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A critical website on Vassula Ryd�ns' True Life in God messages

Theologians and bishops warn the faithful

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Many are the theologians, bishops, priests and lay persons all over the world who have publicly issued warnings regarding the writings and actions of Mrs Vassula Ryden, explaining the reasons for a call to prudence and discernment. We present hereunder some examples (all are documented).

See also: The Cardinal of Congo did not give his consent to Vassula's conferences, which were organized during his absence.

 

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

February 2015 On the occasion of Vassula's conference in the city of Saumur (France), organized for the launch of the French edition of her book "Heaven is real, but so is hell", the priest in charge of the Sainte Jeanne Delanoue parish published in its weekly bulletin (31 January/1 February 2015), which is also posted on the Diocese of Angers website, the following information:

"Regarding Mrs Vassula Ryd�n's conference in Saumur: the Congregation for the doctrine of the Faith has considered as soon as 1995 and again in 2007, that "what she presents as divine revelations, are rather personal meditations" and has therefore declared "inappropriate" for Catholics to take part in the prayer groups she has established. The Patriarchate of Constantinople has also condemned her interventions."(See copy of the bulletin)

November 2012 Warnings issued by several dioceses of France informing the faithful of the Holy See's reservations regarding Ryden and advising the Catholic faithful not to lend her support by attending her conferences and participating in her association's activities. Texts of the warnings here.

February 2012 The Diocese of Honolulu (Hawaii) publishes a cautionary note. The following cautionary note was placed in the local Catholic newspaper under a paid ad promoting Mrs. Ryden's conferences in Hawaii (scheduled for February 16-18, 2012): "From the office of the vicar general, Diocese of Honolulu: The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has raised certain questions regarding the teachings of Vassula Ryden. These events are not being sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu." (Text provided by the Hawaii Catholic Herald).

October 2011 The Bishops of southern France warn the faithful against Vassula's activities. They also remind that the CDF advises not to support Vassula's activities by participating in her initiatives.

Important Update (August 2007): Text of the internal communication of 25 January 2007 directed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to all the Presidents of the Bishops' conferences confirming the doctrinal judgement of the 1995 Notification. Read here

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (former head of the CDF, now Pope Benedict XVI) and  Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone (former secretary of the CDF, newly named Secretary of State by the Holy Father Benedict XVI). According to article 48 of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, "Pastor Bonus", promulgated by the Holy Father John Paul II on June 28, 1988, �the duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence�. The CDF has issued a Notification in 1995 warning against the doctrinal errors and negative elements contained in TLIG, requesting bishops to inform accordingly the faithful and not to allow the dissemination of those writings in their dioceses. The CDF also invites the faithful not to consider those messages as of divine origin. More Info...

January 2009Circular letter of the Archbishop of Monterrey (Mexico) warning against Mrs Ryden's activities in his diocese. In the letter dated January 28, 2009 and addressed to all the priests and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Monterrey, Cardinal Robles Ortega writes that "in accordance with repeated notifications from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (...) I cannot authorize the spreading of her writings and teachings in our local Church of Monterrey. (...) Therefore we urge all the priests and lay faithful who are in communion with the Church to abstain from participating in those activities and from any involvement in the spreading of Mrs Vassula Ryden's writings and teachings." (Source: Website of the Archdiocese of Monterrey: http://www.arquidiocesismty.org/Detalledocumento.asp?op=2&id=259   An English translation of the letter can be found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/marialaurapio_eng/conversations/messages/22 )

May 2004 Communication from the Holy Synod of the Catholic Hierarchy of Greece (May 7, 2004) requesting the faithful not to participate in Mrs. Ryden's activities without the authorization of the Hierarchical Palace, and asking religious communities not to make their premises available for TLIG events. See an image of the official communication hereunder.

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Clarification regarding Vassula's speach to the bishops of Kerala. In December 2006, Vassula Ryden was in India for a two week conference trip. In the report published by the TLIG official website, it is indicated that "Vassula had the opportunity to meet 36 bishops belonging to the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) on the issue of Christian unity" (http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2007-06-29/2044/ ). We wrote to all the bishops of the KCBC regarding this. We received two detailed answers from Bishop Thomas Mar Koorilos and The Most Reverend Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas, clarifying that Mrs Ryden was not invited by the KCBC. She requested for a word to speak to the bishops and it was granted to her. It was not the intention of the KCBC to support her nor to promote her teachings. Read more: groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/marialaurapio_eng/conversations/messages/13

Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith (ECDF) - Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. The ECDF has included the text of the Notification in its official webpage. click here...

The Los Angeles Cathedral decided to withdraw the invitation to play host to a Christian unity conference that would have been under the auspices of Vassula Ryden's "True Life in God" organization. Msgr. Devin Kostelnik, pastor of the Cathedral of Los Angeles declared that the decision was "final and not subject to change" and that the withdrawal had been done with the approval of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles. Kostelnik also wrote that the organizers' argument that the Vatican had cleared Ryden's writings was "a serious misrepresentation of the current Vatican view of Mrs Ryden's speeches and writings" and that the 1995 and 1996 Vatican warnings remained in "full force". Read more...

The Catholic Church in Scotland warns about Vassula (September 6, 2005): A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland has warned people against going to Vassula's September 11th meeting in Edinburgh. Mentioning the 1995 Notification, he said Vassula "certainly did not" operate with the approval of the Church and that "the advice to Catholics is not to attend her gatherings due to the suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors." The complete article can be read at: http://news.scotsman.com/edinburgh.cfm?id=1898192005

Catholic Bishop of Iceland, Mons. Johannes Gejsen. In October 2004, Mons. Gejsen declined to participate in Vassula's meeting organized in Iceland. He also refused to place promotional flyers in the church's vestibule.

Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong - October 2002. A few days before Vassula Ryden's visit to Hong Kong, the Catholic Diocese issued a negative declaration regarding this visit inviting the faithful not to attend her meetings. This statement was communicated during Sunday Mass and published in the Diocese's two official newspapers. Moreover, the official Catholic bookstores of Hong Kong withdrew the TLIG books from their shelves.

Archbishop of Kandy, Sri Lanka. In May 2002, informed of a planned meeting of Vassula in his Diocese, the Archbishop took action: he forbid priests of his Diocese to attend the meeting, had distributed in all parishes the 1995 Notification and had it read out at Sunday Mass.

Bishop Maurice E. Piat, Diocese of Port-Louis, Ile Maurice - April 2002. In a letter dated April 5, 2002, Mons. Piat warns the faithful against Mrs. Ryden's messages. He affirms that they can make one subject to serious deviations to their piousness and to their personal relationship with God. He therefore asks not to allow that Mrs. Ryden's ideas be spread in the diocese, whether by the selling of ther books or the organization of meetings near churches or inside church properties.

Bishop Nomura, Japan, November 2001. Mons. Nomura prohibited a priest to say Mass for a group of TLIG followers who had organized a witnessing meeting. He also preached from the pulpit not to follow Vassula for she was a false prophet.

Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore, February 2001. Consulted by the Diocesan Administrator, Archbishop Bernardini referred to the CDF Notification as the Church's position. His reply leaded to the withdrawal of the permission for Vassula to speak to Catholics in Singapore.

Father Peter-Joseph of Wagga Wagga, Australia, has a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, is the editor of the revised version of Archbishop Sheehan’s "Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine" (Saint Austin Press 2001) and is currently the Chancellor of the Maronite Diocese of Australia and author of several articles discussing criteria of discernment for private revelations in general, and TLIG in particular:

"Seers and Apparitions" (January 2005) - www.christianorder.com/features/features_2005/features_jan05_bonus.html Please keep in mind when reading this article, that the Notification is not technically speaking a condemnation, but a warning. This is due to the fact that Vassula Ryden is Greek Orthodox, and the Church cannot interfere with the "spiritual life of any other Church's faithful", but does have "the duty to clarify and warn it's faithful about any disorder created by any person's or organization's attitude" (see our article on validity of the Notification).
"Apparitions True and False" (October 2004) - http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2004/features_oct04.html See in particular the section entitled "The authority to judge and the duty to obey".
"Private revelations: Keep to what is countenanced by the Church" (February 2000) -  www.ad2000.com.au/articles/2000/feb2000p20_38.html

Archbishop William Levada, former Archbishop of San Francisco, recently appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Benedict XVI, intervened twice regarding the activities of Mrs Vassula Ryden in his archdiocese. In 1996 he made an announcement, quoting former prefect Card. Ratzinger's 1995 Notification: "Catholics should not consider Ms. Ryden's messages as divine revelations but as personal meditations. The meditations contain elements that are negative in the light of Church doctrine. The faithful are asked to preserve the purity of faith by not relying on presumed revelations but by following the Word of God and the directives of the Church's teaching authority." In 1998, he reprinted Vatican warnings against her teachings in Sunday church bulletins across the archdiocese. Source:   http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/12/25/MN1075.DTL

Fr. Fran�ois-Marie Dermine, o.p., theologian, University of Bologna (Italy), author of "Vassula Ryden: Una Indagine Critica" (1995), a critical study of the content of the messages and the seer's background. His conclusions are similar to those of the Notification from the CDF. Moreover, he presents arguments which link the TLIG phenomena to the New Age current (automatic writing, content of messages, etc.). More Info...    

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., Ph.D., theologian, familiar to most through his EWTN specials. He is also a professor, author, retreat and pilgrimage leader. He wrote a three Part "Critique of a Visionary: Vassula" in Catholic Twin Circle: August 1, 8 and 15, 1993. He also spoke about his experience with the messages in a Mother Angelica Live show in 1995 (see transcript here). Fr. Pacwa's 1995 Touchstone article "The Spirit of the Prophetess" now on-line.

Mother Angelica, founder of the Catholic TV network EWTN. Since the publication of the 1995 Notification, EWTN has warned about the TLIG writings and contributed greatly to make the Notification known, understood and respected. Mother Angelica has discussed the issue in some of her shows. See transcripts and audio file here.

Father Brian Harrison, o.s., M.A., S.T.D., teaches theology at the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico in Ponce (Puerto Rico). He provided a lengthy and critical examination of TLIG and Vassula in the May 1992 and May 1994 "Fidelity" magazine (South Bend, IN), establishing, among other things, the alteration of certain messages and negative elements in her trance state. He also wrote a comment on the Puerto Rican Bishops' statement against TLIG's false ecumenism in the May 11, 1995 issue of "The Wanderer" (Saint Paul, MN). He is a convert from Protestantism and a Associate Editor of "Living Tradition", organ of the Roman Theological Forum.

Marie-France James, expert in the study of esotericism and the occult for the Faculty of Theology of the University of Montreal (Canada), author of "Le Ph�nom�ne Vassula" (Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1992) a critical study of the content of the TLIG messages, in which she exposes some of the doctrinal errors they contain.

Joseph Moerman, s.j., theologian and director of the Jesuit magazine "Choisir" (Geneva - Switzerland), author of a 1996 article on TLIG in which he points out several negative elements of discernment. More Info (in French)...

Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa, India, January 1998. Issued a press release reminding Catholics in Goa of the 1996 Notification and recommending not to attend Vassula's conferences in several cities of Bangladesh.

Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference, April 1995. The Episcopal Conference issued a statement in which they write: "[Vassula Ryden] claims to be the recipient of numerous private revelations which, so it is said, have to do with the restoration of unity among Christians. Neither the Roman Catholic Church nor the Eastern Orthodox Church have approved these alleged revelations as authentic." The statement also indicates that the "ecumenical" activities that were being organized by TLIG supporters in Puerto Rico had not been approved nor authorized by any Puerto Rican Bishop, and should not be considered as authentic acts of ecumenism. See full text: http://ephesians511blog.com/2013/03/03/vassula-ryden-fr-brian-harrison-puerto-rican-bishops-warn-against-vassulas-false-ecumenism/  

Bishop Sandoval I�iguez, Diocese of Guadalajara, Mexico. The bishop strongly opposes to TLIG, and has banned any TLIG activities from his Diocese.

Bishop Heinrich Schwery, Diocese of Sion, Switzerland, September 1991. The Bishop informed the faithful that Vassula was not recognized by her Orthodox Church nor by the Swiss Bishops' Conference, and prohibited the use of her writings as a basis for prayer, meditation or study in his diocese. See document below. A translation to English is available here: http://www.unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/VASSULA-%20Mark.htm

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GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH

Announcement by the Church of Cyprus - January 2012. "[Mrs Ryden's] teachings are heretical, and her claims that she communicates directly with Christ are fantastical and outside of the spirit of the experience of our Church" Read more

Announcement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople - March 2011 Vassula's teachings are considered heretical.

Cretan Archdiocese - September 2001. Issued a press release warning against TLIG and discouraging people to attend a meeting where Vassula was to talk, qualifying her of "anti-orthodox". 

Metropolite Mons. Damaskinos, Geneva, Switzerland. In 1996, Mons. Damaskinos declared that Vassula Ryden, in the eyes of all those who are considered as the authentic bearers and continuers of the tradition of the Orthodox Church, was opposing the conscience of that Church which believes that Divine Revelation has been achieved once and for all through the Apostles. He also criticized in that occasion the attitude of the seer, who had organized a broadly advertised meeting on the same date that the Geneva Churches and Christian communities had scheduled their annual gathering for the Christian Unity Week. More Info (in French)...

Patriarchate of Constantinople, Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1995, Fundacion SPES of Argentina asked the representative of the Greek Orthodox Church in that country about the case of Vassula Ryden. The answer was given by Fr. Demonstenes in the name of Mons. Gennadios Chrysoulakys. He stated that the Greek Orthodox Church does not recognize any voice outside the established ecclesiastical hierarchy and if Mrs. Ryden has something to communicate, she should do it through the hierarchy. More Info (in Spanish)...

 

 

COPTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH

Statement from His Eminence Abba Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury, regarding Mrs. Vassula Ryden, August 2005: "Until such time as a canonical Orthodox hierarchy is able to make a detailed and full examination of the messages received by Mrs. Ryden, they should be regarded with grave caution and their authority attributed solely to the views and aspirations of Mrs Ryden herself". Read more...

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