.” Roten, the director of the Marian Library, predicts that interest in Vassula Ryden and Nancy Fowler “will probably disappear soon.” Time, he said, is the greatest test when it comes to passing judgment on messages from Mary. “The church tries to stay away from these things for as long as possible,” Roten said.” The longer it lasts and flourishes, the better we can see it for what it really is.”

This article appeared on page A – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Fr. François-Marie Dermine, O.P., theologian, University of Bologna (Italy), author of “Vassula Ryden: Una Indagine Critica” (1995), a critical study of the content of the messages and the seer’s background. His conclusions are similar to those of the Notification from the CDF. Moreover, he presents arguments which link the TLIG phenomena to the New Age current (automatic writing, content of messages, etc.)
More info…
at
http://web.archive.org/web/20090425203930/http://www.infovassula.ch/tliginterviewdermine.htm*.

21.

 

 

We present hereunder extracts from an interview of Father François-Marie Dermine, O.P., Canadian, Doctor in Theology, professor of Moral Theology at the Theological Faculty of Emilia Romagna and at the Studio Teologico Accademico of Bologna (Italy), which is affiliated to the Philosophy Faculty of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He is co-editor of the magazine “Religioni e sette nel mondo” (Religions and sects in the world). He is member of GRIS, an association based in Bologna and recognized by the Italian episcopal conference, which studies and informs about new religious groups and sects.

In 1995, he wrote “Vassula Ryden: Indagine Critica” (Ediz. Elle Di Ci, Leumann, Torino 1995), a critical study of the messages of True Life in God.

In 2002, he published “Mistici, Veggenti e Medium” (Mystics, visionaries and mediums), edited by the
Vatican Publishing House
(Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, www.libreriaeditricevaticana.com). It is a profound analysis of mediumistic phenomena. He mentions the case of Vassula Ryden, in particular in the section about automatic writing. The
presentation of the book is written by Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P., theologian of the Pontifical House
.

The original interview in Italian was done by Silvana Radoani (Founder and President of the Associazione per lo Studio e l’Aiuto all’Abuso Psicologico – ASAAP) and was published in the magazine “Settimana“, EDB, 2/06/1996. The translation to English was done by this site. The complete article in Italian may be read at: http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/radoani/vassula.htm or http://www.asaap.org/vassula.doc

 

*Interview with Fr. Dermine: “Those suspect messages of Vassula Ryden

http://web.archive.org/web/20090425203930/http://www.infovassula.ch/tliginterviewdermine.htm

By Silvana Radoani

Father François Dermine, professor of theology in Bologna (Italy), is a Dominican who has extensively studied the phenomenon of Vassula Ryden’s revelations, even before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith‘s pronouncement against her. Vassula Ryden and her messages dictated by Jesus have caused a considerable rift inside the Catholic Church, as well as in the Orthodox Church (to which she belongs): many have taken her side whilst others have rejected her without discernment. With considerable patience, Father Dermine has reconstructed Vassula Ryden’s messages and life (in a book: “Vassula Ryden: Indagine Critica“, Ed. Elle Di Ci), laying the basis for a fundamental clarification of her views and issuing a warning to all those who have been blinded by the sensationalism and the inscrutable, of which Vassula appears to be the reliable and indisputable bearer.

Let’s ask some questions which summarize the phenomena and make it known to people of good will.

 
 

Silvana Radoani: It is a period of great confusion even inside the Church, due to the many pseudo-revelations, pseudo-apparitions or spiritistic phenomena: what importance does this phenomena have inside the Christian community?

Fr. Dermine: “Each case must be studied for itself, because some are authentic phenomena, and others not. In general, a large share of Catholics, in particular those more open to the extraordinary, are very sensitive to all the unusual. If we add to this, the insecurity in which people find themselves, or their tiredness of waiting for an end to these situations of uncertainty, plus the rationalism in which our faith is lived or at least presented, it is clear that many persons are tempted to turn to this type of messages and to a parallel magisterium (a magisterium that isn’t the Church’s), provided by these reassuring private revelations, which seem to be more important than the universal Church’s teachings.

I also know many priests who have completely rejected the
notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
regarding Vassula Ryden. Some believe that Vassula is a charismatic, in the word’s fullest meaning, and she herself has sought to slip into charismatic circles or in large charismatic demonstrations, but has only achieved it in a modest proportion (more in Canada than in Europe).”

 
 

In your book “Vassula Ryden – Indagine Critica” (Ed. Elle Di Ci), you have affirmed that Vassula is a pure New Age prophetess. Why?

She rejoins the New Age current on two essential aspects of that doctrine: 1) in the proclamation of the new age that is about to be established in the world, and which will bring peace, joy, felicity, regeneration, and 2) in the techniques she uses to communicate with Jesus, which are typically New Age (the writing which her defenders call hieratic = sacred, is nothing other than automatic writing).

 
 

How are the messages transmitted to her?

Through automatic writing, which she claims to have received against her will, with a phenomenology which put itself into place without warning** (and it may be true, at least in it’s initial phase), but to which she later fully adhered, accepting the role of celestial secretary and starting to willingly receive these writings. At the beginning, there was only the phenomena of the automatic writing to which, some time later, the interior voice phenomena was added, interior locutions that accompanied the dictation. She, however, did not write with her writing what the interior locution suggested to her, but both phenomena occurred together; one could be sensed without the other or be simultaneous. She also claims to have witnessed apparitions of many personages (Jesus Christ, the eternal Father, the Virgin, some saints, Padre Pio). She has fully manifested charismatic phenomena, even if automatic writing is what characterizes her almost exclusively.

22.

 

 

Above all, several messages have been completely counterfeited or cancelled (as reported in my book): she claims that the Father Himself had communicated to her that, if she felt so, she could change all the messages she did not feel appropriate to manifest. From my point of view, this should be enough to discard the whole phenomena.

The automatic writing instead, from our point of view, is used by the devil: there are in fact pages and pages of Vassula in which the devil steps in explicitly, that is to say that he manifests himself using the same identical writing of the divine messages. The same writing would therefore be used without distinction by God and by the devil, how is it possible?

 
 

Can you summarize the content of the messages transmitted by Mrs. Ryden?

She insists very much on global renewal, wants to prompt the churches, in particular the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican ones, to a renewal that should take them to achieve full unity, a unity however not defined on a doctrinal nor hierarchical level. She declares to be above the churches, and this is most preoccupying, because it pre-announces the coming of a church that would receive instructions directly from heaven and would be directly guided by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, prescinding from a hierarchy or an institution; a church very much spiritualized, where each one will let the Holy Spirit guide him/her. (*)

She is particularly violent against bishops and priests that oppose her, proposing the message that there are dozens or hundreds of bishops inside the Church which belong to the Masonry [Freemasonry –Michael]: in this way, she has created a strong distrust for the Catholic hierarchy.
It is impressing to see how many lay people and priests have let themselves be seduced by this lack of confidence in Christ’s promise to be always present in His Church until the end of the centuries.

And there is also the teaching of an imminent reign of millenaristic
[millennialistic –Michael]
type, which would be established on this earth and will bring only good fruit. There are also positive messages, to which her supporters refer, and against which no one has anything to object: she denounces the rationalism that can be found in many Catholic circles, and speaks against faith being presented as an ensemble of ideas or dogmas, and not as a reality which puts us in a personal relationship with God; even though Vassula’s relationship with Jesus often stoops to banalities: for instance, when Jesus sits on the couch to speak with her while she is preoccupied about the house, feels a bit bored, starts to look at the clock because she has to prepare dinner and asks Jesus to let her go.

 
 

Why is it more often referred to spiritism than to divine revelation in Vassula’s case?

Never has automatic writing been present in the story of mysticism. Vassula’s supporters often cite the case of Santa Catherina of Sienna, who was illiterate and from one day to another started to write. But she had received the gift to write as if she had always known how to write, and not through guided writing.

**Mystics have always been respected in their humanity and their liberty, and have never been guided by God against their will and forced to do things that they could not achieve otherwise. God uses our humanity without excluding it and without going against it, which was not the case at the beginning with Mrs. Ryden. Some people say that Vassula has remained free, but was given the faculty to write with her hand the messages without herself being responsible for it: but this isn’t respect of God for our humanity, a respect that has always characterized His doing.

In the inspiration phenomena, for instance, the Lord always respects the persons’ culture, their freedom and their humanity: when a saint writes what God inspires him, he is well aware of what he is writing; his arm is not reacting as a telewriter: if that were the case, God could have also better used an ape. We encounter here a big confusion generated by the New Age, which affirms that our mystics are essentially mediums: no difference is made between spiritism and a real charisma.

 
 

Is Vassula’s life in accordance with the Gospel and the Church’s teachings?

She has a marital record that places her in an irregular situation, at least for the Catholic Church: there are contradicting versions, given by René Laurentin, who gives up to four different ones. She appears to be a divorced/remarried, situation that seems to be admitted in her Orthodox church, but that is not accepted in ours. She claims to be more Catholic than Catholics in doctrinal matters, but does not want to adhere to the Catholic Church to avoid damaging this unifying role she proposes to play between the Orthodox and the Catholic. She claims to be Catholic from a doctrinal point of view, but refuses to submit to any ecclesiastical authority (nor catholic, nor orthodox), remaining substantially on a neutral and irreproachable ground. In spite of this very irregular situation, she has felt the duty to accede to all the Catholic Church’s Sacraments, although remaining legally speaking an Orthodox and in spite of being a divorced/remarried.

 
 

Why do so many priests let themselves be involved in these facts?

Many of these priests, yet being good priests, feel the need to be comforted: though being reliable, attentive and obedient to the Church, the Pope and their ministry, they feel discouraged by a world that every day moves farther away from them. This is why they feel the need for a call that works as a strong reference point for a profound renewal, and offers certainties to their doubts.

23.

 

 

Vassula offered a return to the Church of the origins, to the Pope, to the Rosary; she opposed reincarnation, and therefore seemed traditional in her teachings. The priests who were already faithful to these points, found a great affinity with Vassula’s thought and God’s personal comfort (because she seemed to be speaking in the name of God, encouraging them to continue doing what they were already doing, while waiting for something that would come and completely shake the world, harvesting the fruit of their submissiveness).

 
 

However, I seem to understand that, in spite of the clarification given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Ryden phenomena continues to subsist?

The Congregation has been very clear and specific in its pronouncement: this means that no bishop or priest can invite Mrs. Ryden for a public conference and this implies that effectively her activities have been almost completely reduced. I believe that bishops and priests that do not obey these dispositions risk ecclesiastical disciplinary actions.

Exception made of some sporadic episodes of priests who still support Vassula Ryden, the phenomena seems to have greatly diminished, and on the other hand, it is in her interest to remain quiet and prove her good will and her obedience (something never done before).

(*) Note added by this website: This point clearly refers to a world religion, which is what the New Age proposes. That “Jesus” is not different from the New Age Cosmic Christ.

The original text is in Italian. The translation to English was done by this website. The complete article in Italian may be read at:
http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/radoani/vassula.htm
or
http://www.asaap.org/vassula.doc

 

[Maria Laura Pio continued]

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Ph.D.,
theologian
, familiar to most through his EWTN specials. He is also a professor, author, retreat and pilgrimage leader (see his curriculum here:
www.salvationhistory.com/mission/staff/frpacwacv.cfm).

He wrote a three Part “Critique of a Visionary: Vassula” in Catholic Twin Circle: August 1, 8 and 15, 1993. He also spoke about his experience with the messages in a Mother Angelica Live show in 1995 (see transcript here**). Fr. Pacwa’s 1995 Touchstone article
“The Spirit of the Prophetess”
now on-line [See
http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=08-01-017-f].


**Catholics around the world are generally familiar with Mother Angelica’s Catholic TV network EWTN. Since the publication of the 1995 Notification, EWTN has warned about the TLIG writings and contributed greatly to make the Notification known, understood and respected.

I was recently sent a transcription of two 1995 programs of “Mother Angelica Live”, in which TLIG was discussed. In the November program, Mother Angelica explains the content of the Notification. In the December program, Mother Angelica’s guest is the renowned theologian Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Ph.D., familiar to most through his EWTN specials. He is also a professor, author, retreat and pilgrimage leader. His first book, “Catholics in the New Age”, was published in 1992. Since then, he has taught on the subject around the world. He currently teaches theology at the University of Dallas (USA).

In the program, Fr. Pacwa explains some of the mistakes contained in the messages, particularly the confusions regarding the Persons of the Holy Trinity, with the corresponding citations. He also shares a personal experience he had with Vassula and her spiritual director when publishing some of his objections regarding the messages. Intimidating techniques were used in order to try to obtain his silence. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is not an exception within TLIG (see www.mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/tligmortalsin.htm).

The program transcriptions were made in an amateur way by a person whose mother tongue is not English. I propose here the texts as they were forwarded to me (only minimum editing has been done). Although some parts may be difficult to understand, it is nevertheless easy to grasp the main points:

Mother Angelica Live, November 1995 – Guests: Bob and Penny Lord – Audio File available here

Mother Angelica Live, December 1995 – Guest: Fr. Mitch Pacwa

 

Mother Angelica, founder of the Catholic TV network EWTN

Since the publication of the 1995 Notification, EWTN has warned about the TLIG writings and contributed greatly to make the Notification known, understood and respected. Mother Angelica has discussed the issue in some of her shows. See transcripts and audio file here.

 

Father Brian Harrison, O.S.,
M.A., S.T.D.
, teaches theology at the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico in Ponce (Puerto Rico). He provided a lengthy and critical examination of TLIG and Vassula in the May 1992 and May 1994 “Fidelity” magazine (South Bend, IN), establishing, among other things, the alteration of certain messages and negative elements in her trance state. He also wrote a comment on the Puerto Rican Bishops’ statement against TLIG’s false ecumenism in the May 11, 1995 issue of “The Wanderer” (Saint Paul, MN). He is a convert from Protestantism and an Associate Editor of “Living Tradition”, organ of the Roman Theological Forum (http://www.rtforum.org/).

 

Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference, April 1995

The Episcopal Conference issued a statement in which they write: “[Vassula Ryden] claims to be the recipient of numerous private revelations which, so it is said, have to do with the restoration of unity among Christians.

 

Neither the Roman Catholic Church nor the Eastern Orthodox Church have approved these alleged revelations as authentic.” The statement also indicates that the “ecumenical” activities that were being organized by TLIG supporters in Puerto Rico had not been approved nor authorized by any Puerto Rican Bishop, and should not be considered as authentic acts of ecumenism. 

 

Marie-France James, expert in the study of esotericism and the occult for the Faculty of Theology of the University of Montreal (Canada), author of “Le Phénomène Vassula” (Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1992) a critical study of the content of the TLIG messages, in which she exposes some of the doctrinal errors they contain.

 

Joseph Moerman, S.J., theologian and director of the Jesuit magazine “Choisir” (Geneva – Switzerland),
author of a 1996 article on TLIG in which he points out several negative elements of discernment. More Info (in French)…
at More Info (in French)…

 

Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa, India,
January 1998

Issued a press release reminding Catholics in Goa of the 1996 Notification, recommending not to attend Vassula’s conferences.

 

Bishop Sandoval Iñiguez, Diocese of Guadalajara, Mexico

The bishop strongly opposes to TLIG, and has banned any TLIG activities from his Diocese.

 

Vassula Ryden: The Reasons of the Church

http://www.catholicculture.org/Culture/Library/SpecialItems/dermine.pdf
EXTRACT

By Fr. François-Marie Dermine, O.P.

 

The ambiguous attitude of Mrs. Rydén
toward the Church

(2c) Another reason that could explain the substantially negative attitude of the Congregation derives from the fact that the protagonist seems to flutter over and above the Church, be it the Greek Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church.

The Orthodox Church

For instance in August 2005, His Eminence Abba Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury, stated in a General Memorandum [http://www.britishorthodox.org/113b.php] to the clergy of the British Orthodox Church that:

«In receiving the sacraments at altars other than those of the Orthodox Church [justifying this by quoting the Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II], Mrs. Ryden is disregarding canonical Orthodox discipline which forbids it. Mrs. Ryden should seek the permission and blessing of the local Orthodox hierarch having jurisdiction in each place, prior to addressing public meetings, rather than act in the face of their sometimes expressed opposition and criticism (cf. www.britishorthodox.org)». This means that she does not obey the rules of her Church.

Moreover in 2001, the Committee for heresies of the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church concluded that the pseudo-visionary has estranged herself (or was she expelled?) from the Orthodox Church, even if she continues officially to be a part of it. Mrs. Rydén denounced the Rev. Dr Kyriakos Tsouros, Secretary of the Committee for heresies for defamation, but decided later on to forgo legal action.

Always referring to her participation in the Catholic Church’s sacraments, it is useful to stress how far-fetched is her justification which mentions ecclesiastical documents such as Vatican II’s decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum, John Paul II’s encyclical Ut Unum Sint and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n.1399). In fact all these documents insist on the exceptional nature of this participation, which has nothing of normal or customary. This orientation has been emphasized by Benedict XVI in his apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of February 22, 2007.

Therefore, the following declaration of the 1995 Notification does nothing less than asserting the consolidated teaching of the Church:

«By habitually sharing in the sacraments of the Catholic Church even though she is Greek Orthodox, Mrs. Ryden is causing considerable surprise in various circles of the Catholic Church. She appears to be putting herself above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm, and in effect, is creating an ecumenical disorder that irritates many authorities, ministers and faithful of her own Church, as she puts herself outside the ecclesiastical discipline of the latter.»

A declaration, needless to say, that shows towards the Orthodox Church a respect and a sensitivity we would like to see in the protagonist herself.

 

What is the official Church stand on Vassula Ryden?

http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=336580&Pg=&Pgnu=&recnu

 

Q: I am most confused. Will somebody please tell us, does the statement made by the [Congregation for the] Doctrine of the Faith on Mrs. Vassula Ryden still stand. If so why is it being ignored? Why are we being told that the statements supposedly made by the Vatican are really false? True Life in God tells us that the Holy Father has blessed Vassula and her writings. Does this mean we have now to believe in Mrs. Ryden and can promote her in our Church!!!!! – J.C.SCOTT Kate, 11/16/2001 25.

 

A: On May 10, 1994, Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy, Head of the Sacred Congregation for the Promotion of Christian Unity in Rome [Pontificium Consulium Ad Christianorum Unitatem Fovendam] wrote regarding Vassula:

“No one should take seriously any claim on the part of this lady to have an ecumenical mission … I am amazed that all over the world our Church authorities are opening their doors to this lady … The question of a member of an Orthodox Church being admitted to Communion in our Church is governed by Canon Law…”

He went on to say that the “competent Dicastery for matters concerning private revelations is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I am sending on to that office a copy of your letter and of the documentation forwarded therewith.”

 

This is the statement of:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received various questions about the value and authority of its Notification of 6 October 1995, published in (L’Osservatore Romano on Monday/Tuesday, 23/24 October 1995, p.12), regarding the writings and messages of Mrs. Vassula Ryden attributed to alleged revelations and disseminated in Catholic circles throughout the world.

In this regard, the Congregation wishes to state:

The Notification addressed to the Pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church retains all its force. It was approved by the competent authorities and will be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official organ of the Holy See, with the signatures of the Prefect and the Secretary of the Congregation.

Regarding the reports circulated by some news media concerning a restrictive interpretation of this Notification, given by His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect in a private conversation with a group of people to whom he granted an audience in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 10 May 1996, the same Cardinal Prefect wishes to state: as he said, the faithful are not to regard the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations; these meditations, as the Notification explained, include, along with positive aspects, elements that are negative in the light of Catholic doctrine; therefore, Pastors and the faithful are asked to exercise serious spiritual discernment in this matter and to preserve the purity of the faith, morals and spiritual life, not be relying on alleged revelations but by following the revealed Word of God and the directives of the Church’s Magisterium.

These words stand on their own weight. The Church has never issued a statement rescinding any of the above content. Those who ignore the statement do so for some reason other than proper observance to the legitimate authority in the Church. –Bill Bilton, 11/16/2001

 

Vassula Ryden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassula_Ryden
EXTRACT

Retrieved on November 27, 2012

Criticism

In 1995, Dominican theologian François-Marie Dermine, a Canadian-born priest serving as exorcist for the diocese of Bologna, Italy, wrote a book, Vassula Rydén: indagine critica (Vassula Rydén: critical inquiry), analyzing Rydén’s first six books. Dermine described Rydén’s early works as promoting a New Age-type spirituality including millennialism and pan-Christian ecumenism, preceded by a time in which the antichrist dominated the Church. He said these ideas were heretical to Roman Catholicism and that Rydén stopped putting them in her writings after warnings from the Church, a factor which demonstrates that they are her own thoughts, not those of spirits. He showed how Rydén’s automatic writings were said by her to be from a variety of sources: guardian angels, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, God, and several Christian saints. Dermine noted that Rydén found some of her own messages to be false; she cancelled these ones. He wrote that Rydén explained away the problem by saying that God told her she could change any messages that she felt did not work. Dermine said that the whole body of Rydén’s writings could be dismissed on the basis of this supposed revelation. More damning than that was Dermine’s assessment that
Rydén’s automatic writing was directed not by Jesus or God but by the Devil. Dermine wrote that automatic writing has never been part of Christian mysticism and divine revelation, but it has been connected with demonic possession.

 

In 1996, Belgian theologian
Joseph Moerman criticized an attack made by [TLIG’s Fr. Rene] Laurentin on those who had been speaking out against Rydén. Moerman said that Laurentin’s defense of Rydén included unwarranted caricaturization of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith leaders, and unsupported positive analysis of her writings. Moerman said that Rydén’s writings could not be directly from Jesus because of inconsistencies within them, and because of differences between the style of known mystics writing in a state of religious ecstasy and Rydén’s writings performed in “normal lucidity”.

 

In 1999, the Argentine organization Servicio Para el Esclarecimiento en Sectas (Foundation S.P.E.S.), formed to investigate new religious movements and sects, published a two-part bulletin critical of Rydén and her followers, authored by Mónica de López Roda. De López Roda described how Rydén’s mission appeared to be the unification of all Christian churches under a non-hierarchical ecumenism; a spiritual Christianity devoid of doctrinal differences. 26.

 

 

She said that the positive words from Rydén provoked division among Christians because of questions about whether the messages were fake. De López Roda named supporters of Rydén who were acting in defiance of the directives of the 1995 Notification by the Holy See:
Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, and Fathers René Laurentin, Emiliano Tardif and Guido Sommavilla.

 

In September 2005, the spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland* warned people against going to Rydén’s conference in Edinburgh. Referring to the 1995 Notification, he said Rydén “certainly did not” operate with the approval of the Church and that “the advice to Catholics is not to attend her gatherings due to the suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors.”
*See page 85

 

In January 2006, Roger Mahony, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, California, approved the withdrawal of an invitation to host to a conference at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at which the main speaker was to be Rydén. Mgr. Kostelnik, pastor of the Cathedral, explained in a press release that the organizers had assured him that Rydén’s writings had “been cleared by the Vatican”, but that he had discovered that those assurances were “a serious misrepresentation of the current Vatican view of Mrs. Ryden’s speeches and writings” and that the 1995 and 1996 Vatican statements cautioning Catholics against following Rydén remained “in full force”.

 

On March 16, 2011, the Greek Orthodox Church and synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople issued a disapproval of her teachings and instructed all Orthodox Christians not to associate with her. The Ecumenical Patriarchate “denounce[d] from the Mother Church” Rydén and her organization, “True Life In God”, and refused “ecclesiastical communion” to those involved.

 

The Synodical Committee for Matters of Heresy of the Church of Cyprus announced on January 13, 2012, that Rydén’s “teachings are heretical, and her claims that she communicates directly with Christ are fantastical and outside of the spirit of the experience of our Church.”*

 

The Roman Catholic Church’s stance

In 1995, the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a Notification on the writings of Rydén; the Notification was also printed in L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. The CDF stated that the “attentive examination of the entire question” had brought up “a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine” as well as “several doctrinal errors”. It also questioned the “suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occurred” and considers the fact that “the aforementioned errors no longer appear in Ryden’s later writings is a sign that the alleged heavenly messages are merely the result of private meditations”. The Notification concludes by requesting “the intervention of the Bishops” to prevent the dissemination of Ryden’s ideas in their dioceses and “invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings and speeches as supernatural”.

In November 1996, the CDF issued a press release, stating that the Notification “retains all its force” and “was approved by the competent authorities and will be published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official organ of the Holy See”. It instructed Catholics “not to regard the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations”.

In a letter dated January 25, 2007, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, following continued requests for clarifications on the writings and activities of Rydén, wrote to the Catholic hierarchy around the world stating that “the Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment” of the writings, which should be seen as her own personal meditations and that Catholics should not take part in prayer groups established by Rydén.

*See page 48

 

For more on Bishops’ warnings and theological critiques, see

VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-PROBLEMS_WITH_ROME_BUT_WELCOME_IN_INDIA.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-FR_MITCH_PACWA.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-THE REASONS FOR THE CHURCH’S NEGATIVE REACTION

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-THE_REASONS_FOR_THE_CHURCHS_NEGATIVE_REACTION.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-FR FRANCOIS MARIE DERMINE [“THE REASONS OF THE CHURCH”]

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-FR_FRANCOIS_MARIE_DERMINE.doc

 

27.

 

Vassula Ryden – Orthodox Church warnings

[The Self-excommunication of Vassula Ryden]
http://web.archive.org/web/20110521091158/http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm

Vassula Ryden: Theologians and bishops warn the faithful

http://web.archive.org/web/20100414095217/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligtheologians.htm
EXTRACT

By Maria Laura Pio

 

Many are the theologians, bishops, priests and lay persons all over the world who have publicly issued warnings regarding the writings and actions of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, explaining the reasons for a call to prudence and discernment. We present hereunder some examples (all are documented).

 

Orthodox Church of Greece

In 2001 the Committee on Heresies of the Holy Synod published the following decision regarding Vassula Ryden (non-official translation from Greek):

The Committee, having examined the evidence, has reached the conclusion that Vassula Ryden has expelled herself* from the Orthodox Church, although she still presents herself as a member.

In addition it should be known that the Church periodical “Dialogos” in its issues number 14 and 17 (…) has printed extensive reports regarding Vassula Ryden’s organization.

Vassula asked the Greek Minister of Justice to bring to trial for slander and libel both the Secretary of the Greek Orthodox Synodal Commission on Heresies, Fr. Kyriakos Tsouros, and the Church publication. The trial was scheduled for 30 June 2000; however Ryden withdrew the charge two days before the hearing.
(Dialogos, issue number 25, page 32, 2001.)

* The Greek text uses the word ekpései, which is of difficult translation. In fact, some websites have translated it as “excommunicated”. According to the Orthodox source we consulted, the literal translation of the text would be: “she threw herself out of the Orthodox Church”. Another source suggested: “Vassula Ryden is cut off from the Orthodox Church”. The Committee is therefore stating that Mrs. Ryden
excommunicated herself
from her Church
. From what we have been able to gather, the main reason is that she does not act as an Orthodox faithful since she does not respect canonical discipline, for instance by regularly receiving Catholic Sacraments, which is considered a form of resigning from the Orthodox Church (see also: “May Vassula Ryden receive Holy Communion when participating in Catholic Masses?“).

We include at the bottom of this page two of the Dialogos articles in Greek regarding Mrs. Ryden and which are also available on the official website of the Greek Orthodox Church www.ecclesia.gr:

“Rulings of C.S. on sects for Vasoula Ryden and Panagiotis Toulatos”

[http://web.archive.org/web/20110521091158/http:/www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm#Rulings]

http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/commitees/heresies/dialogos/Dialogos25.pdf

Dialogos, n.25, page 32, 2001

This is the text of the ‘Committee on Heresies’ decision on Vassula Ryden reported above [in Greek. Not reproduced here]

“Vasoula Ryden…complains” by Rev. Protopresbyter Kyriakos Tsouros

[http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm]

http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/commitees/heresies/dialogos/17.pdf

Dialogos, n.17, page 21, 1999 [in Greek. Not reproduced here]

 

Cretan Archdiocese, September 2001

Issued a press release warning against TLIG and discouraging people to attend a meeting where Vassula was to talk, qualifying her as “anti-orthodox”. 

 

Metropolite Mons. Damaskinos, Swiss diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

In 1996, Mons. Damaskinos declared that Vassula Ryden, in the eyes of all those who are considered as the authentic bearers and continuers of the tradition of the Orthodox Church, was opposing the conscience of that Church which believes that Divine Revelation has been achieved once and for all through the Apostles. He also criticized in that occasion the attitude of the seer, who had organized a broadly advertised meeting on the same date that the Geneva Churches and Christian communities had scheduled their annual gathering for the Christian Unity Week. More info (in French)…

28.

 

Patriarchate of Constantinople, Buenos Aires, Argentina

In 1995, Fundacion SPES of Argentina asked the representative of the Greek Orthodox Church in that country about the case of Vassula Ryden. The answer was given by Fr. Demonstenes in the name of Mons. Gennadios Chrysoulakys. He stated that the Greek Orthodox Church does not recognize any voice outside the established ecclesiastical hierarchy and if Mrs. Ryden has something to communicate, she should do it through the hierarchy.
More info (in Spanish)…

 

Coptic Orthodox Church Statement from His Eminence Abba Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury, regarding Mrs. Vassula Ryden, August 2005

In a General Memorandum to the clergy of the British Orthodox Church, His Eminence Abba Seraphim offered the following guidance to the clergy and faithful:

1. In receiving the sacraments at altars other than those of the Orthodox Church [justifying this by quoting the Decree Orientarium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II], Mrs. Ryden is disregarding Orthodox canonical discipline
which forbids it.

2. Mrs. Ryden should seek the canonical permission and blessing of the local Orthodox hierarch having jurisdiction in each place, prior to addressing public meetings, rather than act in the face of their sometimes expressed opposition and criticism.

3. Until such time as a canonical Orthodox hierarchy is able to make a detailed and full examination of the messages received by Mrs. Ryden, they should
be regarded with
grave caution and their authority attributed solely to the views and aspirations of Mrs. Ryden herself
, rather than any angelic, saintly or divine source.

His Eminence Abba Seraphim also points out that Mrs. Ryden has found enthusiastic supporters among numbers of the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox clergy and has often utilised the opportunities offered by ‘Inter religious Pilgrimages’ she organizes (such as her ones to the Holy Land in March 2000 and to Egypt in October 2002) to cultivate members of the local hierarchy, who are
not always fully aware of all her activities.

This memorandum was published in the www.britishorthodox.org website in February 2006, with an extra note indicating that “the statement in the True Life in God UK Newsletter No. 6 (November 2005) that His Eminence Abba Seraphim along with H.M. Queen Elisabeth II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘sent us their good wishes for the meeting’ is untrue. An invitation was sent to Abba Seraphim and a reply sent on his behalf stating that he had another engagement and would be unable to attend, but asking to be kept on the TLIG mailing list and for copies of the documentation supplied to be sent to other Orthodox hierarchs in the United Kingdom.”

(Read the entire article in http://www.britishorthodox.org/113b.php* towards the end of the page).

 

*http://www.britishorthodox.org/113b.php

MRS. VASSULA RYDÉN & ‘TRUE LIFE IN CHRIST’

GENERAL MEMORANDUM

From: His Eminence Abba Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury

New Series: 21

5 August 2005

To: the clergy of the British Orthodox Church with pastoral responsibility and to all the faithful.

My dear Fathers & Brethren,

Literature is currently circulating advertising a public meeting to be held in Central Hall, Westminster on 10 September 2005, where the speaker will be Mrs. Vassula Rydén. This has been arranged by an organisation known as ‘True Life in Christ’ which exists to promote the prophetic messages received by Mrs. Rydén, which “inspirations through the form of locutions and … interior visions”, she attributes to either our Lord Jesus Christ or to the Holy Mother of God.

Mrs. Rydén was born in Egypt in 1942 of Greek Orthodox parents and was baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church. She professes to be “committed fully” to the Greek Orthodox Church, although she admits that “Some of the Greek Orthodox hierarchy totally reject me …” in part because she espouses a position which seems representative of Roman Catholic spirituality; calls for the Orthodox hierarchy to acknowledge the Pope as ‘Vicar of Christ’ and usually communicates at Catholic altars, justifying this by quoting the Decree Orientarium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II.

She has found enthusiastic supporters among numbers of Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox clergy and has often utilised the opportunities offered by ‘Inter-religious Pilgrimages’ (such as her ones to the Holy Land in March 2000 and to Egypt in October 2002) to cultivate members of the local hierarchy, who are not always fully aware of all her activities.

Having studied published statements by Mrs. Rydén I feel it is appropriate to offer the following guidance to the clergy and faithful: [points 1, 2 and 3 as on the preceding page -Michael]

+ Seraphim

Metropolitan of Glastonbury

29.

 

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople condemns Vassula Ryden‘s teachings

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521091158/http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm

By Maria Laura Pio, March 2011

 

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenical_Patriarchate) has issued a decree dated March 16, 2011 condemning Vassula Ryden’s teachings and warning her followers, in particular members of clergy who continue to promote her teachings, that they risk disciplinary sanctions. Numerous Orthodox websites and blogs point out that the decree excludes from Orthodox communion whoever promotes Mrs. Ryden’s teachings. That is why many Orthodox blogs refer to it as an ex-communication.
There is however an ongoing discussion as to whether or not it is a formal excommunication of Mrs. Ryden.

This decree is particularly important because it is issued by the competent ecclesiastical authority. Indeed Vassula is a Greek Orthodox of the diaspora (she currently lives in the USA)
and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople
(Patriarch Bartholomew I), and not of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa (Patriarch Theodoros II), as some of her followers have been affirming.

The original decree was published on the website of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople (http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=gr&id=1306&tla=gr). A faithful translation to English can be consulted on the Mystagogy blog (http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/03/announcement-on-vassula-ryden-by.html). [See below –Michael]

 

Denouncement of Vassula Ryden and the TLIG messages from the Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Patriarchate, March 16, 2011

Announcement on Vassula Ryden by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, March 16, 2011

Source: http://www.ec-patr.org/docdisplay.php?lang=gr&id=1306&tla=gr

ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΝ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΕΙΟΝ
νακοινωθέν περί τς Βασιλικς Παρασκευς Πεντάκη – Ρύντεν(Βασούλας)


ρθόδοξος κκλησία, κολουθοσα παρεγκλίτως τό λαμπρόν πόδειγμα καί τήν διδαχήν τν γίων ποστόλων, τήν διδασκαλίαν τν χόντων τήν ξ ατν Διαδοχήν Πατέρων τς κκλησίας καί τάς θεοπνεύστους ποφάσεις τν Οκουμενικν Συνόδων, διαφυλάττει ς πολύτιμον μαργαρίτην τήν πίστιν τς Μις, γίας, Καθολικς καί ποστολικς κκλησίας, τήν ποίαν βιώνει τό χριστεπώνυμον πλήρωμα ατς διά μέσου τς συμμετοχς ες τήν μυστηριακήν καί τήν καθόλου πνευματικήν ζωήν το θεοϊδρύτου κκλησιαστικο σώματος. Οτως, οαδήποτε τάσις ατοσχεδιασμο καί κίνησις, προσωπική συλλογική, περιφρονήσεως
θετήσεως τν δογμάτων τς πίστεως τν ρθοδόξων χριστιανν καί τς ν Χριστ ζως ντός τς κκλησίας ς μόνης δο διά τήν σωτηρίαν τν ψυχν μν, πολλ δέ μλλον τς ατοανακηρύξεως προσώπων ς «δθεν χαρισματικν», πεδοκιμάσθη πάντοτε ς παράδεκτος καινοτομία.

πό τό πνεμα τοτο, καί διά τήν φειλετικήν προστασίαν το μέν εσεβος ρθοδόξου πληρώματος ξ πικινδύνων πνευματικν συγχύσεων, τν δέ μή γνωριζόντων καλς τά πράγματα κ το
λλοχεύοντος κινδύνου τς πλάνης, ποδοκιμάζονται πό τς Μητρός κκλησίας α
πό τς Βασιλικς Παρασκευς Πεντάκη – Ρύντεν, ερύτερον γνωστς ς «Βασούλας», καί τς π᾿ ατς δρυθείσης ργανώσεως πό τόν τίτλον «ληθινή ν Θε ζωή» κρίτως καί πιπολαίως εσαγόμεναι διδασκαλίαι περί τν δθεν «π᾿ εθείας διαλόγων της μετά το
δρυτο τς κκλησίας Κυρίου μν ησο Χριστο» καί τς κατακτήσεως π᾿ ατς τε καί τν παδν της τς «ληθινς ν Θε ζως», α
ποαι παρεκκλίνουν αθαιρέτως τς θεοσδότου διδασκαλίας τς κκλησίας, λλά καί σκανδαλίζουν τό ρθόδοξον φρόνημα τν ελαβν πιστν.

θεν, καλομεν τούς εσηγητάς τν παραδέκτων ατν καινοτομιν καί τούς μμένοντας ες ατάς ποστηρικτάς των, ο
ποοι τούτου νεκα δέν γίνονται δεκτοί ες κκλησιαστικήν κοινωνίαν, χι μόνον νά μή παρεμβαίνουν ες τό ποιμαντικόν ργον τν κατά τόπους ερν Μητροπόλεων, λλά καί νά ποκηρύξουν τάς καινοφανες διδασκαλίας των, στε νά προληφθον α
πό τν ερν Κανόνων προβλεπόμεναι κυρώσεις.

κφράζομεν, τέλος, τήν βαθεαν λύπην το Οκουμενικο Πατριαρχείου κ τς νεργείας νίων –λαχίστων, ετυχς- κληρικν τς ρθοδόξου κκλησίας νά παρευρίσκωνται ες μιλίας τς ερημένης «Βασούλας» καί νά παρέχουν ες ατήν «πιστοποιητικά ρθοδοξίας».

ν τος Πατριαρχείοις, τ 16 Μαρτίου 2011
κ τς ρχιγραμματείας τς γίας καί ερς Συνόδου
30.

 

[TRANSLATION by John Sanidopoulos]

The Orthodox Church, following strictly the shining example and teaching of the Holy Apostles, the teaching of the Fathers of the Church who have their succession, and the divinely-inspired decisions of the Ecumenical Synods, safeguards as a pearl of great price the faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which the Christian plenitude experiences through their participation in the Sacraments and entire spiritual life of the divinely-founded ecclesiastical body.

Hence, whatever movement and improvised tension, personal or collective, in contempt or in breach of the dogmas of the Orthodox Christian faith and life in Christ within the Church as the only path for the salvation of our souls, all the more the self-proclaimed “supposedly charismatic” personality, is rejected always as an unacceptable innovation.

 

In this spirit, and for the beneficial protection of our pious Orthodox plenitude from dangerous spiritual confusion, who do not know well matters underlying the risk of delusion, denounces from the Mother Church Vasiliki Paraskevis Pentaki – Ryden, widely known as “Vassula”, and her organization founded under the title “True Life In God” which rashly and frivolously proposes teachings based on the supposed “direct dialogue between her and the Founder of the Church Jesus Christ our Lord”, and those conquered by her and the supporters of “True Life In God”, which deviate arbitrarily from the God-given teaching of the Church, but also scandalize the Orthodox phronema* of pious believers.

Hence, we call upon the proponents of these unacceptable innovations and the supporters who maintain them, who henceforth are not admitted to ecclesiastical communion, not only to not be involved in the pastoral work of the local Holy Metropolis, but also to not preach their novel teachings, to prevent the appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons.

We express, lastly, the profound sorrow of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the acts of some – fortunately few – clergy of the Orthodox Church to be found at talks of the said “Vassula” and give to her a “certificate of Orthodoxy.”

At the Patriarchate, the 16th of March 2011
Of the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod

*Phronema is a Greek term that is used in Orthodox theology to refer to mindset or outlook; it is the Orthodox mind. The attaining of phronema is a matter of practicing the correct faith (orthodoxia) in the correct manner (orthopraxia).

Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Phronema

At the Antiochian Orthodox Christian archdiocese of North America site: http://www.antiochian.org/node/25563

 

My Translation of the Patriarchal Decree against Vassula Ryden

By John Sanidopoulos, April 14, 2011

http://web.archive.org/web/20110713114351/http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/04/my-translation-of-decree-against.html

[Also see
http://www.impantokratoros.gr/ecumenical_patriarchate_vasoula.en.aspx]

 

A few days ago I received an anonymous email telling me to correct my translation of the patriarchal decree denouncing Vassula Ryden, which can be read here along with the original Greek below it. The email simply said: “Attached is a more correct translation of the announcement of The Ecumenical Patriarchate… Please post this correct one……” They thus offered me an alternative translation to post which for the most part was similar to mine though certain words were more an interpretation rather than a literal translation.

 

Of particular interest to this person (or people) was that I correct the two lines which I translated as “rejects from the Mother Church Vasiliki Paraskevis Pentaki” and “who henceforth are not admitted to ecclesiastical communion“. Essentially they thought my translation was too strong, and that a more accurate translation would in fact deflate the intensity of the statement. Of the first they wrote in a footnote: “In the original Greek text, the word αποδοκιμάζω means disapproved, not reject.” Of the second they wrote: “The Greek word κοινωνίαν does not mean Holy Communion (Eucharist), but communion in the sense of community.” 31.

 

 

Now I don’t consider myself a Greek scholar in any sense, but I do know Greek good enough to be able to translate things. I do make errors and always welcome corrections. For example, after I published my translation of this decree on my blog the day after it was issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a few days later I received an email telling me that I made an error in one word in my translation. It was in the last paragraph where I translated: “We express, lastly, the profound sorrow of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the acts of nine….” The number “nine” was pointed out to me to be a mistranslation of ἐνίων, which is an ancient Greek word thrown into the text and would be better translated as “some”. Glad to be corrected in my error, I made the correction.

 

However, the correction offered to me did not sound reasonable, especially in the context of the decree. There was obviously an agenda at play here by a sympathizer of Vassula. This is the letter with which I responded to the anonymous email:

 

I think your translation is more interpretation than an exact translation. For example, your translation of λαμπρόν as “glorious” is a mistranslation. “Shining” or “bright” is more accurate. Also, Ὑπό τό πνεῦμα τοῦτο is not “In this light” but rather “In this spirit”. There are others, but I hope you see my point.
Your first footnote is a bit too soft compared to the literal translation. I would agree however that the word “denounced” is more accurate and will change this.
Your second footnote is a copy of my translation, where the meaning is both communal and sacramental, as one cannot be separated from the other.
I accept corrections on translations I make as I usually do them very quickly and without an editor, but my approach is to always provide literal translations (especially on official texts) rather than try to interpret the spirit of something which often leads to rewriting a text.
Thank you,
John

I received no response.

 

This morning I received an email from a woman named Maria Laura Pio who runs the website http://www.infovassula.ch/. She is an ex-follower of Vassula and the website is critical of her teachings and activities primarily from a Roman Catholic perspective. Maria expressed her appreciation for my translation and even had it checked by a Greek friend of hers. She further told me the following: “As was to be expected, and following the same logic used to twist the Vatican documents, Mrs. Ryden’s association is not only challenging the validity of the decree, but they are also internally circulating a different translation of it.” This put everything in better perspective for me.

 

In the email was included the translation, though it was a bit different from what was sent to me. They in fact took my advice and made the text closer to a literal translation in the parts I mentioned, but they still altered the words and meaning they particularly asked me to change in the footnotes to their text.

 

It should be noted as well that it seems Vassula is not only denying her denouncement and excommunication, but even the validity of the decree itself. Introducing the text of their translation there is written as an introduction the following:

 

An announcement has appeared on the website of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Constantinople) regarding Vassula and True Life in God. A translation is copied at the bottom of this email.
Vassula states that the document is not signed nor does it contain the seal that it comes from the Patriarch himself. Normally the Patriarch signs it and adds his seal with his signature. Nevertheless, Vassula believes that the Patriarch will be aware of the document.
As in the case of the Notification of 1995 from the Vatican, there has been no dialogue between the Patriarchate and Vassula. Vassula invites all who read and love the True Life in God messages to write and complain to Patriarch Bartholomew at the following address:
His All Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, Rum Patrikhanesi, 342 20 Fener- Haliç, Istanbul, Turkey

 

The document however was in fact issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and is posted on their official website. Vassula and her followers are seeking to soften and deny this reality. The reality however is clearly written in the official document which I translated here.

 

Illicit concelebration during Vassula Ryden‘s visit to Romania, May 2010

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090619/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm

By Maria Laura Pio, March 2011

[Also see
http://web.archive.org/web/20110706234824/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm]

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople condemns Vassula Ryden

I translate hereunder an article published on November 19th, 2010, on the French website www.orthodoxie.fr:

 

Romania: a priest is no longer allowed to exercise priesthood for having concelebrated with a Catholic priest

The Metropolitan of Banat, in Romania, has rejected the appeal of Father Daniel Crecan, priest of Bocsa Montana (diocese of Caransebes), who has been relieved from his duties as rector and from the exercise of priesthood by the Bishop of Caransebes, for having concelebrated with a Catholic priest on May 23, 2010, on the day of Pentecost, as stated in the press release published yesterday by the diocese of Caransebes. The matter created turmoil in the city of Bocsa Montana, because the parishioners, supported by the mayor, refused to let Father Daniel Crecan’s successor enter the church (a report here). The problem rose when photographs of the concelebration (as those presented here) were published on the Internet. The concelebration took place
during Vassula Ryden’s visit to Bocsa Montana. She was present in Father Daniel’s parish during the mentioned celebration.

On Vassula Ryden:
condemnations of her actions by the Orthodox Church.

On her website: a report of her latest visit to Romania, including Bocsa Montana.

Source: press release of the diocese of Caransebes

(http://www.episcopiacaransebesului.ro/stiri/sentinta-definitiva-si-irevocabila-in-cazul-preotului-daniel-crecan-de-la-parohia-bocsa-montana-943912800.html)

 

Some Comments

By Maria Laura Pio, December 6, 2010

According to the report published on the True Life in God website
(
http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/2010/vassula-in-romania-2010/), Vassula had been invited to Romania for a series of conferences to promote her messages, which have recently been reedited in Romanian language. The organizers had broadly promoted her conferences among the members of the clergy of the many Christian denominations present in Romania. According to a local source, only the Catholic bishop of Latin rite asked the priests of his diocese not to attend Vassula’s meetings.

The Catholic priest mentioned in the article is Father Rolf Schoenenberg of the Triumph of the Heart Foundation. He invited Vassula to the orthodox parish of his friend, Father Daniel Crecan. The concelebration that was sanctioned by the diocese of Caransebes took place on the day of Pentecost in the presence of Mrs Ryden and the group of persons who accompanied her and had been invited to participate in the Divine Liturgy and receive communion. In this occasion, Father Crecan – who according to the TLIG report had already read the TLIG messages – presented to the faithful the book of Vassula’s messages and invited her to briefly address the assembly.

The TLIG official report does not include the incriminating photographs (see hereunder [The photographs are not reproduced here –Michael]) of the Divine Liturgy showing both priests behind the iconostasis (where only the celebrating clergy can be) and which were later published on several blogs, in particular Rorate Caeli (http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/09/romanian-orthodox-and-roman-catholic.html).

In July 2008 the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church had to call to order the Metropolitan of Timisoara Mgr Corneanu, who had received communion during a Greek Orthodox Mass.
In that occasion, the Holy Synod reminded that it is illicit for members of the orthodox clergy to celebrate sacraments or blessings with ministers of other religions. Those who would not abide by these norms would be deprived of communion with the Orthodox Church and risk canonical sanctions corresponding to their status within the Church. The Holy Synod explained that:

“We believe it is right for every Church to solve its own problems according to its own principles and regulations. We are convinced that the dialogue between the two Churches will move on, towards a communion from the same chalice. (…) The Holy Eucharist is not a means and a stage towards the unity of the Christian Church, but the deepest manifestation of the unity of the Church, its highlight.”
(source: “Rumanian Orthodox Church decided to ‘forgive’ the metropolitan bishop Nicolae Corneanu of Banat”, published on July 10, 2008 on the website of the Pontifical Oriental Institute: http://www.pontificalorientalinstitute.com/news/world-news-of-the-eastern-church/rumanian-orthodox-forgive-the-metropolitan-bishop-nicolae-corneanu.html).

 

This teaching is very close to that expressed by Benedict XVI in his apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis #56:

“(…) the intrinsic link between the Eucharist and the Church’s unity inspires us to long for the day when we will be able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist together with all believers in Christ, and in this way to express visibly the fullness of unity that Christ willed for his disciples (cf. Jn 17:21). On the other hand, the respect we owe to the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood prevents us from making it a mere “means” to be used indiscriminately in order to attain that unity. (172) The Eucharist (…) implies full communio with the Church. (…) We hold that eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion are so linked as to make it generally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive the former without enjoying the latter (…)”.
(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html#Actuosa_participatio)

 

Mrs Ryden is critical of this approach (which is biblical and faithful to Tradition).
She affirms that “Jesus” revealed to her that the Eucharist has to be the means to attain unity:
Our Lord is calling us to live unity in our hearts, around one altar and sharing communion“. She adds that ecclesiastical authorities don’t understand this because they have to repent in order to be able to listen to what the Holy Spirit says to them (source: “Vassula speaks of unity and intercommunion“, 2008, http://www.tligvideo.org/chich.html). 33.

 

 

During interreligious retreats and pilgrimages organized by True Life in God, intercommunion is expected from participants.
During the 2007 TLIG pilgrimage in Turkey, Vassula declared in one of her conferences: “If anyone tells you that you are doing the wrong thing when you are living a spiritual unity or having intercommunion like today and in these past days, you should [say to] these people: (…) I am only following the commandment of Christ. So what’s best for you to do, follow the Commandment of Jesus Christ or disobey it? (…) I will listen to our Lord’s Command and I will remain in Him for I have read with the help of the Holy Spirit the Signs of the Times which call us for Unity, sharing around one Altar.(www.tlig.org/print/en/news/2007-06-29/2045 )

In 2007 the TLIG association launched a petition called “One Date” asking the Orthodox and Catholic Churches to unify the date of Easter, as requested by “Jesus” in the messages.
According to Mrs Ryden, if the petition succeeds “Jesus” promises an era of peace
(message of December 10, 2001). As explained by a close follower of Mrs Ryden in an article published on the main TLIG website: “If church leaders agree on the date of Easter, all wars on the planet will stop. We can have global peace; everything will fall into place. Everything will be better for everybody. This is what Vassula was explaining to me.(My Valentine’s Day Kitchen Table Talk with Vassulahttp://www.tlig.org/en/news/2007-03-27/2035). During the 2007 TLIG pilgrimage in Turkey, Mrs Ryden affirmed in a video registration of her conference that: “The wars, [Jesus] says in a message, the terrorism, the natural catastrophes like the tsunami, all is because the Church is divided. He said it several times.” (http://vimeo.com/11074886
at minute 4:50 of the video)

In the above context, it is easy to understand why some clergy members who listen to Vassula’s messages may consider as legitimate to accomplish certain gestures contrary to the canonical dispositions of their own Church. Sadly the result is not more unity but more division, as shown by the events of Bocsa: a priest who can no longer celebrate the Sacraments and an assembly of faithful in conflict with their diocesan bishop. Not to mention the scandal caused in the Rumanian Orthodox Church and its repercussion in the media. In other words: a parish destroyed and several steps backwards on the way to unity.

 

Fr. John Abberton‘s puzzling letter to the American TLIG Newsletter readers

By Maria Laura Pio, December 28, 2010

Following the publication of the above article, I received comments from several persons about a letter that they had received from the American True Life in God Association referring to “a Romanian Orthodox priest (…) severely disciplined by his bishop because of his involvement in a TLIG meeting where he celebrated an Orthodox Mass in the company of a Catholic priest”. The author of the letter, which is reproduced at the bottom of this page, is Fr. John Abberton, one of the TLIG “spiritual directors”.  

In the undated letter, which was sent at the very end of November 2010 by postal mail to all the subscribers to the American TLIG newsletter, Fr. Abberton wrote: 

“… at this time we need to take great care to avoid the possibility of anything remotely connected with clergy of different traditions standing together and dressed for the Liturgy getting into the wrong hands. To avoid any mistakes I have taken the view that we need to be VERY careful about the American Newsletter which contains a photograph of this kind. Therefore I am asking you to remove the photo from the Newsletter or to destroy the Newsletter itself. (…)” He also asks readers to “keep this matter entirely within the TLIG family – do not go around speaking about this to people who are not involved in TLIG.” 

It would seem that the photograph in question would be that published on page 3 of the November 2010 Newsletter of the American TLIG association (see below [The jpg file is not reproduced here –Michael]). The photograph is not unusual at all, in the sense that as long as I can remember, it is the typical photo published in TLIG newsletters and websites to illustrate interreligious pilgrimages or retreats organized by Mrs Ryden: it shows clergy from different confessions fully dressed in each one’s liturgical clothes posing together with Vassula around what seems to be an improvised altar. If this type of photo is to be “destroyed” in order to avoid it “getting into the wrong hands”, then
Fr. Abberton should also suggest the destruction of the reports of the TLIG interreligious pilgrimages and retreats of the last 12 years.
 

But most puzzling feature of all is: why was this letter sent to all the subscribers of the Newsletter? An answer could be that since the Newsletter had already been sent, the idea was to warn subscribers not to show it to people who are not part of the “TLIG family”. However, subscribers of the Newsletter include people who neither read nor believe in Vassula’s messages, but who are sent the Newsletter anyway. In fact, it is common for TLIG followers to subscribe friends, family and local clergy to electronic and postal TLIG newsletters in an effort to “evangelize TLIG” (sic).

Copy of part of page 3 [The photograph is not reproduced here –Michael] of the Nov. 2010 Newsletter of the American Association of True Life in God, with the photograph to be “destroyed” in order to avoid it ending in the “wrong hands”.

I wonder if the only real problem with this photo, the reason why it was singled out, is that the Romanian priest in question is on it, together with Vassula and all the clergy who participated in the TLIG retreat in Rhodos, Greece, from September 22 to 27, 2010, only a few months after Vassula’s visit to Romania and at the moment when the illicit concelebration came to light, following the publication of Vassula’s “Mission to Romania” report by the TLIG main website. 

According to the official English and Spanish TLIG reports of this retreat, two archbishops and about 20 clergy and religious persons participated in the Rhodos retreat, including Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of the Philippines (1) and Mgr René Laurentin.

34.

 

 

According to the report in Spanish, participants were Catholics, Orthodox and members of other Christian denominations. Activities included for instance Archbishop Arguelles concelebrating Mass with “12 Catholic priests and there were also 4 Orthodox priests present” (2), and 5 members of the Orthodox clergy administering the holy anointing to all the participants during a ceremony called “Efheleo” (3), as well as several conferences by Vassula and clergy. In other words, it was a usual TLIG retreat. 

NOTES

(1) Archbishop Arguelles
of Lipa gave the imprimatur to Vassula’s books in 2005. In September 2010 – that is during the same month of the Rhodos retreat – as Chairman of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, he
sent a letter to “all the Filipinos overseas” encouraging them to read, pray and “evangelize” with TLIG, which he refers to as reflections offered by “God Himself” (
http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/christian/catholic/arguel/).

(2) “Reporte del retiro de la Verdadera Vida en Dios, Rodas, Grecia, 23 a 27 de septiembre de 2010” by José Luis López de San Román, in Boletín de la Verdadera Vida en Dios of October 12, 2010, sent by email to subscribers. 

(3) http://molonlabe70.blogspot.com/2010/12/orthodox-catechism-topics-unction.html

 

Original letter of Fr. John Abberton sent by The American Association for True Life in God (P.O. Box 413, East Amherst, New York 14051) to the subscribers of their Newsletter in December 2010:

[The jpg file is not reproduced here –Michael]

Recent Problems and the U.S. TLIG Newsletter

Dear readers of TLIG,

You may have heard that a Romanian Orthodox priest has been severely disciplined by his bishop because of his involvement in a TLIG meeting where he celebrated an Orthodox Mass in the company of a Catholic priest (it was NOT a concelebration!). Unfortunately it seems that the enemies of TLIG are now trawling the internet and looking for anything they can use against us.

Although we have to avoid becoming paranoid about this, at this time we need to take great care to avoid the possibility of anything remotely connected with clergy of different traditions standing together and dressed for the Liturgy getting into the wrong hands. To avoid any mistakes I have taken the view that we need to be VERY careful about the American Newsletter which contains a photograph of this kind. Therefore I am asking you to remove that photo from the Newsletter or to destroy the Newsletter itself. All it takes is for one of these to get into the wrong hands and we are “off again”. The attacks are particularly vicious at this time and although we are expected to deal with persecution, we have a priest in Romania who needs our help. His enemies will seize on anything they can to throw at him and his family, so please comply with this request.

At the same time, I ask your prayers fro him. He has not been defrocked, but at the moment has been told to leave his church and has no means of support. I would also ask you to keep this matter entirely within the TLIG family – do not go around speaking about this to people who are not involved in TLIG.

Let’s hope we can quickly recover from this situation.

God bless. 

Fr. John Abberton

 

Romanian Orthodox and Roman Catholic priests concelebrate Divine Liturgy in Romania

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/09/romanian-orthodox-and-roman-catholic.html

Posted by Carlos Antonio Palad, September 21, 2010

 

Vassula Ryden, a visionary known for her “private revelations” that promote indifferentism, and who continues to be enthusiastically supported by many Catholic and Orthodox clergy and hierarchs despite occasional warnings from the Vatican (and a few from the Orthodox Churches), enthusiastically relates in the latest report on her website that as part of her Mission in Romania on May 2010, a Romanian Orthodox priest invited a Roman Catholic priest to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy of Pentecost.

The Romanian priest is Fr. Daniel Crecan, who is also identified in the report as a Romanian ORTHODOX (not Greek Catholic) parish priest in Bocsa Mantana of the Orthodox Eparchy of Caransebes. The Roman Catholic priest is named as Fr. Rolf Philip Schoenenberg.

The report further states that communion was given to the Catholics present, and alleges that Vassula’s mission trip had the support of the Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu, who made headlines in 2008 when he received communion at a Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. (The report also makes the erroneous claim that Patriarch Kirill had invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit Russia, and quotes Vassula as stating “An Orthodox will not become Catholic, nor is there a need for a Catholic to become Orthodox. We are asked not to differentiate among us, but to respect each other’s traditions and celebrate around one altar. The Eucharist must be shared by all.)

69 comments with some by TLIG‘s Fr John Abberton
[The photographs are not reproduced here –Michael]

As always, TLIG’s leaders falsify — or at least attempt to — the truth:

 

Fr Abberton
wrote
[extract]: 35.

 

 

I actually know Vassula quite well. I doubt that many of those who have posted here do. Some of the comments made against her are wildly inaccurate and some are just plain insulting and unjust. Disagree with her by all means but please do it charitably – especially since you do not know her. As regards the “concelebration” it could not have been a real concelebration because of the different rites. The invitation may have been couched in these words and there is an obvious need for clarity here. On TLIG pilgrimages non-Catholic clergy are invited to stand around the altar – NOT to concelebrate, which is forbidden. This was on the specific advice of the Vatican which was consulted on this matter. Orthodox bishops and priests often invite others to receive Holy Communion. Please note this is NOT against Catholic teaching (check it out). Moreover, sometimes, non-Catholics are allowed – in specific circumstances – to receive Holy Communion in Catholic churches. My sister’s father-in-law, who is an Anglican, is an example of this (because they lived in Italy etc.)
Please do not attack or insult what you do not know or understand. I have no problem whatever with people disagreeing with Vassula or with Fr Laurentin, but I do have a problem – and so should you all – with insults, injustice and false accusations.

Carlos Antonio Palad, the blogger, wrote:

Fr. Abberton: This is from the actual report on the TLIG website that I linked to:
“Not only was Rev. Fr. Daniel Crecan inspired to ask Vassula to speak to his congregation after the Divine Liturgy on the great feast of Pentecost Sunday, but he also invited Fr. Rolf, Roman Catholic priest, to concelebrate. In addition to this, Fr. Daniel was overjoyed to invite us all to partake in the Eucharist. What a wonderful gift we were given by the Holy Spirit!
Fr. Daniel, the parish priest of this church shares his perspective on the events of this wonderful day:
“On the day of Pentecost was the feast day for our church and many people came to attend the Holy Liturgy. That day in our community we received many special guests who came from many parts of the world: one Greek born in Egypt, one from Switzerland, and one from the Philippines. That was wonderful and very special for us because we had never before had so many nationalities in our church. It does not matter if our Orthodox community is small, but it is our joy to minister together with believers from other countries and different churches. The Swiss man is my good friend and brother in Christ, a Roman-Catholic priest. On that special day drawn by the Spirit we celebrated together the Holy Liturgy and we shared together the same Holy Eucharist, the Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It was great, wonderful, divine … .just like the teachings of our Saviour Christ, “MAY THEY ALL BE ONE!”. Communion in the Eucharist is the sign of unity in the Holy Spirit. It was definitely a divine sign given by the Holy Spirit, of full communion in the love of Jesus Christ. But this is not all….we had a lot of people who came to receive the Holy Eucharist, singing, praying together and giving glory to our God. The presence of many Greek-Catholics sharing communion with us in the same church and sharing the Liturgy was indeed another sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the middle of our community. No words can ever tell the joy of what it is like to have full communion in truth, in unity with the Holy Spirit.”
I’m pretty sure that Fr. Crecan knew what a concelebration is, and the pictures on the TLIG website, clearly show the Catholic priest AT the altar, and not simply standing off to the side. For that matter, the protocol that is normally followed is for Catholic clergy attending Orthodox liturgies to stand OUTSIDE the iconostasis, not INSIDE, as this is forbidden to non-Orthodox (something that I’ve been personally told by a Greek Orthodox priest, and which I’ve observed in many of the numerous videos of Eastern Liturgies that I’ve seen.)
Furthermore, concelebration between priests of different rites is not impossible: it happens all the time between Eastern and Latin Rite Catholics.

 

Vassula Rydén: the Reasons for the Church’s Negative Reaction

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=10013
EXTRACT

By Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine, O.P., January 2008

 

The Orthodox Church

In August 2005, His Eminence Abba Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury, stated in a General Memorandum to the clergy of the British Orthodox Church that:

«In receiving the sacraments at altars other than those of the Orthodox Church [justifying this by quoting the Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II], Mrs. Ryden is disregarding canonical Orthodox discipline which forbids it. Mrs. Ryden should seek the permission and blessing of the local Orthodox hierarch having jurisdiction in each place, prior to addressing public meetings, rather than act in the face of their sometimes expressed opposition and criticism (cf. www.britishorthodox.org )».

This means that she does not obey the rules of her Church.

Moreover in 2001, the Committee for heresies of the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church concluded that the pseudo-visionary has estranged herself (or was she expelled?) from the Orthodox Church, even if she continues officially to be a part of it. Mrs. Rydén denounced the Rev. Dr Kyriakos Tsouros, Secretary of the Committee for heresies for defamation, but decided later on to forgo legal action.

Always referring to her participation in the Catholic Church’s sacraments, it is useful to stress how far-fetched is her justification which mentions ecclesiastical documents such as Vatican II’s decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum, John Paul II’s encyclical Ut Unum Sint and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n.1399). In fact all these documents insist on the exceptional nature of this participation, which has nothing of normal or customary. This orientation has been emphasized by Benedict XVI in his apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of February 22, 2007. 36.

 

 

 

Therefore, the following declaration of the 1995 Notification does nothing less than asserting the consolidated teaching of the Church:

«By habitually sharing in the sacraments of the Catholic Church even though she is Greek Orthodox, Mrs. Ryden is causing considerable surprise in various circles of the Catholic Church. She appears to be putting herself above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm, and in effect, is creating an ecumenical disorder that irritates many authorities, ministers and faithful of her own Church, as she puts herself outside the ecclesiastical discipline of the latter.»

A declaration, needless to say, that shows towards the Orthodox Church a respect and a sensitivity we would like to see in the protagonist herself.

 

Contra Vassula Rydén

http://justfortranslat.blogspot.in/2010/01/contra-vassula-ryden.html
EXTRACT

Primary source: http://catechumens-tale.blogspot.com/2010/01/contra-vassula-ryden.html

By Tony-Allen Cucolo, A Reformed Christian, spitfirepilot@gmail.com, January 18, 2010

 

[…] The first thing that caught my eye was, although she claims to be a Greek Orthodox, her Orthodoxy should rightfully be called into question. In both her visions and speeches she speaks of the “immaculate heart” of both Jesus and the Virgin Mary, a concept decidedly Roman Catholic both in origin and use. She is said to have handed out rosaries to people and paid homage at Roman Catholic shrines, even going so far as to claim a message from God saying “blessed are those who will pray the Rosary” (source). She believes in purgatory and teaches that our prayers save people from Purgatory (source). She claims to have visited hell and saw something closer to Bill Weise’s view than the Church’s belief on hell (source). Her teaching on the Holy Spirit is more akin to Charismatic preachers on late-night TBN than the writings of the Church Fathers. Her views on universalism and ecumenical movements (which I’ll get to later on in this post) would be better placed in the sermons of the Emergent Church. Overall, I don’t find anything Orthodox about her.
My feelings seemed to have some merit, as I found out that she really had no solid knowledge of her Orthodox faith – let alone any Christian faith at all. She admits in her testimonial video (
source, again) that she “wasn’t a Church-goer” and that she “wasn’t looking for God at all.” […]

 

Does she have ecclesiastical support?
Most notable on Vassula’s website is the page featuring supposed statements from various religious leaders showing support for her cause (
source). She also includes “testimonies” from various clergy from various churches (source). Is this the case? It would seem sad, given that
there are some large names there, especially among the Orthodox Church.
Yet is this truly the case? Does she have widespread support among the various Churches? Deeper research proves otherwise. It’s interesting to note that, while she claims to be Greek Orthodox, the Orthodox Church in Greece has declared her self-excommunicated
:

The Committee, having examined the evidence, has reached the conclusion that Vassula Ryden has expelled herself from the Orthodox Church, although she still presents herself as a member.
In addition it should be known that the Church periodical “Dialogos” in its issues number 14 and 17… has printed extensive reports regarding Vassula Ryden’s organization.
Vassula asked the Greek Minister of Justice to bring to trial for slander and libel both the Secretary of the Greek Orthodox Synodal Commission on Heresies, Fr. Kyriakos Tsouros, and the Church publication. The trial was scheduled for 30 June 2000; however Ryden withdrew the charge two days before the hearing. [Dialogos, issue number 25, page 32, 2001; quoted from
here]
In addition, many Orthodox officials do not believe her word has any real validity, nor should it be taken seriously.
In 1996, Mons. Damaskinos declared that Vassula Ryden, in the eyes of all those who are considered as the authentic bearers and continuers of the tradition of the Orthodox Church, was opposing the conscience of that Church which believes that Divine Revelation has been achieved once and for all through the Apostles. He also criticized in that occasion the attitude of the seer, who had organized a broadly advertised meeting on the same date that the Geneva Churches and Christian communities had scheduled their annual gathering for the Christian Unity Week. [ibid]
And again:
In 1995, Fundacion SPES of Argentina asked the representative of the Greek Orthodox Church in that country about the case of Vassula Ryden. The answer was given by Fr. Demonstenes in the name of Mons. Gennadios Chrysoulakys. He stated that the Greek Orthodox Church does not recognize any voice outside the established ecclesiastical hierarchy and if Mrs. Ryden has something to communicate, she should do it through the hierarchy. [ibid]
37.

 

 

Even Coptic Orthodox have attacked her:
1. In receiving the sacraments at altars other than those of the Orthodox Church [justifying this by quoting the Decree Orientarium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II], Mrs. Ryden is disregarding Orthodox canonical discipline which forbids it.
2. Mrs. Ryden should seek the canonical permission and blessing of the local Orthodox hierarch having jurisdiction in each place, prior to addressing public meetings, rather than act in the face of their sometimes expressed opposition and criticism.
3. Until such time as a canonical Orthodox hierarchy is able to make a detailed and full examination of the messages received by Mrs. Ryden, they should be regarded with grave caution and their authority attributed solely to the views and aspirations of Mrs. Ryden herself, rather than any angelic, saintly or divine source. [Taken from this website]
In addition to this:
the statement in the True Life in God UK Newsletter No. 6 (November 2005) that His Eminence Abba Seraphim along with H.M. Queen Elisabeth II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, “sent us their good wishes for the meeting” is untrue. [ibid]


Roman Catholic officials have also criticized her.

Here is a letter sent by the Archbishop of Monterrey to his flock:
An invitation of the True Life in God group and of the Dos Sagrados Corazones Prayer Groups [Two Sacred Hearts prayer groups] is circulating in the Archdiocesan community of Monterrey, regarding their January 30 and 31 retreat-conference at the Best Western Valle Real Hotel with Mrs. Vassula Ryden (Greek Orthodox) and “renowned Catholic priests”. I therefore consider it my pastoral duty to make the following declaration:

1) First of all I must clarify that I was not previously informed of this event.
2) The True Life in God group and the Dos Sagrados Corazones Prayer groups are not registered nor recognized by the archdiocesan commission of lay people [Comisión Arquidiocesana de Laicos – CAL].
3) In accordance with repeated notifications from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on some essential points of Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings, I cannot authorize the spreading of her writings and teachings in our local Church of Monterrey.

4) Regarding the “renowned Catholic priests” who are supposedly participating in this event, since we do not know who they are, from where they come nor to which Diocese they belong, they are not authorized to exercise the sacerdotal ministry in this Archdiocese. [source]

In one article, Vassula mentions meeting dozens of Catholic bishops in India on the subject of Christian unity, and hints that she received support from them. The bishops were later written to by inquisitive minds, and the following responses were received from two:
Bishop Thomas Mar Koorilos, recently appointed to the office of Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla, wrote that Mrs. Ryden was not invited by [the KCBC] to address the conference. She was visiting Kerala and then she requested for a word to speak to the bishops which our chairman has allowed, that is all (private mail dated July 18, 2007).
Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas, Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum
and recently appointed Apostolic Visitator in charge of the Malankara Catholic Community in North America and Europe, added that it was not intended to support her or to promote her preaching. On the contrary the Bishops council gave her an opportunity to present her faith before the prelates clergy, religious and the selected laity so that they must get a first hand knowledge about her teaching. The general conclusion was that her teaching was questionable and therefore [the KCBC] is not endorsing her. Hence the matter is over and we are fully following the teaching of the magisterium of our Church
(private mail dated July 18, 2007). [source]

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, renowned Catholic scholar and apologist, has commented on Vassula himself. He wrote on his experiences in an article entitled “The Spirit of a Prophetess” – the very opening of the article alone is frightening:
Vassula had asked me to examine all five volumes of her published notebooks for problematic statements. She suggested that notes could be added to later editions to correct any confusing or imprecise statements about Christ. I read her books, wrote my notes, and in the fall of 1992 sent them to her spiritual advisor, Fr. Michael O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., for his response.
I then received a call from Fr. O’Carroll, who was then promoting a trip by Vassula. Father O’Carroll strongly suggested I not publish my findings. He said I showed “not one single sign of Christian charity”…
What I particularly did not like about Fr. O’Carroll’s subsequent letter was its spiritual threat (which also appears in Vassula’s writings): “Since your article and the distress, the real hurt, it inflicted on Vassula, God the Father has spoken to her. He is very severe on those who oppose her. This [book] will be published.”
[source]

38.

 

Pacwa rightfully attacks the confusion of the Trinity that Vassula (or her angel) seems to portray:
In Vassula’s own handwriting (the handwriting in the notebooks changes depending on who is speaking) she calls Jesus the Father, and so does “Jesus” on numerous occasions. He also says “I am your Holy Father,” and writes, “Little one call Me Abba” and in Greek, “call Me Baba”; “say, Abba to Me every now and then”; and “Come in your Father’s arms.” “Jesus” instructs people to pray to him, “You are the-One-God-and-Only, the Just One, you are indeed the Lamb, You are our Heavenly Father.” Still more problematical are the times “Jesus” writes statements like “the Father and I are One and the same”
“Jesus” responds to those who would criticize Vassula for calling him Father: “If they accuse you because you call Me Father it is because they have not understood that the Spirit of Love you received and speaks through you, brings you peace and love to cry out: Abba!” This fails to answer the objections about calling Jesus “Father” or to remove the confusion among the divine Persons which Vassula introduces.
[ibid]
It seems therefore that her claims of approval among the general Christian faithful do not hold water.
Many times it seems that when she receives support or words of kindness from leaders, they admit later that they were not aware of who she was.
This is very similar to the trend among Evangelical pastors who readily supported Gail Riplinger’s KJV-Only book New Age Bible Movements, only to later admit that they had never read it.9

Conclusion
Vassula claims she works in the interest of the Church. She claims to be Orthodox. She claims to have God teaching her, training her, and giving her understanding for passages of scripture. She claims to know Jesus on a personal level. Yet she claims that Christ calls her his bride, a title solely reserved for the Church and the Church alone. She distorts scripture to suit her personal philosophy. She seems to present revelation based around her universalist and politically correct world view. Her messages seem to be Emergent modernist thinking mixed with the style of St. Brigitte. All in all, I do not even know if I would call her a true Christian, let alone a true Orthodox.

 

Contra Vassula Rydén

http://designofprovidence.blogspot.in/2010/06/contra-vassula-ryden-second-edition.html
EXTRACT

By Tony-Allen Cucolo, A Reformed Christian, spitfirepilot@gmail.com, June 16, 2010

 

EDIT – MARCH 17, 2011:
The Ecumenical Patriarchy of the Greek Orthodox has finally stepped in and decided they’ve had enough of Vassula, and her and her followers have henceforth been removed from communion. The link to the individual proclamation can be found here.
A very special hat-tip to John Sanidopoulos for sharing the news, as well as for supplying the following translation:

Hence, we call upon the proponents of these unacceptable innovations and the supporters who maintain them, who henceforth are not admitted to ecclesiastical communion, not only to not be involved in the pastoral work of the local Holy Metropolis, but also to not preach their novel teachings, to prevent the appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons.

[THE ORTHODOX CHURCH’S POSITION – continued on page 48]

 

MORE ON THE BOMBAY ARCHDIOCESAN WEEKLY, “THE EXAMINER“, see pages 15 to 17

From:
Maria Laura Pio
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 7:42 PM and 7:49 PM

Subject: Right to reply – Vassula Ryden

Dear Michael,

I went through my mails archive and I have the mails that mention the article in The Examiner with the date. It was Lydia Davidson who had alerted me about the article. Unfortunately the links are no longer valid and the only soft copies I have of the matter are at home in Switzerland. But I’m sending you hereunder the exchange of mails on the matter in case they are useful … I continued to search my mails archive and was able to find my [correspondence with] The Examiner [etc.] requesting the right to answer the false accusations of freemasonry. You’ll find it hereunder. Maria Laura, Argentina

 

On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:17 PM, Maria Laura Pio <maria31x@yahoo.com> wrote:
Dear Lydia, I was thinking about the Examiner, and I wanted to ask you if the accusation of information critical of Ryden being linked to Freemasonry referred also (or mainly) to my website? Because in this case, I think it would be appropriate for me to write to the Examiner regarding this accusation, since I would be directly involved. What do you think?
Warmly in Christ,
Maria Laura, Switzerland

 

From:
Lydia Davidson
To:
maria31x@yahoo.com
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 1:06 AM Subject: Re: The examiner

Dear Maria,
I had linked to Fr. Dermine’s article from your website, so yes the accusation was towards your website. Please feel free to write to the Examiner, here is the link to the objecting letter by Mr. Paul Datta of TLIG dated 14th June:
http://examinerindia.blogspot.com/search/label/June%2014.%202008
39.

 

This is the link to my first letter to the Examiner dated 31st May:
http://examinerindia.blogspot.com/search/label/May%2031.%202008

In Christ,
Lydia, Mumbai, India

 

From:
maria31x@yahoo.com
To:
editor@examinerindia.com
Cc:
mail@examinerindia.com
Sent: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 18:09:28 +0530 (IST) Subject: Right to reply – Vassula Ryden
Dear Sirs, 
Last week
* I sent you a mail requesting the right to answer a letter that you published in one of your previous editions (copy of my mail hereunder). I would be very grateful if you could confirm receipt of this letter and advise me if you will publish it. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Maria Laura Pio, Switzerland
http://www.infovassula.ch/


From: editor examiner editor@examinerindia.com
To:
maria31x@yahoo.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 1:49 AM
Subject: Re: Right to reply – Vassula Ryden

We have received your letter and will be publishing it in one of the issues in the near future. Thank you.
Br. Joshan, c/o Fr. Anthony Charanghat, Editor,
The Examiner, Eucharistic Congress Bldg III, 5, Convent Street, Mumbai- 400001 email:
editor@examinerindia.com Website: http://www.the-examiner.org/

 

The letters that were published in The Examiner:

May 31, 2008:

Talk by Vassula Ryden

Sir,

St. Peter’s parish, Bandra, is planning on having a talk by Vassula Ryden – a Greek Orthodox lady who claims to receive messages from heaven. Many Catholics may not be aware that Vassula Ryden is not a Catholic, and that Catholics are not allowed to go to her prayer meetings.

Vassula’s writings and messages contain vague language, and she has at times changed or deleted her so-called “heavenly messages”. See the link: http://www.infovassula.ch/dermine2.htm. It is reported that the way she receives her messages is more like channeling; as in a spirit possession, she has no control over her hand; it just writes by itself.

Further, her writings contain many errors which could harm people by leading them away from the faith. I write to the Examiner with the hope that it is a Catholic weekly with the boldness to carry the truth. I hope my voice will be heard and people will not go for such talks that are meant to deceive.

I earnestly request the Church authorities to kindly publish the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated January 25, 2007, so that Catholics are aware of the Church’s position on Ms. Ryden.

Lydia Davidson, Bandra

 

June 14, 2008:

‘True Life in God’

Sir,

This is in response to Lydia Davidson’s letter to you on the “Talk by Vassula Ryden”, (The Examiner, May 31, 2008).

Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) (now Pope Benedict XVI) in his letter dated July 10, 2004, declared that the Notification of 1995 has been clarified with useful information, after Vassula responded to five questions she was asked. Her answers to these questions were positive and can be read at http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005.

This thorough study from the Congregation (CDF) lasted two and a half years in which several inspectors, theologians, and finally Cardinals investigated her writings and her activities through several videos transmitted to them. The then Cardinal Ratzinger, when he declared his satisfaction with Mrs. Ryden’s responses, asked her to put their dialogue in all the volumes containing the messages. If there were errors, would he have asked her to do so?

It surprises us that Ms. Davidson does not take the CDF’s study into consideration, and declare this truth to the faithful. What she writes, perhaps unknowingly, misleads the readers to a site that defames this work of God, and is suspect of Freemason connections. Such sites are often against the ‘Unity of the Church’ and the ‘Merciful callings of God’ in our times. They encourage discriminating sites and articles against TLIG (True Life in God). They call what is holy “evil”, to destroy this work of God.

We believe that TLIG is truly the work of the Spirit of God and calling it evil would be casting aspersions on the working of the Holy Spirit. May the Holy Spirit grant us all, humility, love, wisdom and discernment to know the truth. Finally, may TLIG be judged by the fruit it bears.

Paul Datta for TLIG, Mumbai

 

Sir, Apropos of what Ms. Davidson says in her letter on the “Talk by Vassula Ryden”, (The Examiner, May 31, 2008), I would like to offer a few comments.

There is a divided opinion regarding Vassula’s credibility. There are many Church officials and theologians who find no ‘theological errors’ in her writings. They endorse ‘TLIG’ (True Life in God) as a movement that helps people live their faith more radically and fully. I know of people who have started living their Christian lives fully, of frequenting the Sacraments etc. after daily reading the messages that Vassula receives. 40.

 

 

The Notification by the then Cardinal Ratzinger, in 1995 and the letter by Cardinal Levada, in 2007 should be read within the scenario of the opposition to their stand against Vassula, by Bishops and Cardinals around the world; of clarifications that Vassula renders to the CDF; and perhaps misunderstanding Church authorities because of human frailty.

We all know that the Church is human as well as divine. This does not mean that we go ahead and disobey the Magisterium; rather we need to discern like responsible Christians, who are the ‘People of God’ (a favourite Pauline image adopted by Vat II, in LG 9 ff), and thereby help the Magisterium make better decisions for the Church and its faithful.

Fr. Bryan Lobo S.J. Rome

 

*July 05, 2008

Maria Laura Pio’s letter sent by email to The Examiner on June 26, 2008:
Dear Editor,
I kindly request the right to answer the letter of
Paul Datta from the True Life in God (TLIG) association published in your edition of June 14, 2008, in which he accuses me and my website of defaming Vassula Ryden and being “suspect of Freemason connections”. I would like to state for the record that I am a convinced and practicing Catholic and that I have no sympathy for Freemasonry, whose philosophical ideas are incompatible with our Faith in Jesus Christ.
Mr. Datta probably wrote those unfounded and untrue accusations in an attempt to discredit the information contained in my critical website on Vassula Ryden (
http://www.infovassula.ch). I have always done my very best to publish in my website correct information, citing all my sources in order to allow the reader to verify them independently. In fact, several important Catholic websites and organizations consider my website as serious and reliable.
There seems to be some confusion in your region as to the position of the Catholic Church regarding the writings and activities of Mrs. Ryden. Much of this confusion has been fuelled by Mrs. Ryden’s official website and local TLIG associations. Mr. Datta refers in his letter to the dialogue that took place between Mrs. Ryden and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 2002. But this dialogue did not result in a reversal of the Church’s negative assessment of 1995, and the Notification was neither modified nor reversed. However, Mrs. Ryden’s organization published a booklet in which this dialogue was presented as the proof that the 1995 Notification was no longer valid and that Vassula benefited from the approval of the CDF.
This booklet titled “Clarifications with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” was widely spread among the Catholic clergy. That is why in January 2007 the CDF had to send a letter to all the Episcopal conferences in the world confirming the validity of the negative doctrinal judgment expressed in the 1995 Notification and advising against the participation of the faithful in TLIG prayer groups. A copy of the original letter bearing the signature of the Prefect of the CDF (Cardinal Levada, personally chosen by our Pope for that position) can be seen on my website. This information was widely relayed by major Catholic news agencies during the Summer of 2007.
Warmly in Christ,
Maria Laura Pio, Webmaster of www.infovassula.ch, Switzerland

(Correspondence on this topic is closed)

 

MY COMMENTS

Ms. Lydia Davidson, a Catholic resident of Bandra, Mumbai, came upon a very negative theological critique of Vassula Ryden and her writings by Canadian Dominican theologian Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine [see http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-FR_FRANCOIS_MARIE_DERMINE.doc
and
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-THE_REASONS_FOR_THE_CHURCHS_NEGATIVE_REACTION.doc] at the critical web site [www.infovassula.ch] of Swiss citizen Ms. Maria Laura Pio [now shut down in mid-2012 after Vassula Ryden instituted legal proceedings against her because of her use of the name “Vassula” to identify her site; this issue will be discussed in detail in a separate article from this ministry].

Ms. Lydia Davidson then
wrote to The Examiner cautioning the Church about Vassula Ryden/TLIG. In response to Ms. Lydia Davidson‘s letter, one Paul Datta of TLIG “Mumbai” and Fr. Brian Lobo, a theologian from Rome sent in their pro-Vassula Ryden submissions which were also published. In his submission, Paul Datta slanderously and without any substantiation whatsoever, alleges that Maria Laura Pio is “
suspect of Freemason connections“. Ms. Lydia Davidson apparently informed this to Ms. Maria Laura Pio who made an enquiry from her which I have reproduced along with the reply that she received. Ms. Maria Laura Pio finally wrote to The Examiner refuting the allegation of Paul Datta, after which The Examiner closed further correspondence on the subject.

On December 1, 2012, Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi enquired of me on the ‘phone whether Maria Laura Pio is a Freemason!! The same day, Paul Datta circulated to certain Bishops a defense [the statements of which I thoroughly refuted] of Vassula Ryden/TLIG against my alert of November 24, 2012 which had till then been sent ONLY to select Bishops and priests! Paul Datta signed that defense as sent from “KOLKATA“. NOTE THAT HIS LETTER TO THE EXAMINER WAS SIGNED AS SENT FROM “MUMBAI“! Is this just one more in an endless chain of deceit practised by the followers of Vassula Ryden? It is a charge that almost every theologian has brought against her as seen in many of the articles by them that are hosted on my web site.

[The Paul Datta correspondence will be made available in a future report from this ministry along with other responses received to the November 24 alert and follow-up letters. His letters to me are self-evidence of the error and malformation of TLIG protagonists -Michael] 41.

 

 

 

HOW TLIG [MIS]USES THE EXAMINER, ALONG WITH MY COMMENTS

All the following extracts are from TLIG records

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1998/0116-20
EXTRACT

January 1998

The prestigious Bombay Examiner had selected Vassula’s talk as the cover story for the week of Christian unity, and it was accompanied by an article that stated clearly that Vassula’s writings are in complete accord with the Holy Scriptures. This article was to prove invaluable in presenting Vassula in this part of the world and will continue to be a precious blessing.

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1998/0127/
EXTRACT

January 27th, 1998

The penultimate stay of Vassula in Goa drew an audience of around 3,000 at Vasco da Gama, the harbour city of Goa…

Fr. “X” reiterated the position of the Church and quoted the Examiner, the periodical of the Bombay Archdiocese in defence of Vassula.

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1998/0121-27/
EXTRACT

January 23rd to 27th, 1998

As elsewhere in Goa, news of the old notification of 1995 had reached here as well. Fr. “X” therefore used the Bombay Examiner article as a key aspect of his introduction…

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/2008/asia2008/
EXTRACT

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Examiner which had published a layperson’s letter to the Editor calumniating Vassula and the Messages, advising the readers to boycott Vassula’s talk that evening in St. Peter’s Church in Bandra, the Christian quarter of Mumbai…

She strongly withstood [the Cardinal Oswald Gracias’] attempts to make her admit the Messages were her “private meditations”, she insisted they were locutions from God. The Cardinal received all the relevant information from the TLIG Mumbai Prayer Group members and was finally disposed to inform himself of the facts. After the audience with Cardinal Gracias, Fr. Anthony [Charanghat, the editor of The Examiner] advised the TLIG Mumbai group to publish a letter in The Examiner in answer to the false statements in the Letter to the Editor.

 

1. “Fr. “X” therefore used the Bombay Examiner article as a key aspect of his introduction…

Fr. “X” … quoted the Examiner, the periodical of the Bombay Archdiocese in defence of Vassula.

I wonder if The Examiner is aware that it has officially certified, sorry, “stated clearly that Vassula’s writings are in complete accord with the Holy Scriptures” with their January
1998 cover story, although Rome [the CDF] states the contrary in its October 1995 Notification only two years earlier! Knowing that TLIG is highly inclined to name-dropping and exaggeration [apart from misrepresentation and falsification], I would have loved to see for myself the contents of the referred issue. Regrettably, my subscription to The Examiner goes back just about a decade [and I have preserved all issues!]

“In at least one place on the TLIG site, Fr. James Fannan P.I.M.E.‘s name is replaced with Fr. “X”“, writes an ex-TLIG devotee to me. Fr. Fannan from Bangladesh is a priest who has since fallen out with Vassula Ryden though he was her first spiritual director and ardent devotee and promoter for around two decades. It would be most interesting and enlightening to learn the reasons as to why he parted ways with Vassula Ryden.

 

The Examiner carried a TLIG advertisement for the December 4, 2012 Don Bosco School, Borivali, Mumbai, programme in its October 27 and November 17, 2012 issues. THE ARCHDIOCESAN WEEKLY OF BOMBAY CONTINUES TO BE A CONDUIT FOR THE ERRORS OF VASSULA RYDEN AND HER “MESSAGES”.

 

2. The TLIG statement “ She strongly withstood [the Cardinal Oswald Gracias’] attempts to make her admit the Messages were her “private meditations”, she insisted they were locutions from God.” is not very flattering to Cardinal Oswald Gracias. He “was finally disposed to inform himself of the facts“. It conveys the impression that the Cardinal attempted to make Vassula Ryden admit that her messages were in fact private revelations but did not succeed. It is this subtly derogative manner in which Vassula Ryden/TLIG unfailingly report on those in the hierarchy who oppose them or who do not accept them unreservedly [see my other reports and articles].

I have also demonstrated that TLIG site reports express inordinate joy when our priests, religious and laity attend her performance despite a ban on her pronounced by the local Ordinary as in the case of Goa [see pages 15-17]. Vassula Ryden‘s complete disdain for the clergy who decline to entertain her is quite evident. As seen from the TLIG site, she exults when Catholics disobey their Bishops and attend her performances.

 

3. “After the audience with Cardinal Gracias, Fr. Anthony [Charanghat, the editor of The Examiner] advised the TLIG Mumbai group to publish a letter in The Examiner in answer to the false statements in the Letter to the Editor.

42.

 

Fr. Anthony Charanghat comes off in a good light. Pardon my cynicism, but considering the history of Vassula Ryden and TLIG of misrepresenting things, I wonder whether Fr. Anthony Charanghat really did in fact give any such advice to TLIG; but, only he can answer that question.

TLIG takes a unilateral decision [neither the Cardinal nor The Examiner said anything to that effect] to publicise that there were “false statements in the Letter to the Editor” of Ms. Lydia Davidson.

One must remember that Vassula Ryden and her “spiritual directors” carefully scrutinise and approve all of TLIG reports either before or after their publication and make corrections or issue cautions if necessary [see my other reports and articles].

 

4. If, as TLIG claims, The Examiner selected “Vassula’s talk as the cover story for the week of Christian unity“, it becomes a serious issue.

According to Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine, she proposes a “pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine” and “She insists very much on global renewal, wants to prompt the churches, in particular the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican ones, to a renewal that should take them to achieve full unity,
a unity however not defined on a doctrinal nor hierarchical level. She declares to be above the churches, and this is most preoccupying, because it pre-announces the coming of a church that would receive instructions directly from heaven and would be directly guided by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, prescinding from a hierarchy or an institution; a church very much spiritualized, where each one will let the Holy Spirit guide him/her.

Also see VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-FR_MITCH_PACWA.doc

 

MY LETTER TO THE CARDINAL, BOMBAY, AND TO THE EXAMINER

From:
prabhu
To:
Archbishop Bombay ; Archbishop’s House ; abpossie@gmail.com
Cc:
editor@examiner.in ; mail@examiner.in
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 2:27 PM

Subject: FOLLOW-UP OF MY LETTER OF December 05, 2012 1:28 PM

Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias,

I have yet to receive your acknowledgement of my subject-referred letter regarding Vassula Ryden. I noted with approval your statement that you “disagree with some of her claims“. I would like to know the outcome of your meeting with her to compare it with what she will write concerning it on her TLIG site.

Meanwhile, I am copying below an extract from pages 38 through 42 of my current — and as yet unpublished — report VASSULA RYDEN-A CDF NOTIFICATION, BISHOPS WARNINGS AND THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES.

I would like you to read what she has written on her site about her June 2008 meeting with you and what she has published regarding Fr. Anthony Charanghat and the January 1998 The Examiner cover story on her and the Church’s Christian Unity week. 

If Fr. Anthony Charanghat disagrees with Vassula Ryden’s version of events, may I request that he responds with the true version of it?

Yours obediently,

Michael Prabhu

 

THEOLOGIAN-PRIESTS DISAGREE – WITH ONE ANOTHER – AND WITH ME

In response to my alert which was sent on December 3 and 4 to over 1,000 Catholics, including priests, on my primary mailing list, I received some responses, the rest of which will be published later separately.

Three of them are of particular significance and merit being included in this article.

 

1. Fr. Bryan Lobo, S.J., Professor of Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome

From:
Bryan Lobo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 3:28 AM

Subject: Re: A REPORT FROM THIS MINISTRY AND ARTICLES ON FALSE MYSTIC VASSULA RYDEN IN THE CONTEXT OF HER CURRENT VISIT TO INDIA

I am sorry to say Michael that I personally and fully support Vassula Ryden – theologically and otherwise. I would also appreciate you forwarding this information to all on your list with my name and office:

Bryan Lobo, S.J., Professor of Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome 00187.

From:
prabhu
To:
bryanlobo@jesuits.net
Cc:
Francis Lobo
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 6:43 AM

Subject: Re: A REPORT FROM THIS MINISTRY AND ARTICLES ON FALSE MYSTIC VASSULA RYDEN…

Dear Fr. Bryan,

It is good to hear from you after so long a break. I trust and pray that you are well.

Yes, I have always been aware that you are favourably disposed to the messages of Vassula Ryden. I think that we may have discussed this by email on an earlier occasion*. I appreciate your honesty in stating that.

Yes, I shall surely comply with your request. I will wait for more responses before I post them all together in one of my future reports. It is good that, and in all fairness, Catholics know both sides of the Vassula phenomenon.

Unfortunately, until now I have not been able to locate any theological or serious analytical writings on Vassula’s messages that are pro-Vassula, even if they are not very “professional”. My web master Francis Lobo called me up an hour ago and when we talked, he assured me that he will conduct a search for any such. What I find are testimonials and personal adulation of her. 43.

 

Meanwhile, may I request you if you have any serious authorship that favours the messages of Vassula Ryden to please send them to me or give me the links so that I may download and publish them on my web site.

Additionally, it would be most opportune if you yourself could give me your informed response to the articles of say theologians Fr Mitch Pacwa, Fr Francois Dermine and others on some of the issues that they critique her messages.

At your service in Jesus’ Name.

Michael

From:
Bryan Lobo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 5:23 AM

Subject: Re: A REPORT FROM THIS MINISTRY AND ARTICLES ON FALSE MYSTIC VASSULA RYDEN…

Dear Michael,

I don’t have the time to give any response on articles by Fr. Pacwa et al. You may not find pro-Vassula theological articles because it is perhaps taken for granted that the messages are theologically sound. Those having problems with the messages will surely write articles on the theological problems of the messages and that is understandable.

Some years back even after my mother told me about Vassula, I was cautious. I therefore did some research on the messages, the letters from the CDF and from Levada and Vassula’s responses to them. I found the exchange healthy and resulting in a positive conclusion. I in fact found the response of Levada hasty and unacceptable. I then read some reactionary material against Vassula which questioned her theology. I must say I found them immature and unjustified.

As a professor of theology, I can assure you that there are nuances in theology that need to be taken into consideration before giving one’s judgement. There are theologians who are already biased. Their “blinkered” theology does more harm than good.

Finally the Magisterium can make a mistake in condemning a person or his/her work. For example, Padre Pio. In this case it could be Vassula Ryden.

Warm regards and God bless, Fr. Bryan Lobo.

 

*I was able to locate our earlier [June 2008] correspondence just now:

From:
Bryan Lobo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 4:44 AM Subject: Vassula Ryden

Dear Michael,

I was told about your letter against the TLIG of VR, in one site of Fr. Dermine. I read it but found that it is not well substantiated as regards “Doctrinal Errors”. I also read the CDF’s and Levada’s letter and found them unsubstantiated as well, with regard to particular points of “Doctrinal Errors”: there are no specific quotes and comments which is the normal procedure of Vatican notifications. I feel the letters are written in haste. No wonder the Pope later said that the position is modified and Levada’s letter seems clumsy and imprudent. Among the clergy in Rome, Levada does not have a good reputation as a theologian. It proves the Ecclesial axiom that the Church (Magisterium) is human and divine. In its humanity it can make mistakes, in its divinity it is infallible (with regard to Faith and morals although Vat II is extremely precautious about using that dangerous word). With all my respect for the Magisterium, i could say with a little experience that the picture need not be that rosy and clean as it seems.

I would not like to pose as a ‘STAUNCH’ Vassula or TLIG fan, but i would simply not criticise it basing myself on a Magisterial letter. I would surely support it in public and also not mind encouraging someone to read the messages. I really believe the Spirit is working through those messages. What do you say?

Bye and God bless, Bryan.

From:
prabhu
To:
bryanlobo@jesuits.net
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 8:38 AM Subject: Re: Vassula Ryden

Dear Father Bryan,

I appreciate your point of view, and I can understand how you feel, because the Church certainly HAS erred in such matters before. And corrected herself later. Two outstanding cases were the censures against St Pio and St. Faustina.

I believe that I was the one who introduced the Vassula phenomenon to many people in Mangalore in 1997. I still have those video tapes. Thereafter, I attended her programmes at Divine Retreat Centre, Kochi and Goa. I bought and read all her books. I had the same fervour towards the ‘visionaries’ of Garabandal and Medjugorje, and for Julia Kim of Naju, Korea.

In addition, I have material on a number of other such ‘seers’ in my library. I have always promoted anything that enhances Catholic faith. I was doing the same on the net for Vassula when I was contacted by people from three different countries of Europe, all of whom were earlier closely associated with VR’s ministry, and they each had later distanced themselves from her. When I defended VR, all three of them offered me many reasons as to why I should reconsider my stand. The reasons included CDF letters, etc. But it was not exactly or only that which made me reverse my position on VR. I read all the information carefully, and found that many of the arguments appear to be well justified.

One that troubles me is that Vassula’s vision of ecumenism in her end-time scenario is apparently different from that of the Church. Three streams, the Orthodox, the Pentecostal and the Roman Catholic will fuse and become one [It was that which had actually excited me earlier]. While that fulfils John 17:11, 21 to a large extent, it later struck me that the ideal unity would be the Orthodox and Pentecostals coming home to Rome, the apostolic Church.

I put down some of my thoughts in writing, and replied, and one of the three persons asked if it could be used as a testimony against Vassula on their website. I gave my consent.

I am no theologian. I could be very wrong in the end. So, too Levada and the others. For instance, there are those who condemn Vassula only on the basis of her automatic writing. These people are always anti-charismatic. They consider it as an occult or satanic manifestation. I cannot accept that simply because I have personally witnessed the phenomenon in our family during prayer [one member only had that ‘gift’] and I have preserved those sheets of paper. And also, because we cannot put restrictions on what God can do [or say] through anyone. 44.

 

 

I do accept that VR’s writings have done a world of good for many Catholics, but the arguments of those who are against her ‘apostolate’ are also quite strong. After weighing everything, I decided that there was little, but enough, reason for me to believe that I better stop promoting VR. After that, I passed on to a few friends, who I knew were touched by VR, the information that I received and continued to receive. Speaking for myself [and being in ministry], I prefer to follow what’s coming from Rome.

[…] Would you like to add or ask anything? You are free to share my letter with others. Love, Michael

From:
Bryan Lobo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:29 PM Subject: Re: Vassula Ryden

Dear Michael,

From your letter I gather that you would support VR but for her messages on unity. On the other hand (I don’t want to sound argumentative), your idea of Ecumenical unity when you say “it later struck me that the ideal unity would be the Orthodox and Pentecostals coming home to Rome, the apostolic Church,” has to be clarified. What would you mean by “coming home”. There is a lot of debate on this issue.

In Ecumenical theology of the Church, the fundamental rule is that all the Churches need to unite under the banner of the Roman Pontiff, without losing their identity, and march towards the Eternal Kingdom of God. It is in this that their unity is understood. If they lose their identity, it would be hegemonic on the part of the Roman Church.

You surely may have read some books on Church History. In early Church History there were four main Churches (the Antiochian, the Alexandrian, the Jerusalem and the Roman Church). Each had their own rites and theologies (Greek and Latin), and were autonomous. The Roman Church (because of the Roman Empire) became politically powerful and at times highhandedly treated the other churches, etc. This created lot of misgivings. The Roman Church with its Latin rite was not able to understand the other churches with their Byzantine, Armenian, etc. orthodox rites, like Peter not understanding Paul and the Gentiles. After about 10 centuries, the East-West Schism – 1054, took place because of the egoism and ignorance of the Roman delegate. He played his dirty politics as we have examples of dirty politics played today with regard to Medjugorje, Padre Pio, Naju, even with practically all the founders of the Orders, and Congregations. With such politics the Church was divided.

Today Ecumenical theology (of the Catholic Church), recognises the Church of Rome as the hub of unity while the other churches (orthodox especially), need not lose their identity in fusing themselves into the Roman Church. The Pentecostals after some basic changes with regard to theological matters can enjoy full communion with the Catholic Church but still retain their identity (this is very difficult with regard to Protestants etc but not impossible).

Now from whatever I read in Vassula’s messages I find this aspect of ecumenical unity strongly portrayed. I have not read ALL of the messages; that is why I wanted the letters of Vatican to quote some particular statements of incongruence with the Catholic Church’s idea of Ecumenical unity. So by writing in such a way they are not doing their job.

[…] the Church is human and even sinful. No doubt Pope John Paul II said sorry for many of the sins committed by the Roman Catholic Church. It is mostly the case that after a long time they recognise someone and make him a saint, or reverse their stand on an issue. In our case it could be TLIG, who knows.

Talking about TLIG, I am simply seeing miracles happen all over. Although I don’t hold it above the one and only revelation in Jesus Christ in Scripture and the Church.

I wrote a letter to the Examiner against some Lydia Davidson** who wrote against VR and TLIG in the Examiner. It appeared in issue of June 15th. I am pasting it below… I shall await your reply for an ongoing discussion because i sincerely feel that your letter on that site is doing more harm than good. **See page 39

Bryan.

From:
prabhu
To:
bryanlobo@jesuits.net
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 8:40 AM Subject: Re: Vassula Ryden

Dear Father Bryan,

[…] I cannot really recall much of what is posted on that website, except what I wrote to you. As things stand, I am inclined to believe that I cannot — with a clear conscience — accept VR the way that I used to initially. But, as I admitted in my earlier letter, I could be completely wrong.

And I for one am always open to listen and learn, and correct my position if faith and reason [facts] require me to do so.

If you have noticed, I do not discuss VR on my website. The matters that I have posted on MY website, I believe in and defend. I can never know as much as you do about theology and Church history, so I have taken in all that you said.

To tell you the truth, the section of your letter which I have highlighted in blue is a surprise to me.

The understanding that I have about ecumenism, from whatever reading I have done, is simplistic. Other Christian denominations will have to accept some essential Roman teachings such as the Marian Dogmas and the Eucharist [I always see before me Don Bosco’s vision] and submit to the teaching authority of the Holy Father, the Pope in matters of faith and morals. I also am aware of the historic Orthodox schism and that in their case, the adjustments would be minimal. Other denominations might have greater problems because of theological differences, though there has been a lot of work done in that direction especially with the Lutherans and the Anglicans.

[…] Love, Michael

From:
Bryan Lobo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 1:09 PM Subject: Re: Vassula Ryden

Well Michael,

Why should that part highlighted in blue surprise you? It is standard Ecumenical theology and historically factual.

Within the Catholic Church, Canonical rites, which are of equal dignity, enjoy the same rights, and are under the same obligations. 45.

 

 

Although the particular churches possess their own hierarchy, differ in liturgical and ecclesiastical discipline, and possess their own spiritual heritage, they are all entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman pontiff, the divinely appointed successor of St. Peter in the Primacy.  The Catechism lists seven rites: Latin, Byzantine, Alexandrian, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite, and Chaldean (CCC para. 1203).

Eastern Rite Catholics like the Maronites and Melkites are following rules that are not in keeping with pure Catholicism but still belong to the Catholic Church. Priests of those rites may marry prior to ordination, but not after.
In short what I want to say is, that they are not “fused” into the Catholic Church. So Vassula is not doctrinally incorrect as regards her ecumenical stand. I see in her messages a great love for the Pope (John Paul II) and that all should unite under him. Anyway I will not disturb you more. With my own work, I will not be able to spend more time on this either, but i want to thank you for your honest sharing and taking time to type those letters. I have shared your letters with Celine Vieira, the TLIG president of India (whom I don’t know personally), who suddenly one day wrote to me wanting some clarifications on some issues and surprisingly gave me your name as against TLIG. I then got interested all the more. In fact my Mum is a great supporter of TLIG. Please say a prayer for me while I come to the end of my doctorate which is always a hectic time. Bye and God bless. Bryan.

From:
prabhu
To:
bryanlobo@jesuits.net
Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2008 7:56 AM Subject: Re: Vassula Ryden

Dear Father Bryan,

About the part highlighted [In Ecumenical theology of the Church, the fundamental rule is that all the Churches need to unite under the banner of the Roman Pontiff, without losing their identity, and march towards the Eternal Kingdom of God. It is in this that their unity is understood. If they loose their identity, it would hegemonic on the part of the Roman Church] what I meant was that I did not believe that it would be hegemony on our part to insist that the other churches submit to the teaching and authority of ours; and that I did not believe that ALL other churches would have to lose their identities on their uniting with Rome. The Churches that you list below differ basically from ours in rite, and in peripheral extra-doctrinal issues like “Priests of those rites may marry prior to ordination, but not after”, so it poses no problem for them. I think about the churches that have no valid priesthood and no Real Presence in the Eucharist. The Orthodox and Eastern Catholics are of course excluded.

Having come back to the Church mainly through a series of private revelations in my wife’s family [something that I could not find anywhere else in India since that time 1981-82], I still remain wary of any and all private revelation mainly because the long-term fruits of many such have turned out to be bad. It has not been that in the case that I experienced, but it is like that in most others. VR’s private revelations appear to lead people back to the Church. But what I also noticed is that some people read more Vassula than Bible or Catechism [that may be no fault of Vassula’s] and do not progress beyond that. From reading a lot of the anti-VR material, I gather that her following is almost cultic in some instances, and there appears to be a rejection of Church authority.

On my part, if the Bishops were to ban my ministry or impose restrictions on my crusade to expose New Age error, doctrinal aberrations or liturgical abuse, that could be the best thing to happen to me. I would obey and leave it to God to vindicate me. This is what I saw with St. Pio and St. Faustina [The Lord vindicated them in their lifetimes], but not with Medjugorje, Julia Kim, etc. 

I know very well that [your] mum is associated with TLIG. What I like very much about her is that she doesn’t get upset with my sending her material that I receive. She is always very gracious. When I send such material, it is not with a purpose to convince them to switch loyalties; I believe that one must know all sides of a case. I am also aware that Celine Vieira has my email address and has discussed me with others and I thought it odd that she did not write to me personally.

A few days ago, I found the memento bookmark of your ordination. Six years have flown by. What is the thesis that you are defending? God Bless You, Father.

Love, Michael

NOTE: That is the entire correspondence on Vassula/TLIG except for a few confidential or personal sharings.

On June 20, 2008, I had written to Fr. Bryan, “As things stand, I am inclined to believe that I cannot — with a clear conscience — accept VR the way that I used to initially. But, as I admitted in my earlier letter, I could be completely wrong.

And I for one am always open to listen and learn, and correct my position if faith and reason [facts] require me to do so.

If you have noticed, I do not discuss VR on my website. The matters that I have posted on MY website, I believe in and defend. I can never know as much as you do about theology and Church history, so I have taken in all that you said.

Three years down the line, I take those words back. My wide-ranging studies and research and networking with Catholic apologists worldwide have led me to include the Vassula Ryden problem on my web site.

While Fr. Bryan has argued the case for Vassula Ryden well, basically on just the one issue of ecumenical unity, it still remains that (a) there are other aspects of that “unity” that seriously concern other theologians and eminent priests, and (b) there are a host of other troubling issues [behavioral, moral, spiritual, etc.] concerning the Vassula Ryden phenomenon that cannot be explained away simplistically. She has even been charged with promoting a form of “New Age” spirituality.

No genuine recognised Catholic seer or visionary ever has been tainted by any of the numerous negative traits that she herself, her organisation, and the contents of her “messages” have regularly exhibited.

All this has necessitated over a score of articles on Vassula Ryden being posted on this web site, and several more to come, something unprecedented in our 10 years of Internet ministry, except for the erroneous-commentaries-of-the-2008 St Pauls New Community Bible issue which has now been surpassed.

46.

 

 

It so happens that the very next communication received by me after June 2008 from Fr. Bryan Lobo is on exactly that issue, the 2008 St Pauls New Community Bible:

From:
Bryan Lobo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 10:22 PM

Subject: Re: NEW AGE BIBLE? THE NEWLY RELEASED NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE (NCB)

Every Catholic Bible needs to have an imprimatur. I wonder who has given the imprimatur to the NCB. Is it Catholic or Protestant? If the Red Sea Miracle was for a box office effect, then there is something seriously wrong with the commentators because as secondary to the Power of God, in theology, there is even a scientific explanation given. So where faith and science meet in a miracle, it surely cannot be propagated as a fictitious imagination.

Bryan.

30 eminent theologians contributed to these erroneous commentaries. Two eminent Bishops, one of whom is a theologian, gave the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur. Yet, the NCB had to be pulled for “revision” after a crusade launched by this media was taken up by the faithful and the media. Theologians can be wrong.

 

2. Fr Justo Lofeudo, M.S.E., France

Father is a Missionary of the Most Holy Eucharist, a French community, totally devoted to promote and establish chapels of Perpetual Adoration across Europe. Note that this letter from Fr. Justo is in response NOT to my alert on Vassula Ryden but to an introductory letter sent to him by me two weeks in advance of the alert. Vassula Ryden was nowhere mentioned in my introductory letter but Fr. Justo writes about her!

From:
Fr. Justo Lofeudo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 10:58 PM

Subject: Re: FROM INDIA, INTRODUCING MYSELF

Dear Michael,

I apologize for the delay in answering you.

In a few minutes from now, I will celebrate Mass and you and your family will be present.

This is the time, time of great confusion created by Satan, that the Church needs apologists like you. And not only prophets who proclaim the Gospel but who denounce the error and evil that surrounds us. I often see that when touched issues like false seers such as Catalina Rivas or Vassula Ryden, I’m attacked. Same with yoga, which in the West, as you very well know, is being considered as an exercise (!) Or homeopathy. We are in the spiritual battle and we need to speak up and also to pray and pray. I pray for you, you pray for me and my Perpetual Adoration’s missión.

I bless you and your family

P. Justo Antonio Lofeudo MSE, France

From:
prabhu
To:
Fr. Justo Lofeudo

Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 6:22 AM

Subject: FROM INDIA, INTRODUCING MYSELF

 

3. Name withheld, Catholic charismatic lay preacher and New Age expert in deliverance ministry

From:
Name Withheld
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 4:52 AM

Subject: Re: A REPORT FROM THIS MINISTRY AND ARTICLES ON FALSE MYSTIC VASSULA RYDEN IN THE CONTEXT OF HER CURRENT VISIT TO INDIA [EDITED]

Dear Michael,

Yesterday, it must have been the time you posted this article, I was seriously thinking about the Vassula problem. In the beginning of the CCR the Lord gave me a prophecy (I’m in CR since January 1975). He said: I am sending you this spiritual renewal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that the elect may not be lost.

Lucifer tries with subterfuge methods to undermine the Roman Church, using our Tradition, Liturgy, and ordained people, so that the elect will be lost: It feels and looks so Catholic! they say.
Since many of our brothers and sisters hate to get involved with the real work of the Lord, “EVANGELISATION” guided by our specific gifts, which to follow through is often more uncomfortable then comfortable – Satan has easy game.
Now in 1976 I brought this CCR to my Viennese friend, who was married to a Scottish Lord, Johnny. He took to it like a fish to water, not so his wife! He brought one day (I think from France, I can’t fully recall the story) Vassula to our prayer group. That was in Westminster, which group I had helped to grow. Till today it meets with about 800 people in the Centre of London.

My recollection is very vivid: I sat in the first row, being one of the leaders. Vassula was in front speaking into the mike. She neither smiled or communicated to anyone by eye contact or otherwise.
When I looked at her she avoided my gaze constantly and I concluded that she is not of God. This is a very simple gift I have got. Sai Baba could not even carry on speaking, broke out in a temper and said he does not give darshan that day. Rajneesh had an even stronger temper and forced me to wear a red cape when coming into the “audience room” where
about 800-1000 people followed his rather intelligent, but dishonest quoting of all major European philosophers. When I started praying in my heart (this was 1981/2), like at Sai Baba’s place, he stopped and furiously left the stage. The same also happened in 1983 in a spiritualist church, where the master made operation without incisions, in the Philippines, near Baguio. He could not proceed and the blood lumps, he apparently had taken out from the stomach of a cancer patient, disappeared there and then (hypnosis I concluded). 47.

 

Going back to Vassula, I was quite new to my gifts, but had already learned that the strong presence of the Holy Spirit, by praying in tongues, even in my heart, made the evil manifest itself. It was, so to say, forced to appear. Now that was enough from Vassula. I have her automatic writing in my house, among the other false proclamations.
Last time Fr Rufus was in Potta [Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, Kerala, run by the Vincentian congregation], he sat next to Vassula. I do not think he was convinced about her, but he never, ever criticized anyone. When I asked him, he kept silent, which to me meant “not ok”. That of course is my perception. […] I am curious now about your analysis of Vassula. When I look at her on the photo with Fr Rufus in Potta, I feel she is possessed by a spirit entity who pretends to be Jesus. How this is possible, I cannot explain, but the AntiChrist does the same. Even her looks has completely changed from that first talk she give in London.

 

THE ORTHODOX CHURCH’S POSITION – continued from page 39

Church of Cyprus: Announcement Concerning
Vassiliki (Vassula) Paraskevis Pendakis-Ryden.

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/7F397BAC.en.aspx

 

CHURCH OF CYPRUS Synodical Committee for Matters of Heresy
Holy Archdiocese of Cyprus
13 January 2012.
 

ANNOUNCEMENT 

Topic: The heretical positions of Vassiliki (Vassula) Pendakis-Ryden.
Over the last few days Vassula Ryden has been appearing in the media, giving lectures and trying to come into contact with bishops and priests, giving the impression that she presents and teaches the Orthodox Christian faith. In reality, her teachings are heretical, and her claims that she communicates directly with Christ are fantastical and outside of the spirit of the experience of our Church. 

Seeing that she tries, not only in Cyprus, to present herself as Orthodox and that she possesses certificates of Orthodoxy from bishops, we cite the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s explicit announcement regarding this matter, so that Orthodox Christians may know exactly what it pertains to:

(Click here)
http://www.impantokratoros.gr/ecumenical_patriarchate_vasoula.en.aspx
**
**See pages 30-32

Source (Greek): http://www.churchofcyprus.org.cy/article.php?articleID=2129

Translated by the Holy Monastery of Pantokrator

 

Patriarchate of Constantinople denounces Vassula Ryden

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2011/03/fyi-patriarchate-of-constantinople.html

Posted by augustinus, January 11, 2012

Also at http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2011/03/17/morning-catholic-must-reads-170311/

By Luke Coppen, Catholic Herald, March 17, 2011

Yesterday, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople issued a strongly-worded decree denouncing Vassula Ryden and her works, excluding her supporters from (Orthodox) communion, and warning people from spreading her teachings her lest they incur canonical censures. An initial English translation of the new decree can be found here; the original decree is on the website of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople. The relevant portion is as follows:

This comes a few months after the Romanian Orthodox Church defrocked one of its priests for concelebrating with a Roman Catholic priest, in an event that came about under the influence of Vassula Ryden. (See this and this for Rorate Caeli‘s posts on that incident, and this post on another website reporting on the rejection of the priest’s appeal of his punishment.)

Vassula continues to enjoy support from some Roman Catholic priests and bishops despite repeated Vatican warnings against her teachings. Hopefully this support will soon disappear…

SELECTED COMMENTS

Now there’s ecumenism for you, against the woman who ironically pushes for union between the churches.
Both the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Holy See have condemned here revelations. I hope they start to agree on other things too soon, but Vassula Ryden is a very good start. An absolute fraud. –andyjourn, March 17, 2011

Her “locutions” and strange behavior led to her divorce. If something is truly from God, I can’t see that it would lead to divorce. How many canonized saints were divorced? It seems much wiser to me for Catholics to read and meditate on the Bible, read the saints writings, or read the CCC rather than reading Vassula Ryden. –Barb Schoeneberger, March 17, 2011

 

At Vassula’s appearance in Sacramento in 1991 it was quite an event at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. There were even half a dozen port-a-potties for the crowds. Vassula was absolutely a fraud and a joke. A local TV station covered the show. After, in the square in front of the Cathedral, the TV cameraman told me he looked into her eyes with his camera zoom lens and found her extremely scary. –Anonymous, March 19, 2011

 

Announcement on Vassula Ryden by the Ecumenical Patriarchate

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/03/announcement-on-vassula-ryden-by.html
EXTRACT

[Translation by John Sanidopoulos] March 17, 2011

Comment by Leonard Panjaitan, April 19, 2011

Thanks for your translation John; at least I understand that not all His flocks understand the messages. I am a Roman Catholic, and through the books of True Life in God (TLIG), in which Jesus speaks to Vassula, I return to a Roman Catholic after many years abandoning my own Church. By reading, meditating and implementing TLIG Messages, I become aware of my eastern brother, which is the Orthodox Church. Vassula is only a weak instrument used by Jesus to deliver His Messages. What the Church ‘condemns’ Vassula, including similar case imposed by the Catholic Church, is considered to ‘condemn’ God as well. TLIG messages contain actually simple messages that are repentance of the sinners like me, unity of the Church after separating so many years since 1054. Are not those genuinely delivered messages by God Himself? What the benefit of Vassula to become messenger of God or self-proclaimed messages? Is Vassula getting rich about it? She is not and she is weak like us too. God himself approached her in 1985 and that’s the way He keeps doing to humans for the sake of His unconditional love in terms of our salvation. Can we, as fragile human, feel the fruits of the work of God? Can Satan ask us to repent, to make peace with neighbors? So truly, truly, God loves us beyond our comprehension even to least, the weakest, the lime and so on. Thanks John. –Leo, Jakarta, Indonesia

We believe that TLIG is truly the work of the Spirit of God and calling it evil would be casting aspersions on the working of the Holy Spirit,” wrote Paul Datta of TLIG in The Examiner, June 14, 2008. Opposition to her “messages” is opposition to and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Paul Datta‘s December 1, 2012 letter to me copy to some Bishops in response to my Vassula Ryden alert, warned me “not to persecute the Holy Spirit“.

In that letter, he equates the holy Public Revelation of the Gospel with the lowly and unapproved private writings of a human being with questionable antecedents: “If its true that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for us and rose again from the dead, then the Messages of True Life in God is the Truth“.

Evidence shows that Vassula-ites ascribe to TLIG messages inordinate importance as compared to the Bible.

Against John Sanidopoulos’ April 4, 2011 published translation of the Archbishop of Constantinople’s Patriarchal Decree against Vassula Ryden, [http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/04/my-translation-of-decree-against.html], Datta wrote May 1, 2011, “Your fight against Vassula is the fight against the Holy Spirit.

The above comment by Leo of Jakarta was included by me to demonstrate that TLIG devotees, despite condemnation and warnings from the Churches, universally believe Vassula Ryden‘s “messages” to be those of God Himself. Who “‘condemns’ Vassula … is considered to ‘condemn’ God as well.

 

Fr Prospero Grech, OSA

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/grech/

 

Consultor of the Congregation writes a letter to Vassula on behalf of the CDF asking “the five questions”

Collegio Sta Monica,
Rome

4th April 2002

Dear Mrs. Ryden,

On the 6th of July 2000 you addressed a letter to His Eminence Cardinal Ratzinger regarding the “Notificazione” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning your writings. His Eminence has taken note of your letter and, together with his collaborators, has decided to give you the opportunity to clarify the meaning of some assertions contained in your publications. For this purpose I have been delegated to contact you personally both in conversation and in writing so that the Congregation may have a clearer idea of the exact interpretation of these assertions. I wish to make clear from the very outset that not being a Roman Catholic you do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Congregation and that yours is not a personal censure. However, as many Catholics follow the “True Life in God” they too have a right to know where they stand regarding points of doctrine and practice prompted by your writings. We are also aware of your works of charity, your efforts to lead all Christians towards unity with the Bishop of Rome, of your great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, of your presentation of God as the God of Love even to non-Christians and of your antagonism to rationalism and corruption among Christians. Your latest books, too, seem to have laid aside some ambiguous expressions contained in your earlier ones. This notwithstanding I would be grateful if you can reply, as clearly as possible, to some questions to help the Congregation to obtain a clearer idea of what you are doing.

 

 

1. You know very well that, for both Catholics and Orthodox, there is only one Revelation, that of God in Jesus Christ, which is contained in the Holy Scriptures and in Tradition. Within the Catholic Church even accepted “private” revelations as in Lourdes or Fatima, although taken seriously, are not matters of faith. In which sense, therefore, do you consider your writings as revelations and how should they be accepted by your hearers and readers? 49.

 

2. You belong to the Orthodox Church and often exhort priests and bishops of that faith to acknowledge the Pope and to make peace with the Roman Church For this, unfortunately, you are not welcome in some countries of your own persuasion. Why do you take up this mission? What is your idea of the Bishop of Rome and how do you foresee the future of Christian unity? One sometimes gets the impression in reading your works, however, that you stand above both Churches without being committed to either. For example, it seems that you receive communion in both Catholic and Orthodox churches but in your marital status you follow the custom of oikonomia. As I have said already, these observations are not meant as a personal censure as we have absolutely no right to adjudicate your conscience, but you understand our concern about your Catholic followers who may interpret these attitudes in a relativistic manner and are tempted to disregard the discipline of their own Church.

 

3. In your earlier writings, as observed in the “Notificazione”, there was some confusion of terminology regarding the Persons of the Holy Trinity. We are sure that you subscribe to the teaching of your Church. Do you think you could help us to clarify these expressions? When dealing with matters of faith would it not be useful to follow the official terminology of standard catechisms to avoid confusion in the minds of the readers of “True Life in God”?

 

4. There are also some difficulties regarding protology and eschatology. In what sense does the soul have a “vision of God” before being infused into the body? And how do you envision the place of the New Pentecost within the history of salvation in relation to the parousia and the resurrection of the dead?

 

5. What is the real identity of the “True Life in God” movement and what does it require of its followers? How is it structured?

 

Dear Mrs. Ryden, we are sorry to disturb you with these questions and you may rest assured that we appreciate your good works and intentions. However, in answer to your letter to Cardinal Ratzinger, we felt it was our duty to clarify some ambiguities in your writings which might have escaped you. We owe this to your Catholic readers who might experience a conflict of conscience in following your writings. Please take your time to answer; it would be better if you and I could meet and have a few informal chats before you put anything in writing. Pray that the Holy Spirit may illuminate you, and consult any spiritual director or theologian you can trust. We are certain that our queries will also help you to understand the deeper implications of your writings to render them more acceptable to both Catholics and Orthodox. I shall personally be at your disposal to clarify their meaning.

His Eminence sends you his regards and trusts that you will provide a satisfactory answer to ease his task of complying with the requests in your letter.

Yours sincerely in Christ,


Fr Prospero Grech, OSA

 

Vassula Answers the
CDF
through
Fr. Prospero Grech

[See
http://torun.vassula.pl/pliki/doc/cdf.pdf
for more detail
along with reproduction of original documents]

 

Question 1. Relationship between TLIG and Revelation

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/q1a/

You know very well that, for both Catholics and Orthodox there is only one Revelation that of God in Jesus Christ, which is contained in the Holy Scriptures and in Tradition. Within the Catholic Church even accepted “private revelations” as in Lourdes or Fatima, although taken seriously, are not matters of faith. In which sense, therefore, do you define your writings as revelations and how should they be accepted by your hearers and readers?

 

I never had any lessons of catechism let alone theology, nor did I know of any theological nuances as the ones mentioned above at the beginning of my call and my conversion. I was taught these differences gradually as the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit proceeded. In the very beginning of this call, I was very confused and early, during the manifestation of my angel, this is what I said: “But I can’t understand. We have already the Bible, so why do we need messages?” My angel replied: “So you do feel that all has been given in the Bible?” I responded: “Yes. That is why I do not see the reason of all this. I mean nothing is new.” Then the angel said: “God wants these messages to be given.” I said: “Is there a special reason why me?” The angel responded: “No. God loves you all. These messages are just a reminder to remind you how your foundations begun” (07.08.1986).

A Protestant minister once said to me that there is no reason why God would want to speak to us now that we have the Holy Bible. Confused, I said to Christ: “Lord, there are some ministers who refuse to hear or believe that You can manifest Yourself like this, through me, they say that You, Jesus, have brought us all the truth and they need nothing else but the Holy Bible, in other words all these works are false.” The response of Christ was the following:

I have said to you all that the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. I am not giving you any new doctrine, I am only reminding you of the truth and leading those who wandered astray back to the complete truth. I, the Lord, will keep stirring you up with Reminders and My Holy Spirit, the Advocate, will always be among you as the Reminder of My Word. So do not be astonished when My Holy Spirit speaks to you – these reminders are given by My Grace to convert you and to remind you of My Ways (20.12.1988). 50.

 

Another passage 11 years later our Lord asked me to write the following:

All of these messages come from on high and are inspired by Me. They can profitably be used for teaching and for refuting error. They can be used for guiding the church into unity and for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy. They are given to you for a better explanation 1 to the Revelation 2 given to you. They are an inexhaustible source of amazing grace for you all to renew you (30.07.1999).

I believe that there is but one Revelation and I never said the contrary, nor do you find this in the writings. I do not expect the readers of TLIG to take the messages for more than Holy Scripture and I am sure that nothing in the TLIG books can induce all those who hear and read me to think in another way. In fact in my witnessing I quote all the time many passages from the Scriptures, sometimes even more than the messages themselves. Within the messages there is a clear and continuous insistence of focusing on the Holy Bible and of living by its truth. The writings are an actualisation and a reminder of the one and only Revelation in Christ, held in Scripture and Tradition, transmitted through the church; they are but an appeal to this Revelation. In fact, these writings never affected readers to take them above the Scriptures, but testimonies shed that they helped them to understand much better the Word of God. Yet, we know that God can remind us of His blessed Word when He knows it is necessary for the benefit of the church. Favours of this kind, for a favour it is, illumine or make manifest a truth already known, giving a better understanding of it.

One could ask then, why did God call someone so limited and unworthy, totally disinterested and ignorant in church matters, who never aspired for God, to receive a “reminder of His Word?” Are not the priests and theologians called to do the same? Yes, I believe they are, and I, in no way ever intended to compete with the priests and theologians that God has called to do their duty; yet, I do believe that God has called me unexpectedly by a direct action from His part.

I have recently learnt that the second Vatican Council has underlined how important it is that the laity contributes to spreading the Good News through the various gifts God bestows upon His Church. In Lumen Gentium, the Council clearly states that the laity participates in the prophetic office of Christ and that Christ “fulfils this office, not only by the hierarchy but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith (sensus fidei) and the grace of the word” (LG 35). Every lay-person, therefore, has a part to play in this service of the Gospel according to the charism God has given him or her and through those gifts he or she is at once the witness and the living instrument of the mission of the church itself, “according to the measure of Christ’s bestowal.”

In most Classic works of Catholic Fundamental Theology there is a distinction between Revelation as a concept of reflection (Revelation with capital R) and revelation as a concept of experience (revelation with minor r, often revelations in plural). When I speak of my humble experience as “revelation”, I speak of revelation with a minor “r” from the experiential point of view.

I do not speak of my experience as revelation from a doctrinal point of view in any way wanting to compete with Revelation. Just as with other “private revelations” or “prophetic revelations” my work adds nothing to the Deposit of Faith. On the contrary, God’s calling to me aims at pointing to the fullness of the truth of the Deposit of Faith, to enter more fully into and live by this truth.

The constitution Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council has made it clear that the Public Revelation is complete and perfect and that “no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord, Jesus Christ” (Dei Verbum 4). On the other hand, Dei Verbum also makes it clear that the people of God constantly needs to deepen the appreciation of this truth:

The Tradition that comes from the apostles makes progress in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts (cf. Lk. 2:19 and 51). It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth. Thus, as the centuries go by, the Church is always advancing towards the plenitude of divine truth, until eventually the words of God are fulfilled in her (Dei Verbum 8).

His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has said very explicitly on the relationship between Christian prophecy and Revelation that the thesis that prophecy should end with the completion of Revelation in Christ harbours misunderstandings. His position was phrased in an interview on Christian prophecy and again in a commentary to the disclosure of the Third Secret of Fatima. I allow myself to quote him directly from the interview:

The Revelation is essentially God who gives himself to us, who constructs history with us and who reunites us gathering us all together. It is the unfolding of an encounter that has also an inherent communicative dimension and a cognitive structure. This also carries implications for knowledge of the truth of Revelation. Understood in the proper way, the Revelation has attained its goal with Christ because – in those beautiful words of Saint John of the Cross – when God has spoken personally there is nothing more to add. Nothing more about the Logos can be said. He is among us in a complete way and God has nothing greater to give us, to say to us than Himself. But this very wholeness of God’s giving of himself – that is, that He, the Logos, is present in the flesh – also means that we must continue to penetrate this Mystery. This brings us back to the structure of hope. The coming of Christ is the beginning of an ever-deepening knowledge and of a gradual discovery of what, in the Logos, is being given. Thus, a new way is inaugurated of leading man into the whole truth, as Jesus puts it in the Gospel of John when he says that the Holy Spirit will come down. I believe that the pneumatological Christology of Jesus’ leave-taking discourse is very important to our theme given that Christ explains that his coming in the flesh was just a first step. The real coming will happen when Christ is no longer bound to a place or to a body locally limited but when he comes to all of us in the Spirit as the Risen One, so that entering into the truth may also acquire more and more profundity. It seems clear to me that – considering that the time of the church, that is, the time when Christ comes to us in Spirit is determined by this very pneumatological Christology – the prophetic element, as element of hope and appeal, cannot naturally be lacking or allowed to fade away (30 Giorni, January 1999). 51.

 

 

In the same manner, I do not claim in any way, a status or an authority of my writings coming close to Holy Scripture. The Holy Bible is inspired in an infallible way. I humbly believe that the Lord touched me to journey with Him through a direct action in my soul assisting me when called to write, but it is not inspiration in the same sense as Scripture is and the result is not infallibility, but this does not mean either that there should be doctrinal errors in my writings, which I am assured there are not.

In Fr. Marie-Eugène’s book I am a Daughter of the Church, he reminds us how God can adapt Himself to the soul:

God’s direct action, being thus grounded in the human of which it makes use, is marvelously adapted to the psychological life of the soul. This adaptation of God should be underlined as an important characteristic of His interventions. God, who consents to speak the language of human signs to give us His light, pushes condescendence to the point of adapting Himself to our temperaments and our particular needs in the choice of these signs, so as to reach us more surely. For a faith that has kept its purity and its simplicity, He will speak in a language of external brilliant signs that will make faith vibrate. For a faith that rationalism has rendered prudent and critical, He will have a more intellectual language. 3

Cardinal Ratzinger has said, “that being able to set oneself up as the word and image of interior contact with God, even in the case of authentic mysticism, always depends on the possibilities of the human soul and its limitations”. I thus experience the Word of God without effort, in other words, without me forcing anything, it just comes. I receive these communications (interior words) namely in two forms. Please note here that in no way I intend to say I know perfectly well how to express this phenomenon and how God can do such things, but this explanation below is the best I can do:

1. Through the intervention of interior words, namely locutions. The words I perceive are substantial ones, much clearer than were I to hear them through my ears. One single word alone may contain a world of meaning such as the understanding on its own could never put rapidly into human language. Any divine word or instruction given to teach me, will not be in the manner of school teaching, that perhaps due to limited time cannot be wholly explained all at once, or because of human frailty may be forgotten, or even not quite understood. But the divine instruction or the word given, will be given in such lapse of time and engraved in the mind in such a way that it will be difficult to forget. The light it spreads is so vast, just like a bright light that sheds far and wide, giving you a wealth of knowledge instantly more than just the word itself. The word given is like a wide river that breaks into other rivulets leading you everywhere and in different places but always coming from the one river. Any normal teaching in a school would have taken me months to learn. While I experience the words so strongly, I am equally aware that the written form and the way I should express the words still depends on my limited capacities of language and expression.

2. The second way I receive the words of God is through a light of understanding in my intellect without any utterance of speech. It is like God transmits His thought into mine. I would immediately know what God wants, or wishes to say. Then I have to write down this “non-expressed message” as well as I could by selecting my own words.

I have been told later here in Rome, that St. Bridget of Sweden had similar ways of writing down her messages.

Why the Lord chose this special form of writing down the messages to which He even seizes my hand? I really do not know. The Lord just told me when I asked him why: “Because I like it in this way”. So I do not know how this happens. I would like to point out though that theologians who are also expert graphologists and who have investigated the writings called them “hieratic”, describing many groundbreaking differences between the way I write and the so-called automatic writing. I have later come to know that known mystics such as Theresa of Avila experienced raptures of her body or sometimes part of her body. I believe this to be a mitigated form of rapture of my hand and trust that the Lord has his own purposes in this.


1 I heard at the same time the word “understanding”.
2 The Holy Bible
3 Fr. Marie-Eugène, O.C.D.. I am a daughter of the Church, Vol. II, Chicago, 1955. p. 283.

 

Question 2. My relationship as Orthodox Christian to the Roman Catholic Church.

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/q2a/

You belong to the Orthodox Church and often exhort priests and bishops of that faith to acknowledge the Pope and to make peace with the Roman Church. For this, unfortunately, you are not welcome in some countries of your own persuasion. Why do you take up this mission? What is your idea of the Bishop of Rome and how do you foresee the future of Christian unity? One sometimes gets the impression in reading your works, however, that you stand above both churches without being committed to either. For example, it seems that you receive communion in both catholic and orthodox churches, but in your marital status you follow the custom of oikonomia. As I have said already, these observations are not meant as a personal censure as we have absolutely no right to adjudicate your conscience, but you understand our concern about the Catholic followers who may interpret these attitudes in a relativistic manner and are tempted to disregard the disciplines of their own church.

 

Motivations for taking up this work of unity

I do not believe I would have ever had the courage or the zeal to face the Orthodoxy to bring them to understand the reconciliation our Lord desires from them if I had not experienced our Lord’s presence, neither would I have endured the oppositions, the criticisms and the persecutions being done on me by them. In the very beginning of God’s intervention I was totally confused and feared I was being deluded; this uncertainty was truly the biggest cross, since I never heard in my life before that God can indeed express Himself to people in our own times and had no one to ask about it. 52.

 

 

Because of this, I tried to fight it away, but the experience would not leave and later on, slowly, with time, I became reassured and confident that all of this was only God’s work, because I started to see God’s hand in it. This is why I stopped fearing to face opposition and criticism and have total confidence in our Lord, knowing that where I lack He will always fill, in spite of my insufficiency, and His works will end up always glorious.

Approaching the Orthodox priests, monks and bishops to acknowledge the Pope and to reconcile with sincerity with the Roman Church is not an easy task as our Lord says in one of the messages; it is like trying to swim in the opposite direction of a strong current, but after having seen how our Lord suffers in our division I could not refuse our Lord’s request when asked to carry this cross; therefore, I have accepted this mission, yet not without having gone through (and still going through) many fires.

You have asked: “Why do you take up this mission?” My answer is, because I was called by God, I believed and I answered Him; therefore, I want to do God’s will. One of Christ’s first words were: “Which house is more important, your house or My House?” I answered, “Your House Lord.” He said: “Revive My House, embellish My House and unite it.”

Some of the Greek Orthodox hierarchy totally reject me, first because they do not believe me 4 , secondly because I am a woman and thirdly because a woman should not speak. Some of the monks are suspicious of me saying that I am probably a Trojan horse sent and paid by the Pope, or that I am even a Uniate. Many do not want to hear of reconciliation or ecumenism. They consider it heresy if I pray with the Roman Catholics. That is where they see it as standing above both churches without being committed to either. I am full and wholly committed to my church but it is not heresy nor a sin if I live ecumenically and pray with other Christians to promote unity. The key to unity though, according to our Lord in the writings, is humility and love. Many of the people of the churches do not have this key yet. Many of the Greek Orthodox lay people but as well as the simple priest around the corner, up to the monk in a remote monastery would call the Roman Catholic Church to this day heretic and dangerous; they are taught to believe this since their birth and it is wrong. Yet, I believe that in their rigidity they can change through a metanoia and the power of the Holy Spirit who will make them bend and through the prayers of the faithful. In our gatherings we pray to God for this change of heart.

Nevertheless, it is not a question of them alone bending. Everyone must bend in humility and love. The people of each church should be willing to die to their ego and to their rigidity and then through this act of humility and obedience to the truth, Christ’s presence will be shining in them. I believe that through this act of humility, the churches’ past and present failures will be washed away and unity will be accomplished. I never lose hope to approach the Orthodox and this is why I always keep returning to them to give them my testimony. My testimony is given reminding them of our Lord’s words: “may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me,” (Jn 17:21). In this manner, despite the obstacles, a few ecumenical prayer groups were formed in Athens and in Rhodes with Orthodox priests included in them. All these prayer groups start by praying the Rosary, then other prayers. Nevertheless, it is not only rejection I get from the Orthodox hierarchy because of the reasons I mentioned above, but our Lord has provided me with a good number of Greek Orthodox clergy friends as well.

The Bishop of Rome

Our Lord gave me an interior vision of three iron bars symbolizing the three major Christian bodies, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant Christians, calling their heads to meet by bending, so that they meet, but to meet they have to bend. This passage speaks of the attitude that is needed to arrive at the unity the Lord has been longing for since his prayer to his Father – “that all may be one”. This passage of the TLIG messages does not pretend to speak of unity on an ontological level, indicating that there should be no differences in which extent the various Christian groups have retained the truth Christ conferred to his church. And it is not true I claim that this calling to humility amongst Christian brothers should imply a pan-Christian approach to unity and that unity should be advanced through a bargain of truth, (like a trader, selling and buying) leading to a leveling and a relativism of truth. On the contrary, I have often spoken on the importance of remaining faithful to the truth, and even more than my speaking, the message is nothing but a calling to live by the truth of the Gospel in the One Revelation of Christ, as expressed above. The writings contain many warnings against the contrary attitude, to the point of portraying a “false ecumenism” as a Trojan horse of introducing a lifeless image of Christ:

The figure daubed with assorted colours, this figure these traders are trying to make you revere to and follow is not me – it is an invention of perverted human skill to degrade the concept of My Holiness and My Divinity; it is a false ecumenism; it is a defiance of all that is holy. I suffer because of the sins of these traders (22.10.1990).

Many messages on unity keep together these two vital aspects of ecumenism: The spiritual attitude implying humility and love towards other Christians together with the un-compromised quest for the truth of Christ. One example is a passage where the Virgin Mary speaks of the fabrics of unity:

The Kingdom of God is not just words on the lips, the Kingdom of God is love, peace, unity and faith in the heart. It is the Lord’s Church united in One inside your heart. The Keys to Unity are: Love and Humility. Jesus never urged you to divide yourselves – this division in His Church was no desire of His (23.09.1991).

Further down in the same passage, Jesus speaks of the truth: “Always defend to death the truth. Scathed you shall be from time to time, but I shall allow it just enough to keep your soul pure and docile” (reiterated on 05.06.1992, 25.09.1997, 22.06.1998, etc.)

I have had a few meetings with Catholic clergy in the United States, Holland and Switzerland in particular who are very liberal and very much against the Pope. I had to defend the Chair of Peter and explain it to them as well as I could through powerful messages that came from Christ, showing them how confused their minds were. In the end many of these priests came to tell me how they appreciated these clarifications.

53.

 

 

I had one or two though who did not agree telling me that I am “more Catholic than the Catholics” Although there are many unity passages that regard the unity between the churches, there are also quite a number that especially are written for a lot of Catholic clergy who are rebelling against the Pope to bring them back to faithfulness to him. Here is one early example:

I the Lord do not want any divisions in My Church. You will, for My sake, unite and under My Name love Me, follow Me and bear witness for Me. You will love one another as I love you; you will unite and become one flock under one Shepherd 5. I have, as you all know, selected Peter – giving him the authority. I have, as you all know, given him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. I have asked Peter to feed My lambs and sheep – looking after them.6
This authority was given by Me. I have not desired you to alter My wish (19.03.1988)

Another message speaking of the future of unity puts it even clearer:

I will then place into Peter’s hand an iron sceptre with which he will guard My sheep, and for those who do not know and still ask themselves ‘why is it that we have to have a guide?’ I tell you this – “have you ever seen or known of any flock of sheep without a shepherd? I am your Heavenly Shepherd and I have chosen Peter to keep My lambs until My return. I have given him the responsibility, so why all these disputes, why all these futile arguments? And for all those who still do not know My words, I tell you to read them in the Scriptures – they are to be found in the testimony of John, My disciple 7. I will then unite My Church and encircle you with My arms into one fold for today; as it is you are all scattered, developing too many communities, split sections. My Body you have torn apart and this CANNOT BE. I will unite you all (16.05.1988).

Other messages speak of the Pope as the Vicar of Christ or the Vicar of the Church. Here is one example:

Pray for the whole Church. Be the incense of My Church and by this I mean that you pray for all those who are proclaiming My Word, from the Vicar who is representing Me to the apostles and prophets of your days, from the sacerdotal souls and religious souls to the laymen, so that they may be ready to understand that all of you whom I mentioned are part of One Body, My Body (10.01.1990). More references in 01.06.1989, 02.03.1990, 10.10.1990, 18.03.1991, 20.04.1993, 20.12.1993, 15.04.1996, 22.10.1996, 20.12.1996).

The writings contain no references to how the role of Peter will relate to the roles of the various patriarchal sees, and so I cannot speak about this. But I am aware that the Pope himself in the Encyclical “Ut unum sint” does open up for a discussion of this sort:

It is nonetheless significant and encouraging that the question of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome has now become a subject of study that is already under way or will be in the near future. It is likewise significant and encouraging that this question appears as an essential theme not only in the theological dialogues in which the Catholic Church is engaging with other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, but also more generally in the ecumenical movement as a whole. Recently the delegates to the Fifth World Assembly of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches, held in Santiago de Compostela, recommended that the Commission “begin a new study of the question of a universal ministry of Christian unity”. After centuries of bitter controversies, the other Churches and Ecclesial Communities are more and more taking a fresh look at this ministry of unity.8

The same encyclical confirms the necessity of East and West reuniting, allowing differences between the two communions while being in full communion:

In view of all this, the Catholic Church desires nothing less than full communion between East and West. She finds inspiration for this in the experience of the first millennium. In that period, indeed, “the development of different experiences of ecclesial life did not prevent Christians, through mutual relations, from continuing to feel certain that they were at home in any Church, because praise of the one Father, through Christ in the Holy Spirit, rose from them all, in a marvellous variety of languages and melodies; all were gathered together to celebrate the Eucharist, the heart and model for the community regarding not only spirituality and the moral life, but also the Church’s very structure, in the variety of ministries and services under the leadership of the Bishop, successor of the Apostles. The first Councils are an eloquent witness to this enduring unity in diversity”.9

Although the writings do not speak of structural issues regarding East and West, there are many references to the importance of the Eastern Church. Thereby, the un-compromised underlining of the importance of the role of Peter is paired in later messages by an insight that spiritual renewal very well could be inspired by the Eastern Church. Thereby it becomes even more evident why the Body of Christ needs to breathe with both its lungs – that of the western and eastern presence of the Church:

House of the West, you have realized, through the Light of My Spirit, that a body needs its two lungs to breath freely, and that My Body is imperfect with one lung; pray that My vivifying Spirit will join you together, but what have I to suffer before!
10
(27.11.1996)

And another similar message:

pray for the house of the east and the west to join together, like two hands when joined in prayer; a pair of hands, similar, and in beauty when joined together, pointing towards heaven, when in prayer. Let those two hands, belonging to the same body, work together and share their capacity and resources with each other… let those two hands lift Me together… (15.06.1995).

Another message speaks of the role of the East in bringing the two houses together again, unifying the Body of Christ:

Listen and write: glory will shine from the Eastern bank – that is why I say to the House of the West: turn your eyes towards the East. Do not weep bitterly over the Apostasy and the destruction of your House; do not panic, for tomorrow you will eat and drink together with My shoot from the Eastern bank – My Spirit will bring you together. Have you not heard that the East and West will be one kingdom? Have you not heard that I shall settle for one date?
11
54.

 

I am going to reach out My Hand and carve on a stick the words: West bank, House of Peter and all those who are loyal to him; then, on another stick I will carve: East bank, House of Paul, together with all those who are loyal to him. And when the members of the two Houses will say: “Lord, tell us what you mean now”, I will say to them: “I will take the stick on which I carved Paul’s name together with all those who are loyal to him and put the stick of Peter and his loyal ones, as one. I shall make one stick out of the two and I shall hold them as one; I shall bind them together with My New Name; this will be the bridge between the West and the East. My Holy Name will bind the bridge, so that you will exchange your possessions across this bridge – they will no longer practice alone, but together, and I shall reign over them all.

What I have planned shall happen, and should men say to you daughter that these signs are not from Me, tell them: “do not fear – have you not heard that He is the Sanctuary and the stumbling stone as well? The Rock that can bring down the two Houses but raise them up again as one single House?” (24.10.1994).

Again, this message takes nothing away from the role and authority of Peter, but it highlights the importance of having the eastern and western parts of the Body of Christ united so that the World may believe.

The Future of Christian Unity

Although the message confirms the primacy of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, known in both Orthodox and Catholic tradition, it does not speak of questions of jurisdiction. I believe I have not been called to speak on this issue and so I refrain from doing so in any way.

My calling is to confirm the Pope’s importance and defend his Chair against all those who tend to disobey him and rebel against him, while inspiring the construction and strengthening of the interior fabrics of unity. My primary approach to unity is that of unity through spirituality. The message is a calling for unity both intra nos and extra nos – a calling to strengthen the spiritual dynamics of unity both within the particular churches and between them.

I do not know what the future structures of the unified church will look like, as the Lord has chosen not to speak on this nor did He favour me to give me any light on this, but I believe it will come through spirituality; and I believe I have been granted a foretaste of the grace of that future unity in various ecumenical gatherings.

In March 2000, for instance, the Lord permitted our prayer groups to gather in his birthplace, Bethlehem. 450 people came from far and wide; yes, from more than 55 countries and from 12 different churches to an international meeting of prayer for peace and unity. We gathered as one single family. With us we had 75 clergy also from 12 different churches that came, but also other clergy from the Holy Land, who, hearing of this prayer meeting joined us as well. This ecumenical event was coordinated by some Jews and Palestinians who were touched by the writings of “True Life in God”. They believed in the redemption of Christ and of his saving plan in our days and volunteered to organize this meeting. When one knows how in our days, Palestinians and Jews are fighting against each other, their reconciliation is a sign of the power of the Holy Spirit who joined those two nations to work for a meeting for peace between the divided Christians. As Scriptures say: “Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness” (John 3:18). This is a lesson for all of us.

We lived and had a foretaste of what unity will be like one day between Christians. We had speeches given to us from clergy of different churches on unity. Their speech resounded like they came from one voice and one mind. We sensed the great desire of all of us being one, during their talks. We saw and we watched the thirst of the laity and the clergy, they have for unity. But we sensed at the same time the great external wounds our division has produced on the Mystical Body of Christ.

The majority of us are tired of this division, because it is not according to our Lord’s law of love. Christ is even more tired of seeing us divided. The cheers and acclamations of joy of all these nations who were bonded together, appealing for a complete unity among Christians exposed that this division is not only a sin but an anti-testimony as well. Yet, the biggest sin against unity is to have the dates of Easter separated. How good it will be when we all cry out together: “Christos Anesti” in one voice all in one day. We all say, “Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” Jesus Christ united us together by his Blood, so how can one deny this unity? “He is the peace between us, and has made the Gentile and the Jew into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actual destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law.” (Ep 2:14-15). How can we say “no” to God, if He wants us to unite? Could it be because our hearts have hardened? Have we forgotten the Holy Father’s words when he said: “The elements that unite us are far greater than those that divide us”? So we should take up those elements and use them to smoothen up the way to a complete unity.

The Holy Eucharist and eucharistic sharing

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church it is said with reference to St. Augustine regarding the Eucharist:

Before the greatness of this mystery [the Holy Eucharist] St Augustine exclaims: ‘O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!’ The more painful the experience of the divisions in the church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time of complete unity among all who believe in him may return (CCC 1398).

The Lord urges us to reconcile and reunite. As a well-known Catholic cardinal said recently to an Orthodox priest friend of mine from New York who attended the cardinal’s mass in Rome, so it is my conviction that it must be possible to obtain again that union around the Lord’s table between Catholics and Orthodox, as we share the same sacraments and have virtually the same faith, albeit clothed in different expressions of faith and worship. I have come to experience from the flaming love of Our Lord the depths of his desire for the perfect union of his Body and believe He is in pain over our lack of love and communion. Therefore, I have no bigger desire than to see his Body reunited and I am convinced that we, Christians, if we really love Jesus Christ, must do all that is in our power to work for the reconciliation of the separated members of Christ’s body. 55.

 

 

Meanwhile, I know this union will not come easy but only through a miracle of Our Lord. Although we must do all we can to advance unity, He has promised to give us that union that will be the Holy Spirit’s work for, as I once said back in 1992, it will come as sudden as the fall of the Berlin wall: “Mercy and Justice is working with such wonders as has never happened among many generations, and Unity shall come upon you like Dawn and as sudden as the fall of communism – it shall come from God and your nations shall name it the Great Miracle, the Blessed Day in your history” (10.01.1990).

The Church of Christ is one in the sense that Christ is one and only has one Holy Body. It is the people of the church who are divided. If Christians are able to go beyond the negative obstacles that separate them, obstacles that according to Scriptures are against the fulfilment of the unity of faith, love and worship among us, the Father will hear the prayer expressed already of his Divine Son, when he said: “may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me” (Jn 17: 27).

While waiting for this grace I follow as good I can the principles in the present state of affairs and am convinced not to infringe on the conscience of the members of any church. In the question, it says the following, “one sometimes gets the impression in reading your works, however, that you stand above both churches without being committed to either…” There is no ground in the written work to get the impression that I stand above both churches. As you write it, it seems that it is more on the practical level.

As to the way I practice my faith, I am an Orthodox and am committed fully to my church. Whenever there is an Orthodox church nearby I never fail to follow its Sunday Mass, unless of course there is none, like in Dhaka, Bangladesh where I lived. Just before coming to Rome, where I live now, I lived 11 years in Switzerland. Every Sunday I went to our Orthodox Church and the Greek priest of Lausanne, Fr. Alexander Iossifides is my witness as well as the faithful who were in the church and saw me regularly, unless of course I travelled. Abroad, during my travels when a program has been set-up for me to follow and give my witness, sometimes, and I would add, rather rarely, it could happen that the Catholic priests or Bishops of the place who invited me to speak, have programmed a public Holy Mass to follow in the same place where I spoke; I then remain with the people for the Mass as it is in the program and receive Holy Communion there.

Here in Rome I live out from the centre and quite far from my Greek Orthodox Church which is in the centre of Rome. There is a Slavic Orthodox church at the Tre Fontane, which I attended but I do not understand the language. And so I allow myself once in a while, since half of the time I am away, to receive Holy Communion in the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Divino Amore which is 3 km from my place. I believe the Second Vatican Council allows me to do this when, as reiterated in the Catechism of the Catholic church says: “a certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, “given suitable circumstances and the approval of church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged” (CCC 1399).

In the Decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II it states: “When Eastern Christians separated in good faith from the Catholic church, request of their own accord and are rightly disposed, they may be admitted to the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Anointing…”

The Catholic Code of Canon Law states:

Catholic Ministers may lawfully administer the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, and Anointing of the Sick to members of the Eastern (Oriental) churches which do not have full Communion with the Catholic church, if they ask on their own for the Sacraments and are properly disposed. This holds also for members of other churches, which in the judgement of the Apostolic See are in the same condition as the Oriental churches as far as the Sacraments are concerned (Canon 844.3).

Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter “Ut unum sint” continues these assertions with reference to Orientalium Ecclesiarum:

By reason of the very close sacramental bonds between the Catholic church and the Orthodox churches, the Decree on Eastern Catholic churches Orientalium Ecclesiarum has stated: “Pastoral experience clearly shows that with respect to our Eastern brethren there should and can be taken into consideration various circumstances affecting individuals, wherein the unity of the church is not jeopardized nor are intolerable risks involved, but in which salvation itself and the spiritual profit of souls are urgently at issue. Hence, in view of special circumstances of time, place and personage, the Catholic church has often adopted and now adopts a milder policy, offering to all the means of salvation and an example of charity among Christians through participation in the Sacraments and in other sacred functions and objects”.12

As to the relationship to the churches of the Reformation things are a bit more complex. Many people of Protestant upbringing who read TLIG became Catholics due to their free choice, mainly due to the issues around the Eucharist. Jesus does not speak in the messages of the validity of their sacraments, but he urges Protestants once again to love the Mother of Jesus and to recognize the role of Peter:

Vassula, the time has come to unite My Church. Come together again beloved, come and rebuild these ancient ruins; rebuild My old foundation, a foundation established by My own Hand. Honour My Mother as I, who am The Word, and above all honour her. Would I then not desire you, who are dust and ashes, recognize Her as Queen of Heaven – honouring Her? My grief of today is to see how little My creation know of Her importance. Most of My devoted ones who are under the name of Luther and who have isolated themselves entirely, must return to Peter (22.12.1987).

In another message, Christ reprimands those Christians who fail to see the greatness of the mystery of the Eucharist and Christ’s Divine Presence therein:

… so I tell those churches whose clergy have not accepted My Mystery: “come to your senses and seek Me earnestly. Master you resentment, as well, against My Mother. May every race know that My flesh and My blood come from My Mother. Yes, My Body comes from the most Holy Virgin, from pure blood; blessed be Her Name! To save all the humble of the earth who receive Me and to give them imperishable life I became Bread to give Myself to you; and through this Communion I sanctify all who receive Me, deifying them to become the flesh of My Flesh, the bones of My Bones (…)

56.

 

through My Divinity I deify men (…) now I am judged by men; the Garment 13 that can cover you, adorning you majestically, giving you a metamorphosis, divinizing you, is rejected by those churches who cannot comprehend My Mystery…today again I cry out from heaven: “Brothers, why are you undermining My Divinity? If you claim that you are the ones who know what is right, then why is your spirit plundering My Church? (…) I am inviting you to celebrate Mass and partake of the Divine Mystery in the manner I truly instituted (…) They affirm My might, proclaiming My fearful power, singing their praises to Me, acknowledging My Omnipotence and My mighty wonders, but I become a stumbling stone when it comes to measure the magnificence of My Divinity and of My Presence in the Eucharist (16.10.2000).

Marital Status

Further down in your question, you say about me receiving Holy Communion sometimes in the Roman Catholic church: “our concern about the Catholic followers who may interpret these attitudes in a relativistic manner and are tempted to disregard the disciplines of their own church.” If according to the Canon Law which I have quoted above proves that I am in total concordance with the Catholic Church’s canon Law, I see no reason for the Catholic people to react relativistically.

I am not in favour of divorce and am not seeking to promote the doctrine among Catholic Christians that remarriage of divorced people should be permitted. My divorce and civil remarriage was prior to my conversion. After my conversion under the light of the TLIG-messages I discovered that my marital situation was not regular. However, nobody knew about this situation except myself and it was again by myself that I deplored it publicly. I have denounced my own situation when in fact nobody knew anything about it. Having realized my mistake, I approached my church authorities in Lausanne and went through a process of having everything cleared according to Orthodox marital regulations. I am thus an Orthodox Christian at peace with my Church and its regulations as any other Orthodox Christian and as such am allowed to receive the Eucharist in my own Church and in the Catholic Church according to the principles mentioned above. I in no way disregard the marriage regulations of the Catholic Church. For your information, I attach my Marriage Certificate with this document (Attachment 1).


4 Although in our book of the doctrine of the Orthodox Church, Book I, published in 1997 by Mr. Trembelas, on p. 79 it reads: “Revelations are defined as an act taken by God by which He notifies His reasonable creatures about the mysteries of His existence, nature and will, according to their limited intellectual capacity?”
5 The Pope
6 John 21:15-17
7 John 21:15-17
8 Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint of the Holy Father John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism 89.
9 Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint of the Holy Father John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism 61, ref. to Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen (2 May 1995 ), 24: L’Osservatore Romano, 2-3 May 1995, 18: loc. cit., 4.
10 I understood at the same time “what have we to suffer before!” The “we” was meant for Pope John Paul II together with Jesus.
11 I understood that Christ was referring to all of His messages of unity, calling us all to unify the dates of Easter. This alone seems to “settle” Him and satisfy His thirst for unity. Christ promised us that if we unify the dates of Easter, He will do the rest.
12 Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint of the Holy Father John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism 58.
13 A symbolic name for Christ

 

Question 3. Confusion of terminology in regards to the persons in the Holy Trinity

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/q3a/

In your earlier writings, as observed in the Notification there was some confusion of terminology regarding the persons of the Holy Trinity. We are sure that you subscribe to the teaching of your church. Do you think you could help us clarify these expressions? When dealing with matters of faith would it not be useful to follow the official terminology of standard catechisms to avoid confusion in the mind of the readers of TLIG?

 

In view of this I would try my best to explain the dilemma of language, reminding you that I am not a theologian who could express herself in a technical manner or receive words from above in an official terminology. It is clear that our Lord has expressed Himself in the manner that I would understand by adapting Himself to reach me. He does not speak to me either in a scholastic theology, but then neither did He when on earth, when He said: “The Father and I are One,” (Jn 10:30) nor that of St. Paul when he wrote: “the Lord is the Spirit.” (II Cor 3:17) To Bernadette of Lourdes, Mary spoke in the local dialect, which was not good French. Even in the inspired books of Scripture, I have learnt that there is a noticeable difference between the refined Greek of St. Luke, and the simple language of St. Mark. St. Catherine of Siena, in her Dialogue, once explained: “You are my Creator, Eternal Trinity, and I am your creature. You have made of me a new creation in the blood of Your Son.” 14
To call Christ the Son of the Trinity sounds heterodox but we take this part as far as possible in a good sense?

So it is perfectly normal if Christ uses my level of vocabulary in the beginning rather than the language of a theologian. I sometimes expressed words out of my personal experience of God, and uttered what I had felt in the terms that come to me spontaneously without much critical reflection on how this will sound to others, or whether it might be misunderstood. To articulate divine mysteries was hard enough for me, even more of how one should express these divine mysteries that would be fitting with the traditional language. Theologians, on the contrary, use a vocabulary that has been carefully refined by many centuries of discussion. 57.

 

 

I do not know exactly which parts of the earlier writings the question is referring to, but I could imagine it deals with Christ being called “Father.” Christ is the Son of the Father. In these parts of the revelation the writings do not refer in an ontological or doctrinal way to the person of Christ. Rather, it is affectionate and paternal language, the same language, Jesus used to his disciples: “My children?” (Jn 13:33). Already Isaiah described the Messiah as the “Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Eternal Father (Is 9:5).

From the very beginning I never mixed up the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Christ’s presence (attitude) with me was with fatherly affection. When in a passage I called Jesus “Father” it was because of the fatherly way He spoke to me. It was like those instances when fathers are explaining and teaching certain things to their children with patience and love for their growth and development. Here is one example of Christ’s words: “Grow in spirit Vassula, grow, for your task is to deliver all the messages given by Me and My Father. Wisdom will instruct you.” I then answer: “Yes Father!” Jesus replies: “How beautiful to hear you call Me “Father”! I longed to hear from your lips this word: ‘Father'” (16.02.1987). In the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus it calls Jesus: “Father of the world to come.” The Sequence for the Mass of Pentecost names the Holy Spirit, “Father of the poor.” I chose St. Symeon, a theologian and saint very dear and important to my Orthodox tradition, in order to give you some more similarities. This is what he says: “For those who have been weaned, He (Christ) plays the role of a loving Father who watches over His children’s growth and development” (Theological Ethical Orations 4. 269-270).

Also, the critique may refer to one particular message in the beginning when the Lord wanted to teach me of the unity of the Holy Trinity. The message that might be questioned was: “I am the Father and the Son. Now do you understand? I am One, I am All in One” (02.03.1987). Here, our Lord wanted me to understand the perfect and ontological unity of the Most Holy Trinity; how the three divine Persons are undivided and so completely one in nature. Like St. Symeon said in his Hymn 45. 7-21: “Three in one and one in three? How could I have known, Lord, that I had such a God, Master and Protector, Father, Brother and King??” Gradually any non-official terminology was being crystallized with time so if anyone might have had any confusion it became clearer later on.

Remember how Pope Benedict XIV long ago took note of questionable passages in the writings of the Fathers of the church and the saints, and direct that:

What these have said should be taken, as far as possible, in a good sense? Obscure points in one text are to be explained otherwise by clearer texts? Seek the mind of the writer, not from a particular phrase, but from the whole context of the work; benevolence should be joined to severity; judgment about views one does not agree with should be made, not on the basis of one’s views but according to the probability of the doctrine (Constitution of introduction of the Index).

In one of the earliest messages, I tell how Jesus asked me to “design how the Holy Trinity is”. I describe having a vision of light. Then one light coming out, then another one, making three. Then I commented: “When the Son is in the Father, then they are one. The Holy Trinity is ONE and the same. They can be 3, but all 3 can be one. Result, One God.” This statement employs, I learnt, a metaphor that goes back to the Nicene Creed which declares that the Son came forth from the Father as “light from light”. This image has since become classic in Christian thought. For example Symeon the Theologian, writes of “the One who was in the beginning, before all ages, begotten of the Father, and with the Spirit, God and Word, triple in unity, but one light in the three” (Hymn 12, 14-18).

Sometimes God the Father speaks and it is obvious to any reader who knows the Scriptures that it is indeed the Father who speaks since He would mention words like, “My Son Jesus” etc. Then, it could happen later in the same day that Christ calls me to continue the message and speaks. Again, the reader who knows Scriptures would understand that it is Christ speaking because He would speak of His Wounds or Cross. As for the messages that would start e.g. with the Father, then later on continue with the Son, it would usually contain a reference saying, “later on”. If I did not put any reference to help the one who reads it was because it appeared to me so obvious from the words uttered who was actually speaking that I left them as they were. From the thousands of readers I never received a letter from anyone who asked for clarification on the subject and no-one came to tell me they were confused. Only two clergy in the United States read the message in the wrong way, publishing their views in newsletters over and over again, without ever meeting me.

In one passage in the True Life in God writings, Christ says: “I am the Trinity.” Here Christ identifies Himself with the divine nature of the Trinity that is One. Christ is one of the Trinity. Christ speaks as the divinity, since it is one in nature, communicated by each of the three persons.

In one of the passages of True Life in God it was Christ speaking: Be blessed My child, I, Your Holy Father love you. I am the Holy Trinity, then He added, You have discerned well. I discerned while Jesus was saying I am your Holy Father, a “triple” Jesus, like those fancy pictures of one person but made as though they are three, one coming out of the other, all similar and all three the same. “I am the Holy Trinity all in one” (11.04.1988) (Unique, undivided, one essence, one substance.) If one looks just at the initial statement attributed to Jesus, one might wonder if He is not identifying Himself with the Father and then with the entire Trinity. But when one reads on, it is clear He is not.

Christ was trying to teach me the oneness of the Holy Trinity, how the Three Persons are undivided and so completely one. The oneness of the Trinity comes out not primarily from the fact that the three persons are undivided (like inseparable friends!) but from the fact that each one of them possesses the same unique divine nature and are distinguished only by their mutual relations.

In another passage of the True Life in God, Christ teaches me how the Trinity is recognized in each of them as One and the same substance: “am I not Bountiful? Am I not the highest? So have confidence for you are in your Father’s Arms. I, the Holy Trinity am One and the Same (substance)?” (25.07.1989)

58.

 

 

In order to express this in the way of thinking of the tradition of the Orthodox Church, it may be useful again to turn to Basil Krivoscheine’s book on St Symeon. Here, the words are expressed in a better way than were I to express them. “God is beyond names. He is Trinity, yet the One and its Unity cannot be expressed” (p. 284). And from St. Symeon himself:

Whatever multifarious names we call You, You are one being? This one being is a nature in three hypostases, one Godhead, one God is a single Trinity, not three beings. And yet the One is three according to hypostases. They are connatural, the one to the other according to nature, entirely of the same power, the same essence, united without confusion in a manner that surpasses our understanding. In turn, they are distinct, separated without separation, three in one and one in three (Hymn 45. 7-21).

And in another passage of TLIG, Christ insists on Their Divine Oneness: “I-Am-He-Who-Saves, I am your Redeemer, I Am the Holy Trinity all in One, I Am the Spirit of Grace?” (28.07.1989)

Here Jesus was telling me that He is in the Father with the Spirit, likewise the Father and He are in the Spirit. He, the Son, is and remains co-eternal in the Father, with the Holy Spirit. We may remember Christ’s words: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4, 24). Of vital importance are also St. Paul’s words: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2. Cor. 3:17).

One will never find the Father separated from the Son or the Spirit, nor the Son separated from the Father and the Spirit, nor the Spirit excluded from the union with the one from whom He proceeds. Thus, the expression of: “I Am the Holy Trinity all in One,” and other expressions in the writing that are similar to this one. Likewise in another passage of TLIG, I specify: “The Son is in the Father. They are only one. The Holy Trinity is one and the same: three Person but a single God: one and three” (24.11.1987).

I would like to explain especially these two expressions that came often in the writings of True Life in God. Christ speaks: “be one as the Holy Trinity is One and the same” (10.10.1989). Or the other expression: “Pray that My Fold be one, as I and the Father are One and the same” (29.03.1989).

There is a very important factor here. When Christ uses the word “the same” it is different if one translates this word in Italian or French because the meaning changes, and I would like to point out that there have been weaknesses in translation, but I cannot be held responsible for this. In English (which is the original language of the writings) it does not mean “the same person” but it means “equal” in the sense of “the unity of essence,” “substance”.

Then there are passages when in turn the Holy Trinity speaks in one voice. But even so it is very clear. For example here is one passage: “Your terrified cries pierced through the heavens, reaching the Holy Trinity’s ears? My child!” The Father’s Voice, full of joy resounded through all Heaven. Then the Son said: “Ah? I shall now make her penetrate My Wounds and let her eat My Body and drink My Blood. I shall espouse her to Me and she will be Mine for eternity. I shall show her the Love I have for her and her lips from thereon shall thirst for Me and her heart shall be My Headrest.” The Holy Spirit said immediately after: “And I, the Holy Spirit, shall descend upon her to reveal to her the truth and the depths of Us. I shall remind the world through her, that the greatest of all the gifts is love.” And then the Holy Trinity spoke in one voice: “Let Us then celebrate! Let all Heaven celebrate!” (22.12.1990)

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, its oneness combined with the distinct traits of each of the three persons and the relationship between them, is one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian Faith. However, the fact that the Trinity is such an infinite mystery should not make us shrink back from praising its marvels and avoid talking of it, although human language never will be able to express the beauty and immensity of the One but Triune. For the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is so central to our faith that it stands above and sheds light upon all the other mysteries of faith. This has been pointed out again most clearly in The Cathechism of the Catholic Church:

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith.” 15 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin” 16 (CCC 234).


14 St. Catherine of Siena’s Dialogo della Divina Providenza, no. 167. This passage is cited by the Roman Breviary in the second reading for April 29th.
15 General Catechetical Directory 43.
16 General Catechetical Directory 47.

 

Question 4. Protology and Eschatology

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/q4a/

There are also some difficulties regarding protology and eschatology. In what sense does the soul have a “vision of God” before being infused into the body and how do you envision of the new Pentecost within the history of salvation in relation to the parousia and the resurrection of the dead?

 

Protology: I do not believe in any form of reincarnation. On the contrary, my writings speak against reincarnation and New Age: “These doctrines of Satan teach you to believe in reincarnation, whereas there is no reincarnation; they keep up the outward appearance of religion but have rejected the inner power of it – the Holy Spirit and the Holy Communion” (19.04.1992). The passage that you are referring to might be the following:

59.

 

Then, in the midst of this dazzling Light, your soul will see what they had once seen in that fraction of a second, that very moment of your creation? They will see He who held you first in His Hands, the Eyes that saw you first, they will see the Hands of He who shaped you and blessed you? They will see the Most Tender Father, your Creator? (15.9.1991)

The passage is one of poetic and mystical language. What is being said here is in no way the pre-existence of the soul. Rather it speaks of how God blesses and loves any soul from the very instant of its creation. I believe we are created in the image of God and have His imprint in the depth of our souls wherefore humans have a natural longing for their Creator, which only He can satisfy, as Saint Augustine says: “The heart was made for God; neither can it rest until it rests in God.” The important thing I intended to communicate through that sentence is: We carry the image of God in the depth of our being from the moment of our conception.

Eschatology: It has been said that I advocate a wrong kind of millenarianism, wanting to establish a new order, a material “New Heavens and New Earth” before the Second Coming of Christ. This is wrong and can be nowhere found in the messages. I am well aware that the Catholic Church has condemned such kind of millenarianism as written in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the ‘intrinsically perverse’ political form of secular messianism (CCC 676).

There are many passages with terms such as: New Heavens and a New Earth as well as a Second Pentecost, or sometimes with the term of New Pentecost, in the True Life in God writings, but they are to be understood metaphorically. The realization of these words is not to be found in a break with this regular history of ours before the Second Coming establishing a second economy of history. The words express the supreme hope that Christ will renew us from within in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a revival of faith and a renewal of the church that we so much yearn for. And the fruit we hope from this renewal is the healing of the schism in the Body of Christ. Already Pope John XXIII envisioned such a renewal when he prayed for a Second Pentecost: “O divine Spirit…renew in our own days your miracles as of a second Pentecost.” And also our present Pope John Paul II has used the term on several occasions, as in a letter to the Most Reverend Father Joseph Chalmers, Prior General of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, 08.09.2001: “I invoke an abundance of divine grace on you. Just like a second Pentecost, may the Holy Spirit descend on you and illuminate you so that you may discover the will of your heavenly and merciful father. In this way you will be able to speak to men and women in forms which are familiar to them and efficient” (cf. Acts 2:1-13)

Likewise, my writings speak in metaphorical language of a revival of faith, so that the Lord is able to erect his Throne and build his kingdom in our souls: “Come and learn: the New Heavens and the New Earth will be when I will set My Throne in you, for I will give water from the well of Life free to anybody who is thirsty” (03.04.1995, ref. to Apocalypse 21:6)

I believe the renewal promised to us has already started and it is through grace only that the Mercy of God is upon us to pour out His Spirit on all mankind like never before in history and its growth will continue as grace in our days shines on us like the rays of the sun to heal us.

The Lord favoured me to show me the state of the faith of the Christians in our times. It was deplorable and that is the least one could say. Many of the messages are filled with grief describing the apostasy that has fallen on the Christian world. But the Lord gives us hope, by sharing with us that there will be (there is) a renewal, a transfiguration and a revival by the action of the Holy Spirit. A thirst of God will be given by grace through the Holy Spirit. Here are some extracts: “My Holy Spirit shall lift you out of your great apostasy, to wed you; your era’s wretchedness shall peel off you because with My Own Hand I shall unwrap your death shroud to clothe you in the garments of your wedding?” (20.10.1990). “I shall make the whole creation new, I shall renew you all with my Holy Spirit.” (27.6.1991)

My writings do not speak about when this will happen or to what an extent the Lord will be able to build his kingdom as we all hope and pray for when we pray the Lord’s prayer: “Thy Kingdom come”. I believe it has already begun inside us, and its growth will always include our collaboration and good will. I believe that a renewal has already started but it comes slowly like the tide in the sea that no one can stop.

The New Pentecost or Second Pentecost is the hope of our renewal. It is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will renew the creation. In the True Life in God it is compared to Apocalypse 21. Here is a passage:

Come and learn: the new heavens and the new earth will be when I will set my throne in you for I will give water from the well of life free to anybody who is thirsty. Allow my Holy Spirit then to draw you into my kingdom and into eternal life. Let evil win no more power over you to die? Allow my Holy Spirit to cultivate your soil and make a terrestrial Eden in you. Let My Holy Spirit make a new earth to prosper in your soil so that your first earth, that was the devil’s property, wears away. Then once again My glory will shine in you and all the divine seeds sown in you by My Holy Spirit will sprout and grow in my divine light (…) so allow My Holy Spirit to turn your soul into another paradise, a new earth where We (the Trinity) will make our home in you?

(My question) What about the new heavens?

The new heavens? They too will be inside you when my Holy Spirit will govern you in holiness. My Holy Spirit will shine in your darkness like a splendid sun in the sky, because the Word will be given to you to express thoughts and speech as I would wish you to think and speak. Everything expressed will be in accordance to My Image and thought, everything you will do will be to our likeness because the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you. And your new universe will march with my Holy Spirit to conquer the rest of the stars (symbolic for people) for My Glory and those who had not observed My Law and were fully drawn away like a passing shadow into darkness, never knowing the hope and holiness I was reserving for your times. 60.

 

 

The new heavens will be when my Holy Spirit will be poured out to you all from above from the highest heaven. Yes, I will send My Spirit in you to make a heaven out of your soul, so that in this new heaven I may be glorified thrice? and as the paths of those who received My Holy Spirit will be straightened so will their darkness and gloom too be enlightened and restored into blazing stars illuminating their darkness for ever and ever. Soon, this earth and heaven will disappear because the radiant glory of My Throne will shine in you all (03.04.1995).

As you may see, this is all symbolic imagery language as well as poetic to describe a renewal, or a new Pentecost. I had been explaining to the people that they should never wait from God sensational events because God rather works in a discreet way, although His language can be expressive and powerful. Many events, like a new Pentecost, should not be expected as visible flames above our heads or the like. When God is in action He does it in such a smooth and discreet way that many who expected sensational events would not even notice them immediately.

 

Question 5. TLIG as movement?

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/q5a/

What is the real identity of the TLIG movement and what does it require of its followers? How is it structured?

 

True Life in God is not a movement but an apostolic call

True Life in God is not a movement, nor has it got an office. It is simply a calling for reconciliation and unity for everybody, no matter who they are. The calling does not apply only to Christians, but it has drawn inside it non-Christians as well to become Christians. After reading the inspired writings of True Life in God, several Jews, Moslems, Buddhists and Hindus have been baptized, although its spirituality is a Trinitarian contemplative spirituality and totally imbued in Christianity. Christ had prayed to the Father for this and said: “I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me.” (Jn 17:20) So through grace, God is opening many doors. For instance, from the very beginning I was told that this apostolic work would happen.

God will give you his peace and His strength when the time comes to show the messages. God will want you to give the messages to everyone… (My angel speaking 06.08.1986) You need not fear. You will be working for Jesus Christ. You will be helping others to grow spiritually… (My angel 07.08.1986) When you will be filled with My Holy Spirit you will be able to guide others to Me and you shall multiply… (Jesus speaking 05.09.1986) By calling you in this way I mean to conduct others too, for all those who abandoned Me and do not hear Me, because of these reasons this call is in written form… (The Father 18.11.1986)

The Hiroshima Buddhist monks too got to know of the messages and invited me to speak in their temple. The Catholic Bishop was there as well. It was the memorial day of the atomic bomb. They were presented with a totally Christian message; then I offered them, an enormous Rosary to hang on the wall for their meditation and a statue of our Lady of Fatima which they placed in their yard.

Jews who read the True Life in God messages, asked for baptism and one of them translated the first volume of True Life in God in Hebrew. It is now at the publishers to be published. They all live in Israel.

Recently, Bangladesh wanted me to address the people in Dhaka in an open field. They invited an Imam from the mosque who accepted their invitation to open the meeting with a prayer and many Moslems were there. There were Hindus and Buddhist representatives and Catholic priests as well. The message again was totally Christian (taken from the inspired writings of True Life in God). The central and essential message that I gave was to reveal God as Love, to make peace with God and neighbour, to reconcile and to learn to respect one another. After the meeting was over though, two Moslem men wanted to become Christians and get baptized. “I want all the nations to hear My Words. I will instruct you and tell you the way to go…” (10.01.1987)

Contemplative teachings

The inspired writings teach the readers to know God and understand Him. Many people believe in God but do not know God, so it encourages us to have an intimate relationship with God, which leads us to unitive life with Him. United thus through the Holy Spirit, in Christ, the faithful are bidden to live one and the same life, the Christ-life.

Scriptures say: Let the sage boast no more of his wisdom, nor the valiant of his valour, nor the rich man of his riches! But if anyone wants to boast, let him boast of this: of understanding and knowing me. (Jeremiah 9:22-23)

Formation of prayer groups

The writings of “True Life in God” teach us to practice the simple prayer of the heart and to turn our lives into an unceasing prayer, which is to live perpetually in God and God in us. But it has a strong call to forming prayer groups as well, all around the world. Since people in over 60 countries arranged meetings that I testify, in all these countries now prayer groups have been formed. There are several in each country. For instance, in France, there are 48 ecumenical prayer groups inspired by the spirituality of True Life in God. In Brazil which is a bigger country, there are more than 300 ecumenical prayer groups. Every prayer group, whether the Christians are Orthodox or Lutherans or Anglicans or Baptists, they all start with the Rosary together.

“How I long for this day! The day when I will send you to all mankind, they will learn to love Me and understand me more; Wisdom will share her resources with all mankind…” (Jesus speaking 25.01.1987)

Faithfulness to the teachings of the church stimulated

In reading the writings one learns how to remain faithful to the church. I tell people, “even if they throw you out of the church, climb from the window but never leave the church.” 61.

 

They teach us to visit the Blessed Sacrament and be with Jesus in adoration. They teach us to follow the Sacraments of the church and to keep the Tradition, to learn self-denial, penance, fasting and practice especially the Sacrament of confession. They draw us to be eager to attend Holy Mass if possible daily. They explain to us the importance of the Eucharist.

“Through this Communion I sanctify all who receive Me, deifying them to become the flesh of My flesh, the bone of My bone. By partaking Me, I who am divine, you and I become one single body, spiritually united; we become kin, for I can turn you into gods by participation. Through My divinity I deify men…” (Jesus speaking 16.10.2000)
Activities: Charity houses run by the readers

Back in 1997, after I had been given by grace a vision of our Blessed Mother, while standing outside the Nativity Place in Bethlehem, I heard her say that spiritual food does not suffice, but that one has to think of the poor and nourish them as well. So immediately when I announced this to our prayer groups, many volunteered to assist me in opening charity houses to feed the poor. They are called “Beth Myriams”. There is one in Bangladesh, four in Venezuela, three in Brazil, two in the Philippines, one orphanage in Kenya and soon one will open in Puerto Rico, one in India, one in Romania and one orphanage in Ukraine. I am enclosing some information on this (Attachment 2). All the work done is on volunteer basis. The Beth Myriams are functioning only by donations. They are all local initiatives, local houses without any structure linking them. They are self-supported and the same people (the prayer groups) are the ones who run them and take the task to serve the poor themselves. They are progressing not only to feed the poor, but to give them as well medical services, clothes and education for the children. Lastly, they are run in a constant spirit of prayer, and they are always ecumenical in nature.

Establish our Beth Myriams everywhere you can. Lift the oppressed and help the orphan, protect Me, rescue Me from the gutter, shelter Me and feed Me, unload my burden and fatigue, support me and encourage me; all that you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me… I bless the supporters of My life, may they remain virtuous and all-loving, I am with you… (Jesus speaking 27.03.2002)

Calling to evangelisation

Some of the readers of True Life in God who were touched feel that they can become witnesses across the world to contribute to spread the Good News. Having become the docile instruments of the Holy Spirit who provides them with the grace of the word and the sense of the faith, they are capable now to go and witness around the world inviting people to a life of prayer and teaching them to form prayer groups. The aim is to bring them to change their lives and live their life as an unceasing prayer. A few from the prayer group in Dhaka go out in the villages (to Moslems) and read out to them the messages. Many believe and want to become Christians.

“I want to make out of each one a Living Torch of Love’s Furnace. Honour Me now and evangelize with love, for love” (Jesus speaking 27.01.1989).

Devotion to the Virgin Mary

True Life in God brings us to become the child of the Mother of God since Her Immaculate Heart is never separated from the Sacred Heart of Jesus but is in perfect union with His. Our Mother is our support and we know it. Anyone who joins the prayer groups, may they be Protestants, Calvinists or others, all are taught to honour our Lady, our saints, and pray to them.

“Have you not noticed how My Heart melts and favours always Her Heart? How can this Heart who bore your King be denied anything She asks from Me? All the faithful bless Her Heart for in blessing Her Heart you will be blessing Me” (Jesus speaking 25.03.1996).

True Life in God Associations

If in some countries there are Associations of TLIG it is for legal purposes only, in connection with supporting this work of evangelisation and publishing the books. If we have founded associations in certain countries it was just to obey to local laws. Just to mention one example: opening a post office box in connection with the name of TLIG. But I have never thought of forming a movement. The books are translated in 38 languages and I have received no royalties from any except from PARVIS publication as the editor said it is in his rules. This money goes for the charity works, for covering costs for books and for travel expenses to witness in third world countries that do not have the means.

Other activities

Every two years, volunteers of the prayer groups volunteer to help me put up an international symposium on ecumenism. At the same time we have it as a pilgrimage. Till now four of these have been done. The largest we had was in the year 2000 in the Holy Land (while the Holy Father was there), where 450 people came from 58 countries. There were with us 75 clergy from 12 different churches. This year we are trying to do it in Egypt.

All in all, I love the House of the Lord and above all I love God. I am in debt to Him for the graces that He has given me. He once told me: “I have given you freely, so freely give.” So this is what I am trying to do; I transmit His Words freely to whosoever wants to listen.

I thank you again for allowing me to shed light on the questions with regard to my writings and my activities. On the web-site http://www.tlig.org you will find more information. I kindly ask you to greet from my part H.E. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, H.E. Mons. Tarcisio Bertone and Mons. Gianfranco Girotti, as well as Their Excellencies from the Consulta of the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith, thanking them again for granting me this occasion of explaining my work. I hope I have done this in the expected way. I am but willing to answer orally or in written form to any more questions you may have. And I am ready to accept any suggestions you might make to clarify certain expression contained in the TLIG books. If necessary I can add such clarifications in the new editions of my books. With this, I send my heartfelt compliments and most cordial wishes and greetings, Yours sincerely in Christ,


Vassula Rydén 62.

 

 

THE COVERING LETTER FOR VASSULA RYDEN‘S ANSWERS TO THE CDF‘S FIVE QUESTIONS

Vassula Answers the
CDF
through
Fr. Prospero Grech

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/grechanswr/

 

Vassula’s introduction letter to Fr. Prospero

Rome, 26.06.02

Most Reverend Fr. Prospero Grech
Collegio Sta Monica
Rome

Re: Answer of Vassula Rydén to letter of Father Prospero Grech written on behalf of H.E. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, dated 4th April 2002.

Dear Fr. Prospero Grech,

First of all, I wish to thank you for granting me the opportunity of responding to the questions you have to my writings and my activity, expressed most respectfully in your letter of 4th April 2002, and that reiterate the points of critique contained in the “Notification” of 1995.

I am aware of the task and responsibility assigned to your most holy congregation of “trying the spirits” (1. Jn 4:1). I have somewhat realized, during these years, the complexity of this task of discernment and how delicate it is, as I myself have met along my way many people who approached me claiming they had divine experiences as well, which they wanted to mingle with mine. For prudence and for reasons of responsibility I have made it a principle not to notice any of them. Therefore, I do appreciate the importance of your work of protecting the faithful from any harm and keeping the faith pure from unauthentic experiences, but equally to safeguard the true charisms that could benefit the church.

I am also grateful to you that you are giving me the opportunity to clarify and shed light on certain expressions that might appear unclear as they are written in imagery and poetic or symbolic style. I am equally aware that my speaking to Catholic Christians though being Greek Orthodox is unusual, but rather than seeing it as disorder, I humbly desire this to be my small contribution to the healing of the dissentions between Christian brethren. And so, I will respond the best I can to the questions you have deigned to present to me in complete honesty and lucidity, assured equally of your generosity, good will and comprehension towards my limitations in expressing the full panorama contained in the 12 volumes of the books entitled True Life in God (TLIG).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

63.

 

UPDATE

A LETTER FROM THE CDF TO VASSULA RYDEN WHICH HAS BEEN MISUSED BY TLIG

From Fr. Joseph Augustine DiNoia

Under-Secretary to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith


TRANSLATION

CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI
10 July 2004

Prot N. 54/92-19631

Dear Mrs. Vassula Rydén,

With reference to the preoccupations expressed to this Congregation in your letter of the 4 June 2004, I take the opportunity to inform you that this Congregation has addressed to some Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences the letter of which I enclose a copy (see attached).

In informing you of the above and in union of prayer, I take the opportunity to send you my most respectful greetings.

Yours faithfully

(Signed)

P. Joseph Augustine DiNoia, O.P.
Under-Secretary

(With attachment)


Mrs. Vassula Rydén
Via Fosso della Castelluccia, 45/B
00134 Roma

 

Maria Laura Pio, a Swiss critic of Vassula Ryden‘s “messages” wrote [see pages 7 and 8]:

Text of the July 2004 Letter signed by Card. Ratzinger, addressed to the 5 Episcopal Conferences of Switzerland, Uruguay, France, Canada and the Philippines

http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/Monsour2006.htm

Shortly afterwards, the text of the July 2004 letter was sent to me by a person who had obtained a copy of it.

As the Swiss Bishops indicated above, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) does not indicate that it has modified nor intends to modify its position. In fact, the CDF refers to the 1995 Notification and mentions the dialogue it had with Mrs. Ryden
at her request, which concluded with the publication in the latest TLIG book of her letter of April 2002, containing clarifications regarding several points mentioned in the Notification.

Cardinal Ratzinger refers to these clarifications as “useful”, but apparently not satisfying  or thorough enough to modify the CDF’s general position regarding the TLIG writings (not to be considered as of divine origin), nor the instructions given to Bishops in order to avoid the diffusion of the messages in their dioceses.

The second paragraph of the letter is a reminder that the Catholic faithful, even when participating in ecumenical prayer groups, have to follow the dispositions of the Diocesan Bishops. (The instructions for Bishops regarding the activities of Mrs. Ryden are indicated in the 1995 Notification)  64.

 

I copy hereunder the text in English of the July 2004 letter as it has been published by the TLIG association (click here to see the image of the original in Italian*): [See page 3 where I have already copied it -Michael] *My comment on page 7

[Text of Cardinal Ratzinger’s Letter]

We would also wish to add that it was never the intention of the CDF to make the above letter public. This was indicated to us by the Conference of Swiss Bishops (see above), who refers to the letter as an “internal correspondence”. Moreover, when Vassula received a copy of the July 2004 letter, it was accompanied by a letter signed by the Under Secretary of the CDF Fr. De Noia, in which he indicated that he was sending her a copy of the letter for her information.

The use that the TLIG association is making of the correspondence with the CDF, presenting it as a reversal of the Church’s position regarding Mrs. Ryden’s writings, is clearly abusive.

Thank you for passing on this information to whoever reads the TLIG messages.

Maria Laura Pio, Switzerland 15/03/2005

 

VASSULA RYDEN ATTACKS THE 2007 LETTER [SEE PAGE 4] FROM THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, CARDINAL LEVADA

To TLIG readers worldwide: Response to Cardinal Levada’s letter of January 2007

This message was sent from TLIG e-news to … … It was sent from: TLIG, 1 rue des Vollandes, Geneva, CP 6293 1211, Switzerland. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

To update/change your account click here.

By Vassula Ryden

[Also at http://web.archive.org/web/20100117232012/http://www.infovassula.ch/tliglevada.htm]  

Dear friends,
Recently the new prefect of the CDF in Rome , H.E. William Cardinal Levada, has sent a letter dated January 25th 2007, to Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and Presidents of Bishops Conferences worldwide. This stirred considerable unrest amongst our readers, especially those of Roman Catholic faith. I attach his letter for you to be fully informed.
I am sorry that once again there is much confusion, and thank you for the many letters of support and prayer for the continuing propagation of the TLIG messages. I am writing to clarify this confusion and to sharpen your memories.  

The letter is confusing and contradicts itself. At one moment it sounds negative and at another favorable! It appears to have been composed in a rush since it contains several errors and misinformation. I have written to his Eminence and asked him to kindly correct those errors, but I have not yet received a response from him.

The conclusion to my dialogue with the CDF was positive. This positive conclusion was to be held “low key”, and hence there would not be a new Notification to eliminate the old one. However, as Card. Ratzinger said, the situation had now been modified in the sense that the messages should now be read in the light of my clarifications. For exactly this reason, Cardinal Ratzinger formally requested of me that my dialogue with the CDF be published in the new editions of my books, a request I heeded when the dialogue was published in the latest Volume, Volume 12, and subsequent new editions of the messages. All this is contained in the points 1 and 2 of Card. Levada’s letter and this is positive.  

Thus, point 3 in the letter remains ever more surprising since Cardinal Levada uses this positive conclusion to produce a negative statement, i.e. that Catholics are not advised to participate in TLIG prayer groups. More seriously, the negative recommendation in this third point was published without further consultation with me and contrary to the normal canonical procedures, namely that any person accused should be heard before being accused:
[underlining Vassula’s] 

“Before issuing an individual decree an authority should seek out the necessary information and proofs, and also hear those whose rights can be injured, in so far as this is possible” (Canon 50). Although I had written to the CDF that I was prepared to continue in dialogue if they might have any further questions, I did not receive any reply, nor was I called in to any conversation, which would have been only right since I had engaged in dialogue with them, trusting them and entrusting myself to them! I furthermore wrote that I would be willing to make clarifications in footnotes to the messages if they believed anything needed clarification. I was not asked to make any such comments to the messages which is one more confirmation that the outcome of the dialogue was positive. 

With the new conclusion in Cardinal Levada’s letter he is thus rejecting the study and the dialogue that the then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope), and Cardinal Bertone (now Secretary of State) had with me during a period of two and a half years, during which time many inspectors, theologians, Bishops and Cardinals, after study, had to give their final opinion as well and that, as you all know, was positive.   65.

 

The letter refers the reader to two canons: Canon 215 and 223.

Can.215 The Christian faithful are at liberty freely to found and direct associations for purposes of charity or piety or for the promotion of the Christian vocation in the world and to hold meetings for the common of these purposes.  

Can.223§ 1 In exercising their rights, the Christian faithful, both as individuals and gathered together in associations, must take into account the common good of the Church, the rights of others, and their own duties toward others

These canons confirm that the Catholic faithful are free to form and gather in prayer groups. How is it then that such canons are quoted to say that it is not advisable to participate in TLIG prayer groups?  

Furthermore, the letter contains three grave errors.

1. The gravest damage is caused by a false statement in the Cardinal’s letter. He states and puts into my mouth words I never said, and these words are: “that the messages are not divine revelations but my own personal meditations!” This is NOT TRUE! I never said anything of the sort, ever! This is a very serious and fundamental error. I am reluctant to believe that this misrepresentation was deliberate, rather than due to negligence, but the effect is the same. A false statement has been published to the Bishops and indeed the world.

2. In clause no. 2 of the letter, the faithful are guided to read my dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in vol. 10, instead of in vol. 12. This is an unfortunate mistake that can, nevertheless, be corrected. There is nothing in vol. 10 of the said dialogue. If it is not corrected the Catholic faithful will be unable to look for themselves and read my letter with the answers.
 

3. In that same clause, no. 2, the letter writes about “my letter” dated 4 April 2002. However, it was Fr. Prospero Grech’s letter that was dated 4 April 2002. My replies were published in my letter of 26 June 2002. This also confuses the faithful.  

Last May I wrote to Cardinal Levada about these serious errors, giving copies to the Holy Father, and several Bishops and Cardinals. I received, almost immediately, a letter of acknowledgment from Cardinal Bertone, (probably very disappointed at seeing his work belittled). Fr. Prospero replied saying: “I thought the matter was closed and would not turn up again”. Obviously, the Bishops writing to the CDF wanted a clear answer, a “yes” or a “no”, regarding the Notification. Cardinal Levada’s letter is not a clear “NO” either. As I understand it, it does not prohibit the faithful, it discourages, on the basis of some doubts the Notification might contain.  

Recently, I also received an answer from Archbishop Angelo Amato who is the Secretary of Cardinal Levada. His short note says, that Cardinal Levada’s letter was expressly written with the purpose of informing all the Catholic Bishops of the dialogue, (which as you know was positive) that took place between me and the CDF so that they might know how to direct the Bishops as to how they should compose themselves. He has not mentioned anything else contained in the rest of the letter and avoids the question of the errors in the document.  

In the letter of Card. Levada, his Eminence tells his faithful that to gather and pray in TLIG prayer meetings is “inappropriate”. Are we really serious? Are we now to believe that prayer is harmful and therefore inappropriate, and against what the Church teaches us?? Well, I do not believe that! Nor does God, nor any sensible believer because it is NOT an act done against God and against God’s Will, or against the Church to turn to God in prayer and adoration, but the contrary!  

In October 1978 the late Holy Father John Paul II, speaking to a delegation from other Christian Churches stated, “The commitment of the Catholic Church to the Ecumenical movement such as was solemnly expressed in the Second Vatican Council, is irreversible”.  

Five years later, the Holy Father promulgated the Code of Canon Law which promotes Ecumenism.  One of its provisions is very clear: “It is within the special competence of the entire College of Bishops and of the Apostolic See to promote and direct the participation of Catholics in the Ecumenical Movement whose purpose is the restoration of unity among all Christians, which the Church is bound by the will of Christ to promote”.
You will see that this special task, to ensure that Catholics participate in the Ecumenical movement, is given to the highest authorities of the church, including the Congregation for Doctrine and Faith.  This obligation is imposed by the strongest possible mandate which is the will of Christ himself.  As you all know, the essential theme of the TLIG messages is the restoration of unity among all Christians.
No Catholic should be discouraged from gathering in prayer groups in the pursuit of their ecumenical rights and indeed duties that form the entirety of the meetings, when the recitation of the Holy Rosary, the reading of the Scriptures, the prayers of the heart and the making of intercessory prayers are the essence of these prayer meetings. To discourage people from attending prayer meetings is truly against God’s Will and it remains utterly incomprehensible how a Prelate of the Church can go against Christ’s urge to his disciples: “That we should pray at all times”. 
66.

 

So my dear friends, I leave it up to you to choose: You can either follow the positive result after the dialogue I had with the then Cardinal Ratzinger, which gave us our freedom to continue reading TLIG and evangelizing with love for love, guiding God’s people back to his church and to union in the church, or follow the dispositions of the letter signed by Cardinal Levada that does not say “yes” or “no” and is confusing at best.
We all know that when God speaks, He speaks with clarity and “not in dark corners.” I wish us, as people of God, to do as much. In Christ,

Vassula

August 2007

Obviously Vassula Ryden is one mystic who does not believe in letting the fruits of her “messages” speak for themselves. Or isn’t she… if you guess what I mean!

Another funny thing – why was this response from Vassula Ryden privately circulated [it was also accessed by me at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RCBO/message/195] in TLIG circles by email and not published on her web site for all, including Rome, to see?

AFTER I wrote that sentence, I located the rebuttal of Vassula critic Maria Laura Pio, see further below, to Vassula Ryden‘s response to the Prefect of the CDF. In it, she mentions that Vassula Ryden‘s response is available at http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/levada-response/.
I should make that “was” available. Apparently, it has been pulled from the site. Is this yet one more in the long list of TLIG deceit, cunning, and calculativeness that I have been chronicling in the 25 articles and one report on Vassula/TLIG that I have uploaded on this ministry’s web site?

On December 16, 2010, Maria Laura Pio blogged at http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/11/quick-update-on-catholic-orthodox.html: In “Response to Cardinal Levada’s letter of 2007”, an article signed by Vassula and circulated by her official website www.tlig.org. This article is no longer available on that website but a copy of it can be found in mine: http://www.infovassula.ch/tliglevada.htm second half of the page.

 

To return to Maria Laura Pio’s excellent critique of Vassula’s “Response to Cardinal Levada”

[https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/9jO9cVgy3UA
and
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/32TmZB-kXSQ]

On August 31st, 2007 the official website of Mrs. Ryden’s True Life in God organization, circulated an article signed by Vassula titled “Response to Cardinal Levada’s letter of January 2007”, which I recommend you read: http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/levada-response/
[it has been pulled. See my comments above.]  

In this article, Mrs Ryden accuses Cardinal Levada of writing a “confusing” and contradicting letter, containing “grave” and “serious errors“, misinforming, implying that “prayer is harmful” and of violating Catholics’ “ecumenical rights and duties“. She affirms that the conclusion of her “dialogue with the CDF was positive” (a sentence she repeats several times in the article) and that this positive conclusion “was to be held `low key’, and hence there would not be a new Notification to eliminate the old one.”

She ends her article inviting her readers to choose: believe her version of the facts or follow Cardinal Levada’s “confusing at best” communication.

Very far from being confusing, Cardinal Levada’s internal communication of January 2007, sent to the Presidents of all Bishops conferences, is a very clear document, which explains the results of the CDF’s dialogue with Mrs Ryden. The essence of the text is that Mrs Ryden did indeed offer clarifications regarding her writings and activities, but it was not enough to reverse the doctrinal judgement of the 1995 Notification, which remains valid. (You can read the complete text of the communication here: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm)

Cardinal Levada also indicates that this communication was made necessary because the CDF “continues to receive requests for clarification in relation to the writings and activities of Mrs Vassula Rydén, in particular regarding “the import of the Notification. The reason why the CDF continues to receive these requests is that since January 2005, Mrs Ryden’s organization has been spreading all over the world a booklet titled “Clarifications with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, in which the reader is made to believe that Mrs Ryden was approved by the CDF. Her conclusions are based on a letter dated July 2004 sent to five episcopal conferences by Cardinal Ratzinger (for details, see: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm#july 2004 letter).

So, was she ever approved by the CDF? And was Cardinal Ratzinger’s July 2004 letter an approval? Just a few facts:

February 2005: We wrote to the Swiss Conference of Bishops – who was one of the recipients of the July 2004 letter – and asked them if it was true that Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter was a reversal of the Notification. The Secretary of the Conference answered to us: “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith maintains all it’s reservations regarding the writings and actions of Mrs Ryden.” (http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm#Swiss bishops) Efforts to post this information on the discussion list of the official TLIG website were met by a systematic removal of the information by the moderator.

September 2005:
A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland* warned people against going to Vassula’s September 11th meeting in Edinburgh. Mentioning the 1995 Notification, he said Vassula “certainly did not” operate with the approval of the Church and that “the advice to Catholics is not to attend her gatherings due to the suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors.” (http://news.scotsman.com/edinburgh.cfm?id=1898192005). *See page 85

 

January 2006:
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles (USA) after having promoted for several weeks a unity meeting with Vassula Ryden to be held at the Cathedral suddenly cancelled the event. Mgr Kostelnik, pastor of the Cathedral, explained to the press that he had been assured by the organizers that Ryden’s writings ‘have been cleared by the Vatican’.” But he later found out that the organizer’s assurance was ‘a serious misrepresentation of the current Vatican view of Mrs Ryden’s speeches and writings’. He said 1995 and 1996 Vatican statements cautioning Catholics against following Ryden remained ‘in full force’ (http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/vassula.htm).

February 2006:
One of the official blogs of TLIG (publicized on their website http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2006-01-26/1970/ but no longer available online) published an article dated January 16, 2006 titled “Vatican removes text of Notification” in which they affirmed that “the congregation removed the original text of the notification [from the Vatican website] as the questions they posed to Vassula they felt clarified the previous issues they had.
We consulted the CDF and received the following answer from the person in charge: “The fact that some documents appear without a link in the web site of the Congregation does not mean that they are no longer valid. Simply it means that the relative text is not yet available in electronic format. That is the only reason, and that is why most documents without a link are the oldest ones”. It was also pointed out to us that the Notification continued to be a valid document, could be found in the AAS and had not been annulled. We later provided David Armitage, webmaster of Mrs Ryden’s official website, with a copy of this information. He maintained that the text had nevertheless been on the Vatican website, implying that we and our source were being untruthful. However, as a correspondent brought recently to our attention, if you go to the Wayback Machine (Internet archive), and look up the doctrinal documents page of the CDF, you will see that it is traced back to February 2002 (before the dialogue with Mrs Ryden), and that it NEVER included a link to the complete text of the Notification. You cannot remove something that was never there… (See: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/doc_doc_index.htm)

It is also important to take note, that during all this period of time, major Catholic websites (such as EWTN, http://www.catholic.net, http://www.aica.org, etc.) have always affirmed the Notification was valid and in full force.

So, the only ones who kept on saying that Mrs Ryden was approved, were Vassula herself and her long-time supporters, who took her word for it and simply decided to ignore any kind of information that proved them wrong.

I cannot end this article without commenting some other points Mrs Ryden raises in her article in response to Cardinal Levada:

1. We learn that Mrs Ryden had a copy of Levada’s internal communication since at least May of 2007, but did not care to share it
until August 31st, when it was already all over the Internet since three weeks.

2. Mrs Ryden blames Cardinal Levada for “three grave errors” contained in his communication, which I comment hereunder:

–    Cardinal Levada “puts into my [Vassula’s] mouth words I never said, and these words are: ‘that the messages are not divine revelations but my own personal meditations'”. The communication does not really say that those words were pronounced by Mrs Ryden. We understand it as saying that the ensemble of clarifications and explanations Mrs Ryden gave were examined and the CDF concluded (on their own) that her writings were not divine revelations, but rather personal meditations.

–    Cardinal Levada mixed up the date of Vassula’s letter (26 June 2002) with Fr. Grech’s letter (4 April 2002). Well, in fact, the real author of the mistake is… Cardinal Ratzinger! He was the first to mix up the dates in his famous letter of July 2004 to the five Episcopal conferences (see: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition_fr.htm#july 2004 letter), and that is the origin of the error. Mrs Ryden herself had Cardinal Ratzinger’s July 2004 letter published on her website with this “grave error”: http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/ratzletter/

–    Cardinal Levada referred to volume 10 instead of volume 12 of the TLIG books. Well, what can we say? Errare humanum est…

3. Mrs Ryden supposes Cardinal Bertone to be “probably very disappointed at seeing his work belittled” by Cardinal Levada. Cardinal Bertone’s work was… the 1995 Notification! And at the time, he was accused in a very similar way by TLIG supporters as Cardinal Levada is now. He was even accused of having acted behind Card. Ratzinger’s back… The reader can refresh his memory here: http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignotificationsreTLIG.htm Moreover, Cardinal Bertone left the CDF in February of 2003 and became Bishop of Genova, until he was named Secretary of State in June of 2006. 

4. Mrs Ryden recalls that the essential theme of the TLIG messages is the restoration of unity among all Christians. To restore unity, one should start by restoring one’s own unity with one’s own Church. It is not a secret that Mrs Ryden has a very difficult situation with the Greek Orthodox Church, to which she says to belong. According to several declarations made by representatives of the Orthodox faithful, the main problem is the way she acts (see: http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm). In 2001, the Committee on heresies of the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church published their decision regarding Vassula Ryden. In substance, they declared that Mrs Ryden has de facto left the Greek Orthodox Church, although she presents herself as a member of it. (Some translations on the Internet use the word “excommunicated”. The difficulty is the word ekpései, which has many possible translations. The text seems to say literally that she “threw herself out” of her Church. The original text in Greek can be consulted in the official website of the Church of Greece: http://www.ecclesia.gr/greek/press/ekklisia/EKKLISIA_2001_Iounios/6PAPAS.PDF, see the two last pages).

Anyway, since Mrs Ryden has clearly indicated that she does not wish to become a Catholic, but on the other hand does not act as an Orthodox, then she has indeed chosen to be in a denominational “no-Church’s land” with the approval of her “Jesus”, for whom “all are the same” (http://www.tlig.org/en/messages/182/), and this suggests a lot about her idea of unity.

Maria Laura Pio www.infovassula.ch

68.

 

 

The French Bishops
Continued from page 14

Three more French bishops warn against Vassula

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/aP23dOdJvNQ

The Dioceses of Strasbourg, Nantes and Belley-Ars (France) have published on their websites the warning regarding Vassula Ryden’s visit to France this month:

Warning against Mrs Vassula Ryden‘s visit to the Diocese of Strasbourg

http://www.diocese-alsace.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2923:mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-vassula-ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-strasbourg&catid=285&Itemid=1432

The French association “True Life in God”, who promotes Mrs Vassula Ryden’s activities, has announced her next visit to Strasbourg on Friday November 23, where she will hold a conference.

The Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has pronounced itself several times regarding her by expressing great reservations and by not recognizing the supernatural nature of her claimed messages. The Congregation advises the Catholic faithful not to lend support to her activities by participating in them.

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has pronounced itself recently in an identical manner, since Mrs Vassula Ryden was a member of that Church.

I want to inform the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Lyon that this event is in no way connected to the Church. The acts of religious nature that could take place during it – Mass, deliverance and healing prayers – if they do take place, will be outside the communion with the Catholic Church.

+ Jean-Pierre Grallet

Archbishop of Strasbourg

Note: The translation is not official and is the work of volunteers who are not professional translators. Please refer to the original text in French.

***************************************************

Diocèse de Nantes

Warning against Mrs Vassula Ryden‘s visit to the Diocese of Nantes

http://nantes.cef.fr/textes-officiels/mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-vassula-ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-nantes

The French association “True Life in God”, who promotes Mrs Vassula Ryden’s activities, has announced her next visit to Carquefou on November 22, where she will hold a conference.

The Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has pronounced itself several times regarding her by expressing great reservations and by not recognizing the supernatural nature of her claimed messages. The Congregation advises the Catholic faithful not to lend support to her activities by participating in them.

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has pronounced itself recently in an identical manner, since Mrs Vassula Ryden was a member of that Church.

I want to inform the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Lyon that this event is in no way connected to the Church. The acts of religious nature that could take place during it – Mass, deliverance and healing prayers – if they do take place, will be outside the communion with the Catholic Church.

+ Jean-Paul James

Note: The translation is not official and is the work of volunteers who are not professional translators. Please refer to the original text in French.

***************************************************

Diocèse de Belley-Ars

http://catholique-belley-ars.cef.fr/Mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-Vassula-Ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-Lyon.html

The Bishop of Belley-Ars Mgr. Pascal Roland adheres to the warning issued by Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, regarding Mrs Vassula Ryden’s visit to Lyon and reproduces the text of the warning on the website of the diocese of Belley-Ars.

 

Warning from the Cardinal of Lyon re Vassula Ryden

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/S2IBrmYeIJk

English translation of the warning signed by the Cardinal of Lyon (France) regarding Vassula Ryden and published in the diocese’s official website:

Warning against Mrs Vassula Ryden‘s visit to the Diocese of Lyon

http://lyon.catholique.fr/?Mise-en-garde-contre-la-venue-de-madame-Vassula-Ryden-dans-le-diocese-de-Lyon

The French association “True Life in God”, who promotes Mrs Vassula Ryden’s activities, has announced her next visit to Villeurbanne on November 5, 2012, where she will hold a conference.

The Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has pronounced itself several times regarding her by expressing great reservations and by not recognizing the supernatural nature of her claimed messages. The Congregation advises the Catholic faithful not to lend support to her activities by participating in them.

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has pronounced itself recently in an identical manner, since Mrs Vassula Ryden was a member of that Church.

69.

 

 

I want to inform the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Lyon that this event is in no way connected to the Church. The acts of religious nature that could take place during it – Mass, deliverance and healing prayers – if they do take place, will be outside the communion with the Catholic Church.

Philippe card. Barbarin

November 5, 2012

Note: The translation is not official and is the work of volunteers who are not professionals. See the original text in French.

 

Diocese of Avignon: Communiqué re Vassula Ryden

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/lEBu2x6SXDY

I have just been sent the following article published on Tuesday October 30, 2012 by Mgr Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, Bishop of Avignon (France) on the official website of his diocese: http://diocese-avignon.fr/spip/Communique  (Original text in French. Non official translation)

Communiqué

Mrs Vassula Ryden will be coming soon to Avignon at the Parc des Expositions. After having contacted the Nunciature, all the Catholic faithful are reminded that it is not appropriate to participate in the different meetings organized during her visit. 

Likewise, it is requested that no priest celebrate the Eucharist in connection with her visit.

We have in the Gospel and in the New Testament the revelation of everything that is necessary for Salvation.  We should not seek in Mrs Vassula Ryden’s “True life in God”, or in any other “revelation” or private meditation, enlightenment to grow in faith. Let’s nourish ourselves with the Gospel and we will grow in the Church in the intimacy of Christ.

+ Jean-Pierre Cattenoz

Avignon, October 25, 2012

 

The Diocese of Hawaii publishes a cautionary note regarding Vassula

From:
Maria Laura Pio
Subject: [infovassularyden_english] Diocese of Honolulu: cautionary note on Vassula’s meetings To:
infovassularyden_english@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, 15 February, 2012, 12:06 PM

 Vassula Ryden will be in Hawaii for two meetings (February 16 and 18, 2012).

A few weeks ago, the following cautionary note was placed in the local Catholic newspaper under a paid ad promoting Mrs. Ryden:

From the office of the vicar general, Diocese of Honolulu: The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has raised certain questions regarding the teachings of Vassula Ryden. These events are not being sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.” (Text provided by the Hawaii Catholic Herald).

Maria Laura Pio, www.infovassula.ch

Also at:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/78xocBKMaeE

 

One of Vassula Ryden’s first major setbacks

Swiss mystic speaks to Catholics

http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/article/30th-september-1994/3/swiss-mystic-speaks-to-catholics

By Lucy Lethridge, September 30, 1994

Catholic Congregations in Sussex and Birmingham were introduced this week to international Christian mystic Vassula Ryden, whose supporters believe is the “Mediator of Divided Christians”.

Ms Ryden, who claims to have been awoken to the spiritual life when she saw the words “I am your guardian angel” appearing on a shopping list, is known for her healings and the messages she imparts, apparently directly from Our Lord, through the spoken and written word.

Tour organiser Ewa Allen told the Catholic Herald: “Jesus explained to Vassula that she is to be His instrument and her role is to unite Christians”.

Ms Ryden has published copies of her notebooks in which her handwriting changes dramatically during “conversations” with God.

“Vassula’s own handwriting is completely different” said Ewa Allen, “it changes into a very unusual and majestic style which, when shown to a top Paris graphologist, was pronounced to be ‘so perfect, it was almost inhuman’.”

Geneva-based Ms Ryden visited St Francis Church, Handsworth, Birmingham, and English Martyrs Church, Goring-on-Sea, Sussex, as part other three day British tour. One of the organisers of the Goring-on-Sea visit is Gary Bevans who has experienced a similar visitation from the Holy Spirit, which inspired him, he says, to paint the ceiling of English Martyrs Church with an exact replica of Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Mr Bevans told the Catholic Herald that “following Vassula shows us in the world that we live in that we have lost our way, and that we need her message of unity.” Mgr Joseph Fallon of St Francis Church, Handsworth, which was first stop of the tour, said the visit had been a great success. “We hope it will bring great spiritual enrichment to those who heard her speak”, he said. And Fr John Edwards, attached to St Francis, stressed that “There is nothing at all that is contrary to the Catholic faith”. 70.

 

Orthodox mystic rouses Cardinal’s ire

http://archive.catholicherald.co.uk/article/24th-november-1995/1/orthodox-mystic-rouses-cardinals-ire

November 24, 1995

 


 

A Greek Orthodox mystic last week claimed that Cardinal Hume is pursuing a personal vendetta against her.

Vassula Ryden, housewife and religious visionary, claims to receive messages from the Holy Trinity, and attacked what she termed the “International Conspiracy” that last month led to a Notification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, inviting Catholic bishops to deny her a platform. Speaking to the Herald, the mystic alleged that Cardinal Hume had requested that her books be banned from St Paul’s Multimedia bookshop.
“It really surprises me that he could banish my books,” she says. “Pope Paul VI decreed in 1966 that writings of the supernatural are permitted by the Church.”

Mrs. Ryden claims the support of some 40 Catholic theologians, Catholic priests and bishops. “If I am condemned, then these Catholics must also be condemned,” Mrs. Ryden complained. “It is medieval. I am treated like a witch.”

Mrs. Ryden’s allegations were this week hotly refuted by a spokesperson from the Catholic Media Office.


Cardinal Basil Hume, OSB, was appointed Archbishop of Westminster and elevated as Cardinal in 1976. From 1979 Hume served also as President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. He held these appointments until his death from cancer in 1999.

Several Catholic critics have pointed out that Vassula Ryden later modified or even expunged some of her earlier “messages” as well as her comments and public statements, ostensibly when they created a stir or invited theological criticism. In the above interview with the Catholic Herald, one can see the real Vassula Ryden with claws and fangs bared. I cannot help but compare her whining and rebellious attitude to the Cardinal’s alleged ban on her writings with that of other genuine Church-approved mystics. Apparently realizing that it would do her little good to be critical of the Cardinal,
Vassula Ryden appears to have decided to change her tactics as is evidence by a line in an article published in TLIG,
http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2005-05-01/476/
November 2, 1998,

on the Pope’s recently issued encyclical ‘Faith and Reason’.

 

Archbishop of Monterrey (Mexico) warns about TLIG retreat and activities https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/XDNDY_-FKZs

By Maria Laura Pio, February 5, 2009

Mrs. Ryden has been touring the world during these last months, giving a series of conferences in different countries. In this moment, she is visiting Latin America. We present hereunder a translation to English of the recent circular letter of Cardinal Robles Ortega, dated January 28, 2009, in which he asks the priests and lay faithful of his Archdiocese not to participate in Mrs. Ryden’s activities nor spread her writings. My thanks to Luis who made me aware of the Cardinal’s letter.
Source: Website of the Archdiocese of Monterrey (Mexico)
http://www.arquidiocesismty.org/Detalledocumento.asp?op=2&id=259

Original in Spanish – Translation provided by this website.
No. 6 / 2009
Letter – Circular 71.

 

Re: Position regarding Mrs. Vassula Rydén’s activities in our Archdiocese.
TO ALL THE CHURCH IN MONTERREY: PEACE AND ALL GOOD!
Very dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
An invitation of the True Life in God group and of the Dos Sagrados Corazones Prayer Groups [Two Sacred Hearts prayer groups] is circulating in the Archdiocesan community of Monterrey, regarding their January 30-31 retreat-conference at the Best Western Valle Real Hotel with Mrs. Vassula Ryden (Greek Orthodox) and “renowned Catholic priests”.

I therefore consider it my pastoral duty to make the following declaration:
1)        First of all I must clarify that I was not previously informed of this event.
2)        The True Life in God group and the Dos Sagrados Corazones Prayer groups are not registered nor recognized by the archdiocesan commission of lay people [Comisión Arquidiocesana de Laicos – CAL].
3)        In accordance with repeated notifications from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on some essential points of Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings, I cannot authorize the spreading of her writings and teachings in our local Church of Monterrey.

4)        Regarding the “renowned Catholic priests” who are supposedly participating in this event, since we do not know who they are, from where they come nor to which Diocese they belong, they are not authorized to exercise the sacerdotal ministry in this Archdiocese.
Therefore we urge all the priests and lay faithful who are in communion with the Church to abstain from participating in those activities and from any involvement in the spreading of Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings and teachings.

Subscribed in the See of the Archbishopric of Monterrey, on January 28 of the Year of the Lord 2009.
Prot. No. 48/2009.
+ J. Francisco Card. Robles Ortega

Archbishop of Monterrey

Pbro. Alfonso G. Miranda Guardiola
Secretary – Chancellor

 

Trip of Vassula to the Philippines and [the Nihil Obstat for TLIG from] India

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/J_4K-6Mwsew
EXTRACT

By Maria Laura Pio, November 3, 2008

I have been receiving several mails regarding different TLIG events that took place these last months. I would like to share with you some of this information regarding in particular two of the events. […]
VASSULA RYDEN’S TRIP TO THE PHILIPPINES – MAY 2008 (http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2008-09-24/2081/)
During this trip, Mrs Ryden was received by the President of the Philippines, who is a well-known reader and supporter of TLIG, and was the “special guest” of the Charismatic community’s annual Pentecost celebration in Cebu.

Vassula also visited Archbishop Arguelles, who gave the Imprimatur to the TLIG books.

Two comments:
1.        Although Mrs Ryden has many supporters in The Philippines, she does not have the support of the Episcopal conference. Indeed, in the official website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the 1995 Notification is one of the few documents present in the pages belonging to the Conference’s Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith (http://www.cbcponline.net/doctrine_faith/for_info.html).
2.        The Imprimatur granted by Archbishop Arguelles to Vassula’s books is based on an “illegal” nihil obstat given by Bishop Felix Toppo of India. In a recent interview made available on-line through the official TLIG video website, Bishop Toppo reveals that when Vassula asked him to give the nihil obstat to the TLIG messages, he consulted a famous canonist who clearly told him that according to Canon Law he “could not do it”.
In fact, when I submitted the same question last year to the Vicar General of my own diocese*, he told me that since there was a valid Notification in force from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), one could not approve of any gesture going against that clear position of the Apostolic See.
Since both Bishop Toppo and Bishop Arguelles are long-time supporters of Mrs Ryden, and given the circumstances in which the nihil obstat and Imprimatur were given (see http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignihilobstat.htm), it is obvious that they are abusive. Their scope is not to protect the faithful from wrong doctrines, but to facilitate the promotion of Vassula’s books among the Catholic faithful, in spite and in contempt of the warnings issued by the CDF, which include a negative doctrinal judgement.  This way of proceeding is frequent among TLIG followers, including members of the clergy, who are often put by Mrs Ryden in a position where they have to choose between her and their Church.

*He is also the diocese’s Censor, i.e. the person appointed by the Bishop to examine before publication those writings which are subject to the Church’s supervision.

 

Did the TLIG messages get a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur?

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/COr1yz_kN7M,

http://web.archive.org/web/20110725191838/http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignihilobstat.htm

By Maria Laura Pio, February 28, 2007

 

72.

 

 

Several months ago, rumors started to circulate that the TLIG messages had received a nihil obstat and imprimatur. The information reached me from different sources and basically said that an official communication had been sent privately to the coordinators of local TLIG associations, stating that at the end of 2005, their books had been granted a nihil obstat by a bishop of India, and an imprimatur by a bishop of the Philippines. The communication précised that Vassula wished to maintain the information confidential and that the Nihil obstat and imprimatur would be included in all the books printed or re-printed from that date on.

Although I was sure of the reliability of my sources, I could not publish the information without some kind of confirmation. The confirmation arrived this morning (27/2/07) and it is official: the English edition of the True Life in God messages in a single book is published with the Nihil obstat from Bishop Felix Toppo, S.J., DD, Bishop of Jamshedpur, India, censor librorum and the Imprimatur from Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, D.D., STL, Archbishop of Lipa, Philippines, dated November 28th, 2005. The book bears the copy of a letter written by Bishop Toppo, which is reproduced hereunder:

 

TRUE LIFE IN GOD: DIVINE DIALOGUE

I have read all the TRUE LIFE IN GOD books and meditated on their contents. I truly believe that the books contain the Divine Dialogue of the Holy Trinity, Our Lady and the Angels with humankind through Vassula Ryden. I have not found anything objectionable and anything contrary to the Church’s authentic teaching authority on faith and morals. Reading these books and meditating on the contents are spiritually beneficial to all. I recommend the books to every Christian.

+Felix Toppo, S.J., DD
Bishop of Jamshedpur, India

Place: Gohmuri
Date: 24th November 2005

 

WHAT ARE THE NIHIL OBSTAT AND IMPRIMATUR?

I reproduce below extracts from the “Catholics United for the Faith” article on nihil obstat and imprimatur, which is one of the best available documents on Internet. I recommend the reading of the complete article: http://www.cuf.org/Faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=268.

In the Catholic Church, some types of writings need a bishop’s authorization to be published for use in Catholic instruction. The nihil obstat and imprimatur indicate that a writing has received that authorization. This means that, in the judgement of the bishop who grants the imprimatur, the work contains nothing contrary to faith and morals. However, the nihil obstat and imprimatur are not an endorsement and do not guarantee that the entire contents of a writing are true.

NIHIL OBSTAT literally means “no impediments”. It is given by the censor librorum,   a person who is “appointed by the bishop of a diocese to examine before publication those writings or other media of communication that are subject to the Church’s supervision.”

IMPRIMATUR means “Let it be printed”. A writing may be given the imprimatur by the local ordinary (generally the diocesan bishop) after the censor has given the nihil obstat.

The nihil obstat and imprimatur are designed to ensure that those works that present the teachings of the Church do so correctly. They indicate that the bishop who has granted the imprimatur (or, as a practical matter, his censor on whom he must depend) sees nothing wrong with the writing as it concerns faith and morals. (…)

The nihil obstat and imprimatur are not the equivalent of an endorsement or recommendation. They do not affirm that the whole of a work’s contents are true. Neither do the nihil obstat and imprimatur indicate that the censor or bishop necessarily agrees with the contents of a work. (…)

We assume that our bishops act in good faith when they grant permission for a book to be published. Most go to great lengths to insure that no imprimatur is decided when one should not be. At the same time, there are several reasons why a Catholic would still want to carefully evaluate a publication bearing the nihil obstat and imprimatur: (…)

Read complete article: http://www.cuf.org/Faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=268.


SOME COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

I do not doubt about Bishop Toppo’s or Archbishop Arguelles’ sincerity. Both are long-time supporters of Vassula, have invited her in several occasions to their countries for her to speak to the laity and the clergy, and this in spite of the Notification which asked Bishops not to promote her in their dioceses. In fact, Archbishop Arguelles signed the foreword to the booklet “Clarifications with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, in which the reader is made to believe that the Notification is no longer valid (for details, see: www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm)

Bishop Toppo states in his letter that he truly believes “that the books contain the Divine Dialogue of the Holy Trinity, Our Lady and the Angels with humankind through Vassula Ryden”. He is in fact affirming that he believes the supernatural origin of the messages. This is his opinion, which we respect, but the nihil obstat and imprimatur cannot be used to authorize nor approve a private revelation.

Therefore, my questions are:

a) What is the scope of a nihil obstat and imprimatur given by a Catholic bishop to a Greek-Orthodox author who does not reside in his diocese and who has been the object of warnings from the Catholic Church as well as the Greek-Orthodox Church representatives regarding precisely the writings in question?

73.

 

 

b) Vassula’s published writings are a revised version of the messages she receives. In fact, as made public by Fr. Pavich and then reported by several authors who interviewed him, Vassula has two sets of notebooks: the private one and the public one. Vassula explained in several occasions that the private notebook contains also personal messages. Therefore, “God” re-writes his messages (without the private contents) on the second set of official notebooks to be published.
However, this re-writing – as Fr. Pavich discovered – involved a lot of re-editing in order to wipe out mistakes and re-phrase entire paragraphs, and that all was not done by “God”. Fr. Pavich in fact got access to the notebooks to be published, and they were covered with marginal notes about what to erase and what to add, and then all re-written with the handwriting attributed to “God”. So, how can people judge if the messages Vassula receives are from God, if they are judging on an edited and corrected version of the original messages? (1)

c) Is it prudent to give a nihil obstat and imprimatur to a book whose writer claims that the author of the writings is God and that therefore the book contains the “words of God”? That whoever criticizes the writings is committing mortal sin and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? (2) That whoever reads the messages receives a “new baptism of the Spirit”? That, if somebody does not obey Vassula’s directives, he/she is accused of being possessed by an evil spirit (the spirit of Jezabel)? And I could go on… (2)

I know that a nihil obstat and imprimatur only reflect the opinion of the bishop who issues them and that those authorizations have been sometimes given to very controversial books and that imprimaturs have also been removed by the Vatican. However, I am worried about the ongoing confusion that it will unavoidably fuel.

Notes:

(1) Fr. Pavich has been interviewed by several authors. The most detailed article is probably the one by Rev. Brian Harrison, O.S. “Vassula Edits Jesus” published in Fidelity magazine of May 1994 (Fidelity Press Publications – 206 Marquette Avenue – South Bend – IN 46617 – USA). A short interview of Fr. Pavich is included in Randall Sullivan’s “The Miracle Detective” (Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 2004). On the Internet, Mark Waterinckx’s 2001 article on Vassula Ryden has been recently translated to English and also includes the information given to him by Fr Pavich in a 2001 interview. It can be read at: http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/VASSULA-%20Mark.htm
(I have some reservations regarding the tone of the article, but the facts presented by the author are reliable).

(2) See:  http://www.infovassula.ch/tligmortalsin.htm

(3) In an open letter written by Vassula and titled “Vassula writes about Signs and Wonders”, published in the TLIG e-Newsletter of December 14th, 2006. Vassula affirms: “The Lord tells us that by reading [the messages] we receive anointed graces, we receive a new baptism of the Spirit”. I recommend the reading of Vassula’s complete letter: http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2006-12-14/2021/

Source: http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignihilobstat.htm

 

What do you know about Vassula’s May 2008 trip to the Philippines?

Vassula Ryden’s trip to The Philippines – May 2008

http://web.archive.org/web/20100409001832/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm,

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090939/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#may%20vassula

By Maria Laura Pio, November 2008

(http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2008-09-24/2081/

During this trip, Mrs Ryden was received by the President of the Philippines, who is a well-known reader and supporter of TLIG, and was the “special guest” of the Charismatic community’s annual Pentecost celebration in Cebu. Vassula also visited Archbishop Arguelles, who gave the Imprimatur to the TLIG books.

Two comments:

1. Although Mrs Ryden has many supporters in The Philippines, she does not have the support of the Episcopal conference. Indeed, in the official website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the 1995 Notification is one of the few documents present in the pages belonging to the Conference’s Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith (http://www.cbcponline.net/doctrine_faith/for_info.html ).

2. The Imprimatur granted by Archbishop Arguelles to Vassula’s books is based on an “illegal” nihil obstat given by Bishop Felix Toppo of India. In a recent interview made available on-line through the official TLIG video website, Bishop Toppo reveals that when Vassula asked him to give the nihil obstat
to the TLIG messages, he consulted a famous canonist who clearly told him that
according to Canon Law he “could not do it”.

In fact, when I submitted the same question last year to the Vicar General of my own diocese (*), he told me that since there was a valid Notification in force from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), one could not approve of any gesture going against that clear position of the Apostolic See.

Since both Bishop Toppo and Bishop Arguelles are long-time supporters of Mrs Ryden, and given the circumstances in which the nihil obstat and Imprimatur were given (see: http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignihilobstat.htm ), it is obvious that they are abusive. Their scope is not to protect the faithful from wrong doctrines, but to facilitate the promotion of Vassula’s books among the Catholic faithful, in spite and in contempt of the warnings issued by the CDF, which include a negative doctrinal judgement. This way of proceeding is frequent among TLIG followers, including members of the clergy, who are often put by Mrs Ryden in a position where they have to choose between her and their Church.

(*) He is also the diocese’s Censor, i.e. the person appointed by the Bishop to examine before publication those writings which are subject to the Church’s supervision. 74.

 

Bishop who gave nihil obstat reveals that he knew he was going against Church Law

http://web.archive.org/web/20110725191838/http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignihilobstat.htm

By Maria Laura Pio, Update July 2008

In a recent interview made available on-line through the official TLIG video website, Bishop Felix Toppo confesses his full commitment to Vassula Ryden and reveals that, before giving the nihil obstat to her True Life in God
(TLIG) messages, he consulted a famous canonist who clearly told him that he “could not do it”.

The Bishop of Jamshedpur (India) was interviewed during the TLIG pilgrimage to Egypt in which he participated in April of this year. The 45 minutes interview was directed by three Catholic priests: fathers John Abberton and Tony Sullivan from the UK (considered the TLIG associations’ spiritual advisors) and Friar Vincent Cosatti from Switzerland.

Asked about the nihil obstat he had granted to the TLIG messages in 2005, the bishop confessed that: “In the beginning I hesitated; then I went to a Seminary where there is a famous canon lawist [sic]. I consulted him. And he very clearly said that according to the Canon Law you cannot do it. Then I was wondering what to do. Then I think Vassula consulted another theologian, René Laurentin. He said there is no problem in giving it. I still hesitated.” In the end, after much prayer, he decided that he should not “be afraid”, since he had found “nothing contrary to the teachings of the Church” and that this nihil obstat would “help the universal Church“.

Bishop Toppo also states clearly that he was asked by Vassula to be the censor. In other words: the TLIG books were not reviewed by the official and independent censor of Mgr Arguelles’ dioceses (who gave the Imprimatur and who is also a supporter of Vassula, see: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#Philippines), but by a partisan of Vassula, specifically chosen by her.

The complete interview can be found on-line at: http://www.tligvideo.org/toppo.html (official TLIG video website).

 

Validity of the Notification regarding Vassula Ryden
and the True Life in God messages

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521091954/http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignotificationsreTLIG.htm#content2

Important Update (August 2007):
Text of the internal communication of 25 January 2007 directed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to all the Presidents of the Bishops’ conferences confirming the doctrinal judgement of the 1995 Notification. Read here

NEW –
See also
(March 2011)

The Vatican puts on-line the complete text of the 1995 Notification regarding Vassula

The 1995 Notification

On October 6th, 1995, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) issued a Notification regarding Vassula Ryden’s writings “as a result of the testing of the spirits (1 Jn 4,1)”. Whilst recognizing some positive aspects, the CDF points out several negative elements, among which doctrinal errors and the way the messages are received (a form of automatic writing).

The negative aspects lead the CDF to conclude that Mrs. Ryden’s writings and speeches should not be considered as supernatural, and to request the Bishops to suitably inform the faithful and not open their Dioceses to the dissemination of TLIG.

 
 

Reactions against the Notification (1995-1996)

TLIG supporters challenged its validity arguing that:

– Vassula Ryden had not been heard by the CDF.

– The notification was just an opinion and the faithful could ignore it if they believed it to be wrong. Some went as far as to say that it was a mere private “letter” from the CDF to the Swiss Bishops.

– The notification was not signed and Card. Ratzinger’s name wasn’t on it; therefore it had no validity whatsoever.

The Notification was officially published in the diverse language editions of L’Osservatore Romano, one of the main means used by the RCC for the dissemination of important information regarding the Church. This fact should have been enough to realize that the Notification was and is valid.

The argumentation regarding the fact that the Notification did not bear the name of Card. Ratzinger (it bore the name of two other members of the CDF, including the number two Mons. Bertone) was later used as a “clue” to prove the existence of an alleged “anti-TLIG complot” in the Vatican. The truth, however, is that the CDF issues every day communiqués such as the Notification. The importance of these Communiqués is that they are issued by the CDF, an official Congregation of the Church, and are often reproduced by the media without even indicating who signed them.

However, due to the numerous protests of TLIG-promoters, we decided to write to the “Official” of the Diocese of Lausanne, Genève and Fribourg (Switzerland) to request an “authentic interpretation” of the Notification, i.e. a clarification regarding the Notification’s validity. The answer arrived on August 13th, 1996 (click here to view original in French). Extracts of that letter are reproduced hereunder:

 
 

Validity of the Notification

“A NOTIFICATION issued by a Roman Congregation is a clarification addressed to a numerous group of persons and/or institutions which have requested that the Holy See pronounce itself on a certain subject.

In the case of a LETTER, it would be addressed to a person in particular (for instance, a Bishop), but even in that case, this particular communication would remain a point of reference for the universal Church.

75.

 

 

In the present case of the NOTIFICATION regarding Mrs. Ryden, it is an answer to many bishops, diocesan groups, associations of the faithful and private persons which have written directly to the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation to obtain a clarification. It has a value for the whole Catholic Church.”

 
 

Why the Notification was not directly addressed to Mrs. Ryden

“The Notification of the Congregation was not directly addressed to Mrs. Vassula Ryden, but to the numerous bishops, priests, religious and lay-persons which requested from the Congregation a judgement of authority regarding Mrs. Ryden’s activities.

We cannot therefore speak of a public blame done by the Congregation to Mrs. Vassula Ryden, but rather of a warning that the Holy See addresses to those who are surprised or confused by Mrs. Ryden’s activities or words.”

(…)

The Catholic Church is faithful to its principle of not interfering in the spiritual life of another Church’s faithful, but the Catholic Church has the duty to clarify and warn its faithful about any disorder created by any person’s or organization’s attitude, whether from a point of view of the Church’s Doctrine or discipline.

Mrs. Ryden’s writings are numerous and quite spread among the Catholic faithful for the Congregation to give it’s opinion regarding their content. Some rare positive elements can be found, but so can an ensemble of fundamentally negative elements that have to be considered under the light of the catholic doctrine.

Mrs. Vassula Ryden was not summoned to give her point of view, mainly to avoid the interference in the spiritual life of a Christian who belongs to another Church; secondly, because she does not teach in a RCC faculty, seminar or institute.”

 
 

Card. Ratzinger disproves his alleged statement at Guadalajara (Mexico)

In May 1996, a small group of Mexican supporters of TLIG had the possibility to meet briefly with Card. Ratzinger in Guadalajara, Mexico. After this private meeting, the group affirmed that the Cardinal Prefect of the CDF had told them: “You may continue to promote her writings”. 

However, on November 29th, 1996, Card. Ratzinger issued a Press release, which was published in all the language versions of L’Osservatore Romano,
mentioning specifically his alleged statements at Guadalajara. In the press release, he confirms the absolute validity of the 1995 Notification and recalls that one cannot freely spread within the Church messages from presumed revelations that have not been approved, and that one has the moral obligation not to read nor spread writings which might endanger faith. Click here to read the press release.

Despite this, the TLIG association continues to cite the “You may continue to promote” phrase without even mentioning the press release where Cardinal Ratzinger publicly disproved it.

 

Comments on Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1999 interview

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521091954/http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignotificationsreTLIG.htm#content2

By Maria Laura Pio, New content added August 2005 – Revised January 2008

In January 1999, the Italian magazine 30 Giorni published an interview with former Cardinal Ratzinger by Dr. Niels Christian Hvidt, a very active Danish supporter of Mrs Ryden. Dr. Hvidt has done much to promote the TLIG messages in Denmark and in the world. He has a master’s degree in Theology and has collaborated as a journalist for several catholic media, including the Scandinavian section of Vatican Radio. He is very close to Mrs Ryden, having lived in Rome during the same period she was there. He also was the person who made possible the photo of Pope John Paul II with a TLIG book in his hands (see: http://www.tlig.org/fr/frpope.html).

The last question of the interview of Cardinal Ratzinger was about Vassula Ryden. Dr. Hvidt asked if the Notification is a condemnation. Cardinal Ratzinger answered (highlights added):

You have touched on a very problematical issue. No, the Notification is a warning, not a condemnation. From the strictly procedural point of view, no person may be condemned without a trial and without being given the opportunity to air their views first. What we say is that there are many things which are not clear. There are some debatable apocalyptic elements and ecclesiological aspects which are not clear. Her writings contain many good things but the grain and the chaff [darnel] are mixed up (*). That is why we invited Catholic faithful to view it all with a prudent eye and to measure it by the yardstick of the constant faith of the Church.

Dr. Hvidt: Is the procedure to clarify the question continuing?
Cardinal RATZINGER:
Yes, and during the clarification process the faithful must be prudent, maintaining a discerning attitude. There is no doubt that there is an evolution in the writings which does not yet seem to have concluded. We must remember that being able to set oneself up as the word and image of interior contact with God, even in the case of authentic mysticism, always depends on the possibilities of the human soul and its limitations. Unlimited trust should only be placed in the real Word of the Revelation that we encounter in the faith transmitted by the Church.”

Some people have interpreted these statements as a denial of the validity of the Notification by Cardinal Ratzinger and an encouragement to read the TLIG messages. However, former Cardinal Ratzinger is quite clear in his answer:

Cardinal Ratzinger confirms the contents of the 1995 Notification: the messages contain a mix of good and bad elements, therefore the faithful are not to view them as infallible. He confirms that “from a strictly procedural point of view” it is a warning, not a condemnation, since Mrs Ryden was not “given the opportunity to air her views first“. 76.

 

 

-He insists on the importance of the faithful maintaining a discerning and prudent attitude. This implies not reading the messages believing them to be the infallible “Word of God”, considering the fact that there are errors and unclear elements in them, and that “even in the case of authentic mysticism“, the seer’s human soul has its limitations. The prudent approach also implies that one must not spread these messages nor encourage people to read them as if they were approved by the Church, as indicated in the 1996 Press release.

Since the date of this interview, Mrs Ryden was given the possibility by the CDF to clarify some of the points raised in the Notification. Her explanations however were not enough to modify or cancel the Notification (see Church Position).

(*) The original text as published in Italian reads “I suoi scritti contengono molte cose buone, ma il grano buono è misto al loglio
(www.hvidt.com). Most Italian-English dictionaries translate “loglio” as darnel or tare (a weed of grain fields in Biblical times, usually identified with darnel). In some on-line dictionaries, it has also been translated as “rye-grass”, probably the reason why the English version that circulates translates the word as “chaff”. However, giving the context of the phrase, a more correct translation would be “darnel”.

 

Other comments on the 1999 interview:

St. Michael Center for Apologetics website:  http://www.saint-mike.org/QA/FS/ViewAnswer.asp?QID=355

Vassula Ryden

Question posted by Michael, December 08, 2004

Dear Brother,
If you can spare a little more time with regard to my question concerning the validity of Vassula Ryden’s writings I would be most appreciative. Would you mind having a look at the following link to an interview with Cardinal Ratzinger and provide a little feedback. http://www.tlig.org/ratz.html

And also more recently correspondence between Vassula and the congregation for the doctrine of the faith (April/June 2002) at the following link. http://www.tlig.org/cdf.html


Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM

Dear Michael:

The Notification from the SCDF in 1995 stated:

Given the negative effect of Vassula Ryden’s activities, despite some positive aspects, this Congregation requests the intervention of the Bishops so that their faithful may be suitably informed and that no opportunity may be provided in their Dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas. Lastly, the Congregation invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings and speeches as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church.

 

A year later the SCDF issued a Press Release to clarify the issues since many people were asking for clarification. That press release states:

I. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received various questions about the value and authority of its Notification of 6 October 1995, published in L’Osservatore Romano on Monday/Tuesday, 23/24 October 1995, p. 2 (L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 25 October 1995, p. 12), regarding the writings and messages of Mrs. Vassula Ryden attributed to alleged revelations and disseminated in Catholic circles throughout the world.

In this regard, the Congregation wishes to state:

1) The Notification addressed to me Pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church retains all its force. It was approved by the competent authorities and will be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official organ of the Holy See, with the signatures of the Prefect and the Secretary of the Congregation.

2) Regarding the reports circulated by some news media concerning a restrictive interpretation of this Notification, given by His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect in a private conversation with a group of people to whom he granted an audience in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 10 May 1996, the same Cardinal Prefect wishes to state:

a) as he said, the faithful are not to regard the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations;

b) these meditations, as the Notification explained, include, along with positive aspects, elements that are negative in the light of Catholic doctrine; c) therefore, Paters and the faithful are asked to exercise serious spiritual discernment in this matter and to preserve the purity of the faith, morals and spiritual life, not by relying on alleged revelations but by following the revealed Word of God and the directives of the Church’s Magisterium.

II. Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:

1) The interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the “Abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books”, and determined that -after the relevant censures were lifted-the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.

77.

 

 

2) It should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 823 §1 of the current Code remains in force: “the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement”.

3) Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and, in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 

There has been no reversal of the decision that Ryden’s writings are not from a supernatural source.

The 1999 interview with Cardinal Ratzinger also did not reverse the negative decision about Ryden’s writings, it merely pointed out that “technically” her writings are not condemned because “…from the strictly procedural point of view, no person may be condemned without a trial and without being given the opportunity to air their views first.” What we say is that there are many things which are not clear.

The Cardinal continues, “Her writings contain many good things but the grain and the chaff are mixed up. That is why we invited Catholic faithful to view it all with a prudent eye and to measure it by the yardstick of the constant faith of the Church.”

The communication between Ryden and the Vatican is seeking to clarify Ryden’s views in light of the “yardstick of the constant faith of the Church.” To date, however, the negative decision as to the legitimacy of her writings having a heavenly source as not be rescinded. The warning of the 1995 Notification remains in force.

Technically, however, we should not use the term “condemned” but for the Vatican to say that her writings and speeches are not from a supernatural source essentially puts the lid on her being a legitimate “visionary.” In addition to this, her writings and speeches even as her private thoughts has some credibility issues in terms of doctrinal and theological problems. That is what the communication with the Vatican is about — to clarify those issues.

Even if the doctrinal and theological questions are resolved, this does not mean that her notions are from a heavenly source. And, as already mentioned, as it stands at the moment, the judgment of the Vatican is that her writings are NOT from a supernatural source.

 

Did the Vatican remove the text of the Notification from its website?

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521091954/http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignotificationsreTLIG.htm#content2

By Maria Laura Pio, New content added March 2006 – Re-edited January 2008 – Updated March 2011

The Notification has always figured on the Vatican website without its text, so it could have never been “removed”. Of the approximately 60 documents listed (the number varies from one language version to the other), half do not include a link to the complete text (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/doc_doc_index.htm )

One of the official blogs of TLIG (publicized on their website http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2006-01-26/1970/ but no longer available online) published an article dated January 16, 2006 titled “Vatican removes text of Notification” in which they affirmed that “the Congregation removed the original text of the notification [from the Vatican website] as the questions they posed to Vassula they felt clarified the previous issues they had.”

We consulted the CDF
and asked them if this was true. We received the following answer from the person in charge: “The fact that some documents appear without a link in the web site of the Congregation does not mean that they are no longer valid. Simply it means that the relative text is not yet available in electronic format. That is the only reason, and that is why most documents without a link are the oldest ones”. It was also pointed out to us that the Notification continued to be a valid document, could be found in the Acta Apostolicae Saedis and had not been annulled.

Moreover, as a correspondent brought recently to our attention, if you go to the Wayback Machine (Internet archive), and look up the doctrinal documents page of the CDF, you will see that it is traced back to February 2002 (before the dialogue with Mrs Ryden), and that it NEVER included a link to the complete text of the Notification. You cannot remove something that was never there. (See: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/doc_doc_index.htm)

Update March 2011
The Vatican has put on its website the full text of the 1995 Notification in several languages: GermanSpanishItalian and Polish. Let’s hope that other languages will follow. Previously the Notification had figured only with its title and AAS (Acta Apostolicae Sedis) reference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

78.

 

 

Diocesan Administrator withdraws permission for Greek Orthodox ‘seer’ (Mrs Vassula Ryden) to speak to Catholics here [Singapore]

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/catholicact/message/935

Posted By Benedict Tang, February 24, 2001

 

For those not residing in Singapore (or who don’t read CN), here’s an interesting article taken from Singapore’s The Catholic News at http://www.veritas.org.sg/web_links/CN/cnflash.html.
A thought came to my mind when reading the CN article regarding Mrs Vassula Ryden, the so-called Greek Orthodox ‘seer’ who was invited by some lay Catholics for a talk.
For the uninformed, the controversy came about when our Diocesan Administrator, Fr Francis Lau, withdrew his permission for her to speak here.
My point is, by using the Catholic search engines on Petersnet (http://www.petersnet.net), Vatican http://www.vatican.va), or even secular ones, anyone could have come across the CDF Notification and various other articles which speaks on how Mrs Ryden is a fraud.
Let us pray that God will use us as instruments to promote the use of IT for His Greater Glory.
PS. I hear that the organisers are going ahead with the talk despite given the disapproval by Fr Lau and CDF.
Links on Mrs Ryden (I found these using various search engines):
NOTIFICATION ON VASSULA RYDEN (6 October 1995) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrydn1.htm
PRESS RELEASE : VASSULA RYDEN NOTIFICATION (Dec 1996) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrydn2.htm
PUERTO RICAN BISHOPS WARN AGAINST VASSULA’S FALSE ECUMENISM
by Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.
http://www.ewtn.com/library/newage/vassula.txt
NOTE ISSUED ON DOCTRINAL ERRORS BY GREEK-ORTHODOX SWISS RESIDENT
http://www.apparitions.org/vas_rome.html
CONGREGATION COMMUNIQUE ON PRIVATE REVELATIONS
http://www.apparitions.org/vas_cdf96.html

 

Vassula Ryden, Switzerland, revelations not divine, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 6.10.95

http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html, http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html#1

NOTE ISSUED ON DOCTRINAL ERRORS BY GREEK-ORTHODOX SWISS RESIDENT

VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 1995 (VIS) – The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a notice in answer to queries by bishops, priests, religious and the laity regarding “the activity of Vassula Ryden, Greek Orthodox, resident in Switzerland, who is spreading, in Catholic circles throughout the world, with her words and her writings, messages attributed to alleged heavenly revelations.”
Released today, the notice is dated October 6. It points out that “
a serene and attentive examination of the whole question was undertaken by this congregation…Other than pointing out the suspect character of the ways in which such alleged revelations occur, it is (our) duty to underline several doctrinal errors contained in them.
It specifies several errors: ambiguous language regarding the Trinity; an “
imminent period of predomination of the anti-Christ within the Church” and “in the near future a Church which would be a type of pan-Christian community, in contrast with the Catholic doctrine.
In addition, Mrs. Ryden, by participating habitually in the sacraments of the Catholic Church, though she is Greek Orthodox, causes not a small amount of amazement in diverse Church milieux….This Congregation asks that bishops intervene in order to adequately inform their faithful, and to see that no space be given in their dioceses to the spreading of her ideas.” OP/NOTICE/CDF:SWITZERLAND:RYDEN VIS 951023

NOTE: VIS= Vatican Information Service

79.

 

 

CONGREGATION COMMUNIQUE ON PRIVATE REVELATIONS

VATICAN CITY, NOV 29, 1996 (VIS) – Made public today was the following communiqué from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received diverse questions relative to the value and authoritativeness of the notification by this same congregation on October 6, 1995, published in the L’Osservatore Romano of Monday/Tuesday, October 23/24, 1995, page 2, regarding the writings and messages of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, attributed to presumed revelations and spread in Catholic milieux throughout the world.
“In this regard the Congregation intends to make it clear that:

“1. The notification addressed to the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church maintains all its force. It was approved by the competent authorities and will be published in the official organ of the Holy See ACTA APOSTOLICAESEDIS, with the signatures of the prefect and secretary of the congregations.

“2. With regard to the news spread by several members of the press concerning a restricted interpretation of such a notification made by His Eminence the cardinal prefect in a private conversation with a group of persons to whom he wished to give an audience, which took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, on May 10,1996, the cardinal prefect wishes to make it clear that:

“a. As he has ready stated, the faithful must not take the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations;

“b. In such meditations, as the notification already made clear, next to the positive aspects, there are negative elements in the light of Catholic doctrine;

“c. For this reason, pastors and faithful are invited in this regard to a serious spiritual discernment and to preserve the purity of the faith, morals and the spiritual life, without counting on presumed revelations, but following the revealed Word of God and the directives of the Magisterium of the Church.

“With regard to the spreading of texts of presumed personal revelations, the Congregation makes it clear that:

1. The interpretation by some people of a decision approved by Paul VI on October 14, 1966, and promulgated on November 15 of the same year, by virtue of which writings and messages coming from presumed revelations might be freely spread within the Church, is absolutely not valid. This decision actually referred to the ‘Abolition of the Index of Banned Books,’ and said that – once relative censures were lifted – the moral obligation in any case not to spread or read those writings which endangered faith and morals still remained.

2. A reminder, therefore, that for the diffusion of texts of presumed private revelations, the norm of the Code in force, Canon 823, para 1, which gives pastors the right ‘to demand that the writings of the faithful which touch faith or morals be submitted to their own judgment before publication’, remains valid.

“3. Presumed supernatural revelations and writings which regard them are in the first instance subject to the judgment of the diocesan bishop and, in particular cases, to that of the episcopal conference and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.” CDF/PRIVATE REVELATIONS/… VIS 961129 (500)

NOTE: VIS= Vatican Information Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80.

 

http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html, http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html#1 ctd.

 

 

http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html, http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html#1 ctd.

 

http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html, http://www.cafarus.ch/vassula.html#1 ctd.

Also at: http://www.cafarus.ch/heresies.GIF

Recent CDF memo recommends that Catholics not participate in Vassula Ryden events

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/recent_cdf_memo_recommends_that_catholics_not_participate_in_vassula_ryden_events/

Rome, Italy, August 9, 2007 (CNA) – In recent memo sent to the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of the world, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the participation of Catholics in prayer groups organized by alleged Orthodox visionary Vassula Ryden was “not opportune.”

In the internal message dated January 25, 2007, and published by various internet sites, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the CDF, said his dicastery continues to receive “letters asking for clarification on the writings and activities of Ms. Vassula Ryden, especially as concerns the weight of the notification of October 6, 1995 and the criteria that should be followed in defining the positions of the local Church about the convenience of spreading the writings of Ms. Vassula Ryden.”

“The Notification of 1995 continues to be valid with regards to the doctrinal judgments about the examined writings,” Levada said.

He noted that after Ryden met with the CDF, “she clarified certain problematic points that appeared in her writings and also about the nature of her messages, which are presented not as divine revelations but rather as her own personal meditations.”

“Therefore, from the normative point of view, and after these clarifications, and a prudential case-by-case evaluation, taking into account the concrete possibility that the faithful have to read the writings in the context of the aforementioned clarifications, [it] does not seem opportune that Catholics participate in prayer groups organized by Ms. Ryden,” the memo indicated.

Lastly, the memo reiterates that “Regarding eventual ecumenical encounters, the faithful should follow the dispositions of the ecumenical Directory, of the Code of Canon Law (C. 215; c. 223, &2; c. 383, &3) and of the diocesan Ordinaries.”

 

 

83.

 

The Discerning Catholic’s Guide to unhealthy devotions

http://www.apparitionsites.com/the_discerning_catholics_guide_to_unhealthy_devotions.pdf
EXTRACT

 

Other Warnings about Vassula Ryden’s Messages

1. Bishop Maurice E. Piat, Diocese of Port-Louis, Ile Maurice—In a letter dated April 5, 2002, the Bishop warns the faithful against Mrs. Ryden’s messages. He affirms that they can make one subject to serious deviations to their piousness and to their personal relationship with God. He therefore asks that Mrs. Ryden’s ideas not be spread in the diocese, whether by the selling of her books or the organization of meetings near churches or inside church properties.

2. Archbishop of Kandy, Sri Lanka—Informed of a planned meeting of Vassula in his Diocese, the Archbishop took action by distributing the 1995 Notification in all his parishes and forbidding priests from attending the meetings.

3. The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong—A few days before Vassula Ryden’s visit to Hong Kong, the Diocese issued a negative declaration regarding this visit by advising the faithful not to attend her meetings.

This statement was published in two of the Diocese’s newspapers.

4. The Catholic Church in Scotland*—A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland has warned people against going to Vassula’s September 11th meeting in Edinburgh. Mentioning the 1995 Notification, he said Vassula “certainly did not” operate with the approval of the Church and that “the advice to Catholics is not to attend her gatherings due to the suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors.” *See page 85

 

Communication from the Holy Synod of the Catholic Hierarchy of Greece, May 7, 2004 See page 18

 


84.

 

 

*See page 19

Mystic ‘who foresaw 9/11’ heads for city

http://www.scotsman.com/news/mystic-who-foresaw-9-11-heads-for-city-1-1067509

The Scotsman, Edinburgh,
September 6, 2005

 

A radical preacher who claims supernatural powers enabled her to foresee the 9/11 bombings is to speak in the city [Edinburgh, Scotland] on the anniversary of the attacks.

Greek mystic Vassula Ryden is revered around the world as a prophet and her followers believe she is God’s messenger.

But her controversial prophesies have attracted condemnation from mainstream church leaders. Vassula has been invited by the followers of her “True Life in God” movement in Scotland to appear in Edinburgh on Sunday at the Assembly Hall on The Mound.

The 63-year-old preacher, who now lives in the US, claims that Jesus has been appearing to her in dreams since 1985. During preaching sessions in front of thousands of people she is reported to have healed the sick and also converted hundreds to her cause.

She has preached to packed arenas around the world – including crowds of 40,000 in the Philippines and South America – and some followers even claim to see the face of Jesus superimposed on her features.

But today a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland warned people against going to the gathering. He said Vassula “certainly did not” operate with the approval of the Church and said the Vatican had issued a warning about her activities after an investigation led by Pope Benedict XVI while he was a Cardinal. The spokesman said: “Her messages change from year to year and the advice to Catholics is not to attend her gatherings due to the suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors.”

Prior to Vassula’s first visit to Edinburgh in 2000, a letter was sent from the Archdiocese of Glasgow to priests, instructing them to dissuade their flock from attending.

A spokeswoman for the Church of Scotland, which owns the Assembly Hall, said it had not taken part in the decision to invite Vassula. She said: “Vassula Ryden represents a religious organisation with which we have no dealings.”

Vassula claimed to have received a message from Jesus in a dream predicting the New York attacks, exactly ten years before on September 11, 1991. She claimed he told her: “My cities have become a citadel for the demons! All corrupt from within, eaten up by worm! a refuge for the viper and the scorpion! The earth will shiver and shake, and every evil built into towers will collapse into a heap of rubble and be buried in the dust of sin.”

Catherine Lynch, 56, a member of True Life in God, said she was sceptical at first but found that Vassula’s messages “struck a chord”. She was an atheist for 30 years before coming across Vassula in early 2000, and now attends a weekly True Life in God prayer group in Broxburn.

The secretary said people from all denominations attended meetings of around six True Life in God prayer groups in Scotland. On Vassula’s prediction of the destruction of the Twin Towers, she said: “If you believe the messages, you can’t pick and choose between them.”

 

See

The Catholic Church’s position regarding Vassula Ryden‘s “True Life in God” messages

http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm
and http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090338/http:/www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm

 

Doctrinal errors, negative elements & contradictions found in True Life in God messages

http://www.infovassula.ch/tligerrors.htm and http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090611/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligerrors.htm

 

A critical website about Vassula Ryden‘s True Life in God messages – Frequently Asked Questions

http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm, http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090939/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#may%20vassula, and

http://web.archive.org/web/20100409001832/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm

 

See also

VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-PROBLEMS_WITH_ROME_BUT_WELCOME_IN_INDIA.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-THE REASONS FOR THE CHURCH’S NEGATIVE REACTION

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-THE_REASONS_FOR_THE_CHURCHS_NEGATIVE_REACTION.doc

 

 

VASSULA RYDEN-FR FRANCOIS MARIE DERMINE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-FR_FRANCOIS_MARIE_DERMINE.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-FR_MITCH_PACWA.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-MARK WATERINCKX

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-MARK_WATERINCKX.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-A CRITIQUE-DIALOGUE CENTRE INTERNATIONAL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-A_CRITIQUE-DIALOGUE_CENTRE_INTERNATIONAL.doc

VASSULA RYDEN’S JESUS-INGERLISE PROVSTGAARD

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDENS_JESUS-INGERLISE_PROVSTGAARD.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD SALBATO

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-RICHARD_SALBATO.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-JOE NICKELL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-JOE_NICKELL.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-CONSTANCE CUMBEY

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-CONSTANCE_CUMBEY.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-RONALD L CONTE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-RONALD_L_CONTE.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-AN_ORTHODOX_CHRISTIAN.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-CATHOLIC ANSWERS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-CATHOLIC_ANSWERS.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-EWTN

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-EWTN.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-SUSAN BRINKMANN

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-SUSAN_BRINKMANN.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-DANIEL KLIMEK

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-DANIEL_KLIMEK.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-TONY-ALLEN CUCOLO

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-TONY-ALLEN_CUCOLO.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-SGERBIC

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-SGERBIC.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-TESTIMONIES

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN_TESTIMONIES.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-NOTIFICATION
CDF, OCTOBER 6, 1995

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-NOTIFICATION.doc

 

86.



Categories: False Mystics

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