DECEMBER 11, 2012
By Laurence England,
March 22, 2011
I don’t know about you, but pictures of ‘seers’, ‘visionaries’ and ‘mystics’ ‘transfiguring’ and turning into the Blessed Virgin Mary before an audience of 6,400 people, to me personally, remove credibility from the ‘mystic’ rather than increase it. It is really very out of character for Our Blessed Lady to appear in like manner as is pictured left [not reproduced here], through a ‘visionary’, in a conference hall before 6,400 people. It is really very out of character with those mystics whose private revelations have been deemed authentic and trustworthy by the Church to be used in such a way.
I’m not saying it is not possible, I’m just saying it is more than a little out of character with what we believe about those authentic apparitions, visions and devotions approved by the Church. My gut feeling is that the source of Ms. Ryden’s messages is diabolical. That’s why her message goes down so well with Anglicans who can, according to Vassula’s gospel, remain comfortably in the Anglican Communion even when Anglicanism is fragmenting so disastrously. The ‘miracles’ and ‘apparitions’ surrounding her cult only lend more weight to that feeling. I wonder what Vassula makes of the Ordinariate set up by Christ’s representative on Earth, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning? I wonder what she thinks of the lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX bishops. What does she think about ‘women’s ordination’ taking place in the C of E? I doubt, somehow that any of it matters to her, because the Church, to her, is a kind of shape-shifting old witch whose appearance changes to suit your particular denomination. You could say she has made the Church in her own image.
The cult surrounding Vassula is more disturbing than it is intriguing or convincing. The beguiling devotedness of many to her person, not just her really rather dull, vague, facile message on Christian unity, is tremendously cult-like and the attending religious mania that accompanies many of her followers is even more so. I’ve seen it myself from an Anglican who came to a Catholic parish Church spreading the huge volume of Vassula’s writings and trying to force them upon the Priest before scarpering out of the Church like some wide-eyed evangelical nut job.
There is one Priest in Leeds* who devotes a seemingly sizeable portion of his time to defending Ms. Ryden more or less as soon as someone publishes something negative about her via electronic media. I do hope he is as quick to defend Holy Mother Church, the Holy Father and the Magisterium, as he is Vassula Ryden.
The day Vassula becomes a Catholic, comes into full communion with the Successor of St Peter and actually tells the World that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, the Ark of Truth and the Instrument of Salvation, encourages Catholics to frequent the Sacrament of Penance and proclaims the Gospel in its entirety to anyone who will listen, is the day I’ll take her writings and messages a little more seriously…
*He refers to Fr. John Abberton
This is not only un-called for, it is grossly unfair. Yes, I am the priest who defends Vassula, but be assured I try to defend anyone who is defamed and insulted on the basis of opinion rather than fact. The picture above your post was taken by a lady I know. She is a Greek lady who knows how to take photographs but not much more. The photos are not faked. You don’t like it so therefore it must be the work of the devil. Many have returned to Christ through “True Life in God” but then the devil wants that doesn’t he? Many are being healed. Yes Vassula encourages Confession. She encourages Eucharistic Adoration. She says the whole Rosary every day – all the mysteries, she fasts twice a week, she supports and loves the Pope, she promotes devotion to Our Lady. Yes, but all of this is the work of the devil isn’t it?
You don’t like Vassula and you accuse those of us who support her of focusing too much on her. But it is her critics who focus too much on her – that is why I defend her. Those who read Vassula’s writings are focused on the Holy Trinity. What do you think we do when we pray? What do we talk about when we are together in groups? Vassula has thoughts about some of the things you mentioned but she does not speak about all of them – that is not her mission. She speaks for unity as we all should. Do you really know what it means when Our Lord says – “Be one as I and the Father are one”? If you read the messages you will see that there is no doubt that reconciliation with the Pope is central to unity, that acceptance of the Real Presence is central to unity, that recognition of Our Lady is central to unity.
I realise that all this will mean nothing because you have made up your mind to criticise and find fault. Fine. All I insist is that you do it with charity and justice and not in a sneering way making innuendos and suggestions that are designed to hurt not heal. – Fr. John Abberton
So, when is she going to accept Our Lord’s more general invitation into the fullness of Truth and Salvation in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?
You say she is leading people to Christ, but then Baptists say the same thing and then lead men and women into untold heresy. ‘We cannot have God for our Father if we do not have the Church for our mother.’
I’m afraid, Father, that were she to actually come into full communion, rather than partial communion with the One True Church, her writings would be discouraged far more, because then she would actually be ‘one of ours’.
And please, with respect, Father, don’t pull a St Joan of Arc out of the hat. St Joan of Arc was a Catholic.
I don’t even have a huge problem with Vassula’s technique. My problem is that she is ‘all things to all men’ but nothing to the Church founded on St Peter. Therefore she is unable to lead men and women into Her. –Laurence England, March 22
Dear Fr Abberton,
I wish it were true that you “try to defend anyone who is defamed and insulted on the basis of opinion rather than fact.” A few years ago you were guilty of the sin of detraction against a fellow priest. Despite never having met him, spoken to him, or ascertained the facts of the matter (to which you were NOT party), you made comments on a prominent blog site which were untrue, and to use your own words “grossly unfair”.
I know because I am that priest!
Again, your own words are apposite: “I realise that all this will mean nothing because you have made up your mind to criticise and find fault. Fine. All I insist is that you do it with charity and justice and not in a sneering way making innuendos and suggestions that are designed to hurt not heal.”
You would do well to head your own advice, Father.
Laurence, well done for exposing, again, the cruel hoax that is Vassula. Souls are being led astray by this evil.
I’d happily post under my real name, since I have nothing to hide, but I don’t want to open up a public row on your excellent blog! –Fr. Anonymous
If this individual really has found herself at the centre of miraculous cures and supernatural happenings then she needs the Church with desperate urgency. Only with the help of the Church can the necessary discernment of spirits be made and the necessary protection for diabolical attack be provided.
Fr Abberton does her no favours by defending her position outside the Church. –Joseph Shaw
Fr Abberton is clearly ‘thick as thieves’ with these people, despite the clear warnings of the Church against the “suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors.”
Why hasn’t his bishop put a stop to these ‘prayer meetings’ which manifest clear disobedience to the magisterium, I wonder? Then again, it is the Diocese of Leeds! –Bradford exile
Wow! Let me get this straight – this deranged woman claims that she is transmogrified into the BVM before the gaze (and cameras) of an adoring public, then this foolish priest claims that the photo is “not faked” thus claiming that this woman did in fact so transmogrify, and then he goes on to claim that there is nothing wrong with this mad woman’s cult, of which he seems to be a key member? And this would be Catholic in what way???
Fr Flatcap would do better to cultivate a sound devotion to Our Lady of Fatima or Lourdes than fall in with the devil’s bride! But I fear that his involvement in this cult makes him feel special.
As for this crazed harpy Vassula, well… Her message, such as it is, is one of Indifferentism, not unity. Fr Flatcap demonstrated that in his infamous letter of last December: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm#abberton
Oh well, let’s remember that in the long run, God will not be mocked! –Paul Grant
Laurence, when I clicked on the link you gave I was truly shocked by the facts of this case. This cult has been repeatedly & consistently denounced by the Catholic Church (including our present Holy Father himself) and the Orthodox authorities. However, as I read on I was unsurprised to see this vile Vassula, Garabandal, and the satanic Medjugorje cult linked. How can anyone be so taken in by these frauds? It beggars belief. We must pray for the poor souls who are led from the Light of God’s Truth into the darkness of these cults.
I am surprised to find this Fr Abberton is a priest in good standing in his diocese. I would agree with Bradford Exile that his bishop ought to tell him to stop spreading this false message and obey the Church. However, in this liberal brave new world of the English Church I think it far from likely. –Jim Riches
Jim, I have sent full details of this problem to Fr Abberton‘s bishop, with a copy to Fr Abberton. I have had no reply from the bishop, but Fr Abberton stated that he didn’t think it was ‘correct’ of me to bring the matter to his bishop’s attention. Fr Abberton is entitled to his opinion, but I disagree with him. I think it isn’t ‘correct’ for a Catholic priest to be promoting/ defending Vassula, but there you go. I have since been reliably informed that people have been complaining to the bishop in Leeds for some time about this problem. –pat
Yes, I am happy to hear that Vassula sees the Pope as central to unity, the Real Presence as central to unity and Our Lady as central to unity. I can’t get over the feeling, however, that the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and the Protestant Church (all those thousands of denominations who all think different things entirely regarding salvation), have to bend towards Vassula. Just because the Holy Father meets with someone should not be taken as a blessing of their theology or standing with the Church. Tony Blair, Obama, etc, the list goes on.
Remember the phrase by Pope St Gregory the Great I: “On the appearance of the Antichrist, not just hoards of Laity but a veritable army of Priests and Bishops shall go over to him.”
In other words, Antichrists are very, very, very convincing, so as to deceive, ‘even the very Elect of God’.
The Vatican has never condemned Vassula or her writings. So far, they have sounded a note of caution about them and discouraged the Church from organising prayer groups around them, suggesting that this is not advisable.
It is not really heard of for the Vatican to condemn anyone and certainly not the Holy Father. What is more, because the lady isn’t Catholic, I wouldn’t personally expect the Church to go any further than She has in Her statements.
Fr John seems like a very sober, orthodox and good priest and he seems to take a sober attitude to her texts. This is unlike some of her supporters who basically think that if you don’t believe in her writings then you’re going to burn. I’ve met one. 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. –Laurence England March 24, 2011
This woman Vassula, the ‘seers’ at Megaforgery, and every other charlatan medium, necromancer, and tarot reader, they don’t go short of a bob or two do they? Oh, I’m sure our flat-capped friend will claim that she doesn’t take a penny herself – someone else pays for her travel, etc. We’ve heard it all before – from Mary Baker Eddy to Tammy Baker, they are thieves, brigands, & pagans to boot.
What’s wrong with this priest & the rest of the cult that they need to have ‘itching ears’ for the ramblings of this woman? Is the Catholic Faith not enough for them? –Jim Riches
I want to say three things:
1/to answer about the photo of Vassula and the Cardinal Ratzinger:
On the original photo he had written at the bottom of this: DO NOT USE IT AS A CHEAP PROPAGANDA.
Moreover, this picture was deleted and replaced with the word Copyright and this with an investigation of the author of the photo and the report, Mr. Niels Christian Hvidt. The report of the dialogue comes from the same person.
3/ In an internal memo “the French organisation of “vraie vie en Dieu” dated of 16/01/2010:
We would like to draw your attention to another important demand of the clergy concerning Vassula which supports her messages. As you know, THE TEAM WILL COVER THE EXPENSES OF PILGRIMAGE CLERGY INVITED PERSONALLY BY VASSULA. Vassula said that there must be as many members of the clergy as possible so they can live in unity (the last pilgrimage, 23 priests). –Anonymous March 25, 2011
Laurence England is a 2001 convert to Catholicism
The Problem with Vassula
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. 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.
She can draw upon some faithful friends in the Orthodox, even Catholic and most certainly Anglican hierarchy, but while one Orthodox Bishop will denounce her as a heretical witch, another will recommend her as a ‘prophetess’ for a new dialogue between Christian denominations in the 21st century. Unsurprisingly, with her total ambivalence to doctrine, she is most popular with Anglicans. My Anglican friend tells me that the Anglican monks at Crawley Down pore over her writings every day, devotedly, when surely Papal encyclicals such as Anglicanorum Coetibus and the newly released Verbum Domini would surely suffice.
In essence, aside from the fact that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith finds her writings to have an air of authenticity, the CDF have grave concerns, noting that her writings contain some important doctrinal errors. The most obvious one that leaps out from the page is Vassula’s definition of the Church itself. Truth, to Vassula, is a hobo with no fixed address. She presents ‘the Church’ as something in the eyes of the Christian believer and suggests that ‘all roads lead to Rome’, whereas the words given to St Peter by Christ categorically affirm the Pope’s authority over believers, the power to bind and loose, to teach dogma, faith and morals, Our Blessed Lord confirming to Peter that “the Gates of Hell shall never prevail” against His Church, built upon the him, the first Pope, who proclaims Christ’s identity, infallibly, as ‘the Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the World’. Outside of the One True Church are shadows of truth, partial truth, even, but the ‘fullness of Truth’ is only to be found in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. While she appears to recognise the primacy of the Pope, she, rather conveniently, does not feel “called” to speak on such matters.
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI is, in many ways, a true Pope of Christian unity, able to embrace the Archbishop of Canterbury as a friend and a brother, yet never once denying the truth that he is ‘the Successor of St Peter’ and the proclamation of the Catholic Church as the Instrument of Salvation, the Ark of Truth, in a fallen World that is yearning for Truth. Hence we have the creation of the Ordinariate for disaffected Traditional Anglicans, the fruit of which is already evident in the five flying Bishops who’ve flown the roost to their true home. The Holy Father does not present the Gospel as a pan-Christian phenomenon which serves to unite the various ‘branches’ of the Church in ‘fellowship’ and ‘peace’. The Gospel is distinctly, identifiably, Catholic. Our Blessed Lord is the Divine Founder not of many different ‘branches’ of His ‘Church’, but the Founder of the One True Church in which true peace and unity is to be found.
Mgr. Rene Laurentin is one of her greatest supporters. His support for Vassula is interesting in the light of his public support for Medjugorje. I would wonder whether support for the former takes away whatever credibility is attached to the latter. It is starting to appear that any woman or man who approaches Laurentin claiming to be a ‘visionary’ or ‘mystic’ who hears and sees things of a ‘divine’ origin has his full, unqualified and unquestioning support and loyalty. Just as an aside, it is interesting to note that, in 1962, he was accorded ‘the honour of being a peritus or expert at the Second Vatican Council after being named a consultant for the preparatory commissions two years before in 1960’. What a profound honour!
The sad truth of the matter is that as long a creature like Vassula presents herself as a ‘prophetess’ of Christian unity, while resisting full communion with the One True Church, and continues her claims to be the ‘bridge’ between the denominations, she will lack validity and credibility. She is a woman obedient to no ecclesiastical authority and seemingly above any jurisdiction whatsoever. She raises more questions than she answers.
Is she really a source of Christian unity or division? How, for instance, are Vassula-adhering Anglicans to embrace the fullness of Truth and Unity in the One True Church, when their adopted leader cannot bring herself to enter into full communion with that same Church, while she ‘recognises the primacy of Peter’? She presents her writings as revelations that will save souls, and yet remains totally ambiguous over her own Christian identity and doesn’t appear to give a damn, therefore, about the souls in her care.
If she were truly credible and truly holy, she would lead by example. The only thing we can deduce is that, to her, membership of the Body of Christ in His Church is not necessary for salvation, a dangerous belief to hold, especially when one has become so influential that believers consider her words to have come from the Mouth of God.
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. I do not know the origin of her ‘revelations’, but the CDF has never changed its position that her writings should not be treated by the faithful as such, but as her own ‘private meditations’. While the CDF issued a ‘warning’ rather than a condemnation of the Vassula phenomenon, she herself is without doubt a cult leader who inspires loyalty from her cult followers, who is leading souls not into communion with the One True God and His One True Church, but terribly astray.
True ecumenism does not deny infallible dogma or doctrine and articles of Faith. True ‘mystics’ and ‘visionaries’ do not point to themselves, but always to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I found this link at Catholic Doors and this link at
Info Vassula helpful, in writing this post. Particularly striking are the testimonies which reflect the wholly negative aspects of the cult of Vassula, the particular problems of which were very evident in the man bearing the “gift” for Fr Ray Blake. Her followers are said to get very angry if you object to her writings and her validity, regardless of the fact that their own denominational commitment has seemingly been over-ridden by their love for Vassula. You will notice this when you look at the top of her Wikipedia entry, which seems to covers her true biography pretty accurately!
Mgr. Laurentin has indeed been an expert in Mariology for many years and has written an enormous number of books including many on the various apparitions of Our Lady. Now that he is blind and I believe over 90 years old, I fear that he is perhaps being taken advantage of by this lady who appears to be leaning on his fame. Out of curiosity I have just watched a video showing him with Vassula and it is interesting to see her mannerisms which of course he is unable to see. She seems to become more and more uncomfortable as he refers to the Orthodox Church, often touching her nose, face and especially her long hair. She lifts her eyes upwards on several occasions.
I found it unsettling when I read that Mgr. Laurentin accepted the ‘apparitions’ in Medjugorje. However on investigating further I discovered he had a blog and he had put a comment on his blog in reply to another comment ‘Do you believe in Medjugorje’? He replied in December 2009: ‘I have never replied (to this question) although my writings have convinced many people. I give information, the positive and the negative, and it is for each one to judge. He adds ‘I have recently lost my university reputation and standing in the Church’. I do not know to what this refers but I am relieved at his comment on Medjugorje.
To end on a lighter note – I see that Vassula’s ‘messages’ predicted 9/11, the 2004 tsunami and the Icelandic volcano. Perhaps we should ask her for the lottery numbers?!
–Pelerin, November 14, 2010
Warning against Vassula
France Catholique journal:
I sincerely believe that Father Laurentin is extremely naive about the origin of some paranormal and spiritualist activities like automatic writing. 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. In defending Vassula’s writing as true, the abbot Laurentin showed great credulity. Father Dominique Auzenet (France) –Anonymous, November 28, 2010
Jesus Christ, The Bearer of The Water of Life, a Christian Reflection on the New Age
2.2.1. Enchantment: There must be an Angel
One of the most common elements in New Age “spirituality” is a fascination with extraordinary manifestations, and in particular with paranormal entities. People recognised as “mediums” claim that their personality is taken over by another entity during trances in a New Age phenomenon known as “channeling”, during which the medium may lose control over his or her body and faculties. Some people who have witnessed these events would willingly acknowledge that the manifestations are indeed spiritual, but are not from God, despite the language of love and light which is almost always used… It is probably more correct to refer to this as a contemporary form of spiritualism, rather than spirituality in a strict sense. Other friends and counsellors from the spirit world are angels (which have become the center of a new industry of books and paintings). Those who refer to angels in the New Age do so in an unsystematic way; in fact, distinctions in this area are sometimes described as unhelpful if they are too precise, since “there are many levels of guides, entities, energies, and beings in every octave of the universe….They are all there to pick and choose from in relation to your own attraction/repulsion mechanisms”.
Vassula had an apparition of an angel called DAN. Later she calls him Daniel. He tells her he will introduce her to Jesus, God, and the Virgin Mary… (this is her first book “My angel Daniel”) With “the permission” of Vassula, GOD guided her hand to write a lot of messages of loves and light. Sometimes her hand was locked… (it means she loses control of herself).
She writes 13 books and she paints the real (as she said) face of Jesus. Also she makes a very good business with that all around the world!
Vassula, says Father François-Marie Dermine, is a pure product of New Age! (http://www.françoismariedermine).
That’s why the CDF in Rome said the messages are not divine revelation but personal meditations. (Cardinal Levada, January 2007) – Anonymous, February 2, 2011
Eternal condemnation of those who oppose the TLIG messages:
Vassula writes: http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2002-01-10/257/, “What follows is a reminder to all those who fearlessly persecute the merciful call of God, even to call it EVIL, throwing the Holy Spirit, committing the unforgivable sin….justice will send them down to the underworld (letter published in the TLIG website Forum, dated January 10, 2002)
It means that if one dares speaks against TLIG, present arguments it’s authenticity and/or act effectively to prevents its spreading, then one has committed the sin against the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, the messages also states that any opposition made to them is the action of the DEVIL, and that whoever criticizes them or any other apparition, cannot be Holy even if it is a Church authority. –Anonymous, February 28, 2011
VASSULA RYDEN-PROBLEMS WITH ROME BUT WELCOME IN INDIA
VASSULA RYDEN-A CDF NOTIFICATION BISHOPS WARNINGS AND THEOLOGICAL CRITIQUES
VASSULA RYDEN-THE REASONS FOR THE CHURCH’S NEGATIVE REACTION
VASSULA RYDEN-FR FRANCOIS MARIE DERMINE
VASSULA RYDEN-FR MITCH PACWA
VASSULA RYDEN-MARK WATERINCKX
VASSULA RYDEN-A CRITIQUE-DIALOGUE CENTRE INTERNATIONAL
VASSULA RYDEN’S JESUS-INGERLISE PROVSTGAARD
VASSULA RYDEN-RICHARD SALBATO
VASSULA RYDEN-JOE NICKELL
VASSULA RYDEN-CONSTANCE CUMBEY
VASSULA RYDEN-RONALD L CONTE
VASSULA RYDEN-AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
VASSULA RYDEN-CATHOLIC ANSWERS
VASSULA RYDEN-SUSAN BRINKMANN
VASSULA RYDEN-DANIEL KLIMEK
VASSULA RYDEN-TONY-ALLEN CUCOLO
CDF, OCTOBER 6, 1995
Categories: False Mystics