Emilien Tardif (1928-1999) - the well-known French Canadian preacher of the Catholic
Charismatic Renewal and for many years a missionary in Latin America - is often mentioned
as having recognized Vassula's "charisma". This statement is based on an
interview given by Father Tardif to the Italian journalist Marino Parodi and published in the
magazine Il Segno del Soprannaturale (October
1996). The interview has been reproduced on several websites promoting the seer's case
the interview was published for the first time in 1996, Father François-Marie Dermine
o.p., author of a critical
analysis of Vassula's writings (2), contacted his compatriot Father Tardif. The
words which had been attributed to Father Tardif in the interview seemed strange. They
were not consistent with the opinion he had voiced on Vassulas writings to Father
Dermine in a previous meeting.
Tardif answered by fax
on 22 November 1996, denying the words that were attributed to him in that interview:
I never said that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Notification
against Vassula was absurd. (...)
did I say that Vassula Ryden is an authentic mystic. I
always said that it is not for me to judge her writings, which I have barely read.
is true that I said that the document published in the Osservatore Romano wasn't signed by
Cardinal Ratzinger, and therefore its authority is lessened. It is also true that I said
that Cardinal Ratzinger, while visiting Mexico, told a group of Catholics who had
consulted him regarding this matter, that they were free to read or not to read Vassula's
writings, and that the article published in the Osservatore Romano had not been signed by
These words attributed to Cardinal Ratzinger were officially denied by the Vatican (2). Father
Tardif was citing in good faith an inaccurate Canadian source, which had published those
the end of his fax, Father Tardiff authorized Father Dermine to use it in order to
reestablish the truth. On 28 December 1996, Father Dermine read the fax during his program
broadcast on Radio Maria Italy. A few weeks
earlier, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had published a press release (30
November 1996) reconfirming the validity of the Notification against Vassula and
announcing its publication in Acta Apostolicae
Saedis with Cardinal Ratzinger's signature. The press release also denied the
words that had been attributed to Cardinal Ratzinger in Guadalajara, Mexico (3).
the beginning of 1997, Il Segno del Soprannaturale published a new article, in which
Father Dermine and Radio Maria were described as "denigrators" and
"persecutors" of Vassula, and affirming that the content of Tardif's fax did not
correspond with what he had said during the interview he gave to Marino Parodi for his
book "I Doni dello Spirito e la Nuova
Pentecoste", which was on the verge of being published. Indeed, shortly after,
the book was released containing the words that Father Tardif had denied.
is however interesting to note that Parodi published that same year a book entirely
dedicated to Vassula (4). Although he named all the Catholic personalities who recognized
Vassula's "charisma", he didn't mention Father Tardif nor the interview in
question. Moreover, Parodi omitted any information that could be damaging for Vassula, to
the point of not even mentioning the Vatican Notification.
this day, Parodi's interview is used to promote Vassula writings among Charismatic Renewal
groups. We encourage the readers to disseminate Father Tardif's fax, together with the
above explanations, as he had himself requested, in order to reestablish the truth about
his opinion on Vassula's case.
For instance : www.tlig.org/en/testimonies/christian/catholic/tardif/
)DERMINE, François-Marie. 1995. Vassula Rydén:
Indagine Critica. Ediz.
Elle Di Ci, Leumann, Torino. A
summary of the book's main points can be read here: http://www.pseudomystica.info/dermine.htm
PARODI, Marino. 1997. Vassula Ryden: mistica e
profezia alle soglie del 2000. Edizioni