JANUARY 8, 2013
Vassula Ryden aids Christian unity, but not in the way she expected
The Patriarch of Constantinople issued a statement yesterday warning the clergy and faithful about phony mystic Vassula Ryden, a member of the Greek Orthodox Church — at least until he repudiated her.
With her channeled messages, delivered through the occult method of “automatic writing”, she has attracted a following of Catholics and Orthodox who like saccharine spiritual talk.
In this spirit, and for the beneficial protection of our pious Orthodox plenitude from dangerous spiritual confusion, who do not know well matters underlying the risk of delusion, rejects from the Mother Church Vasiliki Paraskevis Pentaki – Ryden, widely known as “Vassula”, and her organization founded under the title “True Life In God” which rashly and frivolously proposes teachings based on the supposed “direct dialogue between her and the Founder of the Church Jesus Christ our Lord”, and those conquered by her and the supporters of “True Life In God”, which deviate arbitrarily from the God-given teaching of the Church, but also scandalize the Orthodox phronema of pious believers.
I know, you’re all asking “what’s a phronema?” It sounds like the Orthodox version of sensus fidei, more or less.
Among other things, ambiguous language is used in speaking of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, to the point of confusing the specific names and functions of the Divine Persons. These alleged revelations predict an imminent period when the Antichrist will prevail in the Church. In millenarian style, it is prophesied that God is going to make a final glorious intervention which will initiate on earth, even before Christ’s definitive coming, an era of peace and universal prosperity. Furthermore, the proximate arrival is foretold of a Church which would be a kind of pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine.
So it’s good to see that Mrs. Ryden has fostered Christian unity: she has brought the Holy See and the Patriarch of Constantinople together to condemn her heresies!
(HT: Diane K. at Te Deum Laudamus; Rorate Caeli blog)
It’s like I’m really back in the time of Saint Polycarp. –Nick, March 17, 2011
Vassula has, sadly, to continue to endure the same persecution that her Master had to undergo and this latest denunciation is certainly a significant development in the journey she is travelling.
As Richard quotes again the 1995 Notification from the Vatican, I hope he will be gracious enough to allow me to quote the following website which details the dialogue Vassula had with the CDF from 2002 to 2004. The site address is:
[He is a TLIG follower who defends or promotes Vassula Ryden on every other blog]
Oh look the same reasoning that was/is used by the supporters of the Legion of Christ, Bayside, Marian Movement of Priests, Iglesia Christ, Sarah Palin, and Father Cutie. And yet the supporters do not all support one another. Gee, I wonder why. –Nick
The 1995 Notification — signed by then Prefect of the CDF Joseph Ratzinger — judged her claimed private revelations to contain “several doctrinal errors”, to confuse “the specific names and functions of the Divine Persons” of the Trinity, to teach “contrary to Catholic doctrine”, and to put “herself above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm”. The 1995 Notification counseled “all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula Ryden’s writings and speeches as supernatural”. A 2007 statement by the CDF under Cardinal Levada reaffirmed that “The Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment of the writings examined”. –Ron Conte
The letter by Cardinal Levada in 2007 certainly gives plenty of encouragement to those who wish to ignore the detailed and extensive investigation which Cardinal Ratzinger carried out 2001 – 2004. Whether Cardinal Levada intended people to do that only he could say but the fact remains that Cardinal Ratzinger’s investigation (details at www.cdf-tlig.org) resulted in our present Pope being fully satisfied with Vassula’s answers to all the queries put to her. Sadly, for reasons which I cannot fully understand, there are many people who just WANT Vassula to be found to be false. –David
Of course they do! I certainly do. People can look at the writings and find them to be quasi-romantic sentimentality, apocalyptic warnings, millennialism, and ambiguous doctrinal expressions, with a position of superiority vis-a-vis Church authority, along with some bits that sound all right, just to lend an air of legitimacy. If you reach the conclusion that the whole thing is fraudulent, of course you want the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches to warn the faithful.
Here’s a review of the case by Fr. F.M. Dermine, a Dominican theologian and expert on Mariology and on alternative religions: http://www.infovassula.ch/dermine.pdf –Richard Chonak
Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:
1) The interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the “Abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books”, and determined that – after the relevant censures were lifted-the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.
2) It should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 823 §1
of the current Code remains in force: “the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement”.
3) Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and, in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
And definitive proof that every time people claim – as is often among false prophets – that private revelations are above Church judgment, they’re off their rockets. –Nick
“The letter by Cardinal Levada in 2007 certainly gives plenty of encouragement to those who wish to ignore the detailed and extensive investigation which Cardinal Ratzinger carried out 2001 – 2004. Whether Cardinal Levada intended people to do that only he could say but the fact remains that Cardinal Ratzinger’s investigation (details at http://www.cdf-tlig.org) resulted in our present Pope being fully satisfied with Vassula’s answers to all the queries put to her.”
Joseph Ratzinger became Pope in 2005. His actions prior to his election as Pope were, obviously, not the actions of a Pope, and it would be absurd to reason that because Joseph Ratzinger is now the Pope, then the “fact” that he was allegedly “satisfied” by Vassula’s answers in 2004 somehow trumps the 2007 letter of Cardinal Levada.
Whatever Cardinal Ratzinger may have thought in 2004 — if he really ‘accepted” Vassula’s answers, and I don’t think the “Vassulites” have been convincing on this — has been superseded by the letter of 2007, which was issued by no less than Ratzinger’s successor as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF. –Carlos Antonio Palad
I have read the on-line report on the CDF-Vassula dialogue, but was not able to find the Appendix containing the actual text of the questions and answers exchanged between CDF and Mrs. Ryden. Is it available on-line?
Without that, it’s hard to tell how extensive the dialogue was — apparently there were five questions — or whether the answers make enough of a difference to dispel all concerns. Whatever those questions and answers were, they might clarify some doctrinal expressions in the writings, but I doubt they could resolve methodological problems, such as the apparent editing of the messages by Mrs. Ryden.
In any case, Cardinal Ratzinger’s persistence in stating that the messages contained “grain” and “chaff” mixed together, even after the dialogue, casts doubt on any suggestion that he was satisfied enough to change his fundamental caution about the writings.
The exchange of letters after the dialogue does show one unhealthy sign: in a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger in 2004, she lamented the lack of a new CDF statement, and wrote:
“Working for Christ has its sufferings as well as its graces, but augmenting unnecessarily my trials I believe it irritates God.”
Man. It takes some ego to claim that CDF was irritating God by burdening her. What annoys Vassula annoys God, perhaps. But then she’s used to claiming to speak for Him.
Well, as Fr. Dermine’s report points out, there is a “Vassula-centric” aspect to the messages. –Richard Chonak
Richard, you say, “In any case, Cardinal Ratzinger’s persistence in stating that the messages contained “grain” and “chaff” mixed together, even after the dialogue.”
No, this is not correct. This was the Cardinal’s position BEFORE the dialogue. It was the dialogue and Vassula’s answers to the questions put to her that changed the Cardinal’s position and allowed him to invite her to the private audience in his office. The full dialogue is available from these two links:
VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA
VASSULA RYDEN-A CDF NOTIFICATION BISHOPS WARNINGS AND THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES
VASSULA RYDEN-THE EUCHARIST AND INTERCOMMUNION ONE DATE AND PAN-CHRISTIAN ECUMENISM
VASSULA RYDEN-EXCOMMUNICATED OR NOT-A LAW SUIT
VASSULA RYDEN-THE REASONS FOR THE CHURCH’S NEGATIVE REACTION
VASSULA RYDEN-FR FRANCOIS MARIE DERMINE
VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA
VASSULA RYDEN-FR PETER JOSEPH
VASSULA RYDEN-FR BRIAN HARRISON
VASSULA RYDEN-MARIA LAURA PIO
VASSULA RYDEN-MARK WATERINCKX
VASSULA RYDEN-CARDINAL BASIL HUME
VASSULA RYDEN-A CRITIQUE-DIALOGUE CENTRE INTERNATIONAL
VASSULA RYDEN’S JESUS-INGERLISE PROVSTGAARD
VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD SALBATO
VASSULA RYDEN-JOE NICKELL
VASSULA RYDEN-CAREY WINTERS
VASSULA RYDEN-CONSTANCE CUMBEY
VASSULA RYDEN-RONALD L CONTE
VASSULA RYDEN-AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
VASSULA RYDEN-JOHN SANIDOPOULOS
VASSULA RYDEN-LAURENCE ENGLAND
VASSULA RYDEN-LAURETTE ELSBERRY
VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD CHONAK
VASSULA RYDEN-TERRY NELSON
VASSULA RYDEN-CATHOLIC ANSWERS
VASSULA RYDEN-CATHOLIC DOORS
VASSULA RYDEN-BENEDICT TANG
VASSULA RYDEN-BRO IGNATIUS MARY
VASSULA RYDEN-INTERNATIONAL MARIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
VASSULA RYDEN-INVESTIGATE VASSULA
VASSULA RYDEN-SUSAN BRINKMANN
VASSULA RYDEN-TE DEUM
VASSULA RYDEN-DANIEL KLIMEK
VASSULA RYDEN-TONY-ALLEN CUCOLO
VASSULA RYDEN-ASK A CATHOLIC
VASSULA RYDEN-ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY
VASSULA RYDEN-SEMPER FI
CDF, OCTOBER 6, 1995
VASSULA RYDEN-THE TLIG APOLOGISTS
Categories: False Mystics