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Vassula charges the Church of wanting to eliminate the Name of God from Scripture

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At the end of December, Vassula Ryden sent via email a letter to her readers commenting an article of the UK Daily Telegraph regarding the latest anti-Christian manifestation from the European Commission, who produced over 3 million diaries for UK secondary schools marking Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivities, as well as key EU dates, but not a single Christian festivity. Even Christmas Day was left blank! (See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8207411/European-Commission-criticised-for-omitting-Christmas-on-EU-school-diary.html)

 Vassula's comments were reproduced on several blogs as follows:

Jesus had already warned us that Christmas (His Birth) would be attacked and will be eliminated and replaced by the word happy Holidays and Seasons. This started to become obvious already 2 or 3 years ago. This though is not the end of what the freemasons are up to, but they are the ones that keep the division of the church alive, and will soon start attacking the divine Liturgy as well so that the Body and Blood of Christ be eliminated; even the name of God (Yahweh) is under discussion to eliminate it from the Scripture as pretext that It is too Holy to be written in the bible and too Holy to be sung in choruses or pronounced by us. Remember how Yahweh in the beginning said to me 4 times in a row: "Yahweh is My Name" this was when I asked Him who was really guiding me.

However the freemasons will not reach their goal. God will soon intervene with fire to stop this abomination that's growing. TLIG is also persecuted by the freemasons because it is powerful and I suggest that all TLIG people should pull up their sleeves and double their work in whatever they were called to do. We see how much more aggressive have become their attacks on me and TLIG recently and how well organized they are to destroy the work of God. No time to waste.

In Christ,

Vassula has been stating for years that Freemasonry is to be blamed for TLIG not being recognized by the Catholic Church. This affirmation is somewhat peculiar because Freemasonry advocates in favour of the spiritual unity of religions in a syncretistic way (= not based on beliefs). Vassula's idea of unity tends to go in that direction. She insists on the sharing of Sacraments, in particular of the Eucharist, without any need for doctrinal unity. At the same time, she gives extraordinary importance with insistence to other aspects, such as the unification of the dates of Easter (but strangely not of  Christmas dates), which according to her will bring global peace (See: http://www.pseudomystica.info/tligcrecan.htm).

Moreover Mrs Ryden places herself and her messages above Holy Scripture and above any Church authority with the pretext that she speaks in God's name. Whoever raises any kind of criticism towards her writings is automatically labelled "enemy", "persecutor" and often accused of being a Freemason or committing the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. She preaches continually to distrust in the "ecclesiastic authorities" that do not recognize her as a true prophet and organizes inter-religious pilgrimages and retreats where "true spiritual unity" is experienced: a sort of new unified Christianism that obeys directly to "Jesus", since "His Church" no longer recognizes Him when He speaks through Vassula (see: http://www.pseudomystica.info/tligmeteor.htm).

Vassula's latest letter is yet a further example of a serious misunderstanding of Holy Scripture, ignorance of Tradition and contradiction of Church teachings. She writes:

"…even the name of God (Yahweh) is under discussion to eliminate it from the Scripture as pretext that it is too Holy to be written in the bible and too Holy to be sung in choruses or pronounced by us. Remember how Yahweh in the beginning said to me 4 times in a row: "Yahweh is My Name" this was when I asked Him who was really guiding me."

She is evidently referring to a letter by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of June 29, 2008 which can be found in the Adoremus website (http://www.adoremus.org/CDW_NameofGod.html). It was sent to all the Episcopal Conferences "by directive of the Holy Father". In short, the letter requests the Bishops to make sure that "in liturgical celebrations, in songs and prayers the name of God in the form of the tetragrammaton YHWH is neither to be used or pronounced" and that it should be rendered by "the Lord" in "translations of the biblical text in modern languages intended for liturgical usage of the Church".


The sacred Name of God in the Bible and Tradition

In the Old Testament, God reveals Himself progressively and under different titles. A key passage of Exodus 3, 13-15 is the Revelation of God's Name to Moses, which in Hebrew consists of four letters transliterated in our alphabet as YHWH and referred to as the sacred Name of God or as the "Tetragrammaton" (= a word having four letters). It appears in several other books of the Old Testament, for instance Genesis, Isaiah, Psalms, etc.

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The Sacred Name of God written in Hebrew (the Tetragrammaton)

In Ancient Israel, the Name of God was considered too sacred to be pronounced. So when reading Holy Scripture, the observant Jew would say Adonai ("the Lord") each time he found the Tetragrammaton YHWH, a Tradition that was observed by the Apostles, as the Congregation for Divine Worship recalls: "the sacred tetragrammaton was never pronounced in the Christian context nor translated into any of the languages into which the Bible was translated".

When in the 3rd century before Christ, the Jewish community living in Alexandria (Egypt) decided to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek, the same Tradition was respected and the sacred Name of God expressed by the Hebrew YHWH was translated into Greek as Kyrios, which means "Lord". So each time the Hebrew text indicates the Tetragrammaton, the Greek translation – called Septuagint – says "the Lord", making this title the way of expressing the divine Name of God.  As the Congregation points out, "this fact has had important implications for New Testament Christology". Indeed, the authors of the New Testament books who wrote in Greek, quoted from the Septuagint and used the title "the Lord" to proclaim Jesus' divinity (see the Congregation's letter for a number of examples).

In fact, the appearance and use of the term "Yahweh" in our Bibles and the habit to pronounce it is a recent phenomenon. According to Dr. Ian Elmer of the Australian Catholic University: "It was only during the sixties, that there has been a movement in modern theology and especially amongst biblical scholars throughout the world, to restore the newly 'rediscovered' Sacred Name. (…) Hence most bibles, Hebrew and Christian now bear the "Yahweh", rather than LORD or YHWH – but this does not represent the original text."(1)

Indeed, Hebrew is a Semitic language written without vowels. When the vowels were introduced into the Old Testament text in the 8th-9th century (the so called "masoretic text"), the original vowels for the sacred Name of God YHWH were not indicated. The vowels and hence the pronunciation of YHWH remain unknown both to Judaism and Christianity. The most commonly used form of "Yahweh" is only a supposition among a series of several possibilities.

The fact that Holy Scripture inspired by God does not transmit the pronunciation of His Sacred Name, the meaning of the Name itself remaining mysterious, is to be considered as part of Revelation. Instead of wondering how the Name should be pronounced, Holy Scripture invites us rather to seek what God is revealing about Himself by omitting this information. As Dr. Elmer points out, the God who Moses "encountered in the burning bush cannot simply be reduced to a name."

It is therefore in the light of these facts that the Holy Father requested the Congregation for Divine Worship to establish the directives to be observed in order to remain faithful to the biblical text and to the Tradition transmitted to us by the Apostles. These directives should not be considered "new", but rather a correction of a recent phenomenon that is outside the authentic understanding of Holy Scripture.


Back to Vassula

Mrs Ryden states that the Congregation's letter is an attempt to "eliminate" the "Name of God (Yahweh)" from Holy Scripture.  As explained above, the intention of the Church is not to eliminate the Name of God from Scripture, but to remain faithful to the biblical text (which does not contain the word "Yahweh") and to the Tradition that was transmitted to us, "in order that the Word of God, written in the sacred texts, may be conserved and transmitted in an integral and faithful manner" and that the translation of the Bible into modern languages be "a faithful and accurate transposition of the original texts".

This brings us to Vassula's affirmation that God told her "four times in a row" that His Name was "Yahweh". Vassula is claiming that God revealed to her the pronunciation of His Divine Name, in other words he gave her the vowels of the Tetragrammaton. Beyond the fact that this could be considered as "new Revelation" (which contradicts Holy Scripture and Tradition, hence confirming the non-authenticity of the messages), it also shows that instead of helping understand better Scripture, Mrs Ryden's messages and teachings lead instead to a superficial and literal reading of the Bible, which ignores the story of the text, the Tradition that passed it down to us and its authentic interpretation by the Church.

Maria Laura Pio

February 14, 2011


(1) Those wishing to deepen the subject might want to consult an article by Dr. Ian Elmer which I found particularly helpful : What is God's Name? available on the website: http://www.catholica.com.au/gc0/ie2/141_ie_110310.php. A brief explanation of the Congregation for Divine Cult's letter can be found on the website: http://www.zenit.org/article-23414?l=english