Vassula Ryden: the Eucharist, intercommunion and a false ecumenism



DECEMBER 15, 2012/JANUARY 13, 2013

Vassula Ryden: the Eucharist, intercommunion and a false ecumenism

Vassula receives Holy Communion for the first time

Uploaded on August 20, 2007, 2:48 minutes

In a church in Bangladesh where it happened, Vassula describes how she received Holy Communion for the first time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dsQ8FKee10

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/1999/1115-1201/
EXTRACT FROM THE TLIG WEB SITE

Bombay, November 30th-December 1st, 1999

[Vassula Ryden] told the story of how in the early days of the TLIG messages she went to her first Catholic mass with her sister and innocently didn’t know that what she received in the front of the church was the Eucharist- the Body and Blood of Christ. She later told Jesus how ashamed she was but He didn’t scold her. He was just happy with her for wanting to learn.

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/2001/1026-28/
EXTRACT FROM THE TLIG WEB SITE

After Vassula’s speech, Holy Mass took place and passages of what Jesus tells us through the Messages were read. In honor of Vassula, who was a special guest, the priests offered Holy Communion, Body and Blood, to all who were there, something not usually done in the Catholic Church during mass where so many faithful participate.

 

Bishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto, Bishop of Delhi, India, addresses TLIG Pilgrims in May 2005

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/couto/
EXTRACT

It has been happening during the last 4 days for the first time in my life and I am sure that is the experience for so many of us. For the first time in our life we have been experiencing the Eucharist together. The Orthodox, the Catholics, the Anglicans, and so on.
Of course, we were saying the other Protestant groups are not there and how if they were there, they would have also taken the Holy Eucharist. We could think of getting them into the next Pilgrimage…

 

A Testimony from an active ex-member and webmaster of “True Life in God”

http://www.infovassula.ch/tlighome.html
EXTRACT

By Javier López Torres, Madrid, Spain

My involvement with TLIG lasted almost 5 years. As I usually do in almost everything I undertake, I got involved as thoroughly as possible, to the point of becoming the webmaster for the Spanish version of the official TLIG website
I realized that during the TLIG convention that took place in the Holy Land, ecumenical celebrations and Eucharistic communions
had been done
without the due authorization from the Catholic Church
.

From:
Javier Lopez Torres
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 2:34 PM

Subject: Cardinal Toppo with Vassula?

Dear Michael 

I am very surprised reading this report on the last pilgrimage of “True Life in God” in Greece.

http://www.tligpilgrimages.org/greeceroman.html  

I cannot understand how an Indian Cardinal [Telesphore Toppo] was there (presiding a Holy mass?) and two Indian priests… I always have doubts about the ecumenical and Eucharistic celebrations with Vassula if they have the proper permissions from the Vatican to celebrate… Javier

 

Vassula Ryden: A Case Study in Discerning the Spirits

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=08-01-017-f
EXTRACT

 

 

By Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, SJ

Another problem is Vassula’s indifferentism about the various denominations… Vassula’s indifferentist behavior also appears when she receives Holy Communion in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches. She “love[s] receiving Holy Communion” from the Church of England because they kneel when they receive. However, her behavior is not in accord with the canons of those churches.
Receiving Holy Communion in all these churches would transgress the conscience of members who hold mutually exclusive Eucharistic theologies.

 

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

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

By Maria Laura Pio, March 2011

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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. *See also page 15

 

Romanian Orthodox and Roman Catholic priests concelebrate Divine Liturgy in Romania

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

Posted by Carlos Antonio Palad, September 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Fr Abberton
wrote
[extract]:

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

Carlos Antonio Palad, the blogger, wrote:

Fr. Abberton: This is from the actual report on the TLIG website that I linked to:
“Not only was Rev. Fr. Daniel Crecan inspired to ask Vassula to speak to his congregation after the Divine Liturgy on the great feast of Pentecost Sunday, but he also invited Fr. Rolf, Roman Catholic priest, to concelebrate. In addition to this, Fr. Daniel was overjoyed to invite us all to partake in the Eucharist. What a wonderful gift we were given by the Holy Spirit!
Fr. Daniel, the parish priest of this church shares his perspective on the events of this wonderful day:
“On the day of Pentecost was the feast day for our church and many people came to attend the Holy Liturgy. That day in our community we received many special guests who came from many parts of the world: one Greek born in Egypt, one from Switzerland, and one from the Philippines. That was wonderful and very special for us because we had never before had so many nationalities in our church. It does not matter if our Orthodox community is small, but it is our joy to minister together with believers from other countries and different churches. The Swiss man is my good friend and brother in Christ, a Roman-Catholic priest. On that special day drawn by the Spirit we celebrated together the Holy Liturgy and we shared together the same Holy Eucharist, the Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It was great, wonderful, divine … .just like the teachings of our Saviour Christ, “MAY THEY ALL BE ONE!” Communion in the Eucharist is the sign of unity in the Holy Spirit. It was definitely a divine sign given by the Holy Spirit, of full communion in the love of Jesus Christ. But this is not all….we had a lot of people who came to receive the Holy Eucharist, singing, praying together and giving glory to our God.

 

The presence of many Greek-Catholics sharing communion with us in the same church and sharing the Liturgy was indeed another sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the middle of our community. No words can ever tell the joy of what it is like to have full communion in truth, in unity with the Holy Spirit.”
I’m pretty sure that Fr. Crecan knew what a concelebration is, and the pictures on the TLIG website, clearly show the Catholic priest AT the altar, and not simply standing off to the side. For that matter, the protocol that is normally followed is for Catholic clergy attending Orthodox liturgies to stand OUTSIDE the iconostasis, not INSIDE, as this is forbidden to non-Orthodox (something that I’ve been personally told by a Greek Orthodox priest, and which I’ve observed in many of the numerous videos of Eastern Liturgies that I’ve seen.)
Furthermore, concelebration between priests of different rites is not impossible: it happens all the time between Eastern and Latin Rite Catholics. See pages 10-12

 

Transcripts [The links to these pages are apparently defunct] EWTN – a Catholic Channel –

Series Name: Mother Angelica Live – Guest: Fr. Mitch Pacwa, December 12, 1995 EXTRACT

Fr. Mitch Pacwa:
For instance, when she goes to communion. Not only in the Catholic and the Orthodox Church but the Episcopalian Church too. See, she receives communion in all three according to her own books. Now that’s not right!

No, there are certain situations in which the Orthodox can receive communion with us because they share the same faith. But not the Episcopalian, we don’t have an agreement on the Eucharist with them. But we do with the Orthodox. So that is not quite right to do that. And so I objected that to the Vatican…

 

Vassula Ryden with Pope Benedict XVI

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

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

There are facets of Vassula’s ecumenism — like advocating a universal Eucharist open to all (a concern that is alluded to in the Vatican’s 1995 Notification) — that are far from orthodox in appreciating the reverence of the sacrament.

 

What is the Church’s official stand on Vassula Ryden?/Vassula

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

http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/Vassula.html
By Richard Salbato EXTRACT

ROME SPEAKS OUT

On May 10, 1994, Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy, Head of the Sacred Congregation for the Promotion of Christian Unity in Rome [Pontificium Consulium Ad Christianorum Unitatem Fovendam] wrote regarding Vassula: “No one should take seriously any claim on the part of this lady to have an “ecumenical mission”. I am amazed that all over the world our Church authorities are opening their doors to this lady. The question of a member of an Orthodox Church being admitted to Communion in our Church is governed by Canon Law.” He went on to say that the “competent Dicastery for matters concerning private revelations is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I am sending on to that office a copy of your letter and of the documentation forwarded therewith.”

 

The Problem with Vassula

http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill.blogspot.in/2010/11/problem-with-vassula.html
EXTRACT

By Laurence England,
November 12, 2010

The other day after serving at Mass, I was just about to change out of my cassock and cotta, when I was approached by a slim, black man with a package in a big white envelope.
He asked me to give it to Fr Ray Blake, saying it was a “gift” and so give it to him I did. Fr Ray, in the sacristy opened it. It was a book that looked like a kind of weird new Gideon’s Bible with a CD and flyers for ‘True Life in God’. The fact that this book was presented as a Bible was, to put it mildly, disconcerting!
‘True Life in God’ is a massive book, a voluminous collection of writings, claimed, by Vassula Ryden, to be a collation of intimate conversations between her and Our Blessed Saviour, emerging through ‘automatic writing’. She puts pen to paper and, according to her, Christ speaks to her everyday and, through her, to the entire listening World. Crikey! Such a claim demands thorough investigation, since if this is true the writings may be both important and edifying. If it is not true, then, equally the writings should be burned pronto and treated as anathema – a danger to souls.
Our Blessed Lord said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” So, what is the fruit of Vassula? Well, as a Greek Orthodox woman who befriends, or takes in, depending on your point of view, figures in authority in all Christian denominations, whether it be Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal or Presbyterian churches, Vassula claims to be on a ‘mission from God’ to unite all churches ‘in Christ’. She’s as happy to be at a charismatic service with a bunch of wide-eyed Baptists a-praisin’ the Lord as she is to receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Christ at a Catholic Church, even though she is not a practising Catholic. Whenever and wherever this occurs it is a cause of great scandal, not only to the Faithful, but to Bishops and Priests who are presented with a problem whenever Vassula presents herself for Holy Communion or requests that she may give a speech to followers at a massive Cathedral in the Diocese.

4.

 

This is because while it is true that Orthodox communicants can present themselves for Holy Communion in Catholic Churches, it is widely disputed as to whether Vassula is ‘in good standing’ even with her own Orthodox Church… A small, yet telling, example of this occurred when the young man who gave Fr Ray Blake a book of her writings received Holy Communion. I know through an Anglican friend that the young man is an Anglican who worships at St Patrick’s Anglican Church in Brighton. Yet, the young man presented himself for Holy Communion. Clearly, being one of Vassula’s disciples has not impressed upon him the importance to be in full communion with the Church, reconciled to the One True Church and in a State of Grace, in order to receive the Precious Body and Blood of Our Blessed Lord under the guise of bread. To Vassula, his actions would not be problematic, but to the faithful Catholic who is loyal to the Magisterium, they are, whether they are performed with or without an informed conscience, a cause for scandal. Vassula promotes a Christ without Doctrine and that is profoundly damaging both to her credibility and to souls.
That, and that alone, is precisely the reason why Vassula Ryden is dangerous to souls. That is why I dropped her writings, the “gift” from the young man, in the bin with no questions asked.

 

Vassula Ryden

http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill.blogspot.in/2011/03/vassula-ryden.html
EXTRACT

By Laurence England,
March 24, 2011

He was Anglican and strangely, he presented himself for Communion, clearly not understanding the need for him to be in full communion with the Church and in a State of Grace etc. Even so, he hadn’t really gone to Mass for Mass. He’d only gone so that at the end of Mass he could give the True Life in God book to the Priest concerned. So clearly, Vassula’s writings had not impressed much about the standard basics of ‘ecumenism’ or Catholicism, on him. Seeing this was what turned me against her. She sows confusion among her followers, whether that is deliberate or a simple omission is up to others to decide.

 

Q: An Eastern Orthodox friend sometimes attends Mass with me and receives Communion. Is this allowed?

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/quickquestions/?qid=567

A: The U.S. Bishops Conference’s Guidelines for the Reception of Communion states:

Members of the Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of Communion by Christians of these churches. (Canon 844 § 3)

Basically, this means that the Catholic Church does not object to reception of Catholic Communion by Eastern Orthodox Christians but urges those Christians to respect their own church’s sacramental discipline. To the best of my knowledge, Orthodox churches as a rule strongly object to their members receiving Communion in a Catholic church.

A statement of this stance can be found on the Web site of the Orthodox Church in America (http://www.oca.org).
In short, if your friend considers himself an Eastern Orthodox Christian, ordinarily he should respect the sacramental discipline of his own church. If he wishes to receive Communion in a Catholic church, perhaps he should seriously consider entering the Catholic Church, possibly through one of its Eastern Catholic churches. – Michelle Arnold

 

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Notification on Vassula Ryden, October 6, 1995

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19951006_ryden_en.html and http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrydn1.htm
EXTRACT

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

Given the negative effect of Vassula Ryden’s activities, despite some positive aspects, this Congregation requests the intervention of the Bishops so that their faithful may be suitably informed
and that no opportunity may be provided in their Dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas. 

Lastly, the Congregation invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings and speeches as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church.

Vatican City, 6 October 1995

Published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis AAS 88 (1996) 956-957; OR 23-24.10.1995; EV 14, 1956-1957; LE 5618; with the signatures of Card. Joseph Ratzinger and Mons. Tarcisio Bertone, respectively Prefect and Secretary of the Congregation.

 

This Notification remains valid and has never been superseded by any other Vatican communication -Michael

5.

 

Transcripts [The links to these pages are apparently defunct] EWTN – a Catholic Channel –

Series Name: Mother Angelica Live – Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists – Guest: Bob and Penny Lord, November 1st 1995 EXTRACT

Mother Angelica: I got a Notification from the Holy
See today and the Notification is from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Some of you will be happy and some of you not happy, some of you very angry. But I must tell you what the Congregation said and from then on you have to take it into your heart and think about it huh?

Many bishops and priests, religious and lay people sought an authoritative judgement from the Congregation of Faith, on the activities of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox who resides in Switzerland.

A calm attentive examination of the entire questions was undertaken by the Congregation to test the spirit.

There are a number of basic elements that must be considered:

A pan-Christian Community contrary to Catholic doctrine

The habitually sharing in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church by Vassula although she is not Catholic

Putting herself up as an ecclesiastic of jurisdiction over canonical norms and creating an ecumenical disorder

 

Vassula Ryden‘s prayer groups, retreats and pilgrimages are largely designated as “ecumenical“.

Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith notified thus:

Concerning the question of ecumenical meetings, the faithful are to follow the norms of the Ecumenical Directory, of the Code of Canon Law (canons: 215; 223 §2 and 383 §3) and of Diocesan Ordinaries [January 25, 2007, Prot. N.: 54/92 – 24945, source: http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrydn4.htm].

 

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

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

By Fr. Francois-Marie Dermine, O.P., January 2008, published on www.infovassula.ch (original article in Italian).

[The
infovassula
site was closed mid-2012 following a civil law suit by Vassula/TLIG against its owner Maria Laura Pio]

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

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

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

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

 

1/9/1991,
Declaration from the Bishop of Sion-Switzerland, Mgr. Heinrich Schwery
:

Vassula is not a Catholic. Her initiatives are purely private and have nothing to do with any official oecumenical discussion group. To support initiatives for the promotion of unity amongst Christians, one must avoid absolutely such private initiatives, which are not recognised by her own (Orthodox) church, or by the Catholic Bishop Conference. The ecumenical attitude of Vassula Ryden is ambiguous. Real ecumenism, in which we hope and which we pursue in spite of all difficulties, can only exist if all participating churches adhere loyally to their own church. Blurring and confusion cannot lead to unity. Every Christian is necessarily a member of a particular church.

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

 

Vassula Ryden: A Case Study in Discerning the Spirits

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=08-01-017-f
EXTRACT

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.

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.

6.

 

Another problem is Vassula’s indifferentism about the various denominations. She once asked “Jesus,” “Which Church Lord, which do You mean?” He responds, “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.” We should love and respect Christians of all denominations, but each church’s claims to truth must be examined in the light of Sacred Scripture and Tradition in order to determine which church is most authentic.

 

Vassula Ryden: Theologians and bishops warn the faithful

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

By Maria Laura Pio

Father Brian Harrison, O.S.,
M.A., S.T.D.
, teaches theology at the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico in Ponce (Puerto Rico). He provided a lengthy and critical examination of TLIG and Vassula in the May 1992 and May 1994 “Fidelity” magazine (South Bend, IN), establishing, among other things, the alteration of certain messages and negative elements in her trance state. He also wrote a comment on the Puerto Rican Bishops’ statement against TLIG’s false ecumenism in the May 11, 1995 issue of “The Wanderer” (Saint Paul, MN). […]

Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference, April 1995

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

Neither the Roman Catholic Church nor the Eastern Orthodox Church have approved these alleged revelations as authentic.” The statement also indicates that the “ecumenical” activities that were being organized by TLIG supporters in Puerto Rico had not been approved nor authorized by any Puerto Rican Bishop, and should not be considered as authentic acts of ecumenism. More on pages 17, 18

 

Vassula Ryden: The Reasons of the Church

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

By Fr. François-Marie Dermine, O.P.

The ambiguous attitude of Mrs. Rydén
toward the Church

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

The Orthodox Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Vassula Ryden

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

Criticism

In 1995, Dominican theologian François-Marie Dermine, a Canadian-born priest serving as exorcist for the diocese of Bologna, Italy, wrote a book, Vassula Rydén: indagine critica (Vassula Rydén: critical inquiry), analyzing Rydén’s first six books. Dermine described Rydén’s early works as promoting a New Age-type spirituality including millennialism and pan-Christian ecumenism

 

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.

 

The following four pages are retrieved from the archives of Maria Laura Pio‘s web site:

May Vassula Ryden (who is Greek Orthodox) receive Holy Communion when participating at Catholic Masses? [http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm]

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090939/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#mayvassula,

http://web.archive.org/web/20100409001832/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm

July 2008

Vassula Ryden, who is Greek Orthodox, frequently receives communion when participating at Catholic Masses. In her answers to the questions put by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2002 (http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/q2a/), Mrs Ryden explained her reasons for receiving communion, enumerating the (many) cases in which she participates fully in the Eucharist celebrated in Catholic churches. However this participation is not legitimate for neither the Catholic nor the Orthodox Churches.

From the Orthodox point of view, the Orthodox faithful cannot receive Catholic Communion until all doctrinal differences are resolved. In August 2005, the Metropolite of Glastonbury, His Eminence Abba Seraphim, addressed the matter in a Memorandum on Vassula Ryden to the clergy of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Great Britain (his remarks also reflect the position of the Greek Orthodox Church). He stated that:

In receiving the sacraments at altars other than those of the Orthodox Church [justifying this by quoting the Decree
Orientarium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II], Mrs Ryden is disregarding Orthodox canonical discipline
which forbids it
” (http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm)

From a Catholic perspective, the recent Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of Pope Benedict XVI also gives some important explanations regarding the general question of the participation in the Eucharist by Christians who are not Catholic:

Participation by Christians who are not Catholic

56. The subject of participation in the Eucharist inevitably raises the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that 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 in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible and Tradition. 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. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their eternal salvation, individual non-Catholic Christians can be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specific, exceptional situations and requires that certain precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe these norms faithfully. (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html#Actuosa_participatio)

The Catechism of the Catholic Churches indicates that:

1399 The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. “These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all – by apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy.” A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, “given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged.” (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P42.HTM)

Therefore, the full participation in the Eucharist of our Orthodox brothers is admitted only when special circumstances have been approved by Church authorities (generally the Ordinary of the place). However, Orthodox faithful should also obtain the authorization from their own Church authorities before receiving Catholic Sacraments, in accordance with their own canonical discipline (see also: http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm)

 

Regarding the TLIG pilgrimage in Egypt of April 2008: Is it true that the Orthodox Patriarch of Alessandria and All Africa, Theodoros II, gave Holy Communion to all the TLIG group, including the Catholics and Lutherans?

http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090939/http:/www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#intercommunion

November 2008

 

Regarding intercommunion during the April 2008 Pilgrimage of TLIG in Egypt and the position of the Patriarch Theodoros II (http://www.tlig.org/en/spirituality/pilgrimages/egypt2008/ and http://www.udfordringen.dk/art.php?ID=13396)

During this pilgrimage, the whole TLIG group was received by the Orthodox Patriarch of Alessandria and All Africa, Theodore II. During the Orthodox Mass, the Patriarch is reported to have given Holy Communion to the whole TLIG group, including Catholics and Lutherans (1). The Patriarch is said to be a reader and admirer of Vassula. 

After being informed of the above, a Greek Orthodox person living in Egypt (and under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa) personally contacted the Patriarchate and presented the document on Mrs Ryden’s case issued by the Committee on Heresies of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church (http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm). He was told that they had been unaware of Mrs Ryden’s situation. I would add that similar circumstances have also occurred in Catholic settings (for instance (http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/vassula.htm).

Regarding the intercommunion, both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have a valid Sacrament but advise against intercommunion until the doctrinal differences are resolved (a process well under way). The Orthodox Church though tends to be stricter than the Catholic Church. Orthodox clergy generally refuse Holy Communion to Catholics, but there are exceptions. For instance, several years ago the Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated Holy Liturgy in Ravenna (Italy) and gave Orthodox Holy Communion to the Italian Catholics present. It was however a “luminous” exception, and was strongly criticized in some Greek Orthodox circles.

So, Patriarch Theodore’s gesture in Egypt should be seen in this light for what regards the Catholics present during the ceremony. In general Lutheran communities do not have a valid Eucharist, so they cannot be admitted to Holy Communion by either the Catholic or Orthodox Churches, except for some very rare exceptions and extraordinary circumstances (for instance the case of Frère Roger of the Taizé Community who received Holy Communion from the Pope). You will find more on intercommunion here: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#mayvassula .

Often the participants of different denominations who participate in TLIG pilgrimages and retreats are encouraged to practice intercommunion as a way of expressing unity. I would like to recall here the words of the Holy Father Benedict XVI regarding this matter:

In this regard, it must be said that 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. The Eucharist in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church.” (Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 56, February 2007)

(1) As reported in the Danish paper “Udfordringen” in an article dated August 20, 2008 on the TLIG pilgrimage in Egypt and written by two persons who participated in the pilgrimage (http://www.udfordringen.dk/art.php?ID=13396 ). In the section titled “No discrimination between denominations” we can read: “I modsætning til almindelig katolsk eller ortodoks praxis, der strengt forbeholder nadvertildelingen til menighedens medlemmer, blev gruppen, der var ledsaget af Vassula, modtaget ved de ortodokse messer uden diskrimination mellem de repræsenterede trosretninger, lutheranere, katolikker og ortodokse. På den måde blev den kirkelige enhed tydeligt demonstreret ved en fri og åben nadver (eukaristi)”. Free translation from Danish: “Contrary to the usual Catholic or Orthodox practice which strictly reserves the giving of communion to the members of the congregation, the group accompanied by Vassula was received at the Orthodox mass without any discrimination between the denominations they represented: Lutherans, Catholics and Orthodox. In this way the Church unity [sic!] was clearly demonstrated by a free and open communion (Eucharist)”.

 

Did an Orthodox priest concelebrate Divine Liturgy with a Catholic priest during Vassula‘s visit to Romania in May 2010?

http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm

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

December 2010

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

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

The Metropolitan of Banat, in Romania, has
rejected the appeal of
Father Daniel Crecan, priest of Bocsa Montana (diocese of Caransebes), who has been relieved from his duties as rector and from the exercise of priesthood by the Bishop of Caransebes, for having concelebrated with a Catholic priest on May 23, 2010, on the day of Pentecost, as stated in the
press release
published yesterday by the diocese of Caransebes. The matter created turmoil in the city of Bocsa Montana, because the parishioners, supported by the mayor, refused to let Father Daniel Crecan’s successor enter the church (a
report here). The problem rose when photographies 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)

 

 

Quick Update on Catholic-Orthodox Concelebration Story [Continued from pages 3, 4]

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/11/quick-update-on-catholic-orthodox.html

Posted by Carlos Antonio Palad, November 16, 2010

Various Romanian blogs and websites are reporting that Fr. Daniel Crecan — the Romanian Orthodox priest who concelebrated with a Roman Catholic priest in May of this year, as reported on Rorate
*— has been defrocked by his bishop for this act. (See this, this and this, among the many reports from Romania.) *See pages 3, 4
UPDATE (November 16, 2010): New information just received by Rorate from Romania clarifies that Fr. Crecan has been suspended from the priesthood, but not yet deposed, and that he has appealed his suspension by his bishop to the latter’s superior, the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Banat, Met. Nicolae Corneanu. Metropolitan Nicolae is known for his great friendliness to Catholics; he even received communion at a Greek Catholic Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in 2008 (an action for which he was later forced to seek forgiveness from the Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod).

7 out of 23 comments:

The article that you link in Ziua de Vest also gives information about the status of Vassula Ryden’s Orthodoxy. That is, a large part of the charges against the Romanian priest were that he communed her and promoted her writings, despite the fact that she was excommunicated from the Church of Greece for heresy. The issue of concelebration with the Roman Catholic priest is murkier, as his supporters argue that the latter was simply standing in the altar, and not technically concelebrating. –Samn

I would be mildly surprised if his suspension were overturned. The Metropolitan is already under suspicion by the Holy Synod. What possible grounds would there be for reversing the verdict of this priest’s bishop? He was standing in the sanctuary vested and concelebrating the Holy Mysteries with a non-Orthodox cleric.
I think he will indeed be most fortunate if he is not fully deposed and stripped of his Holy Orders. Frankly he should have humbled himself and accepted whatever discipline the bishop thought right. –John

Daniel Crecan must read the internet critical site www.infovassula.ch of Maria Laura Pio, who is an ex-adept of Vassula. Her life was destroyed by the messages. There are a lot of good reports of the Catholic, Orthodox authorities. A very important report is of Father François Dermine, who is a theologian. He studies at the university of Bologne (Italy) and he gives conferences to make understand how Vassula is a prophet new age. –Anonymous
Since I am a reader of “True Life in God” and know both Vassula and Fr. Rolf (the Catholic priest involved) I hope you will allow me to bring some truth into all this.
Firstly Vassula did not organise the programme on that occasion. Fr Rolf had no intention of concelebrating, and in fact did not – and could not. Firstly he does not know Romanian or the actual rite used. Secondly it is completely against TLIG policies to do such a thing. What happened was this: Fr Daniel invited Fr Rolf, to his genuine surprise, to vest and stand with him at the altar. I am not sure whether he did anything to help the priest but he did not concelebrate. Holy Communion was given to Fr Rolf and to Vassula and some others. Vassula is regarded as a “heretic” by some because she is said to have been excommunicated by the Greek Church. However, she is under the Patriarch of Alexandria (she was born in Egypt) who has NOT excommunicated her and has welcomed her (I was there and witnessed this).
Just what are the actual charges against Vassula? The Greeks insist that her involvement in Catholic Masses is wrong and that she should not take Communion in Catholic Churches. However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to “recognise” each others’ ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then – reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified. Secondly she is accused by some Catholics of teaching heresy. This is not the case. The Notification issued by the Vatican has not been rescinded, but at the same time, following the dialogue with the CDF facilitated by Fr Prospero Grech – who has worked for the CDF and knows Cardinal Ratzinger (now the Pope) Vassula was told, by the Cardinal, that when people ask about her at the CDF the answer will be “the position is modified” because her answers to their questions were called, by him, “useful clarifications”. His letter to several bishops (given to Vassula for her use) made clear that the question of having prayer groups in a diocese was now, is now, a matter for the local ordinary (as is the case with anything else). Further to this, the Cardinal insisted that her answers should be printed in her books, thus making access to those answers dependent on having a copy of one of her books. He would hardly have done this if he had the intention of forbidding the books!
The letter from Cardinal Levada which is now often mentioned refers to prayer groups but does not specify any faults or problems. In justice we have a right to know what these are. However, it is possible that he is actually not concerned about the prayer groups but about the pilgrimages about which there has been some confusion, caused partly by inaccurate reports.
May I also say, with regard to a very negative web site, that having been a member of a TLIG prayer group does not automatically mean that a person is telling the truth or presenting a true picture of TLIG or Vassula. People come and people go. Some are happy some are not. I dispute the idea that TLIG has ruined someone’s life. Where is the evidence for this? Regarding this matter there is more truth to come out in time. I would also like to make this point or ask this question; why is it that the negative web site is automatically regarded as true and the official TLIG web site is not? Also, if people want to criticise someone’s writings, should they not read them first? –Fr. John Abberton [a disciple of Vassula]
Fr Abberton minimises the Cardinal Levada’s internal communication of January 2007 sent to the Presidents of all Bishops conferences, it is a very clear document. Vassula’s response to Cardinal Levada can be read on www.infovassula.ch.
The CDF is the only way to valid new prophet, in the Catholic Church, and Mrs. Ryden is orthodox but excluded from her proper church. (Héresies of the Saint Synode 2001 Infovassula.ch)

 


It is clear that Mrs. Ryden indicated that she does not want to become a catholic, but on the other hand does not act as an Orthodox ,then she has indeed chosen to be in a denominational “no-church’s land” with the approval of her “Jesus”, for whom “all are the same” (http://www.tlig.org/en/messages/182/),and this suggests a lot about her idea of unity.(dixit http://www.infovassula.ch)
I have read all the Vassula’s Ryden books… and it is full of naïve expressions like “my flower, I love you, I marry the Christ…” . The central actress in all the books is Mrs. Ryden.
The most shocking is the True life in God’s business (Videos, books, i-Pod, magazine, I phone, contribution, everything to spend money). The great mystics are Bernadette Soubirous, Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, Sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité, Saint François, etc… Read their books! They have been recognised by the religious authorities in the world. We have the Bible and we don’t need the Vassula’s promotion! I pray for truth. –Anonymous

I would just like to clarify a point mentioned in Fr. Abberton‘s post, who is one of the spiritual advisors of Mrs. Ryden’s movement:
The CDF letter sent in 2007 by Cardinal Levada to all the Bishops’ conferences in the world states in its point 1 that “the Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment”. The 1995 Notification states that Mrs. Ryden’s writings contain “several doctrinal errors”. The CDF letter also states in point 3 that “in remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs. Ryden”.
According to Mrs. Ryden, following her protest regarding this letter, Mgr Amato, number two of the Congregation at that time, wrote to her telling her that this letter “was expressly written with the purpose of informing all the Catholic Bishops of the dialogue” that had taken place in 2002-2004 her and the CDF (in “Response to Cardinal Levada’s letter of 2007” an article signed by Vassula and circulated by her official website http://www.tlig.org This article is no longer available on that website but a copy of it can be found in mine: http://www.infovassula.ch/tliglevada.htm second half of the page).
Regarding intercommunion, Mrs. Ryden is in open conflict with the teachings of both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, which affirm that the sharing of the Eucharist cannot be a means or a stage towards full unity, but rather its culmination. For that reason, it is not generally permitted nor encouraged. In some very exceptional occasions or particular situations, intercommunion does take place with the permission of the competent ecclesiastical authorities.
Mrs. Ryden instead affirms that “Jesus” revealed to her that the Eucharist has to be the means to attain unity. She also says 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 (“Vassula speaks of unity and intercommunion”, 2008, http://www.tligvideo.org/chich.html). Anyone who reads the reports of her interreligious pilgrimages and retreats knows that participants are expected to practice intercommunion, because that is what “Jesus” commands (See for instance: http://www.tlig.org/print/en/news/2007-06-29/2045).
Regarding the jurisdictional matter, it is my understanding that the Greek Orthodox of the diaspora are under the Patriarchate of their place of residence, not birth.Anonymous

Fr. Abberton wrote:
“However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to “recognise” each others’ ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then – reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified.”
The Roman Church has always recognized the validity of Greek Orthodox orders, while the Greek Orthodox have had a more diverse (some would say inconsistent) approach to Catholic Orders. Some Catholic priests converting to Greek Orthodoxy have been merely chrismated then accepted “in their orders”, others have been chrismated but treated as laymen afterwards (e.g. all the Filipino Catholic priests who have converted to Greek Orthodoxy were received as laymen, then re-ordained), and some have even been (re) baptized.
The Russians of the Moscow Patriarchate are more consistent on the matter, tending (since the 18th century) to simply “vest” Catholic priests converting to Orthodoxy, accepting them with a confession of faith and without chrismation or (re)baptism.
As for reception of Communion, this has been abundantly clarified. The Orthodox are practically unanimous about this: no concelebration with Catholics, and no communion too (although some of the more liberal bishops have unofficially allowed this for specific cases). In the aftermath of the 2008 case of Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae of Banat communing at a Greek Catholic liturgy, the Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod forced him to repent then issued a decree threatening clerics who did the same with deposition from the priesthood. I haven’t been able to update this post yet, but on November 22, 2010 the same Metropolitan Nicolae turned down the appeal of Fr. Daniel Crecan, who was immediately afterwards irrevocably deposed from the priesthood by his bishop.
As for us Roman Catholics, let the following quote from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI Sacramentum Caritatis suffice:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html

“Participation by Christians who are not Catholic
56. The subject of participation in the Eucharist inevitably raises the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that 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 in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible and Tradition. 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. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their eternal salvation, individual non-Catholic Christians can be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specific, exceptional situations and requires that certain precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe these norms faithfully.”–Carlos Antonio Palad

Warning against Vassula (mise en garde par rapport à Vassula) New forum topic France Catholique journal
“I sincerely believe that Father [Rene] Laurentin is extremely naive about the origin of some paranormal and spiritualists like automatic writings. A message received by automatic writing as Vassula describes can only be a spiritualist. It is no means an inspiration of the Holy Spirit who has never used this method. Do not confuse not alas, divine inspiration and interference spiritualist. Defending Vassula’s writing such as the fact, the abbot Laurentin showed great credulity. Father Dominique Auzenet (France) –Anonymous

 

VASSULA RYDEN’S CALL FOR PAN-CHRISTIAN UNITY: THE “ONE DATE”

What does the petition “One Date” have to do with Vassula?

http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20110521090939/http:/www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#onedate,

http://web.archive.org/web/20100409001832/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm

July 2007

It has 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: http://www.onedate.org. 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.

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: maria31x@yahoo.com

 

Vassula

http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/Vassula.html
EXTRACT

By Richard Salbato

The World Council of Churches is a Marxist-inspired pluralistic body. This is the reason the Catholic Church has never become a member. The Holy Father’s recent favorable remarks about WCC were only to invite them on the right track now that communism is dead. Their connection to two other groups of the New Age tinge, prompted us to come out with a new pamphlet, which will be out soon.

In addressing the WCC, Vassula’s so-called “Jesus” stated:

“My words of reconciliation, peace, and unity have not been heard nor have they been respected.

[Vassula: “He’s talking about the WCC here.”]

When will they [WCC] pass a decree by unanimous vote to celebrate the feast of Easter all on one date? I have come to talk to them, to the World Council of Churches.”

 

Most Rev. Anil Couto, earlier auxiliary Bishop of Delhi, later Bishop of Jalandhar and recently appointed Archbishop of Delhi in an article published in The Voice of Delhi, right after participating in a TLIG pilgrimage, quoted
Vassula Ryden‘s “Jesus”, thus supporting the “One Date” call:

True Life in God – Vassula Ryden‘s quest for Ecumenism

http://intranet.tlig.org/en/promo/tligdossier/Support_english_09_06_01.pdf
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Have you not heard that the East and the West will become one kingdom? Have you not heard that I shall settle for one date? That one date refers to the date of Easter which differs in the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.

 

The October 6, 1995 Notification on Vassula Ryden from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, signed by its Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ,now our Pope, condemns this false ecumenism sought by her alleged Jesus, and I quote,Furthermore, the proximate arrival is foretold of a Church which would be a kind of pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine. The fact that the aforementioned errors no longer appear in Ryden’s later writings is a sign that the alleged “heavenly messages” are merely the result of private meditations.

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

 

MORE ON VASSULA RYDEN‘S INTERCOMMUNION

Patriarch of Constantinople Denounces Vassula

http://marymagdalen.blogspot.in/2011/03/patriarc-of-constantinople-denounces.html
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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.

3 selected comments

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?) … 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… –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

 

Vassula had already been the object of a prohibition to receive the Eucharist before the Patriarchate’s announcement

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/8s6x8U3qqO0

[Also see
http://web.archive.org/web/20110725191938/http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm]

By Maria Laura Pio, July 4, 2011

Vassula had already been the object of a prohibition to receive the Eucharist a year before the Patriarchate’s announcement.
The measure was taken by the Metropolitan of Rhodes and based on the 2001 decree of the Committee on Heresies of the Holy Synod (Greece).

An interesting new document has recently been made known regarding Mrs. Ryden’s standing with Greek Orthodox authorities of Rhodes– where Mrs. Ryden has a property – prior to the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s condemnation of her writings earlier this year.

 

On May 22, 2011, Fr. John Abberton – a prominent figure among the few Catholic clergy who continue to defend Vassula Ryden inspite of the warnings issued by the Vatican – published on his blog the text of an undated document signed by Mrs. Ryden and titled “Confession of Orthodox Faith”. The document is mainly an auto-defense of her writings and practices, in particular intercommunion, which she insists are in accordance with Orthodox doctrine and canon law.
Vassula states that she wrote the confession of faith “in response to the recent prohibition imposed on [her] by His Eminence Kyrillos, Metropolitan of Rhodes, forbidding [her] to receive the Holy Eucharist and participate in the Sacrament of Baptism as godmother to a relative”.
The Metropolitan’s prohibition is based on the 2001 decision of the Committee on Heresies of the Holy Synod, which states that Vassula has cut herself off from the Orthodox Church (for details see: (http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm).
Fr. Abberton introduces Vassula’s letter – which was probably written during the first half of 2010 – as follows:
“I do not believe this statement of faith – which also answers some accusations – has ever been published. Vassula received a message from the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Rhodes that if she acquired a ‘seal’ on two statements of faith he would ‘defend her’. On the contrary, when these statements and the seals were offered, he rejected them.
Vassula was offered no explanation.”
I copy hereunder the text of the document as published on Fr. Abberton’s blog (highlights added).

Read more… (http://www.infovassula.ch/rhodesmetrop.htm). [I am not able to access the page –Michael]

 

http://www.tlig.org/en/pilgrimages/rhodes2010/:

Rhodes, Greece 2010

330 people from 33 countries gather in Rhodes, Greece for a retreat focused on understanding and protecting ourselves from Satan, demons and evil spirits.

Vassula and her group took over the Catholic church of Rhodes in 2010

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/qjdYxxbq3lo

By Maria Laura Pio, July 20, 2011

Vassula and her group took over the Catholic church of Rhodes during the 2010 TLIG retreat.
Holy Mass was celebrated in the parish church of St. Mary by
Archbishop Argüelles*
regardless of the Vicar General’s vehement protests

From 23 to 27 September 2010, a TLIG retreat took place in Rhodes (Greece), where Vassula owns a property. According to the retreat report in Spanish (1), some 330 persons from 34 countries participated, including two Archbishops, one Catholic (Mgr Argüelles from the Philippines) and the other Orthodox, and 20 priests, among them Mgr. René Laurentin.  

The theme of the conference was the Devil’s way of working. 

According to Vassula, Rhodes was chosen as the venue because: “Maybe 20 years ago (…) when Jesus spoke about this island, he said: ‘This island is the haven of Satan’. Not “heaven”, but “haven” of Satan. (…) I found out that many many Greek people practice magic, here in Rhodos especially. (…) In places like this, which are small (…) and everything is known, [people] do practice evil things. This is an island that really needs to be healed and delivered. This is why I have made also this retreat, because with our prayers it might help somehow.“(2

The TLIG report mentions that Saturday evening, Holy Mass was “providentially” celebrated in the Catholic church of St Mary of the Victory: “The third day we had a Mass in the Catholic church of Our Lady of the Victory. It is a small church and it was completely occupied by our group. (…) The Mass, as was the case on the first day, was presided by Mgr Argüelles and concelebrated by all the Catholic priests. The Orthodox priests were present at the altar.  (…) The celebration of the Mass in the church of St Mary of the Victory seemed providential: We are persecuted, misunderstood, fought against, but at the end victory awaits us”. (1

What the report fails to mention, is that this Mass was not authorized by the local Catholic authorities and that Vassula’s group “took over” the church and celebrated the Eucharist regardless of the protests of the parish priest, who is also the Vicar General. 

According to an eyewitness, about half an hour before the Saturday Vigil Mass of 7pm, a very large group of people arrived at the Church, including Catholic and seemingly Orthodox priests as well as a Catholic bishop, and occupied the whole church, which is rather small. The parish priest had not been informed of the intention of the group to celebrate Mass and when he arrived, he clearly told them that they could not do so,  in particular because he had to celebrate the 7pm Mass. Despite his protests, the Mass was celebrated and presided by the bishop.   

As a consequence, the parish’s 7pm Mass had to be delayed and Vespers that were sang before Mass were cancelled. Much confusion reigned outside the church, in particular because many tourists had come for the 7pm Mass. Parishioners who were present that day were shocked by the disrespectful and scornful way the Vicar General was treated, and by the way Mrs Ryden and the members of the clergy accompanying her disregarded the requests to renounce celebrating the unauthorized Eucharistic liturgy.  

The following week, an announcement in several languages was posted on the church’s notice board (translation from the German version of the notice): 

We, the members of the Parish Pastoral Council of the Catholic Church in Rhodes would like to draw attention to the liturgy, held at Santa Maria Church on Saturday evening 25thSeptember 2010 at about 18:30 hours by the followers of the Vassula Ryden phenomenon, which was celebrated without permission, consent nor authorization of the archbishop**
and his vicar general
.

 

The Catholic Episcopal Conference of Greece notified all Catholic churches and monasteries in 2004 and 2005, that the followers of the Vassula Ryden phenomenon were not allowed to use Catholic churches or facilities, nor should such meetings be encouraged. 

Moreover, Cardinal Levada, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a notification in 2007 clearly stating that
it was not appropriate for Catholics to attend any prayer groups arranged by Vassula Ryden or her supporters. 

Signed: Parish Pastoral Council of the Catholic Church, Rhodes.

According to local sources, the Catholic and Orthodox parishes of Rhodes have had continuous problems with Mrs Ryden, her local TLIG association and with foreign TLIG followers who visit her in Rhodes. It is necessary to point out that, if it were not for the good relationship existing between the Orthodox Church of Rhodes and the local Catholic community,
an incident like the one described above could have meant serious problems with the Orthodox Metropolitan of Rhodes, who earlier that year had p
rohibited Vassula from receiving the Eucharist in Orthodox churches. (3

The reader will also note that the official report of the retreat carefully avoids mentioning what really happened at St Mary’s parish, leaving the impression that everything went smoothly in “providential” circumstances. 

This is why a sound scepticism must always be exercised when dealing with information provided by TLIG sources

Notes:

(1Reporte del retiro de la Verdadera Vida en dios, Rodas, Grecia, 23 a 27 de septiembre de 2010, by José Luis López de San Román, sent by email to all the subscribers of the TLIG e-Newsletter in Spanish, October 12, 2010. The report also mentions that Mass and Divine Liturgy (=Orthodox Mass) were also celebrated in the conference room of the Hotel where the retreat took place. A copy of the report (including photographs of the event) is available upon request: maria31x@yahoo.com

(2Complete text of Vassula’s talk at the Rhodes Retreat, September 2010, available at:http://www.tlig.org/en/spirituality/pilgrimages/rhodes2010/vassula-speech-2/

(3Vassula had already been the object of a prohibition to receive the Eucharist a year before the Patriarchate’s announcement, by M .L. Pio, July 2011, available at: http://www.infovassula.ch/rhodesmetrop.htm

More on the Rhodes retreat:

Fr. Abberton’s puzzling letter to the American TLIG Newsletter readers (December 2010)

Vassula had already been the object of a prohibition to receive the Eucharist a year before the Patriarchate’s announcement (July 2011)

[All emphases in the above article are those of Maria Laura Pio –Michael]

To repeat her words describing the Bocsa Montana, Romania, incident, see page 3, “Sadly the result [of her meetings like the one discussed just above], is not more unity but more division” among the Churches.

**From:
prabhu
To:
Maria Laura Pio
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 6:11 AM

Subject: Re: [infovassularyden_english] Vassula and her group took over the Catholic church of Rhodes in 2010

Dear Maria Laura,

There appears to be a contradiction in it. Could you please check it out and correct me if necessary?

The first line says “Holy Mass was celebrated in the parish church of St. Mary by Archbishop Argüelles regardless of the Vicar General’s vehement protests“.

But later I read this “was celebrated without permission, consent nor authorization of the archbishop and his vicar general.

From:
Maria Laura Pio
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 11:25 AM

Subject: Re: [infovassularyden_english] Vassula and her group took over the Catholic church of Rhodes in 2010

Dear Michael,

The second sentence you quote refers to the note posted on the St Mary’s church board and the “archbishop” mentioned is the Catholic archbishop of Athens. I had to quote it exactly as the original text. 

*TLIG testimony of
Bishop Ramon C. Arguelles

http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/christian/catholic/arguel/

Foreword by Ramon C. Arguelles, DD, STL, Archbishop of Lipa to the TLIG 2005 messages

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

Ramon C. Arguelles, the Bishop of Lipa, The Philippines gave the Imprimatur to Vassula’s books in 2005, when
Bishop Felix Toppo
of Jamshedpur, India, gave the Nihil Obstat. In September 2010, as Chairman of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, he
sent a letter to “all the Filipinos overseas” encouraging them to read, pray and “evangelize” with TLIG, which he refers to as reflections offered by “God Himself”, see
http://web.archive.org/web/20110725191838/http://www.infovassula.ch/tlignihilobstat.htm#Bishop.

 

Trip of Vassula to the Philippines and India

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/J_4K-6Mwsew
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By Maria Laura Pio, November 3, 2008

15.

 

I have been receiving several mails regarding different TLIG events that took place these last months. I would like to share with you some of this information regarding in particular two of the events. […]
THE APRIL 2008 PILGRIMAGE OF TLIG IN EGYPT

http://web.archive.org/web/20100409001832/http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm

(http://www.tlig.org/en/spirituality/pilgrimages/egypt2008/ and http://www.udfordringen.dk/art.php?ID=13396)
During this pilgrimage, the whole TLIG group was received by the Orthodox Patriarch of Alessandria and All Africa, Theodore II. During the Orthodox Mass, the Patriarch is reported to have given Holy Communion to the whole TLIG group, including Catholics and Lutherans (1). The Patriarch is said to be a reader and admirer of Vassula.
After being informed of the above, a Greek Orthodox person living in Egypt (and under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa) personally contacted the Patriarchate and presented the document on Mrs Ryden’s case issued by the Committee on Heresies of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church (http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm). He was told that they had been unaware of Mrs Ryden’s situation. I would add that similar circumstances have also occurred in Catholic settings (for instance (http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/vassula.htm).
Regarding the intercommunion, both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have a valid Sacrament but advise against intercommunion until the doctrinal differences are resolved (a process well under way). The Orthodox Church though tends to be stricter than the Catholic Church.

Orthodox clergy generally refuse Holy Communion to Catholics, but there are exceptions. For instance, several years ago the Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated Holy Liturgy in Ravenna (Italy) and gave Orthodox Holy Communion to the Italian Catholics present. It was however a “luminous” exception, and was strongly criticized in some Greek Orthodox circles
So, Patriarch Theodore’s gesture in Egypt should be seen in this light for what regards the Catholics present during the ceremony. In general Lutheran communities do not have a valid Eucharist, so they cannot be admitted to Holy Communion by either the Catholic or Orthodox Churches, except for some very rare exceptions and extraordinary circumstances (for instance the case of Frère Roger of the Taizé Community who received Holy Communion from the Pope).  You will find more on intercommunion here: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligfaq.htm#may%20vassula

Often the participants of different denominations who participate in TLIG pilgrimages and retreats are encouraged to practice inter-communion as a way of expressing unity.

I would like to recall here the words of the Holy Father Benedict XVI regarding this matter:
“In this regard, it must be said that 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. John 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. The Eucharist in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church.” (Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 56, February 2007)

I hope the above comments will be useful and thank all those who provided me with the information and insights for this mail.


(1) As reported in the Danish paper “Udfordringen” in an article dated August 20, 2008 on the TLIG pilgrimage in Egypt (http://www.udfordringen.dk/art.php?ID=13396 ). In the section titled “No discrimination between denominations” we can read: “I modsætning til almindelig katolsk eller ortodoks praxis, der strengt forbeholder nadvertildelingen til menighedens medlemmer, blev gruppen, der var ledsaget af Vassula, modtaget ved de ortodokse messer uden diskrimination mellem de repræsenterede trosretninger, lutheranere, katolikker og ortodokse. På den måde blev den kirkelige enhed tydeligt demonstreret ved en fri og åben nadver (eukaristi)”.  Free translation from Danish: “Contrary to the usual Catholic or Orthodox practice which strictly reserves the giving of communion to the members of the congregation, the group accompanied by Vassula was received at the Orthodox mass without any discrimination between the denominations they represented: Lutherans, Catholics and Orthodox. In this way the Church unity [sic!] was clearly demonstrated by a free and open communion (Eucharist)”.

 

Participation in the Eucharist by Christians who are not Catholic

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/marialaurapio-eng/tIUOo9JDeqM

By Maria Laura Pio, March 16, 2007

A member of this mailing list has brought to my attention an important point of the recent Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of our Holy Father Benedict XVI addressed to the whole Church.

As you might know, Vassula Ryden frequently receives communion when participating at Catholic Masses. This has raised questions. In her answers to the questions put by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2002 (http://www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/churchpos/cdf2005/q2a/), Mrs Ryden explained her reasons for receiving communion, enumerating the (many) cases in which she participates fully in the Eucharist celebrated in Catholic churches.

In August 2005, the Metropolite of Glastonbury, His Eminence Abba Seraphim, addressed the matter in a Memorandum on Vassula Ryden to the clergy of the British Orthodox Church. He stated that:

In receiving the sacraments at altars other than those of the Orthodox Church [justifying this by quoting the Decree Orientarium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II], Mrs Ryden is disregarding Orthodox canonical discipline which forbids it” (http://www.infovassula.ch/tliggreekorthodox.htm)

16.

 

 

From a Catholic perspective, Sacramentum Caritatis also gives some important explanations regarding the general question of the participation in the Eucharist by Christians who are not Catholic:

Participation by Christians who are not Catholic

56. The subject of participation in the Eucharist inevitably raises the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that 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 in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible and Tradition. 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. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their eternal salvation, individual non-Catholic Christians can be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specific, exceptional situations and requires that certain precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly
indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe these norms faithfully. (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html#Actuosa_participatio)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that:

1399 The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. “These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all – by apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy.” A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, “given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged.” – http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P42.HTM.

Therefore, the full participation in the Eucharist of our Orthodox brothers is admitted only when special circumstances have been approved by Church authorities (generally the Ordinary of the place).

 

Puerto Rican Bishops warn against Vassula’s false ecumenism

http://bentang.tripod.com/puerto_rico.htm

By Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

 

The Puerto Rican bishops have followed their colleagues in Italy and Switzerland by warning the island’s Catholics against the unauthorized “ecumenical” activities of Vassula Ryden, the Greek Orthodox mystic who claims to receive voluminous messages from Jesus Christ (as well as our Lady and other saints) by direct dictation from Heaven. Vassula’s widest following around the world appears to be among Catholics, and her alleged revelations are promoted vigorously by some (not all) leaders of the Medjugorje movement.

In view of a widely publicized presentation on the part of Vassula scheduled for early May at a liberal Protestant university in San Juan, the Ecumenical Commission of the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference issued a warning in the island’s official Catholic newspaper, on April 29th. The announcement, signed by Bishop Ricardo Surinach, president of the Ecumenical Commission, is in Spanish. A translation follows:

 

“According to recent announcements, a self-styled ‘ecumenical activity,’ jointly sponsored by the San Juan campus of the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico and ‘The Friends of Vassula,’ is to take place at the beginning of May. The central figure in this activity is to be Mrs. Vassula Ryden, a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church. This lady claims to be the recipient of numerous private revelations which, so it is said, have to do with the restoration of unity among Christians. Neither the Roman Catholic Church nor the Eastern Orthodox Church has approved these alleged revelations as authentic.

“The Ecumenical Commission of the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference wishes to call the attention of faithful Catholics to the following norm of [the Holy See’s] 1993: ‘The participation of Catholics in the various types of ecumenical encounter and projects of cooperation shall respect the norms established by local ecclesiastical authority. Ultimately, it is the diocesan bishop who is to judge the opportuneness and relevance of all forms of local ecumenical activity, taking into account what has been decided at the regional or national level’ (n. 164).

17.

 

 

“We wish the Puerto Rican public, and in particular members of the Catholic Church, to know that neither the cardinal archbishop of San Juan [His Eminence Luis Aponte Martinez], in whose archdiocese the activity is to take place, nor the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference, has given any approbation or authorization to the said activity, which should therefore not be considered by faithful Catholics as an authentic act of ecumenism.

“While the reunion of the separated ecclesial communities with the Catholic Church is indeed an objective of the greatest importance, for which we should all work and pray to the extent possible, there also exists a danger that certain persons, even though well- meaning, may propose false, inadequate, and confusing paths toward that unity which we long for thereby impeding rather than fostering true ecumenical progress. For that reason, Catholics should not feel themselves called to participate in any self-styled ‘ecumenical activity’ that has not been approved by the competent authority of their own Church.”

 

It is worth noting that in this statement of the Puerto Rican Ecumenical Commission, future Church unity is spoken of in terms of “the reunion of the separated ecclesial communities with the Catholic Church.” A major doctrinal problem with Vassula’s claimed revelations is their insistence that Heaven’s plan for unity does include the need for Eastern Orthodox Christians to convert to Catholicism, and that unrestricted intercommunion between the two churches should be practiced even before there is a full agreement on doctrine.

The Catholic Church’s official criteria for the evaluation of private revelations also insist absolutely on “uprightness of moral life” on the part of the alleged visionary as a condition for authenticity (norms of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Feb. 25th, 1978, section I-A, b:1). Since this clearly means conformity to moral norms, another grave objection to Vassula’s authenticity arises here, since she is divorced and remarried, any declaration of nullity of the first marriage.

 

Her own Greek Orthodox Church, in a clear conflict with Catholic doctrine, claims the power to dissolve even valid, sacramental marriages under some conditions, and in such cases grants divorced persons the right to remarry in church without inquiring whether the first marriage was valid or not. Vassula’s second marriage was thus blessed by the Greek Orthodox Church in 1990, but for five years previous to that, while living in a purely marriage, she had been receiving hundreds of pages of “revelations” in which “Jesus” not once told her that she should correct her irregular lifestyle. (On the contrary, he explicitly condoned it – while admitting it was sinful! – in a “revelation” of September 24, 1988!) Thus, even from the doctrinal standpoint of Vassula’s own church, her credentials would be decidedly murky. The whole Vassula “phenomenon” thus involves a quiet but dangerous undercurrent of permissiveness which must tend to erode her Catholic followers’ belief in the indissolubility of marriage-or to reinforce their doubts about that doctrine.

(Fr. Harrison wrote about Vassula’s “revelations” and “ecumenical mission” in magazine May, 1992 and May, 1994. Also see of Jan. 21st, 1993, p. 8 and Jan. 28th, 1993, p. 1.) This article was taken from the May 11, 1995 issue of “The Wanderer,” 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, MN 55107, 612-224-5733. 

Text taken from http://www.ewtn.com/library/newage/vassula.txt.

 

See

VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA

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

VASSULA RYDEN-A CDF NOTIFICATION BISHOPS WARNINGS AND THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES

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

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

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

VASSULA RYDEN-FR FRANCOIS MARIE DERMINE

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

VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA

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

VASSULA RYDEN-MARK WATERINCKX

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

VASSULA RYDEN-A CRITIQUE-DIALOGUE CENTRE INTERNATIONAL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-A_CRITIQUE-DIALOGUE_CENTRE_INTERNATIONAL.doc

VASSULA RYDEN’S JESUS-INGERLISE PROVSTGAARD

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDENS_JESUS-INGERLISE_PROVSTGAARD.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD SALBATO

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

VASSULA RYDEN-JOE NICKELL

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

VASSULA RYDEN-CONSTANCE CUMBEY

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

VASSULA RYDEN-RONALD L CONTE

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

 

 

VASSULA RYDEN-AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN

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

VASSULA RYDEN-LAURENCE ENGLAND

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

VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD CHONAK

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

VASSULA RYDEN-TERRY NELSON

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

VASSULA RYDEN-CATHOLIC ANSWERS

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

VASSULA RYDEN-EWTN

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

VASSULA RYDEN-SUSAN BRINKMANN

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

VASSULA RYDEN-DANIEL KLIMEK

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

VASSULA RYDEN-TONY-ALLEN CUCOLO

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN-TONY-ALLEN_CUCOLO.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-SGERBIC

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

VASSULA RYDEN-TESTIMONIES

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VASSULA_RYDEN_TESTIMONIES.doc

VASSULA RYDEN-NOTIFICATION
CDF, OCTOBER 6, 1995

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

VASSULA RYDEN-THE TLIG APOLOGISTS

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



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EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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