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A critical website on Vassula Ryden's True Life in God messages
TLIG creates new doctrine on mortal sin and sin against the Holy Spirit
This article was reedited in June 2005.
Eternal condemnation of those who oppose the TLIG messages
Among the very negative elements related to True Life in God (TLIG), one of the most preoccupying is the teachings they contain regarding mortal sin and the sin against the Holy Spirit. To illustrate this, we will quote two recent extracts. The first, is a message received by Vassula, in which "God-Father" is quoted saying to her (referring to those who openly oppose the messages):
"To silence My Voice is a mortal sin. (...) Their conduct does not please Me because they become the enemies of the whole human race, since they are hindering My chosen ones from pronouncing My Will to My People and from reconstructing My House..." (message dated September 28, 2000 - www.tlig.org/msg/vasb1060.html). In TLIG-language, "My Voice" refers to the TLIG messages, and "My chosen ones" are Vassula and all those who spread the messages.
Also, in a letter referring to those who criticize TLIG and do not believe in its authenticity, Vassula writes:
"...what follows is a reminder to all those who fearlessly persecute the merciful call of God, even to call it evil, throwing mud on it that by doing so, they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit, committing the unforgivable sin". Again, in TLIG-language, the "merciful call of God" refers to the messages. Then Vassula quotes Christ as saying: "...Justice will send them down to the underworld" (letter published in the TLIG website Forum, dated January 10, 2002 - http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2002-01-10/257/ ).
In another open letter to us regarding this theme, Vassula gives the following explanation:
"It is a mortal sin if one calls evil, any good operation coming out of the Mercy of God. (...) It becomes a blasphemy towards the Holy Spirit WHEN ONE JUDGES the operation of God as evil and takes it as his duty to persecute it, calumniate it and condemn it, attributing it to deceiving spirits. Then these people are committing a blasphemy because they call evil what is in fact a divine operation that comes from the Holy Spirit."
"If one does not believe in a private or prophetic revelation and leaves it alone, this is another story. They do not give their JUDGEMENT so it is not a mortal sin, but it becomes a mortal sin if one purposely calls evil what is holy and persecutes God's merciful work." (Both citations are from Vassula's letter of May 2, 2002 titled "Blaspheming the Holy Spirit" - (4)
Vassula cites in support of her sayings, the writings of saints and legitimate personalities such as St. Simeon, Basil the Great or St. Silouan, next to other citations of a more doubtful accuracy, such as an extract from Maria Valtorta's writings (1).
In fact, one would tend to agree with Vassula if the "merciful work" of God to which she refers were not the TLIG messages, object of a Notification of the Catholic Church warning about their errors and negative elements. Plus, we would like also to remind St. John of the Cross's view, who on the contrary, advises people to assume that extraordinary experiences are not of divine origin unless the opposite can be proved. And this is a Doctor of the Church speaking.
To summarize the messages' teaching: it is OK not to believe in the authenticity of TLIG. However, if one dares speak against TLIG, present arguments against it's authenticity and/or act effectively to prevent its spreading, then one has committed the sin against the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, the messages also state that any opposition made to them is the action of the devil (2) and that whoever criticizes them or any other apparition, cannot be holy, even if it is a Church authority (3).
The Church's definition of mortal sin and sin against the Holy Spirit
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) starts it's article about sin recalling that the Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy towards sinners. It then indicates in paragraph 1857, that three conditions are simultaneously necessary for a sin to be mortal:
1. It must be a disobedience to one of the 10 Commandments according to Jesus' answer to the rich young man (Mc 10,19),
2. one must be aware that it is a sin and, although knowing it,
3. one deliberately commits it.
Without sincere repentance, mortal sin can lead to eternal death.
Regarding the sin against the Holy Spirit, numerous are the books written about it. The CCC summarizes them in its definition of the Sin against the Holy Spirit as that of deliberately refusing the mercy of God, refusing to repent of one's sins and refusing Salvation (see paragraph 1864). This sin is particularly serious, because it cannot be forgiven (Mt 12,31), and therefore leads to eternal damnation.
As we have seen previously, TLIG's definition of these sins is modified in order to include whoever openly opposes the messages. It does so by affirming from the start that the messages are divine (in open contradiction with the Catholic Church's Notifications and the position of the Greek Orthodox Church) and that therefore to oppose them is to refuse God and Salvation.
We wish to recall here that the Gospel contains several warnings regarding false prophets and false Christs, for instance, in Mathew 24, 23-24, Jesus says: "If anyone says to you then, 'Look, here is the Messiah!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect." And: "For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah,' and they will deceive many" (Mt 24,5).
According to the constant teaching of the Church, even authentic private revelations and apparitions are not dogma of faith, and therefore Catholics who do not believe in them do not put at risk their salvation (see CCC par. 67). Moreover, when the Church has already issued a negative statement about a private revelation (and it is the case for TLIG even if it is not technically a condemnation), the faithful have the moral obligation not to read nor spread it as if it were authentic. This fact is systematically diminished and even denied by TLIG promoters, who recall that in the messages, "Jesus" calls everyone insistently to spread the messages and make them known all over the world. Even if it means disobeying Christ's Church, what would be - de facto - a division of Christ against Himself...
The fallacy of TLIG's teachings on mortal sin and sin against the Holy Spirit consists in creating new doctrine in order to condemn precisely those who wish to be faithful to the Gospel and to Christ's Church.
Denouncing the manipulation
TLIG's manipulation of the Gospel and of the teachings on sin has a double scope:
1. To remind TLIG followers that to oppose the messages is unacceptable, and therefore even to doubt about them is a sign that one is victim of the devil's temptation. This is a powerful tool to avoid defections and the voicing of any type of criticism. It has the effect of convincing followers that the best path to Salvation (if not the only) is TLIG.
2. Many of the persons that oppose TLIG are good Christians, often priests or bishops, who are simply concerned about relatives, friends and communities deeply involved with TLIG. By accusing them of the worst of sins, these persons automatically lose all credibility in the eyes of TLIG readers. In some cases, it has even lead to effective divisions inside families and parishes, among people who all share the same Faith and belong to the same Church... We can see here some of the bad fruit which results from the logic taught in the messages.
What most preoccupies us, is that we are more used to seeing this type of manipulations used in cults than in divine messages. This explains why many people have felt the urgency to raise their voice and warn about the danger the messages may represent, basing themselves on the Church's warning. This, of course, is unacceptable for TLIG supporters, who refuse to see the Light of the Holy Spirit in the Church's warning and call for prudence regarding TLIG.
All this needs to be denounced without fear.
Maria Laura Pio
(2) Message dated October 22, 1996, Jesus says to Vassula: "(...) let Me remind you, dearest soul, that I have brought you up to tear up iniquity and unsettle and upset every evil spirit you encounter on your way or in the cities you go to witness, so do not be surprised when these powers of hell join forces together to try and prevent you from exercising your prophetic ministry; these attacks are bound to come your way as soon as they realize you are well on your way to disturb them and uproot many of them; you have indeed become a menace and the prime concern to the devil (...)." See also two letters from Vassula reproduced in the TLIG Website Forum dated January 29 and February 1, 2003 and which can be consulted here (Word document).
(3) Extract of message dated November 14, 1987, attributed to Jesus: "Souls will not hear Me - they will sin; proved by their refusal to believe in My Merciful Message; proved by their reluctance and by their fear of admitting their fault (Vassula's note: Jesus enlightened me to understand this passage. I know to who this is referred to. It goes very deep into the Church)." See also message dated March 24, 1988, where 'Jesus' affirms that he finds "no holiness" in those who do not believe in private revelations nor apparitions: http://www.tlig.org/msg/vass257.html.
(4) This letter from Vassula was posted on the official TLIG Forum in May of 2002 at the page www.tlig.org/forum/forum498.html, but is no longer available at that address. The letter is reproduced here (Word document).