Related news (March 2011): Announcement of the Ecumenical
Patriarchate of Constantinople on Vassula Ryden's teachings
the publication on March 16, 2011, of the condemnation
of Vassula's teachings by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the following
reactions were published on TLIG official websites:
John Abberton, a UK priest
considered one of the spiritual advisors of TLIG, was the first to react on his blog (http://yorkshireshepherd.blogspot.com/) with
several articles. One of them was later reproduced on official TLIG websites, generally
with the title "Ecumenical
Patriarchate. It is NOT an excommunication". In spite of the title, Fr.
Abberton does not enter into the discussion of the meaning of the announcement, but simply
remarks that no discussion took place between Vassula and the Patriarchate prior to the
publication of the announcement, and calls readers to remain calm and strong,
"praying for reconcilation and showing those around us that we really believe that
humility and love are the keys to unity". The rest of the article discusses the situation with the Catholic Church.
According to Fr. Abberton, "critics" have exagerated the meaning and importance
of the Notification and of the CDF's 2007 letter, and suggests that the same is being done
with the Patriarchate's announcement. Fr. Abberton's article can be read here: http://www.defending-vassula.org/orthodox-patriarchate-commentary
On May 5, 2011 Vassula's reaction to the
Patriarchate's decision arrives in the form of a "new message from Jesus" to be
released to the public and titled "Tell My people and remind them
message refers to insults and persecutions, asking readers to console one another and to
exercise "love of your neighbor". But "Jesus" also calls readers to
"refuse to sell My Blood" and to continue to proclaim the messages. He promises
punishment for those who "stone" his prophets:
to proclaim My Message far and wide for the smell of death has reached heaven and
the punishment that awaits this generation will be drawn upon the earth because of its
incredulity and its apostasy; the envoys I am sending you are not heard and
My Spirit is blasphemed; many are recklessly injuring My Church, stoning My
prophets; many are decaying and now visible signs are given in proportion and weight of
their apostasy and their sins; hardship and distress are upon this faithless generation;
these are signs given already to them because of their refusal to reconcile with Me."
message reminds the readers that those who refuse to accept Jesus' revelation through TLIG
are guilty of refusing to reconcile with Jesus (refusing Salvation) and therefore are
blaspheming the Holy Spirit (the unforgivable sin).
teaching was reinforced by a declaration signed by the "Equipo de
Evangelizacion de la VVED" (TLIG evangelization team) that is to my
knowledge only available in Spanish and was made known through the TLIG electronic
newsletter in that language dated May 20, 2011. The Evangelization Team encourages readers
to continue to spread the TLIG messages:
prayed a Novena and fasting for Unity, for the expansion of TLIG and for the disarmament of TLIG persecutors. As TLIG readers we all love the
Church and we know that not only the Church, in terms of people of God, urgently needs
TLIG, but also the non-believers need it in this moment of history, when the world is
going each day faster towards its distruction.
When we received Vassula as God's Prophet, we received
the call to participate in Vassula's mission, understanding better the Church's situation,
the world's situation and our own situation thanks to the Messages: "the earth is pining away
in its apostasy, consumed in its iniquity, and its inhabitants are paying the penalty of
its sins; famines, earthquakes and wars; whatever comes out of the earth returns back to
" (message of 21/05/1994)."
The letter contains
numerous citations from TLIG messages, in particular one of September 30, 1993, in which
"Jesus" tells Vassula: "I Am is the Author of 'True Life in God' and (
you are My mouthpiece and therefore what I have told you is what you speak; he who rejects you rejects My Words".
Finally, on May 21, 2011 the "Defending Vassula" website posted a
statement by The Foundation for True Life in God, Geneva (Switzerland),
titled "Vassula Excommunicated A Response to This FALSE
Foundation writes (highlights added):
The statement of
the Patriarchate has been misinterpreted by some people who have publicly declared that
Vassula has been excommunicated. Such declarations are wholly untrue and do not accord
with the Patriarch's statement which is not a decree of any description and does not refer
the statement does is to accuse Vassula and the Orthodox TLIG faithful of acting in
defiance or in breach, of Orthodox Christian Doctrine and Faith. That is equivalent to an accusation of heresy. (A denial of or deviation from the doctrine of the Orthodox
Church). The appropriate procedure for dealing with heresy is very clearly laid down in
the Canon law of the Holy Church. The statement calls upon
Vassula and her followers to discontinue the dissemination of the TLIG messages and to
renounce their teachings in order to avoid the
appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons. Under those Canons, the prescribed penalty
for heresy is Excommunication (often called anathema) but, under the Canonical procedures
of the Church a decree of Excommunication can only be made after formal proceedings have
taken place before the Ecclesiastical Courts or/and before a Holy Synod. (
when this procedure has been exhausted, is the crime of transgression against the faith
punished by Excommunication or sometimes by exclusion from the sacramental life of the
Church for a temporary period.
have been no proceedings for Excommunication instituted before the Ecclesiastical Courts
or the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the case of Vassula
) Vassula has already written to the Patriarch personally, to request that
she and her Theologians enter into a proper dialogue with him. Her request is presently
under consideration by the Patriarch.(
)" (The complete text can
be read here: http://www.defending-vassula.org/orthodox-patriarchate-foundation).
Foundation for TLIG
was created in 2008 by Vassula and its tasks include: "managing of her copyrights,
ensuring publishing and, in some cases, the printing of the Messages. It is called to run
all organisational and legal matters related to TLIG, assist in worldwide evangelisation
efforts in different ways, for example financing Vassula's air tickets and hotels in
countries like Asia and Africa which cannot afford to pay (
) ensuring Message books
are available on site; also to finance a new book on Vassula and her mission to lead
people to read the Messages etc. The Foundation assists National Associations in their
mission and oversees all Beth Myriams
" (Read the complte description here: http://www.tligfoundation.org/
TLIG Foundation's statement provides also what is refered to as a "certified"
English translation of the Patriarchate's announcement (http://www.defending-vassula.org/orthodox-patriarchate-declaration). The text however is almost identical to the English
translation that was made available by John Sanidopoulos (see variations here: http://www.pseudomystica.info/tliggreekorthodox.htm).
to what this website (Infovassula) reported from March 24 to April 14, 2011 and as
explained by theTLIG Foundation, the Holy Synod has not pronounced an excommunication
based on Canon Law procedure, therefore the document is not a decree of excomunication.
Since the Patriarchate made its announcement, Vassula has continued with her scheduled tour of conferences
for the promotion of her messages.
February 27, 2012.