NOVEMBER 27, 2012/JANUARY 13, 2013
Included here is information that is largely not used in the preceding 29 articles and 1 report**
Vassula Ryden: Hieratic* or Heretic?
Retrieved on November 27, 2012
Vassula Rydén (born January 18, 1942) is a controversial Christian mystic living in Switzerland who professes to receive messages from Jesus Christ and The Virgin Mary. She has Greek parents but she was born in Egypt. She had been a professional tennis player and a model. 
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 2007, Cardinal William Levada confirmed that the 1995 Notification was still in effect; he recommended that Catholics should not join prayer groups organized 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.
Rydén was born Vassiliki Claudia Pendakis on January 18, 1942, in Heliopolis on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, the daughter of Greek Orthodox parents established in Egypt. She started school in Egypt, and then at the age of 15, she emigrated to Europe.
In November 1966, she married a Lutheran man in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, at a Greek Orthodox Church. Her husband was a student who obtained a position with the United Nations after graduation. The couple had two sons together. Because of the husband’s job, the family lived in various places in Asia and Africa. From 1966 to 1980, Ryden kept up an active social life. She did not practice any particular religion. The couple was divorced in Sweden in November, 1980.
On June 13, 1981, she married her current husband, Per Rydén, a Swedish Lutheran who had been working for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) in Mozambique. He took a new position with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) department of the United Nations in Lesotho from 1981 to 1983, and then worked again for SIDA from 1984 to 1987 in Bangladesh. On October 31, 1990, the Rydéns celebrated their existing union in the Greek Orthodox Church in Lausanne.
Rydén is known for her writings entitled “True Life in God”, a compilation of nearly 2000 messages she claims to have received from God. At her home in Bangladesh on November 1, 1985, while writing a grocery list, she claims to have suddenly experienced a light electrical feeling in her right hand and an invisible presence. She says that, led by the presence, she “permitted her hand to be guided”, and wrote, “I am your guardian Angel and my name is Daniel.” Rydén believes she has been called to transmit such messages to the world. Rydén has written messages believed by her followers to have been prophetic.
Fathers Rene Laurentin, Robert Faricy, and Michael O’Carroll as well as Archbishop Frane Franic, who are major promoters of Our Lady of Medjugorje, also actively support Rydén through their public statements and publications. Upon examination of the many objections made against Rydén, Laurentin stated that: “she has excited more opposition than any other.”
Supporters Fr. Edward O’Connor and Niels Hvidt believe that God is using Rydén’s messages to “consolidate his church” and bring it into unity, which they feel is the main theme of her books.
**This report was updated today Jan 13, 2013.
Between Nov 27, 2012 and now, more articles were filed.
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 Laurentin on those who had been speaking out against Rydén. Moerman said that Laurentin’s defense of Rydén included unwarranted caricaturization of Congregation of the Doctrine for 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. 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 Skeptical Inquirer magazine in 2011, longtime investigator Joe Nickell compared Rydén’s “messages” to alleged communications from Jesus to other women claiming revelations and wrote, “the contrived handwriting, the linguistic lapses, and the indications of fantasizing all suggest that Vassula Ryden is not in touch with supernatural entities but is simply engaging in self-deception that in turn deceives the credulous. Her automatic writings therefore are not works of revelation but simply of pious imagination.” Nickell says that Rydén’s personal misspellings and linguistic errors are identical to those claimed to be written as Jesus, God, Mary, her own invisible “guardian angel, Daniel,” and Satan, and all seem to have the same hand writing and grammar. Nickell suggests, “If God deigns to use the English language, should we not expect it to be rendered accurately?” According to Nickell, “One suspects that if Ryden were prevented from seeing what was being written, the entities supposedly guiding her hand would be unable to so faithfully follow the lines! I invite Ryden to accept my invitation to perform a scientific test to refute or confirm this suspicion.” Some skeptics have noted how the revelations have changed with time and now conform more to church doctrine.
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 26
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”. [See page 5]
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.” 2.
Lawsuit against critical website
In late 2010, Maria Laura Pio, a former follower of Ryden’s teachings, published a website critical of Ryden. The website, www.infovassula.ch, hosted a collection of documents and interviews that were critical of Ryden’s teachings. Niels Christian Hvidt cited the website in his book Christian Prophecy: The Post-Biblical Tradition. In May 2012 the website was closed because of the threat of legal action from Ryden’s attorneys, who argued that the term “Vassula” was trademarked, that a website named “Vassula” must belong to Ryden. Pio announced on 3 May 2012, “I am going to close the website at the end of May and unfortunately, since I do not have the means financially nor mentally to face another lawsuit, no matter how ridiculous it is, I am constrained to hand over the domain name to Vassula in June 2012.”
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. 
d Lattin, Don (December 14, 1996). “Mystic Called Divine Prophet Or Con Artist Catholic churches issue warning before S.F. visit”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 March 2012
3. Stammer, Larry B. (April 29, 1995). “A Divided Message : Spirituality: To her followers worldwide, Vassula Ryden is a faithful purveyor of communications from Jesus and Mary. But theologians question credibility.”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2012
c Stammer, Larry B. (10 January 2006). “L.A. Cathedral Disinvites Christian Unity Event: Pastor decides not to allow conference after realizing the role of a self-proclaimed mystic.” January 10, 2006 (Los Angeles Times).
Ratzinger, Joseph; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (6 October 1995). “Notification”. Vatican. Retrieved 6 July 2012, published in L’Osservatore Romano English edition on 25 October 1995; Acta Apostolicae Sedis AAS 88 (1996) 956–957; OR 23–24.10.1995; EV 14, 1956–1957; LE 5618.
10. “Per Ryden of Sweden Appointed Managing Director of Global Mechanism of UN Convention to Combat Desertification”. New York: United Nations. September 14, 1998. Retrieved July 22, 2012
b Herrero, Juan A. (1999). “Medjugorje: Ecclesiastical Conflict, Theological Controversy, Ethnic Division”. In Joanne M. Greer, David O. Moberg. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion. Stamford, Connecticut: JAI Press. p. 146 ISBN 0762304839
15. Laurentin 1993, p. 33
19. Moerman, Joseph (February 1996). “À propos de Vassula Ryden: un cas de discernement” (in French). Choisir (Geneva) (434): 11–14.
22. Ecumenical Patriarchate (March 16, 2011). “Announcement On Vassula Ryden By The Ecumenical Patriarchate”. Retrieved July 20, 2012
23. Synodical Committee for Matters of Heresy (January 13, 2012). “Announcement Concerning Vassiliki (Vassula) Paraskevis Pendakis-Ryden”. Church of Cyprus. Retrieved July 20, 2012
24. “Legal action by Vassula Ryden shuts down critical web site”, Catholic World News, May 11, 2012
27. Rajdhani Nepali National Daily, 27 June 2010
28. http://s1.e-monsite.com/2009/06/28/56851043flyer-namur-5-6-dec-en-ver-1-word-2-pdf.pdf Gathering: United by Christ, 5-6 December 2009
30. “Notification on Vassula Ryden (Dec 1996), Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith”. Clarification of original Notification on Vassula Ryden. Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), taken from: L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English, 4 December 1996, 12. Retrieved 2012-08-02
31. Levada, William. “Letter to Presidents of Episcopal Conferences (25 January 2007)”. Retrieved 4 May 2012
32. “Santa Sede reitera que católicos no deben participar en encuentros de Vassula Ryden”. Aciprensa. Retrieved 28 June 2012
33. “Se inicia la causa de canonización del famoso sacerdote taumaturgo Emiliano Tardif”. Religion en Libertad. Retrieved 28 June 2012
Wikipedia is reliable here because it is not subjectively engaged in the pro- or anti-Vassula Ryden debate.
Moreover, all of the above information is available on other reliable Catholic web sites.
Vassula Ryden‘s leading
clerical supporters [page 1] are promoters of the Medjugorje “seers'” messages and apparitions which again are not approved by Rome, widely discredited as fake, and whose main protagonists were disobedient to the local Ordinaries [a sign of false private revelation] and tainted by sexual scandals.
Vassula Ryden is known to seek audiences with Bishops and Bishops’ Conferences and later publicise these meetings on her web sites and blogs giving the impression that these meetings and engagements were against official invitations from the respective Bishops and Bishops’ Conferences. I have already reproduced denials received by email from Indian bishops who state that they simply acceded to True Life in God [TLIG] requests that Vassula be permitted to meet them, see page 9 of my alert VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA to which they added that “[t]he general conclusion was that her teaching was questionable and therefore [the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference] is not endorsing her.”
Wikipedia has cited Canadian author, exorcist and moral theologian
Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine, O.P. as being highly critical of Vassula Ryden. Read his article VASSULA RYDEN-THE REASONS FOR THE CHURCH’S NEGATIVE REACTION. Wikipedia has
also cited Belgian theologian
Joseph Moerman, another Catholic critic of Vassula Ryden. There are several others, including noted author and EWTN speaker Fr. Mitchell Pacwa S.J.,
who find her messages “heretical” and replete with major theological errors. See link to VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA further below.
Wikipedia records her as having married a second time. Fr. Mitch Pacwa suspects the possibility of a third marriage [Wikipedia records two] in her highly secretive and hidden past [no one seems to know the names of her father, her first husband or her two sons from that union].
About six months after her divorce towards the end of 1980, she remarried in June 1981 in a civil ceremony.
What is well known is that both her husbands are Lutheran while she states herself to be Greek Orthodox.
What is not so widely known is that though Vassula Ryden claims to have had a conversion experience in 1985 during and after which she received messages from her “guardian angel” and “Jesus”, she only married [her second husband] in church [the Greek-Orthodox church of Lausanne, Switzerland] 5 years later in 1990.
Belgian Catholic apologist Mark Waterinckx writes [see VASSULA RYDEN-MARK WATERINCKX]:
I know that the Orthodox Church permits divorce, against the teaching of Jesus Christ in the gospel in and against the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. But that, even according to her own church, she lived together with her second husband for nine years without an Orthodox Church marriage, even though she claimed to have received messages of Jesus since 1985, is incomprehensible. How could the real Jesus not notice that the woman to whom he gave heavenly messages was living in adultery? 4.
[Refer back to page 2]
L.A. Cathedral disinvites Christian Unity event – Pastor decides not to allow conference after realizing the role of a self-proclaimed mystic
By Larry B. Stammer, Times Staff Writer January 10, 2006
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.
MY COMMENTS continued, interspersed with information retrieved from my files or the Internet
It is quite typical of TLIG subterfuge to have attempted to use the cover of a “Christian unity conference” to have Vassula Ryden as the star speaker.
Another TLIG ploy is to claim ad nauseam that Vassula Ryden’s writings “have been cleared by the Vatican” [see page 2]. Not suspecting deceit, Church officials usually blunder into blind acceptance of TLIG assurances, and only finding out the truth when it is already too late.
The reaction [“To me this is a betrayal by my church”] of Ms. Mansour to the rescinding of the invitation to Vassula Ryden by the archdiocese of L.A. is also typical TLIG. Followers tend, cult-like, to render loyalty to their peers and their leader — vis-à-vis the Church as represented by the local Ordinary — and, as former ex-TLIG prayer group members have shared with me, give precedence to the reading of Vassula Ryden‘s messages over other spiritual literature including the Holy Bible. 5.
One good person, who was one of the organizers for an earlier visit of Vassula Ryden to an Indian city and accompanied her, recently wrote me that she is no more involved with TLIG as she found that the “messages” were not meeting her spiritual needs and that the spirituality of other TLIG enthusiasts was rather shallow.
TLIG/Vassula Ryden generate a sort of cult-like fear psychosis among some Christians. I have had people writing me who do not want their identities and even their letters to be made public. Here is one such case from a South American Catholic who was inquiring about a Nihil Obstat given to a Vassula Ryden book by an Indian Bishop whose name he already knew but was afraid to reveal. I am only reproducing parts of his letters along with an approximate translation into English.
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2006 6:41 AM Subject: LANGUAGE
Dear Michael: I want to know if you know Spanish to write you a next mail, because I want to make you a question. I am from Argentina. Thanks you and God bless you.
maria laura pio; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 3:57 AM Subject: VASSULA
Hola Maria Laura: Como vos sabes tu amigo Michael me dijo que te escribiera ya que el sabe poco castellano y yo se leer
ingles pero no me animo a escribirlo. Un amigo mio sacerdote me dijo que fuera a este sitio:
http://www.mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/tligchurchposition_sp.htm Yo lo leì ayer y alli saque la direccion de mail de Michael a quien queria preguntarle acerca de una informacion que aun no tengo confirmada: parece que un obispo de la India le ha dado el
nihil obstat y el imprimatur a la obra de Vassula. Le comente a ese amigo sacerdote que estaba leyendo “La Verdadera Vida en Dios” y el me dijo que leyera ese sitio web donde hay varias noticias contrarias a leer esa obra de Vassula. Diariamente estoy leyendola y a mi me parece que no tiene nada contrario a la doctrina catolica, pero yo francamente no soy nadie como para aprobar o desaprobar lo que ella dice en esos libros. Ahora yo estoy en un grave problema: ¿sigo leyendo lo que me falta hasta terminar toda la obra? ¿como se entiende que un obispo indio le de la aprobacion a una obra que el Vaticano dice que no deberia leerse? ¿Uds. conocen a ese obispo? Por favor diganme que es lo que saben acerca de ese nihil obstat e imprimatur asi vamos aclarando un poca tanta confusion que hay en este tema. Les mando un caluroso abrazo a los dos y le pido a Dios que los llene de bendiciones.
maria laura pio; prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:19 PM Subject: RE: VASSULA
Mis queridos Maria Laura y Michael: Te agradezco tu mail. El imprimatur y el
nihil obstat ya esta dado por un obispo que reside en la India. Y aun no esta en la pagina de Vassula no se porque razon. Quisiera saber si Michael que reside en ese pais, ya sabe de esta novedad, ¿vos Maria Laura tambien residis en la India? Un afectuoso beso para los dos
maria laura pio; prabhu
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 2:09 AM Subject: RE: VASSULA
Maria Laura y Michael: Me has puesto en una terrible encrucijada con las preguntas que me has hecho ya que yo tengo la
informacion TOTALMENTE FIDEDIGNA y lo que suponia era que Uds. dos ya sabrian de esta informacion. Ahora tendre que preguntarle a las personas que estan con el tema de Vassula para saber si puedo contestartelas. Por de pronto te pido POR FAVOR que no divulgues DE NINGUNA MANERA que yo desde aca te he dado esta informacion del imprimatur y del
nihil obstat, ya que al MINUTO se sabra que he sido yo el que te lo mencione: ¿PODRAN GUARDAR ESTE ECRETO POR FAVOR HASTA QUE YO LES DIGA? Muchas gracias y que Dios los bendiga a ambos
maria laura pio To:
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 5:28 PM Subject: RE: REPLY FROM INDIA
Dear Michael, I answered the mail of “Antonio” from Argentina. He wanted to know if an Indian Bishop had given a nihil obstat and imprimatur to the books of Vassula. I made a research in Vassula’s website, and saw nothing about that. So I answered “Antonio” that to my knowledge, none of the books of Vassula received that kind of approbation. Vassula even denied in 2003 that any of her books had an imprimatur. However, if you know something more about this, please advise me. Very warmly in Christ, Maria Laura
maria laura pio To:
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 1:04 PM Subject: FW: VASSULA
Dear Michael, “Antonio” from Argentina has sent a mail saying that he has the confirmation that a Bishop from India has given imprimatur and nihil obstat to Vassula’s books. I have written back to him asking him to please tell me how he knows this and if he could give me the name of the Bishop. I’ll keep you informed. Warmly in Christ, Maria Laura
maria laura pio; prabhu
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 8:06 PM Subject: RE: VASSULA
Queridos Maria Laura y Michael: Te explico bien como sè la informacion y vos te daras cuenta porque estoy en la duda cartesiana. Como sabes mi nombre es “Antonio“. Resulta que hace poco tiempo recibo unos mails dirigidos a un “Antonio” (que no era yo precisamente) enviados por el numero uno de la Argentina en el tema de Vassula (persona que es de mi conocimiento y estima). En esos mails se notifica oficialmente que -a fines del 2005- a los libros se le han dado el imprimitar y el nihil obstat.
Alli se dan datos precisos del arzobispo y obispo que los han otorgado. Y por otra parte se dice con total claridad que
Vassula no quiere darlo a publicidad (no da la razon) pero sì los hara imprimir en todos los libros que se impriman de ahora en adelante. Ahora bien. Si a vos te pasara algo parecido: ¿lo darias a publicidad sabiendo lo que te acabo de explicar? ¿tengo yo derecho a comentar algo que lo conozco por un error de la persona que envio dichos mails? ¿no seria un abuso de confianza? ¿no tendrian todo el derecho de enrrostrarme el haberlo dicho sin permiso? Eso por un lado. Pero por otro, estoy de acuerdo con vos en cuanto a que debe haber bastante gente que sabe de este asunto y por eso se me creo la duda que te plantee en mi mail anterior. Si yo mismo me convenzo que estoy haciendo bien, es muy probable que a ambos les diga los nombres de los autorizantes pero por favor Maria Laura, traducile esto que estoy diciendo a Michael y que el mismo me escriba (no tengo grandes dificultades en la lectura del ingles) con sus reflexiones sobre lo que acabo de escribirles.
Obviamente -y esta de mas decir- que tambien necesitaria las tuyas. Quedate tranquila que a mi edad, seria bastante complicado que me hagan caer en algun engaño. Puedo caer como cualquiera, pero no en este tema precisamente. Que Dios los bendiga a ambos y a mi que me de luces para saber como debo proceder. “Antonio”
maria laura pio To:
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 2:56 PM Subject: A request from “Antonio“
Dear Michael, Thank you for your latest mail, which I will read with interest. I wanted to tell you that I remain in contact with “Antonio“, who wrote to you in Spanish telling that an Indian Bishop had given the nihil obstat and imprimatur. “Antonio” wrote today praying us to keep that information confidential, because apparently he was not authorized to inform us!! And now he is afraid of what may happen to him. I wrote back telling him we will not divulge his name, and encouraging him to get all the information, so we can verify if it is true. Very warmly in Christ, Maria Laura
maria laura pio To:
Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 12:30 PM Subject: Letter from “Antonio”
Dear Michael, “Antonio” from Argentina wrote a mail last Friday, which I just saw today. He asks me to translate it for you, because he wishes that you give him some advice writing directly to him. I find it all very strange. Here is what he writes:
Dear Maria Laura and Michael,
I’ll explain how I got that information and you will see why I have so many doubts. As you know, my name is “Antonio“. Some time ago I started to receive mails directed to a “Antonio“ (who is not me) sent by the Argentinean number one of Vassula matters (a person I know and for which I have esteem). Those mails officially notify that at the end of 2005, the books have received the imprimatur and nihil obstat. The mails also give precise details about the archbishop and bishop that gave them. The mails also say clearly that Vassula does not want to publicize it (the reason is not mentioned) but that she will have them included in all the books that will be printed from now on.
Now, if you found yourself in a similar situation: would you make it public knowing what I have just explained? Do I have the right to comment something that I know because of a mistake made by the person who sent you those mails? Wouldn’t it be an abuse of trust? Wouldn’t they have all the right to blame me of having said it without permission? That on one side. On the other side, I agree with you that there must be many persons who know about this, and that is why I started doubting, as explained in my previous mail. If I convince myself that I am doing the right thing, it is very probable that I will tell both of you the names of the bishops, but please Maria Laura, translate this to Michael, and ask him to write to me (I can read English without too many problems) with his reflections on what I have just wrote to you. I would also appreciate your advice. Please don’t worry for me. It would be quite complicated that they make me fall into some problem. I can fall as anyone, but not on this matter. May God bless you both and enlighten me on the best way to proceed. “Antonio“”
So, as I said before, I find everything very strange, and I have even thought it a prank, but I cannot rule out it being all true. The main problem I have is that Vassula is Greek-Orthodox and lives in the USA. Is it common in India that Catholic bishops give a nihil obstat and imprimatur to a non-catholic author that resides in another country? The advice I’ve been giving “Antonio” is to verify the information himself or to give us the details and we will verify it. I am surprised that he keeps on writing with the same doubt. And saying “if you convince me, I might just give you the info you want”. I have had other similar cases, and generally the persons either give me the details for me to verify or do not write back. So “Antonio“‘s case is really strange. Very warmly in Christ, Maria L
My letter to “Antonio“, Copy to Maria Laura:
Dear “Antonio“, Thank you for taking so much of trouble to write to us. You are greatly appreciated.
I am sure that Maria Laura is guiding you correctly.
There is no way of my finding out if an Indian Bishop gave a nihil obstat or imprimatur for a Vassula book.
If you are willing to share the information, we can investigate further. It is entirely up to you to decide what you feel is right for you and for the Catholic Church of which we are all members.
God bless you, “Antonio“. With love and prayers, Michael
maria laura pio; email@example.com
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2006 11:18 PM
Subject: NIHIL OBSTAT AND IMPRIMATUR
Dear Maria Laura and Michael: I send you the information we talk about in our recent mails. The nihil obstat of Vassula’s book was given on 24/11/2005 by Felix Toppo, Bishop of Jamshedpur of India. And the imprimatur was given on 28/11/05 by Ramon Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa, Philippines. I wait for your news to know if this information is correct. I beg you to keep this information in a very confidential way. Thanks for all and God bless both of you. “Antonio“
For confirmation that Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur gave the Nihil Obstat for Vassula Ryden‘s book, see page 10 of VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA. Why wouldn’t he? He participated in Vassula Ryden‘s True Life in God Pilgrimage to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan in May 2005.
I then suggested to “Antonio” that he ask Bishop
Felix Toppo about his having given the Nihil Obstat.
Still fearful, “Antonio” used an alias and a letter drafted by me:
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:08 PM
Subject: Re: NIHIL OBSTAT AND IMPRIMATUR
Dear Michael: Just a few minutes away I wrote to the Bishop as you suggest me. I sent the mail from an address of a friend of mine for security reasons. God bless you. “Antonio”
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:01 PM Subject: LETTER FROM ARGENTINA, SOUTH AMERICA 7.
FOR THE KIND ATTENTION OF: MOST REV. FELIX TOPPO S.J., BISHOP OF JAMSHEDPUR, INDIA
Dear Reverend Bishop,
I am Sergio Meiorin writing to you from Argentina. I would like to know from you the title and other publishing details of
Vassula Ryden’s book for which I understand you gave the Nihil Obstat sometime last year. Is the book available in print and for sale in India and in South America? If you could furnish me any such details, I will be greatly obliged to you.
Yours sincerely, Sergio Meiorin
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 11:28 PM Subject: EUREKA!!!
My dear Michael: I just received the mail from the bishop. He is very kind in his message, but he says nothing
about de Nihil Obstat. ¿and now? Saludos
PS: Dear Michael. Please, I insist again to be very, very confidential of all of this matter. ¿may I be sure that you are confidential too?
My response to “Antonio“:
Dear “Antonio“, please do not be so insecure. How can we help with the Bishop if you do not share with us about the contents of his response to you? Michael
maria laura pio; prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 7:41 AM Subject: AT LAST
Dears Maria Pio and Michael
Excuse me the delay in answer you both. Thanks for all and God bless you. “Antonio“
The reply to “Sergio Meiorin” from Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur:
Dear Sergio Meiorin,
May the Lord bless you! Vassula Ryden has written (Jesus wrote through her hand). They are known as the TRUE LIFE IN GOD. They are up to 12 Volumes. She also has written a book “My ANGEL Daniel”. All the details of TLIG and its publications, suppliers can be found in the website: www.tlig.org.
You visit the Web. You will find the list of all the books and also the names of the suppliers who do online supply. I did not find any supplier from South America. You will find that there are suppliers from USA, Canada and UK. They do publish and supply in India, but the print is not so good. Please visit the web site and if you still cannot get the books let me know. I
will give you more information and the address of India. May God bless you and assist you to live true life in God!
+Felix Toppo, S.J.
As one can see, Bishop Felix Toppo evades any discussion on the issue of the Nihil Obstat.
My testimony of my disenchantment with Vassula Ryden can be accessed at this ministry’s site. However, it was reproduced on other Catholic sites and against which I have received letters that are apparently from TLIG sympathizers. For example, here’s one with my reply. Note how the writer quotes Vassula in order to confirm her own opinions which however are not exactly those of the Catholic Church whom she also cites:
Subject: re testimony on bluewin web site
Please could you explain to me the following quote from your Testimony on the ‘mypage.bluewin’ web site: “I could see that the ecumenism that she proposes is not the one envisaged by the Church. It would in fact be detrimental to the apostolic and sacramental Church. I have a few other observations but would like to conclude here because I will only be repeating what others have also now been saying.”
I have been reading the messages but have not been quite so interested in the unity theme so do not have anything to say about it except that it comes across to me that Vassula views Christian unity as typified in the Blessed Trinity. Also that unity begins with loving each other in the various denominations as the first step and praying together. This seemed to me viable and I have noticed that in charismatic groups all denominations praise Jesus together and pray together and, possibly for the first time, accept that the Holy Spirit with His Gifts is at work in other denominations. I previously [for most of my life] in ignorance had concluded that anything done by way of the charisms in other denominations must have an evil base and I discovered they thought the same about us! So a unity movement is beginning exactly as Vassula appears to envision it – by a unity of love and praise and prayer together first. It appears to me that in this spirit there arises friendship, talking to each other without argument, explaining without anger, and actual listening to each other is effecting understanding. This may only look like a little step but it is in fact removing obstacles slowly and is the direct work of the Holy Spirit of love. So I have concluded that Vassula is correct. However I am open to correction on this theme of unity in Vassula. I did look up the document on unity and have concluded from what little I know that this is correct in the light of the Church’s teaching in Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Ut Unum Sint [On Commitment to Ecumenism: May 25, 1995] he writes: “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit”; thus our “hope does not disappoint us” (Romans 5:5). This is the hope of Christian unity, which has its divine source in the Trinitarian unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. [Section 8], and again:
“Ecumenical” prayer, as the prayer of brothers and sisters, expresses all this. Precisely because they are separated from one another, they meet in Christ with all the more hope, entrusting to him the future of their unity and their communion. Here too we can appropriately apply the teaching of the Council: “The Lord Jesus, when he prayed to the Father ‘that all may be one…as we are one’ (John 17:21-22), opened up vistas closed to human reason. For he implied a certain likeness between the union of the Divine Persons, and the union of God’s children in truth and charity.”
In regard to Vassula praying in other churches Jesus says, “All are My Churches they are all Mine, they all belong to Me and Me only. I am the Church, I am the Head of the Church . . . You can come to Me anytime in any Church, do not make any distinction like the others. They all belong to Me. I am One God and have One Body”
In paragraph 10 of the same encyclical [quoted above] we read of the “oneness of existing union with our brothers and sisters through Baptism which renders them to be properly regarded as brothers and sisters in the Lord by the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church.”
In section 10 we read: “In the present situation of the lack of unity among Christians and of the confident quest for full communion, the Catholic faithful are conscious of being deeply challenged by the Lord of the Church…”
The Council states that the Church of Christ “subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him,” and at the same time acknowledges that “many elements of sanctification and of truth can be found outside her visible structure. These elements, however, as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, possess an inner dynamism toward Catholic unity.”(11)
“It follows that these separated Churches and Communities, though we believe that they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and value in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.”
Speaking of the members of these Communities, Paragraph 13 declares:
“All those justified by faith through Baptism are incorporated into Christ. They therefore have a right to be honoured by the title of Christian, and are properly regarded as brothers and sisters in the Lord by the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church.”
And again in Paragraph 15: Thanks to ecumenism, our contemplation of “the mighty works of God” (mirabilia Dei) has been enriched by new horizons, for which the Triune God calls us to give thanks: the knowledge that the Spirit is at work in other Christian Communities, the discovery of examples of holiness, the experience of the immense riches present in the communion of saints, and contact with unexpected dimensions of Christian commitment.
Jesus also says
“You can come to Me anytime in any Church, do not make any distinction like the others. They all belong to Me.” Paragraph 42 of the same encyclical says of the example of Sister Maria Gabriella [victim souls for Church Unity]:
Sister Maria Gabriella is instructive; it helps us to understand that there are no special times, situations or places of prayer for unity. Christ’s prayer to the Father is offered as a model for everyone, always and everywhere… There is an increased awareness that we all belong to Christ…The “universal brotherhood” of Christians has become a firm ecumenical conviction. Consigning to oblivion the excommunications of the past … It needs be reaffirmed in this regard that acknowledging our brotherhood is not the consequence of a large-hearted philanthropy or a vague family spirit. It is rooted in recognition of the oneness of Baptism and the subsequent duty to glorify God in his work.
Thank you for your time. Sister Jacqueline, Wales. UK
Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2006 5:50 PM Subject: REPLY FROM INDIA
Dear Sister Jacqueline Boyce,
I thank you for your mail and apologize for my delay in answering you: my ministry takes up all my time and I had to deal with urgent matters. I will try to answer you as best I can, without having all the time I wish I had to give detailed references. My assessment is based on words attributed by you to “Jesus”, such as the one you cite, and others that unfortunately I do not have the time to search for. However the verse that you quote illustrates well what I mean:
“You can come to Me anytime in any Church, do not make any distinction like the others. They all belong to Me.”
In your letter, I understand that you see no contradiction between this statement and the Church’s teachings. God indeed loves all humans and does not make distinctions in His Love for us. The problem is the affirmation: “You can come to Me anytime in any Church, do not make any distinction”.
I will give you an example: as a Catholic, when I enter into a Catholic Church, I will search for the Tabernacle because I believe Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. If I enter a typical Protestant Church, I won’t find that Presence. Of course, I can pray to God anywhere, even at home, but there is a “sacramental” difference between these two Churches (this is probably badly phrased, but I hope it’s clear). And there is a distinction to be made, and that is why we are not completely united (see Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] #815).
Recognizing such differences does not mean that one lacks respect for Protestants or that one is judging them negatively. One is only stating a fact. As Catholics, we believe that on the day of Pentecost, “the fullness of means of salvation” was given to the Church founded by Christ: “correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life and ordained ministry in apostolic succession” (CCC #830). We recognize that it is because of our sins that the Church has been divided, but this does not mean that the Catholic Church lost the “fullness of means of salvation”, or that we deny that the other Christian Churches continue to have many elements of sanctification and truth for their salvation (CCC #817-819). Or that we deny the need of “conversion of heart” as a step towards full unity (CCC # 821).
Our Pope, who strives for unity among all Christian Churches and for inter-religious dialogue, recently stated in a visit to the Gregorian University of Rome: “It is impossible to ignore relations with other religions, which will only prove constructive if we avoid all forms of ambiguity, which in a certain way undermine the essential content of Christian faith in Christ, the one Savior of all mankind (cf. Acts 4:12), and in the Church, the
sacrament of salvation for all humanity (cf. Declaration “Dominus Iesus,” nn. 13-15; nn. 20-22: AAS 92  742-765).” (I added the highlights. The complete text is at: http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=98550 )
To say that one should not make distinctions between Churches is to imply that they are all the same. It introduces a sort of relativism. Unity of Credo becomes secondary. You might argue that this is not what Vassula thinks. Her actions however make me think otherwise. 9.
For instance, she has on several occasions stated that she participates regularly in Catholic Masses for a series of reasons (distance, opportunity, unity gatherings, etc) and that she sees nothing wrong although she is Greek-Orthodox and the canonical discipline of her Church does not permit it, or at least not in the way she is doing it, as was pointed out by the British Orthodox Church. (http://www.mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/tliggreekorthodox.htm).
This type of attitude, apparently based on the logic of not making distinctions between Churches, creates only more confusion and disunity inside each Church. If Vassula has decided to belong to the Orthodox Church, well then in conscience, she should act in accordance with her choice and be respectful of the discipline of the Orthodox Church, not only in private matters, but also in all her public appearances.
From a Catholic point of view, since the Notification was issued by our Church, Vassula has continued to try to organize meetings in Catholic parishes whenever it was possible, knowing that she was inciting the local bishop and/or priests to disregard a direct request from the Pope’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. All this in the name of unity.
So, when one puts together the contents of the messages, Vassula’s statements and her actions, well one finds a lot of confusion and contradictions which are detrimental for Christian unity and ecumenism in general.
I had been very impressed at one time with Vassula’s vision of the three steel or iron rods of the different Christian traditions — the Catholic, the Orthodox and the Pentecostal, if I recall correctly — being forged together by the Holy Spirit, and it is as it should be, all of us as ONE. “That they may all be one” (John 17:21) But as a Catholic by choice, and from the divine revelations that I received during MY conversion experience, I always firmly believe that such an event will never exclude the Holy Eucharist and a special place for the Blessed Mother.
I hope the above has helped you understand my own views on the matter.
At your service in Jesus’ Name Michael [with inputs from Maria Laura Pio]
Mary G To:
Sent: Saturday, December 02, 2006 4:45 PM Subject: vassula
Dear Michael, I read with great interest in your [Vassula] testimony that ‘being good and well-intentioned is not good enough’. As a matter of fact, I was reading her books and met her here in Perth and even rang her in Rome and had a conversation with her. Like you said, the minute fractionalised error MATTERS and I follow your saying of the detrimental effects on the church and that includes you and me… You are most right for not condemning Vassula. I truly respect your Christian principles. I hope to hear from you soon. God bless. Mary G., Perth, Australia
Vassula Ryden wages her own propaganda war to convince gullible Bishops that the Holy See’s October 6, 1995 Notification on her and TLIG has somehow or the other been repealed or that the Vatican supports her revelations. But, anyone genuinely interested in knowing the truth can easily access information such as the following [also see the other related Vassula Ryden articles at this ministry’s web site] from the Internet:
Vassula Again Condemned* By Vatican
Last January 25th, 2007 Cardinal William Levada* issued a warning to the Presidents of all the Episcopal Conferences from the official Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) regarding the false claims of Mrs. Vassula Ryden and this warning was just made public and is translated below into English and includes a link to the original in French.
As is the case of many other false mystics and apparitions Vassula’s official web site, True Life In God www.tlig.org continues to say that the Vatican supports her revelations http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/, which has never been true. *See also page 12
As you will see the communication confirms that nothing has changed since the original doctrinal judgment of 1995. It warns against the promotion of these writings as being from God and warns against participation of the faithful in her prayer groups.
My thanks to Maria Laura Pio who has done a great job in keeping the public informed of this fraud on her web site. http://www.infovassula.ch.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
25th January 2007
Prot. N.: 54/92 – 24945
Your Eminence / Your Excellency,
Requests for clarification on the writings and activities of Mrs Vassula Ryden continue to arrive at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in particular regarding the validity of the Notification of 6th October 1995 and the criteria that should be followed in defining the provision of local Churches regarding the advisability of spreading the writings of Mrs Vassula Ryden.
At this regard, the Congregation wishes to specify as follows:
1) The Notification of 1995 remains valid concerning the doctrinal judgement on the writings examined (cf. attachment 1).
2) Following a the dialogue which has taken place with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mrs Vassula Ryden has however provided clarifications on certain problematical points which appear in her writings, and also on the nature of her messages, which do not present themselves as divine revelations but, rather as personal meditations (cf. attachment 2: Letter of April 4th 2002 published in the True Life in God vol. 10). From the normative point of view, then, after the above mentioned clarifications, it is advisable to make a prudent evaluation, case by case, taking into account the concrete possibilities for the faithful in reading these writings within the framework of such clarifications. 10.
3) Finally, it is reminded that the participation of Catholics in prayer groups organized by Mrs Vassula Ryden is not advisable. In the cases of ecumenical encounters, the faithful should comply with the provisions given by the Ecumenical Directory, the Code of Canon Law (can. 215; 223 §2, 383 §3) and the diocesan Ordinaries.
In sending you this information, I am sincerely yours in devotion to the Lord.
Cardinal William LEVADA
To all the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences
See photocopy of original in French: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm#original
Regarding some new developments which point to demonic activity associated with Vassula, Mark Waterinckx from Belgium wrote to Cardinal Levada the following letter and attachment.
Dear Card. Levada,
I thank you for your communiqué of 25-1-2007 about Vassula.
Vassula has attacked you and your text in her comment on a (demonic?) stigmatized person in Australia. In my attachment (please click below) on the same text as in the title and you will find this comment and repulsive photos of a stigmatized Australian lady named Marianne, and promoted by Vassula and R. Laurentin of course.
There is blood everywhere, even above the eyes!
I think Vassula is a medium for a demon, called ‘Daniel’, and now she is helped by another demon in the person of Marianne with lipstick, colored eyes and false eyebrows.
If you want so, I can send you my thorough study of Vassula in English. Pax et Bonum
Mark Waterinckx – Belgium
This attachment referred to by Mark Waterinckx has been changed to remove Vassula’s comments on Cardinal Levada and references to R. Laurentin but her letter of support for this demonic activity and photos is enlightening and worth reading: http://www.tlig.org/images/global/news/Stigmata_Article_July_2007.pdf.
I use the word “condemned” to mean not from God and although not canonically correct, its meaning is correct. END, unitypublishing
As unitypublishing.com has pointed out, Vassula Ryden expunged her “comments on Cardinal Levada and references to [Fr. Rene] Laurentin” in the cited pdf article, true to her tradition of altering and deleting messages printed in her earlier published TLIG books. What unitypublishing.com has not pointed out is that Vassula Ryden appeals to the unapproved and discredited Medjugorje “seers” on page 12 of that pdf file.
This an odd case of one alleged “seer” giving approbation to another group of alleged “seers” while herself certifying an unconfirmed “stigmatist” as genuine.
Typically, Vassula Ryden stokes confusion using subterfuge even after the 2007 Clarification on the 1995 Notification, with the “One Date” petition:
maria laura pio
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 12:27 PM Subject: “One Date” petition and Vassula Ryden
Great confusion continues to reign regarding the validity of the Notification on Vassula Ryden issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1995 (more info: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm). This confusion is fuelled by the propaganda and booklets distributed by the local True Life in God (TLIG) associations, which affirm that Mrs Ryden has been approved by the Church and that the Holy Father encourages everyone to read her books (!)
More confusion has been created by the nihil obstat and imprimatur granted to her writings by two supporting Bishops, convinced that Mrs Ryden is an authentic seer (http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignihilobstat.htm).
It has also been brought to my attention that during events organized by local parishes, dioceses or the Charismatic Renewal, members of TLIG are circulating a petition titled “One Date“. This petition asks for the unification of the Date of Easter by the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. This petition is not identified as part of Mrs Ryden’s group, except in some cases for an email address containing the letters “tlig”. Of course, one would have to know what “tlig” means in order to link it with Vassula.
There is a website about this petition:
If you navigate thoroughly inside the website, you end up by finding the reference to Mrs Ryden, presented as a prophet and put on the same level as Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Catherine of Siena (http://www.onedate.org/inspiration.php).
Our Church’s recent call to boycott Amnesty International because of its pro-abortion ideology is a reminder that the Christians’ responsibility does not limit itself to supporting positive actions. We must also make sure who is behind them, for our help could be abusively used and even lead others into error.
Many persons who sign the “One Date” petition do not realize that their signatures will be used to promote “True Life in God”. And this happens mainly because those who circulate the petition
do their best to avoid it to be easily identified with Vassula Ryden, even though it
is her organization who will present the signatures to the ecclesiastical authorities. If Mrs Ryden wishes to promote her petition, the correct thing is to identify it clearly as an initiative from her organization. 11.
If this petition is circulating near you, it is important to inform your parish or the local bishop, presenting them with a copy of the Notification (http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignotification1.htm). If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me: [email id]. Warmly in Christ, Maria Laura Pio http://www.infovassula.ch
Recent CDF memo warns Catholics not to participate in Vassula Ryden events
Rome, August 9, 2007 (CNA) (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/) 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.” *See page 10
“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
not as divine revelations but rather as her own personal meditations.” “Therefore, from the normative point of view, and after these clarifications, 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,” the memo indicated.
Lastly, the memo reiterates that it “does not seem opportune that Catholics participate in prayer groups organized by Ms. Ryden. 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.”
Despite repeated clarifications from the CDF, Vassula Ryden consistently insists that Rome has “modified” its 1995 position on her. It is a favorite TLIG argument used by TLIG-ers that there are problems with Cardinal Levada’s 2007 letter [see pages 10 and 11]. To provide them with the requisite ammunition, Vassula Ryden launched an almost derogatory attack on the Cardinal through a “Response”. Catholic warrior Maria Laura Pio came back with an excellent point by point rebuttal of Vassula Ryden‘s “Response”. They may be viewed at pages 51-54 of VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA
and pages 65-68 of VASSULA RYDEN-A CDF NOTIFICATION BISHOPS WARNINGS AND THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES
The following may be a 2005
TLIG extract, but it is typical of Vassula Ryden‘s devious strategies
“India Has a Soul” http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/2005/0312/
On March 11, 2005 Vassula and I, Georgia Braun, your reporter, arrived in Calcutta to visit the Archbishop there, Lucas Sarkar, who is a friend of True Life in God, but as he was away on a trip, Vassula left him the New CDF Document outlining the Vatican’s modified position on True Life in God.
That Pope John Paul II was handed a book of Vassula Ryden’s “messages” by
Professor Niels Christian Hvidt, a theologian from Denmark, means little. The Pope receives many books from authors who have audiences with him.
What is not known is that at one time
Hvidt lived in Rome in the same house as Vassula Ryden did! Niels had little money and Vassula offered Hvidt a part of her huge house to live in. Hvidt has written several defenses of Vassula [which I have reproduced in a separate article along with other Vassula apologists].
It appears that many of those who support Vassula Ryden
— including bishops, especially Indian Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur and a Filipino bishop who gave her the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur respectively —
have benefited from her largesse.
Their approbation of her cannot but be biased.
Catholics are familiar with the lives and messages of the visionaries of Lourdes and Fatima, to name just a couple of the well-known and Church-approved apparition sites and their seers.
One may compare not just the substance of their messages with that of Vassula Ryden‘s but also their methods of communicating these messages as well as their attitudes toward the resultant incredulous disbelief, utter rejection and downright opposition from priests and Bishops as compared to those resorted to by Vassula Ryden.
Public relations set-ups, cruises and pilgrimages with bishops [“to cultivate members of the local hierarchy, who are
not always fully aware of all her activities“], donations [to cathedrals, venues of public meetings], false claims and statements, trade-marking, a battery of lawyers, the filing of court cases against critics… I just wonder if I am inviting a legal notice, as Swiss critic Maria Laura Pio did in 2011 and again in 2012, from Vassula Ryden though all of the sources I cite are very much in the public domain. 12.
As I wrote on the first page, included here is information that is largely not used in the preceding nearly 30 articles and 1 report. This information may lack continuity. Meanwhile I have added on at least another 25 articles. With all the Vassula odds and ends from my many computer files documented here, this is hopefully the last but one. The last report will comprise of correspondence with the Indian Bishops and others’ letters.
Patriarchate of Constantinople denounces Vassula Ryden
Selected comment on the blog, March 30, 2011
In 1996, Vassula Ryden was coming to Toronto and I bought tickets with my friends. My guardian angel protected me and didn’t allow me to go by allowing illness to strike me. After the “conference” my friends came back confused and gave me a drawing of Vassula’s Jesus as was revealed to her. When I looked at this Jesus drawing, I was horrified and I screamed and shook. I felt evil! That is not my LORD JESUS! I’m glad I never had the chance to even attend her “shows”. Vassula still comes to Toronto but every time she has a schedule, the church would issue warning to the Catholic faithful. –elremg
Patriarch of Constantinople Denounces Vassula
Posted by Fr. Ray Blake, March 17, 2011
Vassula Ryden occasionally comes to Brighton and speaks in one of the large Anglican churches. Last time she was here she was even invited to speak in the local cathedral. She pushes the old Anglican “branch theory”: Catholics, Orthodox and Anglicans are all branches of the same Church. Her followers, mainly Anglicans, insist on receiving Holy Communion, when refused, she and they, can be quite disruptive. Normally she has a tame bishop Catholic Bishop in tow.
She has a home in Rome, where she boasts, she a non-Catholic, is given Communion by the parish priest.
She and her followers have a well deserved reputation for being litigious.
My thanks to Rorate Caeli for this: [http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2011/03/fyi-patriarchate-of-constantinople.html]
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 Orthodox clergy from spreading her teachings her lest they incur canonical censures. An initial English translation of the new decree can be found here. The relevant portion is as follows:
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, rejects from the Mother Church Vasiliki Paraskevis Pentaki-Ryden, widely known as a “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.
This come 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 that will change soon…
11 out of 22 comments
I can think of quite a few male and female saints who claimed a “direct dialogue…with Jesus Christ our Lord”
If she has a Catholic bishop in tow that is good enough for me. Why describe such a priest as “tame”?
When we have read a little more about her thinking perhaps such condemnation can be justified, but not yet. –Philip A.
“Tame”? Because they are generally ignorant of what the CDF has to say about her, ignorant of Catholic theology, ignorant, possibly, of what she is actually saying. I don’t know if the luxury hotels have an attraction for such men, or the possibility of extra funding for their diocesan projects.
The CDF has certainly spoken strongly about her, and normally issues warnings in places she appears. –Fr. Ray Blake
She appeals to “itching ears”(2 Timothy 4:3), and those left spiritually starved by the New Order. A priest enthusiast gave me one of her books which I read. Her “revelations” betrayed an unorthodox view of the Holy Trinity which left me feeling rather sick, and sad about her whole deluded ensemble. It is right that there should be no doubt concerning her message: that she does not speak from the Church, and her ideas are inimical to our salvation. –B Flat
Don’t know what all the fuss is about. The situation is quite clear. The Catholic Church (sometimes known as the Roman Catholic Church in these Isles) is the True Church, the Mystical Body on Earth of Jesus Christ. All other Christian churches, except the Orthodox Churches and some others are to a greater of lesser degree in error, usually guilty of some heresy, and should come into union with the Catholic Church. The Orthodox Churches are in a different category and probably differ only on interpretations of Authority.
Having a tame bishop or indeed hordes of tame bishops, and there have been such, for instance during the Protestant Reformation and indeed some today, as well as many priests, in no way alters this. –Jacobi 13.
Go to the website http://www.infovassula.ch/tlighome.html and look at some of the twaddle that Vassula has written. Any well-instructed Catholic school-leaver would be able to demolish this stuff in seconds. All the more worrying that certain priests are taken in by it and seem to be obsessed with defending it. In one sense, it doesn’t matter what condemnations are issued either by the RC Church or any other ecclesial group. The followers of Vassula will continue to reject them, saying that they are ‘seeking further clarification’ until they get the answer that they want to hear. –Pat
Hmmmm. I have spent the past couple of hours reading about this woman and trying to digest the messages she says are from her ongoing direct dialogue with Jesus. The tone of these makes me personally uneasy; I can’t quite put my finger on why, perhaps a vein of self-indulgence running through? I haven’t yet read anything about her that immediately illustrates her disruptiveness… A comment from the Pope when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger and presiding on CDF stands out: “Her writings contain many good things but the grain and the chaff are mixed up”. She may be blithely sowing and meaning no harm, but I am not sure what crop will be harvested. After a few more “messages” – eek! All this blather about Jesus bringing her wedding rings etc and making her his altar… This does sound quite blasphemous to me; and yes, self indulgent. I would be surprised to see any Catholic Bishop in tow here, tame, wild or other. I won’t be reading any more of them. Eek!
I think she is cruelly deceived. Sadly, the deception of the visionary leads to the deception of a multitude. –Laurence England
I am not familiar with this person, but the trend is familiar – people rushing after ‘seers’, ‘visionaries’ and the latest ‘apparition’. Itching ears, indeed! Why are we never satisfied with just the Word of God, with the Church, with our Holy Father, that we continually look elsewhere for inspiration? Fallen human nature I expect – but Our Lord did warn about this… –GOR
Laurence and GOR: yes indeed. By the time of my second posting on here in the early hours, I was feeling quite disturbed by her fancies of a spiritual marriage to Jesus Christ, complete with virtual, matching wedding bands; and also of her stroking the face of God. I actually switched the laptop off and made myself a strong cuppa. I really feel she believes at least part of this, intently. I feel for her self-deception, which in my admittedly unqualified opinion may hint at self esteem issues. The question and answer format of the messaging seems to be very self-endorsing. I am sorry if my comments offend anyone on here who truly believes in Vassula and whose faith and love of God has been enriched by her messages. But personally I am fearful for those who follow her whose faith is vulnerable or has been compromised. I now understand Fr Ray’s concern that she might have any Catholic Bishop in tow, or similar endorsement. –Gigi
Just a few facts about Vassula, if I may, rather than some of the usual half-truths. First of all, Orthodox are allowed to receive Holy Communion in Catholic churches. This permission was granted by Pope John Paul II (was it in 1983?) Secondly, she does not “push the Anglican branch theory” That is a gross misrepresentation of what her writings say and a serious misunderstanding as well. As has been said ad nauseam Vassula provided answers to the Notifications – answers which have been accepted as “useful clarifications”. If you read the report of the dialogue Vassula has with the CDF you will also see that Cardinal Ratzinger was pleased with her answers. He then insisted that these answers should be printed in her books. The proper way to understand the Notification is to read it alongside those answers. As regards the Patriarch’s condemnation this comes against a background of debate amongst the Orthodox about how far to go in ecumenism. The “innovations” the Patriarch condemns – as those who read the writings will know – are actually Catholic doctrines, so presumably the Catholic opponents of Vassula will find themselves supporting the Patriarch’s comments and will be arguing against aspects of their own faith!
Vassula and her followers “litigious”? When and where? We do defend ourselves in relation to Canon Law. Is that wrong?
I should also say in relation to the matter of Anglicans receiving Holy Communion at Catholic Masses. This happens on Pilgrimages because Vassula actually asked at the Vatican what she should do. Permission was granted for this. In fact the Pope, John Paul II did the same on occasion (special circumstances etc). No one following Vassula is being disobedient or causing problems. I have never spoken or written to or about anyone in the unjust way I have often seen Vassula’s opponents speak and write, nor will I. Nor do I -as presumably a “tame” priest – promote any kind of disobedience or controversy. –Fr. John Abberton [Vassula Ryden’s spiritual advisor] [His arguments have been debunked by various theologians and other lay writers all of whose articles are accessible at this ministry’s site -Michael]
“I should also say in relation to the matter of Anglicans receiving Holy Communion at Catholic Masses. This happens on Pilgrimages because Vassula actually asked at the Vatican what she should do. Permission was granted for this.”
Fr. Abberton, is there hard copy proof of this? –Sharon [Fr. A. posts a lengthy blog but avoids answering Sharon]
Fr John Abberton starts his clarification with an outrageous distortion of the truth:
“First of all, Orthodox are allowed to receive Holy Communion in Catholic churches.”
He makes it clear in his next sentence that this permission came from the venerable Pope John Paul II. This is muddled thinking, not clarification. The Orthodox Church does not permit this to her faithful. If a neighbour allows children to come and eat and play in his house, is that sufficient? Are the children thereby “allowed” to do this?
There are many shepherds who act as pastors of their flock. Some are appointed for this by Christ and with His authority by the successors of the Apostles. I know mine, and my own know Me, is applicable here. Some are self-appointed. They are separate. But they, not the flocks, answer to God for their decision to join together or not.
I am certain that the Church has all that is necessary for salvation. If I look outside the Church, stray from my shepherd even in my intentions, then I answer before God for my unfaithfulness. Was I straying through hunger, or just vain curiosity for novelties? Or was I deluded by soft words of those who came as thieves and robbers? Constantinople has made it clear that Vasoula and her teachings are out of bounds for the Orthodox Faithful. Fr John Abberton will follow his own superiors’ directions, I trust, and probably not comply with the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s directive. –B Flat 14.
Even according to
TLIG, the Patriarchate accuses
By Maria Laura Pio, May 27, 2011
Following the publication on March 16, 2011, of the condemnation of Vassula’s teachings by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the following reactions were published on TLIG official websites:
Fr. John Abberton, a UK priest considered one of the spiritual advisors of TLIG, was the first to react on his blog (http://yorkshireshepherd.blogspot.com/) with several articles. One of them was later reproduced on official TLIG websites, generally with the title “Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is NOT an excommunication”. In spite of the title, Fr. Abberton does not enter into the discussion of the meaning of the announcement, but simply remarks that no discussion took place between Vassula and the Patriarchate prior to the publication of the announcement, and calls readers to remain calm and strong, “praying for reconciliation and showing those around us that we really believe that humility and love are the keys to unity”. The rest of the article discusses the situation with the Catholic Church. According to Fr. Abberton, “critics” have exaggerated the meaning and importance of the Notification and of the CDF’s 2007 letter, and suggests that the same is being done with the Patriarchate’s announcement.
Fr. Abberton’s article can be read here: http://www.defending-vassula.org/orthodox-patriarchate-commentary
On May 5 Vassula’s reaction to the Patriarchate’s decision arrives in the form of a “new message from Jesus” to be released to the public and titled “Tell My people and remind them…” The message refers to insults and persecutions, asking readers to console one another and to exercise “love of your neighbour”. But “Jesus” also calls readers to “refuse to sell My Blood” and to continue to proclaim the messages. He promises punishment for those who “stone” his prophets:
“…remember, to proclaim My Message far and wide for the smell of death has reached heaven and the punishment that awaits this generation will be drawn upon the earth because of its incredulity and its apostasy; the envoys I am sending you are not heard and My Spirit is blasphemed; many are recklessly injuring My Church, stoning My prophets; many are decaying and now visible signs are given in proportion and weight of their apostasy and their sins; hardship and distress are upon this faithless generation; these are signs given already to them because of their refusal to reconcile with Me.“
This message reminds the readers that those who refuse to accept Jesus’ revelation through TLIG are guilty of refusing to reconcile with Jesus (refusing Salvation) and therefore are blaspheming the Holy Spirit (the unforgivable sin).
This teaching was reinforced by a declaration signed by the “Equipo de Evangelizacion de la VVED” (TLIG evangelization team)
that is to my knowledge only available in Spanish and was made known through the TLIG electronic newsletter in that language dated May 20, 2011. The Evangelization Team encourages readers to continue to spread the TLIG messages:
“Recently, we prayed a Novena and fasting for Unity, for the expansion of TLIG and for the disarmament of TLIG persecutors. As TLIG readers we all love the Church and we know that not only the Church, in terms of people of God, urgently needs TLIG, but also the non-believers need it in this moment of history, when the world is going each day faster towards its destruction. (…)
“When we received Vassula as God’s Prophet, we received the call to participate in Vassula’s mission, understanding better the Church’s situation, the world’s situation and our own situation thanks to the Messages: the earth is pining away in its apostasy, consumed in its iniquity, and its inhabitants are paying the penalty of its sins; famines, earthquakes and wars; whatever comes out of the earth returns back to earth… (Message of 21/05/1994)“
The letter contains numerous citations from TLIG messages, in particular one of September 30, 1993, in which “Jesus” tells Vassula: “I Am is the Author of ‘True Life in God’ and (…) you are My mouthpiece and therefore what I have told you is what you speak; he who rejects you rejects My Words“.
Finally, on May 21, the “Defending Vassula” website posted a statement by The Foundation for True Life in God, Geneva (Switzerland), titled
“Vassula Excommunicated – A Response to This FALSE Statement”. In an unusual but commendable effort to face the reality of the situation, the Foundation writes (highlights added):
“(…) The statement of the Patriarchate has been misinterpreted by some people who have publicly declared that Vassula has been excommunicated. Such declarations are wholly untrue and do not accord with the Patriarch’s statement which is not a decree of any description and does not refer to excommunication.
What the statement does is to accuse Vassula and the Orthodox TLIG faithful of acting in defiance or in breach, of Orthodox Christian Doctrine and Faith. That is equivalent to an accusation of heresy. (A denial of or deviation from the doctrine of the Orthodox Church) The appropriate procedure for dealing with heresy is very clearly laid down in the Canon law of the Holy Church. The statement calls upon Vassula and her followers to discontinue the dissemination of the TLIG messages and to renounce their teachings
in order to avoid the appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons. Under those Canons, the prescribed penalty for heresy is Excommunication (often called anathema) but, under the Canonical procedures of the Church a decree of Excommunication can only be made after formal proceedings have taken place before the Ecclesiastical Courts or/and before a Holy Synod. (…)
Only when this procedure has been exhausted, is the crime of transgression against the faith punished by Excommunication or sometimes by exclusion from the sacramental life of the Church for a temporary period.
There have been no proceedings for Excommunication instituted before the Ecclesiastical Courts or the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the case of Vassula Rydén. (…) 15.
Vassula has already written to the Patriarch personally, to request that she and her Theologians enter into a proper dialogue with him. Her request is presently under consideration by the Patriarch (…)“
The Foundation for TLIG was created in 2008 by Vassula and its tasks include: “managing of her copyrights, ensuring publishing and, in some cases, the printing of the Messages. It is called to run all organisational and legal matters related to TLIG, assist in worldwide evangelisation efforts in different ways, for example financing Vassula’s air tickets and hotels in countries like Asia and Africa which cannot afford to pay (…) ensuring Message books are available on site; also to finance a new book on Vassula and her mission to lead people to read the Messages etc. The Foundation assists National Associations in their mission and oversees all Beth Myriams…”
The TLIG Foundation’s statement provides also what is referred to as a “certified” English translation of the Patriarchate’s announcement (http://www.defending-vassula.org/orthodox-patriarchate-declaration). The text however is almost identical to the English translation that was made available by John Sanidopoulos
(See variations here: http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm).
Although the TLIG Foundation insists on the fact that the Holy Synod has not pronounced a formal excommunication based on Canon Law procedure, the Patriarchate’s announcement does state clearly that: “we call upon the proponents of these unacceptable innovations and the supporters who maintain them, who henceforth are not admitted to ecclesiastical communion“. There is objectively a situation of exclusion or impediment to participate in the sacramental life of the Church valid from the moment the announcement was made, for all those (including Vassula) who continue nevertheless to follow and actively spread TLIG.
This statement reveals the TLIG Foundation’s knowledge of the gravity of the situation. Those who believe that Vassula is a true mystic would have expected her to suspend her activities momentarily and submit willingly to her Church’s decision hoping that the situation would eventually be resolved. Instead, she has continued with her tour of conferences through Europe promoting her messages in contempt of the Patriarchate’s requests and warnings. Vassula’s choice, which is ‘schismatic’ in nature, sets the example for her followers and has been reinforced by the May 5th message of “Jesus” calling them to go on promoting the messages and not to “sell [His] Blood”.
Vassula charges the Church of wanting to eliminate God’s Name from Scripture
By Maria Laura Pio, February 14, 2011
I have just added an article to the website:
“Vassula charges the Church of wanting to eliminate God’s Name from Scripture” (http://www.infovassula.ch/tligyhwh.htm)*
Mrs. Ryden’s followers often state that TLIG helps understand better Scripture. This article is a good example of how Vassula’s messages and teachings not only show ignorance of the biblical text and contradict the Tradition that transmitted the Holy Scripture to us, but also of how she misunderstands and erroneously reports the Church’s teachings. The result is a superficial and literal reading of Scripture.
*Vassula charges the Church of wanting to eliminate God’s Name from Scripture
At the end of December, Vassula Ryden sent via email a letter to her readers commenting an article of the UK Daily Telegraph regarding the latest anti-Christian manifestation from the European Commission, who produced over 3 million diaries for UK secondary schools marking Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivities, as well as key EU dates, but not a single Christian festivity. Even Christmas Day was left blank! (See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8207411/European-Commission-criticised-for-omitting-Christmas-on-EU-school-diary.html)
Vassula’s comments were reproduced on several blogs as follows:
Jesus had already warned us that Christmas (His Birth) would be attacked and will be eliminated and replaced by the word happy Holidays and Seasons. This started to become obvious already 2 or 3 years ago. This though is not the end of what the freemasons are up to, but they are the ones that keep the division of the church alive, and will soon start attacking the divine Liturgy as well so that the Body and Blood of Christ be eliminated; even the name of God (Yahweh) is under discussion to eliminate it from the Scripture as pretext that It is too Holy to be written in the bible and too Holy to be sung in choruses or pronounced by us. Remember how Yahweh in the beginning said to me 4 times in a row: “Yahweh is My Name” this was when I asked Him who was really guiding me.
However the freemasons will not reach their goal. God will soon intervene with fire to stop this abomination that’s growing. TLIG is also persecuted by the freemasons because it is powerful and I suggest that all TLIG people should pull up their sleeves and double their work in whatever they were called to do. We see how much more aggressive have become their attacks on me and TLIG recently and how well organized they are to destroy the work of God. No time to waste.
In Christ, Vassula 16.
Vassula has been stating for years that Freemasonry is to be blamed for TLIG not being recognized by the Catholic Church. This affirmation is somewhat peculiar because Freemasonry advocates in favour of the spiritual unity of religions in a syncretistic way (= not based on beliefs). Vassula’s idea of unity tends to go in that direction. She insists on the sharing of Sacraments, in particular of the Eucharist, without any need for doctrinal unity. At the same time, she gives extraordinary importance with insistence to other aspects, such as the unification of the dates of Easter (but strangely not of Christmas dates), which according to her will bring global peace (See: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm*).
Moreover Mrs Ryden places herself and her messages above Holy Scripture and above any Church authority with the pretext that she speaks in God’s name. Whoever raises any kind of criticism towards her writings is automatically labelled “enemy”, “persecutor” and often accused of being a Freemason or committing the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. She preaches continually to distrust in the “ecclesiastic authorities” that do not recognize her as a true prophet and organizes inter-religious pilgrimages and retreats where “true spiritual unity” is experienced: a sort of new unified Christianity that obeys directly to “Jesus”, since “His Church” no longer recognizes Him when He speaks through Vassula (see http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090905/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligmeteor.htm**). *Page 21 **Page 19
Vassula’s latest letter is yet a further example of a serious misunderstanding of Holy Scripture, ignorance of Tradition and contradiction of Church teachings. She writes:
“…even the name of God (Yahweh) is under discussion to eliminate it from the Scripture as pretext that it is too Holy to be written in the bible and too Holy to be sung in choruses or pronounced by us. Remember how Yahweh in the beginning said to me 4 times in a row: “Yahweh is My Name” this was when I asked Him who was really guiding me.”
She is evidently
referring to a letter by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of June 29, 2008
which can be found in the Adoremus website (http://www.adoremus.org/CDW_NameofGod.html). It was sent to all the Episcopal Conferences “by directive of the Holy Father”. In short, the letter requests the Bishops to make sure that “in liturgical celebrations, in songs and prayers the name of God in the form of the tetragrammaton YHWH is neither to be used or pronounced” and that it should be rendered by “the Lord” in “translations of the biblical text in modern languages intended for liturgical usage of the Church”.
UPDATE: In a previous version of this article, I had written that Vassula clearly refers to a letter by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments of June 29, 2008 which can be found in the Adoremus website (http://www.adoremus.org/CDW_NameofGod.html), and which was sent to all the Episcopal Conferences “by directive of the Holy Father”. An objection to this was raised by a supporter of TLIG, pointing out that Vassula does not mention that letter in her mail, but refers to a “Freemason plot”. This is true. However, for anyone familiar with the Congregation’s letter, the wording she uses is too close to that of the Letter for it to be a mere coincidence. The letter requests Bishops to make sure that “in liturgical celebrations, in songs and prayers the name of God in the form of the tetragrammaton YHWH is neither to be used or pronounced” and that it should be rendered by “the Lord” in “translations of the biblical text in modern languages intended for liturgical usage of the Church”.
It is a TLIG teaching that the Freemasons have infiltrated the Church, and are acting from within. In fact, in her letter Mrs Ryden refers explicitly to an attack of the Freemasons on divine Liturgy: “This though is not the end of what the freemasons are up to, but they are the ones that keep the division of the church alive, and will soon start attacking the divine Liturgy as well so that the Body and Blood of Christ be eliminated.”
The sacred Name of God in the Bible and Tradition
In the Old Testament, God reveals Himself progressively and under different titles. A key passage of Exodus 3, 13-15 is the Revelation of God’s Name to Moses, which in Hebrew consists of four letters transliterated in our alphabet as YHWH and referred to as the sacred Name of God or as the “Tetragrammaton” (= a word having four letters). It appears in several other books of the Old Testament, for instance Genesis, Isaiah, Psalms, etc.
In Ancient Israel, the Name of God was considered too sacred to be pronounced. So when reading Holy Scripture, the observant Jew would say Adonai (“the Lord”) each time he found the Tetragrammaton YHWH, a Tradition that was observed by the Apostles, as the Congregation for Divine Worship recalls: “the sacred tetragrammaton was never pronounced in the Christian context nor translated into any of the languages into which the Bible was translated”.
When in the 3rd century before Christ, the Jewish community living in Alexandria (Egypt) decided to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek, the same Tradition was respected and the sacred Name of God expressed by the Hebrew YHWH was translated into Greek as Kyrios, which means “Lord”. So each time the Hebrew text indicates the Tetragrammaton, the Greek translation – called Septuagint – says “the Lord”, making this title the way of expressing the divine Name of God. As the Congregation points out, “this fact has had important implications for New Testament Christology”. Indeed, the authors of the New Testament books who wrote in Greek, quoted from the Septuagint and used the title “the Lord” to proclaim Jesus’ divinity (see the Congregation’s letter for a number of examples).
In fact, the appearance and use of the term “Yahweh” in our Bibles and the habit to pronounce it is a recent phenomenon. According to Dr. Ian Elmer of the Australian Catholic University: “It was only during the sixties, that there has been a movement in modern theology and especially amongst biblical scholars throughout the world, to restore the newly ‘rediscovered’ Sacred Name. (…) Hence most bibles, Hebrew and Christian now bear the “Yahweh”, rather than LORD or YHWH – but this does not represent the original text.“(1) 17.
The Sacred Name of God written in Hebrew (the Tetragrammaton)
Indeed, Hebrew is a Semitic language written without vowels. When the vowels were introduced into the Old Testament text in the 8th-9th century (the so called “masoretic text”), the original vowels for the sacred Name of God YHWH were not indicated. The vowels and hence the pronunciation of YHWH remain unknown both to Judaism and Christianity. The most commonly used form of “Yahweh” is only a supposition among a series of several possibilities.
The fact that Holy Scripture inspired by God does not transmit the pronunciation of His Sacred Name, the meaning of the Name itself remaining mysterious, is to be considered as part of Revelation. Instead of wondering how the Name should be pronounced, Holy Scripture invites us rather to seek what God is revealing about Himself by omitting this information. As Dr. Elmer points out, the God who Moses “encountered in the burning bush cannot simply be reduced to a name.”
It is therefore in the light of these facts that the Holy Father requested the Congregation for Divine Worship to establish the directives to be observed in order to remain faithful to the biblical text and to the Tradition transmitted to us by the Apostles. These directives should not be considered “new”, but rather a correction of a recent phenomenon that is outside the authentic understanding of Holy Scripture.
Back to Vassula
Mrs Ryden states that the Congregation’s letter is an attempt to “eliminate” the “Name of God (Yahweh)” from Holy Scripture. As explained above, the intention of the Church is not to eliminate the Name of God from Scripture, but to remain faithful to the biblical text (which does not contain the word “Yahweh”) and to the Tradition that was transmitted to us, “in order that the Word of God, written in the sacred texts, may be conserved and transmitted in an integral and faithful manner” and that the translation of the Bible into modern languages be “a faithful and accurate transposition of the original texts“.
This brings us to Vassula’s affirmation that God told her “four times in a row” that His Name was “Yahweh”. Vassula is claiming that God revealed to her the pronunciation of His Divine Name, in other words he gave her the vowels of the Tetragrammaton. Beyond the fact that this could be considered as “new Revelation” (which contradicts Holy Scripture and Tradition, hence confirming the non-authenticity of the messages), it also shows that instead of helping understand better Scripture, Mrs Ryden’s messages and teachings lead instead to a superficial and literal reading of the Bible, which ignores the story of the text, the Tradition that passed it down to us and its authentic interpretation by the Church.
Maria Laura Pio
February 14, 2011
(1) Those wishing to deepen the subject might want to consult an article by Dr. Ian Elmer which I found particularly helpful: What is God’s Name? Available on the website: http://www.catholica.com.au/gc0/ie2/141_ie_110310.php.
A brief explanation of the Congregation for Divine Cult’s letter can be found on the website: http://www.zenit.org/article-23414?l=english
Vassula claims that her prayer groups prevented a meteor from crashing on earth
By Maria Laura Pio, May 5, 2010
In an open letter dated April 24 and published in her official website with the title “Iceland Volcano, Meteor in USA and Prophecy update and Explanation from Vassula”, the seer claims that both the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and the US Midwest meteor sighting were predicted in her True Life in God (TLIG) messages and their effect diminished through a prayer given to her by “our Lady” in 2009 to be said in Ryden’s prayer groups. (In 2007, the Vatican advised against the participation of the faithful in those groups.) The seer also says that if ecclesiastic authorities continue “forbidding God to speak” and “advise the faithful not to listen either, forbidding them to attend to meetings of TLIG and thus preventing them from knowing God’s will”, people will not convert and then the “chastisement by fire” will be terrible.
“God knew about this meteorite heading close to earth”, Vassula writes, and that is why she was given a prayer in November 28, 2009 mentioning a “star at the horizon”. She believes it was a “bargaining prayer” (she compares it to Abraham’s bargaining for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah) that diminished God’s “wrath” and spared the US Midwest from disaster and mitigated the effect of the volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Read more here: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligmeteor.htm*
*Vassula claims that her prayer groups prevented a meteor from crashing on earth
(ERRATA: The below article has been corrected in the following way:
1) The 2009 prayer received by Vassula was from “the Lord” and not “our Lady”
2) The message Vassula received from “our Lady” was in 2008 and not 2009. Corrected on May 7, 2010)
In an open letter dated April 24 and published in her official website with the title “Iceland Volcano, Meteor in USA and Prophecy update and Explanation from Vassula”, the seer claims that both the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and the US Midwest meteor sighting were predicted in her True Life in God (TLIG) messages and their effect diminished through a prayer given to her by “the Lord” in 2009 to be said in Ryden’s prayer groups. (In 2007, the Vatican advised against the participation of the faithful in those groups.) The seer also says that if ecclesiastic authorities continue “forbidding God to speak”
and “advise the faithful not to listen either, forbidding them to attend to meetings of TLIG and thus preventing them from knowing God’s will”, people will not convert and then the “chastisement by fire” will be terrible.
“God knew about this meteorite heading close to earth”, Vassula writes, and that is why she was given a prayer in November 28, 2009 mentioning a “star at the horizon”. She believes it was a “bargaining prayer” (she compares it to Abraham’s bargaining for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah) that diminished God’s “wrath” and spared the US Midwest from disaster and mitigated the effect of the volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Vassula Ryden reminds her readers that her messages had also predicted 9/11 and the 2004 tsunami. The reason for these disasters – and those to come – is the world’s rejection of God. She writes: Why would God, so loving, some people would say, do this to us? The Lord Jesus replied when this question was put to Him by me: “If you die, it is because of your apostasy”. Our Lord is warning us that, because of our apostasy, we are endangering the cosmos – not only the earth, but the entire cosmos, provoking nature to rebel against us. (…)
And referring to the message she received from “our Lady” in 2008, Vassula explains:
Our Lady said that the earth is in danger and will suffer with fire. God’s wrath cannot be sustained any longer and it will fall on them because man refuses to break with sin. (…) The time has come where the household of God will be tested and those who refused His Mercy will taste God’s Fire. I asked her about the people of the Church who persecute us and are blind to His Words of Mercy [= the TLIG messages]. Our Lady said that these too will undergo what they deserve.(…)
[Our Lady said that] those who truly love God are blessed and should not fear in those days. (…) that She
is pleased with all the priests (the clergy) who share and promote those Works of God – as those of True Life in God
and who are open to the Spirit – and should remain confident because they received special graces from the Spirit of God and that through the Spirit they grew stronger in the Lord and to His plan of salvation. That Christ grants them His peace.
Mrs. Ryden believes that Jesus has given her the mission to “pass on to the world the Word of God” as it is revealed to her in the True Life in God messages. She writes:
“Many ecclesiastics are forbidding God to speak to His people as He does now, and advise the faithful not to listen either, forbidding them to attend to meetings of TLIG and thus preventing them from knowing God’s Will. They are not better than Jesus’ disciples in their disbelief. When Christ resurrected and ‘appeared to the Eleven’, the Bible says (Mk 16, 14-15) ‘while they were at table, He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen’.”
This is a mild reproach compared to a prior letter of January 10, 2002 where Vassula accused those who openly criticize TLIG of being guilty of mortal sin and of sin against the Holy Spirit, quoting Jesus as saying that they are “the enemies of the whole human race” and that “Justice will send them down to the underworld“.
Her latest letter ends with an extract of the TLIG message of February 13, 1993 where “Jesus” explains what he will do to us if we don’t convert:
“The sixth seal is about to be broken and you will all be plunged into darkness (…) out of My Cup of Justice I will make you resemble snakes; vipers. I will make you crawl on your belly and eat dust in these days of darkness; I will crush you
to the ground to remind you that you are not better than vipers… you will suffocate and stifle in your sins; in My anger I will tread you down, trample you in My wrath! (…) Then when My wrath will be appeased, I will set My Throne in each one of you and together with one voice and one heart and one language you will praise Me, the Lamb.”
Who is Vassula Ryden?
Vassula Ryden started to write down messages in 1985, when she was contacted by her “guardian angel Daniel” who manifested itself by moving Vassula’s hand outside of her own control forming words and drawings. The angel was later replaced by “Jesus”, who through the same means started to write down messages, which he told Vassula to call “True Life in God”. The messages are written in a handwriting different from Vassula’s normal one and called “hieratic“, sacred or holy by her supporters. Several experts in spiritism and New Age (Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Fr. François-Marie Dermine, Ingerlise Provstgaard, Marie-France James) have identified it as automatic writing, although Vassula categorically denies it. The content of the messages is religious, a sort of revival of biblical texts and teachings from the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, with a tendency towards apocalyptic themes and prophecies. 19.
Vassula has tried since the beginning to obtain approval from the Catholic Church (although she declares herself Greek Orthodox). In fact, the majority of her followers, including clergy, are Roman Catholics. Both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches have issued serious warnings regarding her writings and activities, but nevertheless she counts on the support of a few high-ranking clergy, which is enough for her followers to believe her claim that the Pope supports her but that there is a conspiracy against her in the Vatican responsible for the negative documents issued regarding her messages and activities.
The lack of recognition from ecclesiastic authorities and the criticism voiced by observers and ex-followers have been interpreted by Vassula’s supporters as a repetition of history: present Church authorities do not recognize Jesus speaking through Vassula, as 2000 years ago Jews did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Therefore “TLIG clergy” [sic] and lay followers are the “new apostles” who are called by Christ to “evangelize” the TLIG messages. A long-time follower described her as “one of God’s great Prophets, comparable with the Prophets of the Old Testament. The prophecy of the True Life in God messages is not an optional extra. This treasure from God is one of God’s great gifts to mankind. If rejected, it really does seem to me to amount to the unforgivable rejection of the Holy Spirit” (http://www.tlig.net/newphpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1576&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=16). Maria Laura Pio, May 2010
A reader has brought to my attention that there are two mistakes in the article I recently sent you titled “Vassula Ryden claims that her prayer groups prevented a meteor from crashing on earth”:
1) The 2009 prayer Vassula received was from “the Lord” and not “our Lady”.
2) The message Vassula received from “our Lady” was in 2008 and not 2009.
I have corrected the article on-line (http://www.infovassula.ch/tligmeteor.htm).
Many thanks to Christine for bringing my attention to this.
A frequent question regarding René Laurentin
By Maria Laura Pio, July 6, 2010
I have added a new article to the website’s section on Frequently Asked Questions, following a series of mails I have been receiving from French speaking regions.
Does René Laurentin’s title of Prelate of His Holiness mean that the Pope approves his books on Vassula?
The Prelate of Honour of His Holiness is an honorific title. Its granting is ruled by the Istruzione sul Conferimento di Onorificenze Pontificie (1), a document issued by the Vatican Secretariat of State on May 13, 2001. The document states that the diocesan bishops may ask for a papal honorific title to be conferred to a member of their clergy or to lay people of their diocese as a sign of appreciation and recognition for their work. The request must be first sent to the country’s Apostolic Nuncio, who after examining it and giving his nihil obstat, will submit it to the Vatican Secretariat of State.
(Often these titles are requested by bishops on the occasion of important anniversaries, such as the 50th anniversary of a priest’s ordination).
The Istruzione lists the various honorific titles which can be requested, as well as the conditions that have to be met. The Prelate of Honour – which is a title above that of Chaplain of His Holiness and below Protonotary Apostolic Supernumerary – may be conceded to members of the secular clergy who are at least 45 years of age and have accomplished at least 15 years of priesthood. For each diocese, the total number of Chaplains, Prelates and Protonotaries must not exceed 10% of the clergy. These are therefore honorific titles which are frequently granted.
The Prelates of Honour have the right to use the title « Monsignor » and to wear some clothes and accessories commonly used by bishops, although they are not consecrated as such. However by no means can this title be interpreted as a “sanctification” of the person’s ideas or writings.
In René Laurentin’s case, the request and granting of this honorific title was more than due: He is well past 90 years old, and has been a priest for more than 60 years. He was an expert at Vatican Council II and spent all his life at the service of the Church (regardless of the polemics he raised). However, it is not an implicit approval of his writings, in particular those in which he argues in favour of apparitions and private revelations, many of which have been given a negative judgement by the competent Church authorities.
(1)The text of the Istruzione sul Conferimento di Onorificenze Pontificie in Italian can be found at the website: http://nobilta.blogspot.com/2008/06/istruzione-sul-conferimento-di.html. Unfortunately, an English version cannot be found on the Internet.
By Maria Laura Pio, December 29, 2010
Following the publication of my previous 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”. 20.
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.”
Read more: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm#abberton and
Added on December 9, 2010
Subject: RE: HELP NEEDED – 2 [THE PORTION HIGHLIGHTED IN YELLOW]
I am attaching the complete article which was published as tligcrecan.htm
You can also see the articles of the website as it appeared in July 2011 on the Waybackmachine website, which is the Archive of the Internet. You simply have to go to http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.infovassula.ch/ , click on 25 of July and you will be taken to the main page of the site as it was registered on that date. You can navigate through the website as if it were on-line, although you won’t be able to see pictures.
Illicit concelebration during Vassula’s visit to Romania (May 2010)
I translate hereunder an article published on November 19th, 2010, on the French website www.orthodoxie.fr:
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 Commentaries 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.
Fr. Crecan presents to the assembly Vassula and the new edition of her messages in Rumanian language.
The TLIG official report does not include the incriminating photographs (see hereunder) 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, point number 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 ).
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 Vassula” (http://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. Daniel Crecan with Vassula during her visit to Romania (May 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 further below, 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 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 of the November 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.
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.
Maria Laura Pio, December 28, 2010
(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 Philippine 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.
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:
From Fr. John Abberton
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.
Fr. John Abberton
Observe Vassula Ryden‘s “immodest” dress, pages 23 and 24 — certainly not befitting a visionary through whom Jesus supposedly speaks — in the presence of high-level Church dignitaries, and of God. I have noted Vassula Ryden outfitted in trousers with short “tops” as in the picture below, while conducting “ministry”.
prays over Fr. Wayne
*See page 2
Mystic ‘who foresaw 9/11’ heads for city
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.”
I was briefly on the TLIG mailing list in 2008, and they appreciated my web site, but only till they received my response
Subject: TLIG International Mail Jan. 8th, 2007
The Following was received from Vassula on Monday January 7th, 2008. Please forward it to friends and family who could benefit from this information and are familiar with the True Life in God Messages.
Dear TLIG friends,
Last night at 3.10 am our Lady kept me awake until 4.00 am… [I skip the rest –Michael]
My dear friends,
How did you collect my email address? This is the first time that I am hearing from you.
You must be good Christians, so I take the liberty of pointing out to you that a letter, ESPECIALLY AN INTRODUCTORY ONE, must be personalized. I did not feel that you cared for me as an individual, or that your message was meant for me. I noted that your circular was also unsigned. So it becomes totally anonymous.
How then am I to believe in the veracity of the message that you have sent me? Regards, Michael
K. Attn: Mr M. Prabhu
We thank you for your mail and appreciate your timely correction. Please accept our sincere apologies and allow me to introduce ourselves to you.
We are readers of the True Life in God messages in Mumbai. Jesus deigned to convey His messages thru Vassula Rydén who is Greek, born in Egypt and belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church. God approached her back in 1985 while she lived in Bangladesh in a most extraordinary way to use her as His instrument and charge her with His messages for all mankind. In truth it is a reminder of His Word. In these messages for our times, God is calling us to repentance, reconciliation, peace and unity. 26.
The link to the internet site for further information is as follows: http://www.tlig.org/en/background/
The mail which we had sent to you was one of the latest messages that Vassula had received from the Blessed Virgin Mary on 07.01.2008. It was with prayerful supplications that we intended to convey this message to all Christians.
I have visited your site http://ephesians-511.net/ and was very happy to see your work defending Holy Mother the Church. It was here that I was able to get your contact details and e-mail address.
We sincerely thank you for your response and request you for your prayers.
In the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary
PS: On a personal note I was a Hindu before my conversion, these messages have helped me to love the sacraments and the Church which led to my baptism in the Roman Catholic Church five years back and thru the grace of God am still part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church and willing submit myself to the Magestarium [sic] of the Church. I sincerely hope that I have not offended you by my actions.
Javier Lopez Torres
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 8:39 PM Subject: My opinion – Vassula
When I read this, immediately, True Life in God came in mind!!!
Published in the Vatican document JESUS CHRIST – THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE – A Christian reflection on the “New Age“
#2.2.1. … One of the most common elements in New Age “spirituality” is a fascination with extraordinary manifestations, and in particular with paranormal entities. People recognised as “mediums” claim that
their personality is taken over by another entity* during trances in a New Age phenomenon known as “channeling“, during which the medium may lose control over his or her body and faculties. Some people who have witnessed these events would willingly acknowledge that the manifestations are indeed spiritual, but
are not from God, despite the language of love and light
which is almost always used… It is probably more correct to refer to this as a contemporary form of
spiritism, rather than spirituality in a strict sense. Other friends and counsellors from the spirit world are angels (which have become the centre of a new industry of books and paintings)… *See pages 30 ff
Javier, Madrid, Spain
Javier Lopez Torres was the Spanish language web master of TLIG and knew Vassula Ryden personally before he discerned that she was no genuine Catholic mystic.
Theologian François-Marie Dermine O.P. concurs on the “New Age” aspect:
Interview with Fr. Dermine: “Those suspect messages of Vassula Ryden“
By Silvana Radoani
Q: In your book “Vassula Ryden – Indagine Critica” (Ed. Elle Di Ci), you have affirmed that Vassula is a pure New Age prophetess. Why?
A: 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).
2. Vassula Rydén: the Reasons for the Church’s Negative Reaction
By Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine, O.P., January 2008 EXTRACT
Compromising and obvious changes of some messages
Here are two very significant examples. In photocopy 17
the astute and rudimental treatment inflicted on the message of April 18, 1988 is all too painfully clear. In the top section the sentence reads as it was in the original text: « O come Peter! Take My Hand, Satan has digressed you from the Truth! Take My Hand and I will guide you… ». In the middle section, arrows indicate on the original how the words should be moved around for correction. At the bottom the final “corrected” version appears for publication: « Satan has digressed many of you from the Truth! Take My Hand Peter and I will guide you ». Now being misled by Satan no longer refers to the Pope, but to others.
So then, we have to ask ourselves, would the second Person of the Holy Trinity have used a language so improper or even so wrong? Moreover, the reader will have noticed that the corrections and additions have been made with writing that the sympathizers of the protagonist call “hieratic” or holy or divine. In other words, God would have corrected himself with his own writing…
At this point we may conclude that the reason behind the modifications is simple: the True Life in God messages, particularly in their initial phase, did indeed contain some non-fulfilled prophecies as well as obvious errors, including theological ones. These errors, which betray the presence of an un-divine spirit, were corrected or removed, not on the basis of a supernatural feeling, but rather thanks to the intervention of a person that was called in to revise the messages together with the protagonist. In favour of this interpretation or hypothesis, we refer for instance to photocopy 18. Above the struck through word “worship”, the word “venerate” has been written with a handwriting that is neither Mrs. Rydén’s nor the “hieratical” one…
(2b) Another reason for which the revelations remain unacceptable is «the suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occurred» (Notification). I summarize hereunder what I wrote in my book on the subject.
How does the transmission of the messages take place?
The beginning of the revelations is described by Mrs. Ryden herself in a videotape that reports one of her meetings in Switzerland in 1991 with a group of Canadian pilgrims:
«I was making a list of expenses for a new cocktail party the same evening. At that moment I had this sheet of paper and I was writing what I had to buy for the afternoon. While I placed my hand with the pencil on the paper, all of a sudden I felt throughout my whole body some electricity that was coming into me through my fingers and especially on my right hand. Everything I held seemed like it was glued. The pencil no longer detached itself from my fingers. Even if I wanted to get rid of it, I could not lift it up anymore; I could not open my hand anymore. And the sheet of paper became like a magnet again. As if my hand was glued, I could not lift it anymore, as if my hand weighed 100 kilos, I could no longer lift it. All of a sudden an invisible force pushed my hand. I was not afraid, I do not know why. I relaxed my hand to see what would happen, and some words came, it was no longer my writing, and they said: “I am your angel […]. My name is Dan (Daniel)”». He was soon replaced by Jesus Christ, by the Father, by the Virgin Mary or by other saints.
This first phase, characterized by the phenomenon of the hand that writes by itself without the concourse of intelligence – nor even at times, of the will – is later followed by a second phase in which the protagonist hears an interior locution, a voice that pronounces the words that her hand is writing on its own, generally without her controlling it.
A mediumistic or mystical phenomenon?
These modes of transmitting messages are and remain typical of the forms of mediumship (medium activity) present both in spiritistic circles, often disguised as “prayer groups” that make the claim of communications with the afterlife, and in neo-spiritistic New Age circles where they speak of channeling or communicating with “higher” spirits.
Mrs. Ryden’s supporters talk about her writing as “hieratic”, “inspired”, “guided”, and the same “Jesus” would seem to have bothered himself to reassure his prophetess by telling and showing her «that this is not automatic writing» (cf. R. LAURENTIN, When God Manifests, ed. Dehoniane, Rome, 1993, p. 51).
However the ways in which the messages are transmitted correspond exactly to the definition of automatic writing offered by a New Age representative: writing that takes place «without conscious control, the source of which apparently is not the person who is writing» (J. KLIMO, CHANNELING – Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources, 1987).
Whether the phenomenon occurs with or without interior locution, whether the perceiver gives her assent and remains conscious during the dictation, changes nothing about the fact that, in the initial phase, she was forced to write by a higher power, and that, in any case, her hand moved by itself, with a handwriting totally different from the writer’s normal one.
She admits herself several times: «But I know very well that I cannot control my hand and that I lose all power when God takes it» (From L’Informateur Catholique of April 9, 1992). Elsewhere she says that “Jesus” told her to try again to control her hand: «I had in mind to write my own thing controlling my hand myself. (…) I was struggling to write but couldn’t, then He wrote: “write” and He forced my hand down writing four times “Love” while I was struggling to stop my hand» (September 4, 1987); «to remind you of My Presence, I remove your capacity to control your hand» (December 19, 1989).
To justify and explain the phenomenon, Vassula Ryden and some theologians close to her want to refer to the suspension of faculties typical of an ecstasy where the person actually loses control over its inferior faculties and some of its members. In response to the first question of Fr P. Grech, the protagonist declares: «known mystics such as Teresa of Avila experienced raptures of her body or sometimes part of her body. I believe that this is a mitigated form of rapture of my hand and trust that the Lord has his own purpose in this». […]
In conclusion, it seems to me that the phenomenon placed under examination here would have a lot to share with mediumship in its New Age version of channeling. As Allan Kardec (1804-1869), the theoretician and popularizer of spiritism and mediumship in the West, said: «the medium [. . .] is the instrument of a foreign intelligence; he is passive, and what he says does not come from him» (Le livre des médiums, p. 2, c. 14, par. 172). I have no doubt whatsoever that our protagonist gets her messages from a «foreign intelligence». Just as I also entertain no doubts about its identity, strengthened by the admissions of Mrs. Ryden who recognizes that the devil has the ability to take over the phenomenon, using the same writing called “hieratic”, that is, holy, divine, inspired, to slip in errors or to add inappropriate words (cf. messages of January 8, 1987, February 19, 1987, March 6, 1987, April 17, 1987, July 22, 1987, September 9, 1987. We include hereunder photocopy n.20
as an example).
These are very disturbing and disarming admissions. How can you call holy and divine, a writing that can be used indiscriminately both by God and by the devil? […] 28.
There are literally thousands of cases of people who claim to speak with God, Jesus or the Madonna, even though few of them reach Mrs. Rydén’s worldwide fame. However, this fame cannot constitute in itself a criterion for divine authenticity.
The unusual way of transmission of TLIG clearly contributed to this fame, much more than the messages’ contents (which are common to other similar and lesser known “revelations”). Here we are not only confronted with the marvelous and the extraordinary (locutions and visions), but most of all with the mediumistic and the paranormal (a hand that moves on its own), to which some have wanted to confer a supernatural status (“hieratic”, “holy”, etc.), in a superficial way from my point of view.
Let us add to these elements a most opportune observation of Marie-France James: «In the wake of the New Age movement, the phenomenon Vassula aims at reviving the heresy/utopia of a “Third Reign” or “Reign of the Spirit”: a vision of the future, the acme of a historical process which is vague and deceitful, but able to galvanize the crowds and the collective imaginary. This revival is not new. As early as the 2nd century A.D., this same idea had made its way into the heresy of Montanism. From the 12th century on, the germination of this darnel has regained speed and vigor under the impulse of Joachim of Fiore» (Le Phénomène Vassula, p.84).
Theologian Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, S.J. consistently describes her teachings as “heretical“:
Vassula Ryden: A Case Study in Discerning the Spirits
By Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, SJ
[…] One of our modern visionaries is Vassula Ryden, who has spoken around the world in many churches with prophetic messages about church unity that she alleges are from Jesus Christ. Does she speak for “ecumenical orthodoxy”?
Touchstone Contributing Editor Fr. Mitch Pacwa was asked by Ryden to examine and critique her writings. […]
The main problems of her writings are her confused teaching about Christ and the Blessed Trinity. She views the unity of God as the model or image of unity within the Church, yet her version of unity in the Blessed Trinity is muddled, if not heretical. […] Vassula makes a mistake in claiming that Jesus and the Father share the same identity. God the Son is of the same nature as the Father, but he is a distinct Person. Vassula blurs that distinction in her writings. This can only bring disunity and confusion to those who accept her erroneous theology.
According to this evidence, it would be incorrect and heretical for a Christian to follow Vassula’s confusion of the Son with either the Father or the Holy Spirit. Her false teaching can never be the basis of unity between Latin and Greek Churches since both reject such confusion about Jesus Christ and the Blessed Trinity. If anything, her Trinitarian teachings would divide the Churches further. […]
“Jesus'” version of the Trinity stands in need of serious correction. First, Vassula writes: “Here I was wondering if it was Yahweh or Jesus.” “Jesus” answers, “Vassula, I am One, I am One! . . . the Holy Trinity is One, I am One.” “I am the Alpha and the Omega, I, the Holy of Holies, the Holy-Trinity-all-in-One, The Authority.” “I am God, the Living God, your Creator; I am Love, I am your Father who speaks to you now, I am the Most Holy Trinity.” “You are in your Father’s Arms; I the Holy Trinity am One and the Same.” In addition to calling Jesus the Father, now Jesus is the same as the Holy Trinity!
“Jesus” writes, “I, your Lord Jesus Christ, is heaving My Sighs of Love upon your forehead and with Great Love I bless each one of you to unite and be one as the Holy Trinity is One and the Same.” One and the Same what? Being or substance, yes, that would be orthodox. However, to believe that Father and Son are one and the same person is heterodox.
“Jesus” also writes, “I your Holy Father love you. I Am The Holy Trinity, you have discerned well!” He writes, “You are in your Father’s Arms; I the Holy Trinity am One and the Same.” “I-Am-He-Who-Saves, I Am your Redeemer, I Am the Holy Trinity all in One, I Am the Spirit of Grace.” “I am the Holy One, the Most High, I am the Most Holy Trinity.” These statements bring all the Persons of the Blessed Trinity into the one Person of Jesus! This is a grievous mistake for “Jesus” to make!
“Jesus” instructed Vassula to “pray with Me to the Father: Father, though night still covers this earth, I know that above me, Yahweh, who sees His children in darkness will take pity on them.” However, “Jesus” already had said, “I am Yahweh,” so why does “Jesus” distinguish between himself and Yahweh? Is Jesus other than Yahweh? Later “Jesus” writes, “I Yahweh, am your Father.” These texts confuse the issue of identity in the Blessed Trinity beyond what the mysteries already contain.
In her own handwriting, Vassula writes: “Jesus in this whole passage mentions the Father Himself as the Son and the Holy Spirit showing the action and the presence of the Holy Trinity.” Since Vassula holds an incorrect view of the Trinity, one suspects that she is the source of the heretical Trinity teaching when “Jesus” takes over her hand to write. […]
Problems with Her Teachings about the Church
Vassula’s mission is Church unity, as “Jesus” says at least 100 times. He claims that uniting the Church is “My work,” indicating a reasonable theology of grace. Yet, “Jesus” asks, “Vassula, for My sake, will you unite My Church?” The union of the churches is a most worthy goal and every Christian should pray that our Lord accomplish it. My problem is with Vassula Ryden trying to unite the Churches on the basis of her revelations, rife with heretical teachings on Jesus Christ and the Blessed Trinity. 29.
Vassula Ryden: A Critique
Representatives from the Greek Orthodox Church very early pointed out that the strange handwriting was very similar to occult automatic writing, and the Church did not want to support her activities.
Within the Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, she has found strong and learned defenders who claim that this handwriting is certainly not automatic writing, but a so-called hieratic writing coming from a divine source. They consistently refer to her as “one of the most prominent living prophets”.
Her writings and her person have been officially examined by the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and
Vassula herself as well as her followers tend to give the impression that the Vatican has fully accepted her as a true prophet receiving divine revelations. This is certainly not true. On the contrary, as early as in 1995 a Vatican notification stated and announced to Catholic leaders and laity that her writings and messages were not to be considered supernatural but should be taken only as private meditations. This judgement is still valid. […]
It is very difficult to reach any other conclusion than this: the Jesus Vassula knows and the Jesus we know from the Bible are two different persons. Their words as well as their nature differ at such decisive and conspicuous moments that often they even appear to be direct opposites.
Vassula – a fraud?
No, Vassula Rydén is not a fraud. She is working whole-heartedly and persistently as a servant of what she firmly believes is a divine calling. There are no signs in her mission of her wanting to deceive people for personal gain. But there are certainly signs of her being a spiritually deceived person. Maybe, as suggested in the official Notification, deceived by her own sensitive heart and a well-developed philosophical and religious mind. Maybe by a false spirit pretending to be Jesus.
Ms. Ingerlise Provstgaard concurs with the DCI that Vassula Ryden is no fraud, but then the question arises as to what the entity is that empowers her automatic writings:
An analysis of Vassula Ryden’s Jesus
By Ingerlise Provstgaard, Denmark,
1995, Updated 2005
These days so many spiritual phenomenons pop up in society and even within the churches that you hardly become aware of them before a new one appears. For me, as probably for most people, it would be an impossible task to scrutinise them all. Furthermore, such work often only causes people to choose a for or against position, which leaves us with an unsolved problem and a lack of a thorough testing and judgement of the matter.
When among the many I chose to look closer into the phenomenon of Vassula Rydén, it was due to the fact that I realized she was receiving her messages through a strange handwriting, which is a kind of spiritual contact I have experienced myself back in the sixties.
A person “from the higher spheres” captured my hand and pen, conquering my life completely. He called himself Jesus of Nazareth, and he told me that I was chosen to be an angel of light on Earth, spreading messages from the divine to the spiritually poor of this world. For a period of three months I was bathing in the presence of a wonderful supernatural being. And I was totally convinced that he was the person he claimed to be.
But through events, about which I much later wrote a book called “With a guided hand”, it reached its climax in a confrontation where, in the same immaculate handwriting as always, he wrote the words: “I am the Devil, and I own your soul!” By the grace of God, the unveiling brought about my liberation rather than a breakdown, and by the same grace of God I became able to return to reality and a normal life soon after without having suffered severe mental damage.
Several years later I accidentally read about “automatic writing”. It was said to be a well-known occult practice, and I realized that this was what I had been involved in, and it is also what I believe Vassula Rydén is involved in now. […]
Automatic writing or hieratic writing?
“But Vassula’s strange handwriting is not at all automatic writing”, her defenders say. What her hand brings forth is a “sacred writing” or a “hieratic writing”, which in their opinion is something quite different. Among others they find support for this opinion from a French Catholic New Age expert and exorcist, Christian Curty (C.C. in the following), who has written a long and learned account on the differences between the two phenomenons.
He gathers his evidence, which he claims to be safe proofs, in some main points that I will quote from and comment on below:
She often receives a message from an inner voice when she is out and is unable to write it down immediately. When she gets home and starts writing, her handwriting changes from her own to the strange one. This is not automatic writing, he says, because she heard the message first as an inner voice.
I too quickly learnt to hear my guide as an inner voice and write the messages down later. There is no difference between my experience and Vassula’s.
While writing she can anytime she wants interrupt the dictation to take care of for instance a domestic duty or answering a telephone call. She can leave and come back as she pleases, and she is at all times completely conscious of her surroundings.
So could I and so was I. I always knew what was going on around me, I could choose to write, and I could choose not to. You do not lose your senses or fall into a trance during automatic writing. You communicate consciously with an external being. No difference here either.
She can receive a kind of “interior light” without any clearly pronounced words. When she hastens to start writing down this “insight” Jesus takes over and changes the handwriting into his own “as if to give the revelation a seal from on high”. And Curty concludes: “It is thus in no way automatic writing”.
Here I can only ask: why on earth not?
Sometimes, when she hears a message by an inner voice, she writes it down in her own handwriting. This is what Curty calls sacred, divinely inspired writing, which is by no means automatic writing.
Of course her own writing is not automatic writing, but who is dictating her? Who does the inner voice belong to? I was able to do the same thing – there is no difference.
Praises the handwriting for its extreme beauty, and he points out that it inspires a great peace in those who read it. “Truly this Writing is beautiful and can only be good!” he concludes.
My strange handwriting was very beautiful too. The letters were greatly shaped and the writing gave an impression of order and peaceful calmness. And yet it ended up forming the words: “I am the Devil…”
It really makes you wonder how a “spiritual expert” can state, without hesitation, that if something is beautiful and inserts a feeling of peace it can only come from God.
My conclusion on Christian Curty’s proofs is that he proves nothing which differs from my own experience with automatic writing. He claims Vassula’s writing to be quite a different matter, and of course he has the right to defend his opinion. But as proofs, his judgement is pure “fairy mists”.
It seems that Vassula herself has been confronted with the question of automatic writing, and she did what seems natural for her to do when in some way challenged: she asked Jesus for advice. His answer was that no, it is not automatic writing. In the introduction to one of her books she tells the sceptics how he proved it to her. He dictated a message to her inner ear, and then she wrote it down in her own handwriting. The message ended: “This is for all those who think that your hand is moved by me without your hearing or understanding that it is I, the Lord, who inspires you. Now let us continue in the way I like it, My Vassula.”
And then his handwriting took over again.
If you examine this performance in the clear light of day and logic, there is absolutely no proof given of the identity of the writer. It is still the same person telling us only in a different way: “Certainly I am Jesus!” The only thing it proves is that Vassula is able to hear him as well as write in his handwriting.
Who is moving Vassula’s hand?
When today many Christians talk about Vassula as “one of the most prominent living prophets” one must assume that they have decided to believe in the godly origin of the messages. She is a true prophet contrary to a false one. She is God’s mouthpiece, a seer who, “guided word by word by Jesus” as one of her introducers say, calls us to listen to what the Holy Spirit wants us to hear these days.
As a sign of her authenticity they mention her pleasant personality and her god-fearing life. She is free, cheerful and modest and she radiates dignity, strength and humility. I have no reason to question these character traits.
Another sign mentioned is the many good fruits that come from her activities. People experience a renewed and more profound faith and they start praying and attending church at a whole new scale. That is a fact too.
I am convinced that she is authentic. She is not a false prophet in my opinion, because a false prophet will prophesy on his own account and for his own benefit. I do not think she is doing that.
But there is a very important thing missing, in fact the most important one, in the many attempts to test and evaluate Vassula’s work, namely the testing of THE SPIRIT. The testing of the person who, in a supernatural way, is telling her – and us – that he is Jesus Christ, the Jesus we know from the Bible.
He is one who comes to us saying: “I am Christ!” and “The time is near!” And according to the Scriptures these words should compel any Christian to seek double proof and sound biblical confirmation before believing his words.
Vassula’s personality and god-fearing life is no proof of his authenticity, for a person who is not working for her own benefit and who understands herself as a servant of higher and benevolent powers will quite naturally seem, and probably be, confident, free and humble. She will not find it difficult to completely surrender herself to her task. She is authentic, yes. But is he? 31.
Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine offers an explanation of what he believes the reasons the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church refuse to attribute a supernatural dimension to the messages of Vassula Rydén who has claimed to be receiving private revelations dictated by an entity which she identifies with Jesus.
The difference between Automatic Writing and Christian locutions
By Susan Brinkmann,
expert, May 7, 2012
First of all, it should be said that automatic writing has never been part of the mystical tradition of our Church. Many people believe St. Catherine of Siena used a form of automatic writing because of the fact that she did not know how to write and yet received many messages from the Lord which she was able to record. However, St. Catherine actually received the gift to write as if she had always known it and did not participate in any form of 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,” says Father François-Marie Dermine in an interview regarding his critique of the writings of Vassula Ryden.
A Catholic mystic can never be in the same category as a medium – which is essentially what a person becomes when participating in automatic writing. When a saint writes what God inspires him or her to write, the person is always fully aware of what they’re writing and are not allowing themselves to be used as a kind of channel, which is the case with automatic writing. As this blog explains, automatic writing is also known as trance writing because the recipient goes into a trance and allows a spiritual entity to dictate whatever message it wishes to convey. This is a form of mediumship, or channeling, which allows a spirit to temporarily possess a person.
At no time does God behave in such a way with His saints. While mystics are known to go into states of ecstasy, God does not “possess” their bodies and use them to do His bidding. He always respects the free will of His creatures.
As for the kind of locutions Christians experience, these can occur in several different forms.
Name withheld, Catholic charismatic lay preacher and New Age expert in deliverance ministry
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]
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).
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. 32.
The Discerning Catholic’s Guide to unhealthy devotions
Vassula Ryden – True Life in God
Starting at a very young age, Vassula Ryden experienced terrifying nightmares, which she attributed to Satan. Between the ages of ten and twelve, she had mystic experiences, including what she describes as a spiritual marriage to Jesus.
During her teenage years, she saw on several occasions the souls of dead people surrounding her, and afterwards, she became indifferent to religious matters.
Towards the end of November 1985, while living in Bangladesh, Vassula claims that an invisible being contacted her and identified itself as her “guardian angel”. The entity manifested itself by moving Vassula’s hand without her being able to control it, forming words and drawings.
By this means, Vassula started to receive “messages” for about four to six hours per day.
Three months later, Vassula experienced a brief encounter with another being who identified himself as “God the Father.” The “guardian angel” then submitted her to a purification week, which was followed by another visit from an entity that identified himself as “Jesus”. This entity also used the guided dictation of messages to communicate, calling the messages True Life in God. Other entities have also intervened, including the Blessed Mother, Michael the Archangel, and Saint Padre Pio…
The writings, which consist of several hundred pages, have been translated and published in 40 languages and promoted throughout the world. Vassula maintains that the method in which she receives the messages is not channeling or a New Age practice known as “automatic writing”, but that the messages are actually coming from heavenly sources. […]
Because most Catholics would never consider selling their souls to Satan or any other unknown entity’s possession and power, the devil and his vast army of deceptive spirits need to find a more subtle approach. Although it is true messages from heaven, it is also true that demonic spirits can appear to humanity with their own messages. It is for this reason the Catholic Church conducts serious investigations to make sure messages from apparition sites are coming from God. […]
Once a demonic entity has been granted the legal rights to enter a person’s life, all kinds of disastrous results will occur, including attacks on that person’s health, accidents, and separation from the Church’s guidance.
When demonic entities have been given the right to access a person’s family linage, (through Freemasonry vows or when parents consecrate their children’s souls to the Immaculata), disastrous results can occur in the form of addictions, divorce, criminal activity, health problems, and financial hardships for their children.
Some examples of false apparition sites (that have been condemned by the Catholic Church) in which spiritual entities have been making requests for their followers to sell their souls into their possession and power are as follows:
Vassula Ryden True Life in God
On January 25, 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a negative decree condemning Vassula Ryden’s True Life in God messages, writings, and prayer groups.
According to Vassula Ryden’s website, one day a spiritual entity manifested itself by moving Vassula’s hand without her being able to control it, forming words and drawings. By this means, Vassula started to receive “messages” for about four to six hours a day.
On April 9, 1998, this entity gave Vassula a message saying, “You are, My Vassula, consecrated to Me, and you have signed your consecration to Me with your own blood.” To help explain the meaning of this message to her followers, Vassula stated, “I had pricked my finger and signed then with my own blood the consecration to become the Slave of our Blessed Mother.”
Heaven’s stenographer – The guided hand of Vassula Ryden
By Joe Nickell, Investigative files, Volume 35.2, March/April, 2011
Ryden insists that the messages she receives and writes down are not the result of spiritualistic phenomena such as channeling or automatic writing (“Vassula” 2010). However, neither phenomenon is defined as being limited to spirits of the dead; either may involve interaction with any type of alleged nonphysical beings, such as angels, deities, extraterrestrials, or the like (Guiley 2000, 25–26, 70–71). So, Ryden is by definition a channeler and an automatic writer.
Reportedly, the messages began in late November 1985 when Ryden was about to make a shopping list. Her hand suddenly began to move, seemingly without her control, to form words and drawings, initiating a phenomenon that continues to the present day. The self-styled visionary reportedly receives about four to six hours of guided-hand “dictation” each day (Carroll 1995, ix; “Vassula” 2010). From a scientific perspective, (assuming it is not deliberately contrived) such a phenomenon is attributed to the ideomotor effect, in which a participant unconsciously produces a movement. The same psychological phenomenon is responsible for the motion of dowsing rods and pendulums, Ouija-board planchette movement, table tipping, and the like (Randi 1995, 169–70).
Ryden’s messages supposedly “come through dictation by an audible voice within, then are written in a stately handwriting — distinct from her own — as she allows her hand to be guided supernaturally” (“About” 1995). Interestingly enough, the same “distinct” script that is used for messages from the angel “Daniel” is employed by “Jesus,” “Mary,” and “Yahweh” (see figure 1), rather than each entity having his or her own individual handwriting. 33.
SO, HIERATIC OR HERETIC?
We have seen that TLIG believer, Fr. Ferdinand Umana Montoya, page 1, claims that Vassula Ryden‘s automatic handwriting is sacred or hieratic. So does Indian New Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto, http://intranet.tlig.org/en/promo/tligdossier/Support_english_09_06_01.pdf.
Church of Cyprus* and Dominican theologian François-Marie Dermine maintain that her teachings are “heretical” to Roman Catholicism, pages 1, 2. So does Fr. Mitch Pacwa.
Even her own Orthodox Church member-owned blogs such as
http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?5017-Facebook-petition-against-Vassula-Ryden&s=041fdbe8d74afba5da442d146bf61e0d, http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=44782.0;wap2, etc. consistently label Vassula Ryden a heretic.
Vassula Ryden herself admits that her Church head, the Patriarch, considers her a heretic, see page 15.
Other eminent Catholics — priests and theologians — are of the firm opinion that Vassula Ryden is a New Age prophetess who is controlled by a spirit entity or by several spirit entities pretending to be her angel Daniel, Mary, Jesus, Yahweh, etc.
VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA
VASSULA RYDEN-A CDF NOTIFICATION BISHOPS WARNINGS AND THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES
VASSULA RYDEN-THE EUCHARIST AND INTERCOMMUNION ONE DATE AND PAN-CHRISTIAN ECUMENISM
VASSULA RYDEN-EXCOMMUNICATED OR NOT-A LAW SUIT
VASSULA RYDEN-THE REASONS FOR THE CHURCH’S NEGATIVE REACTION
VASSULA RYDEN-FR FRANCOIS MARIE DERMINE
VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA
VASSULA RYDEN-FR PETER JOSEPH
VASSULA RYDEN-FR BRIAN HARRISON
VASSULA RYDEN-FR RAY BLAKE
VASSULA RYDEN-MARIA LAURA PIO
VASSULA RYDEN-MARK WATERINCKX
VASSULA RYDEN-CARDINAL BASIL HUME
VASSULA RYDEN-A CRITIQUE-DIALOGUE CENTRE INTERNATIONAL
VASSULA RYDEN’S JESUS-INGERLISE PROVSTGAARD
VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD SALBATO
VASSULA RYDEN-JOE NICKELL
VASSULA RYDEN-CAREY WINTERS
VASSULA RYDEN-CONSTANCE CUMBEY
VASSULA RYDEN-RONALD L CONTE
VASSULA RYDEN-AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
VASSULA RYDEN-JOHN SANIDOPOULOS
VASSULA RYDEN-LAURENCE ENGLAND
VASSULA RYDEN-LAURETTE ELSBERRY
VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD CHONAK
VASSULA RYDEN-TERRY NELSON
VASSULA RYDEN-CATHOLIC ANSWERS
VASSULA RYDEN-CATHOLIC DOORS
VASSULA RYDEN-BENEDICT TANG
VASSULA RYDEN-BRO IGNATIUS MARY
VASSULA RYDEN-CARRIE TOMKO
VASSULA RYDEN-INTERNATIONAL MARIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
VASSULA RYDEN-INVESTIGATE VASSULA
VASSULA RYDEN-SUSAN BRINKMANN
VASSULA RYDEN-TE DEUM
VASSULA RYDEN-DANIEL KLIMEK
VASSULA RYDEN-TONY-ALLEN CUCOLO
VASSULA RYDEN-ADUR VALLEY PARISH
VASSULA RYDEN-ASK A CATHOLIC
VASSULA RYDEN-ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY
VASSULA RYDEN-STEVE HAYES
VASSULA RYDEN-RORATE CAELI
VASSULA RYDEN-SEMPER FI
VASSULA RYDEN-DON LATTIN
VASSULA RYDEN-LARRY B STAMMER
CDF, OCTOBER 6, 1995
VASSULA RYDEN-THE TLIG APOLOGISTS
Categories: False Mystics