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Official TLIG websites' reactions to the announcement of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

Related news (March 2011): Announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on Vassula Ryden's teachings

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Following the publication on March 16, 2011, of the condemnation of Vassula's teachings by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the following reactions were published on TLIG official websites:


Fr. John Abberton, a UK priest considered one of the spiritual advisors of TLIG, was the first to react on his blog (http://yorkshireshepherd.blogspot.com/) with several articles. One of them was later reproduced on official TLIG websites, generally with the title "Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is NOT an excommunication". In spite of the title, Fr. Abberton does not enter into the discussion of the meaning of the announcement, but simply remarks that no discussion took place between Vassula and the Patriarchate prior to the publication of the announcement, and calls readers to remain calm and strong, "praying for 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…". The 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:

"…remember, to proclaim My Message far and wide for the smell of death has reached heaven and the punishment that awaits this generation will be drawn upon the earth because of its incredulity and its apostasy; the envoys I am sending you are not heard and My Spirit is blasphemed; many are recklessly injuring My Church, stoning My prophets; many are decaying and now visible signs are given in proportion and weight of their apostasy and their sins; hardship and distress are upon this faithless generation; these are signs given already to them because of their refusal to reconcile with Me." (http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2011-05-05/2139/)

This message reminds the readers that those who refuse to accept Jesus' revelation through TLIG are guilty of refusing to reconcile with Jesus (refusing Salvation) and therefore are blaspheming the Holy Spirit (the unforgivable sin).


This teaching was reinforced by a declaration signed by the "Equipo de Evangelizacion de la VVED" (TLIG evangelization team) that is to my knowledge only available in Spanish and was made known through the TLIG electronic newsletter in that language dated May 20, 2011. The Evangelization Team encourages readers to continue to spread the TLIG messages:

"Recently, we prayed a Novena and fasting for Unity, for the expansion of TLIG and for the disarmament  of TLIG persecutors. As TLIG readers we all love the Church and we know that not only the Church, in terms of people of God, urgently needs TLIG, but also the non-believers need it in this moment of history, when the world is going each day faster towards its 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 earth…" (message of 21/05/1994)."

The letter contains numerous citations from TLIG messages, in particular one of September 30, 1993, in which "Jesus" tells Vassula: "I Am is the Author of 'True Life in God' and (…) you are My mouthpiece and therefore what I have told you is what you speak; he who rejects you rejects My Words".


Finally, on May 21, 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 Statement". The Foundation writes (highlights added):

"(…) The statement of the Patriarchate has been misinterpreted by some people who have publicly declared that Vassula has been excommunicated. Such declarations are wholly untrue and do not accord with the Patriarch's statement which is not a decree of any description and does not refer to excommunication.

What the statement does is to accuse Vassula and the Orthodox TLIG faithful of acting in defiance or in breach, of Orthodox Christian Doctrine and Faith. That is equivalent to an accusation of heresy. (A denial of or deviation from the doctrine of the Orthodox Church). The appropriate procedure for dealing with heresy is very clearly laid down in the Canon law of the Holy Church. The statement calls upon Vassula and her followers to discontinue the dissemination of the TLIG messages and to renounce their teachings in order to avoid the appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons. Under those Canons, the prescribed penalty for heresy is Excommunication (often called anathema) but, under the Canonical procedures of the Church a decree of Excommunication can only be made after formal proceedings have taken place before the Ecclesiastical Courts or/and before a Holy Synod. (…)

Only when this procedure has been exhausted, is the crime of transgression against the faith punished by Excommunication or sometimes by exclusion from the sacramental life of the Church for a temporary period.

There have been no proceedings for Excommunication instituted before the Ecclesiastical Courts or the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the case of Vassula Rydén. (…) 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).

The Foundation for TLIG was created in 2008 by Vassula and its tasks include: "managing of her copyrights, ensuring publishing and, in some cases, the printing of the Messages. It is called to run all organisational and legal matters related to TLIG, assist in worldwide evangelisation efforts in different ways, for example financing Vassula's air tickets and hotels in countries like Asia and Africa which cannot afford to pay (…) ensuring Message books are available on site; also to finance a new book on Vassula and her mission to lead people to read the Messages etc. The Foundation assists National Associations in their mission and oversees all Beth Myriams…" (Read the complte description here: http://www.tligfoundation.org/ and http://www.tligfoundation.org/donapp.html).

The 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).

Contrary 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.

Maria Laura Pio

May 27, 2011

Re-edited February 27, 2012.