The Problem with Vassula

The other day after serving at Mass, I was just about to change out of my cassock and cotta, when I was approached by a slim, black man with a package in a big white envelope.

He asked me to give it to Fr Ray Blake, saying it was a "gift" and so give it to him I did. Fr Ray, in the sacristry opened it. It was a book that looked like a kind of weird new Gideon's Bible with a CD and flyers for 'True Life in God'. The fact that this book was presented as a Bible was, to put it mildly, disconcerting!

'True Life in God' is a massive book, a voluminous collection of writings, claimed, by Vassula Ryden, to be a collation of intimate conversations between her and Our Blessed Saviour, emerging through 'automatic writing'. She puts pen to paper and, according to her, Christ speaks to her everyday and, through her, to the entire listening World. Crikey! Such a claim demands thorough investigation, since if this is true the writings may be both important and edifying. If it is not true, then, equally the writings should be burned pronto and treated as anathaema - a danger to souls.

Our Blessed Lord said, "By their fruits you shall know them." So, what is the fruit of Vassula? Well, as a  Greek Orthodox woman who befriends, or takes in, depending on your point of view, figures in authority in all Christian denominations, whether it be Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal or Presbyterian churches, Vassula claims to be on a 'mission from God' to unite all churches 'in Christ'. She's as happy to be at a charismatic service with a bunch of wide-eyed Baptists a-praisin' the Lord as she is to receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Christ at a Catholic Church, even though she is not a practising Catholic.

Whenever and wherever this occurs it is a cause of great scandal, not only to the Faithful, but to Bishops and Priests who are presented with a problem whenever Vassula presents herself for Holy Communion or requests that she may give a speech to followers at a massive Cathedral in the Diocese. This is because while it is true that Orthodox communicants can present themselves for Holy Communion in Catholic Churches, it is widely disputed as to whether Vassula is 'in good standing' even with her own Orthodox Church. She can draw upon some faithful friends in the Orthodox, even Catholic and most certainly Anglican hierarchy, but while one Orthodox Bishop will denounce her as an heretical witch, another will recommend her as a 'prophetess' for a new dialogue between Christian denominations in the 21st century. Unsurprisingly, with her total ambivalence to doctrine, she is most popular with Anglicans. My Anglican friend tells me that the Anglican monks at Crawley Down pour over her writings every day, devotedly, when surely Papal encyclicals such as Anglicanorum Coetibus and the newly released Verbum Domini would surely suffice.

In essence, aside from the fact that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith finds her writings to have an air of authenticity, the CDF have grave concerns, noting that her writings contain some important doctrinal errors.  The most obvious one that leaps out from the page is Vassula's definition of the Church itself. Truth, to Vassula, is a hobo with no fixed address. She presents 'the Church' as something in the eyes of the Christian believer and suggests that 'all roads lead to Rome', whereas the words given to St Peter by Christ categorically affirm the Pope's authority over believers, the power to bind and loose, to teach dogma, faith and morals, Our Blessed Lord confirming to Peter that "the Gates of Hell shall never prevail" against His Church, built upon the him, the first Pope, who proclaims Christ's identity, infallibly, as 'the Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the World'. Outside of the One True Church are shadows of truth, partial truth, even, but the 'fullness of Truth' is only to be found in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. While she appears to recognise the primacy of the Pope, she, rather conveniently, does not feel "called" to speak on such matters.

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI is, in many ways, a true Pope of Christian unity, able to embrace the Archbishop of Canterbury as a friend and a brother, yet never once denying the truth that he is 'the Successor of St Peter' and the proclamation of the Catholic Church as the Instrument of Salvation, the Ark of Truth, in a fallen World that is yearning for Truth.  Hence we have the creation of the Ordinariate for disaffected Traditional Anglicans, the fruit of which is already evident in the five flying Bishops who've flown the roost to their true home.  The Holy Father does not present the Gospel as a pan-Christian phenomenom which serves to unite the various 'branches' of the Church in 'fellowship' and 'peace'. The Gospel is distinctly, identifiably, Catholic. Our Blessed Lord is the Divine Founder not of many different 'branches' of His 'Church', but the Founder of the One True Church in which true peace and unity is to be found.

Fr Rene Laurentin: Vassula supporter
Mgr Rene Laurentin is one of her greatest supporters. His support for Vassula is interesting in the light of his public support for Medugorje. I would wonder whether support for the former takes away whatever credibility is attached to the latter. It is starting to appear that any woman or man who approaches Laurentin claiming to be a 'visionary' or 'mystic' who hears and sees things of a 'divine' origin has his full, unqualified and unquestioning support and loyalty. Just as an aside, it is interesting to note that, in 1962, he was accorded 'the honour of being a peritus or expert at the Second Vatican Council after being named a consultant for the preparatory commissions two years before in 1960'. What a profound honour!

The sad truth of the matter is that as long a creature like Vassula presents herself as a 'prophetess' of Christian unity, while resisting full communion with the One True Church,  and continues her claims to be the 'bridge' between the denominations, she will lack validity and credibility.  She is a woman obedient to no ecclesiastical authority and seemingly above any jurisdiction whatsoever. She raises more questions than she answers.

Vassula promotes her 'healing' ministry
Is she really a source of Christian unity or division? How, for instance, are Vassula-adherering Anglicans to embrace the fullness of Truth and Unity in the One True Church, when their adopted leader cannot bring herself to enter into full communion with that same Church, while she 'recognises the primacy of Peter'? She presents her writings as revelations that will save souls, and yet remains totally ambiguous over her own Christian identity and doesn't appear to give a damn, therefore, about the souls in her care.

If she were truly credible and truly holy, she would lead by example. The only thing we can deduce is that, to her, membership of the Body of Christ in His Church is not necessary for salvation, a dangerous belief to hold, especially when one has become so influential that believers consider her words to have come from the Mouth of God.

A small, yet telling, example of this occurred when the young man who gave Fr Ray Blake a book of her writings received Holy Communion. I know through an Anglican friend that the young man is an Anglican who worships at St Patrick's Anglican Church in Brighton. Yet, the young man presented himself for Holy Communion. Clearly, being one of Vassula's disciples has not impressed upon him the importance to be in full communion with the Church, reconciled to the One True Church and in a State of Grace, in order to receive the Precious Body and Blood of Our Blessed Lord under the guise of bread. To Vassula, his actions would not be problematic, but to the faithful Catholic who is loyal to the Magisterium, they are, whether they are performed with or without an informed conscience, a cause for scandal. Vassula promotes a Christ without Doctrine and that is profoundly damaging both to her credibility and to souls.

That, and that alone, is precisely the reason why Vassula Ryden is dangerous to souls. That is why I dropped her writings, the "gift" from the young man, in the bin with no questions asked. I do not know the origin of her 'revelations', but the CDF has never changed its position that her writings should not be treated by the faithful as such, but as her own 'private meditations'. While the CDF issued a 'warning' rather than a condemnation of the Vassula phenomenom, she herself is without doubt a cult leader who inspires loyalty from her cult followers, who is leading souls not into communion with the One True God and His One True Church, but terribly astray. True ecumenism does not deny infallible dogma or doctrine and articles of Faith. True 'mystics' and 'visionaries' do not point to themselves, but always to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I found this link at Catholic Doors and this link at Info Vassula helpful, in writing this post. Particularly striking are the testimonies which reflect the wholly negative aspects of the cult of Vassula, the particular problems of which were very evident in the man bearing the "gift" for Fr Ray Blake. Her followers are said to get very angry if you object to her writings and her validity, regardless of the fact that their own denominational commitment has seemingly been over-ridden by their love for Vassula. You will notice this when you look at the top of her Wikipedia entry, which seems to covers her true biography pretty accurately!

Comments

marie therese 1 said…
Father, You may have seen this site about the Vatican's condemnation of her but just in case here it is: http://unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/Vassula2007.htm
Hello. I'm not a priest, but thanks for the link.
Anonymous said…
hello - i think you should pay closer attention: Laurentin is a serious - serious guy I would recommend you listen to - a man with excellent orthodox credentials.
Richard Collins said…
Hmmm....is Mgr Basil one of her followers also?
No, she's probably not liberal enough for him.
pelerin said…
Interesting comment from Anon. Mgr Laurentin has indeed been been an expert in Mariology for many years and has written an enormous number of books including many on the various apparitions of Our Lady.

Now that he is blind and I believe over 90 years old, I fear that he is perhaps being taken advantage of by this lady who appears to be leaning on his fame. Out of curiosity I have just watched a video showing him with Vassula and it is interesting to see her mannerisms which of course he is unable to see. She seems to become more and more uncomfortable as he refers to the Orthodox church, often touching her nose, face and especially her long hair. She lifts her eyes upwards on several occasions.

I found it unsettling when I read that Mgr Laurentin accepted the 'apparitions'in Medjugorje. However on investigating further I discovered he had a blog and he had put a comment on his blog
in reply to another comment 'Do you believe in Medjugorje'. He replied in December 2009: 'I have never replied (to this question) although my writings have convinced many people. I give informatiom, the positive and the negative, and it is for each one to judge. He adds 'I have recently lost my university reputation and standing in the Church'. I do not know to what this refers but I am relieved at his comment on Medjugorje.

I believe Vassula came to Brighton a few years ago. Do you know anyone who went to see her?
pelerin said…
To end on a lighter note - I see that Vassula's 'messages' predicted 9/11, the 2004 tsunami and the Icelanic volcano. Perhaps we should ask her for the lottery numbers?!
Auricularis said…
Most Medjugorje fanatics are also supporters of Vassula Ryden. It is not surprising that followers of one dubious apparition will delight in another.

The fact that Vassula Ryden's writings smack of religious indifferentism is enough for me to avoid her like the plague.
David A. said…
pelerin says, I see that Vassula's 'messages' predicted 9/11....... Perhaps we should ask her for the lottery numbers?!

and so we are supposed to laugh at pelerin's sarcasm and ignore the incredible 'coincidence' of Vassula receiving a message on September 11, 1991 (published in book form in the same year) which spoke of Towers collapsing in a heap of rubble. The tragic events in New York occuring 10 years to the day later. I suppose Vassula just got lucky?

Oh, and are we supposed to dismiss this lady who was invited to a private audience with Cardinal Ratzinger in the Vatican, just a few months before he became Pope? See a photo of the meeting at HERE

Sadly, so many 'christian' blogs on the internet these days seem to have little interest in the Truth and so the above points will just be put aside.

And I noticed a link in the original article to 2 or 3 testimonies of people who had become disillusioned with Vassula. Well how about looking at a collection of hundreds of testimonies of people touched and converted through the messages which can be seen HERE


David
Anonymous said…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!
Anonymous said…
The latest Vassula's news are on

www.infovassula.ch this is the
best critical site .( especially the
analysis of the Vassula's messages) by Father F. Dermine ,a theologian who belongs to the theologian university of Bologna in Italy.



December 2010: illicit concelebration
during Vassula's visit to Romania in may 2010.
Romania: a priest is no longer allowed to exercise priesthood for having concelebrated whith a catholic priest.

www.infovassula.ch
www.orthodoxie.fr
www.rorate-caeli.blogpost.com
Anonymous said…
warning against Vassula

New forum topic
France catholique journal:

I sincerely beleive that father Laurentin is extremely naive about the origin of some paranormal and spiritualists like automatic writing.

A message received by automatic writing as Vassula describes can only be a spiritualist.

It is no means an inspiration of the Holy Spirit who has never used this method.

Do not confuse ,not,alas, divine inspiration and interference spiritualist.

Defendind Vassula's writing such as the fact, the abbot Laurentin showed great credulity.

Father Dominique Auzenet ( France)
Anonymous said…
Father Abberton is one of the TLIG Vassula'spiritual director...

This is a letters sent to the TLIG
american readers:

On www.infovassula.ch you can read:

Father Abberton's puzzling letter to the American TLIG newsletter readers.

In this letter,he should suggest the destruction of the report of the TLIG interreligious pilgrimages and retreats of the last 12 years.

In another letter, he talks about recent problems whith the Romanian priest.

"You may have heard that a Romanian priest has been severely disciplined by his bishop because of his involvement in a TLIG meeting where he celebrated an Orthodox mass of a Catholic priest. Unfortunately it seems that the enemies of TLIG are now trawling the internet and looking for anything they can used against us....( Father Abberton)

You can read the other part of this letter on (to make you an oppinion...)

www.infovassula.ch
Anonymous said…
Christmas and the EU
A letter from Vassula

"Jesus had already warmed us that Christmas ( His Birth) would be attacked and eliminated and replaced by the word Happy Holidays ans seasons.......

However the freemasons will not reach their global.God will soon intervene whith fire to stop this abomination that's growing.

TLIG is also persecuted by the freemasons because.....

See the original letter on

http//loyaltothemagisterium wordpress.com/2010/12/29/christmas-and-the-eu-a-letter-from-vassula%E2%80%8F/
Anonymous said…
Investigation,

A very ineresting site which explain how Vassula finance her swiss Foundation in the world.

Mgr. Farine bishop of Geneva is involved whith TLIG.

The site is

www.Vassula Ryden and the church of the Mafia Swiss hostages
Anonymous said…
Read a very interesting report about Vassula's spirit

www.Lebrand Jean-The Phenomenom Vassula
Anonymous said…
In reference to John Paul II to explain the origin of the Vassula's messages:

Jesus Christ The Bearer of The Water Life, a christian reflexion on the New Age, a book of

Jhon Paul II

2.2.1. Enchantment:There must be an Angel

One of the most common elements in New Age "spirituality" is a fascination with extraordinary manifestations, and in particular with paranormal entities.People recognised as " mediums" claim that their personality is taken over by another entity during trances in a New Age phenomenon known as "channeling", during which the medium may lose control over his or her body and faculties.

Some people who have witnessed these events would willingly acknowledge that the manifestations are indeed spiritual, but are not from God, despite the language of love and light which is almost always used...

It is probably more correct to refer to this as a cntemporary form of spiritualism, rather than spirituality in a strict sense.Other friends and counsellors from the spirit world are angels ( which have become the center of a new industry of books and paingtings).

Those who refer to angels in the New Age do so in an unsystematic way; in fact, distinctions in this area are sometimes described as unhelpful if they are too precise, since "there are many levels of guides, entities, energies,and beings in every octave of the universe....They are all there to pick and choose from in relation to your own attraction/repulsion mechanisms".

Vassula had an apparition of an angel called DAN. Later she calls him Daniel.He tells her he will introduce her to Jesus, God , and the Virgin Mary... ( this is her first book "My angel Daniel")

Whith "the permission" of Vassula, GOD guided her hand to write a lot of messages of loves and light.Sometimes her hand was blocked..( it means she loose control of herself).
She writes 13 books and she paints the real( as she said ) face of Jesus. Also she makes a very good business with that all aroud the world!

Vassula as says Father Fran├žois Dermine is a pure product of New Age!( www.fran├žois marie dermine)

That's why the CDF in Rome said the messages are not divine revelation but personnal meditations. ( Cardinal Levada , january 2007)
Anonymous said…
A report concerning
VASSULA and the letter she writes regarding the latest anti-christian manifestation from the european commission:

Vassula accuses the church of wanting to eliminate the Name of God from Scripture.

The article presents an example of how Vassula's messages and teachings show ignorance of the Biblical text, contradict Tradition and misunderstand the Church's teachings.

The original article can be seen on

www.infovassula.ch
David A. said…
'Anonymous' has been busy posting all the negative links about Vassula he/she can find. One wonders if this person really feels his/her motivation comes from God...??

I would like to post an updated link to the full report of the dialogue between Cardinal Ratzinger and Vassula. The photo on this page really says it all and puts all the nonsense poured over Vassula into perspective.

The link is at:
www.cdf-tlig.org

The Vassula haters will not be impressed as their hearts are closed but hopefully there are a few open hearted people viewing these postings.
Anonymous said…
From the report of www.infovassula.ch

Eternal condamnation of those who oppose the TLIG messages:

Vassula writes:
http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2002-01-10/257/

"What follows is a reminder to all those who fearlessly persecute the merciful call of God, even to call it EVIL, throwingthe Holy Spirit, committing the unforgivable sin....justice will send them down to the underworld ( letter published in the TLIG website Forum, dated january 10,2002)

It means that if one dares speaks against TLIG, present arguments it's authenticity and/or act effectivily to prevents its spreading, then one has committed the sin against the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, the messages also states that any opposition made to them is the action of the DEVIL, and that whoever criticizes them or any other apparition, cannot be Holy even if it is a Church autority.

Now:http://dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1113943

Pope declare "holy war against people who falsely claim to have seen the Virgin Mary,appearing to them

He will attempt to snuff out an explosion of bogus heavenly apparitions with new guidelines to help bishops root out frauds.

Benedict XVI plans to publish criteria to help them distinguish between true and false claims visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages,stigmata-the appearances of the five wounds of Christ-and weeping or bleeding statues.

In some cases, exorcists will be used to determine if a credible apparition is "divine origin or "demonic"

The guidelines will be published by the Vatican4s Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith

The Pope is said to be deeply concerned by the explosion in the number of pseudo-mystics who claiming a direct line to God, set themselves against the bishops and lure the Catholic Faithful out of the Church and into cults.

The hanbook comes six years after the Pope- when he was simply Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger- first said that the boom in such phenomena posed a risk to the unity of the Church.

Read the entire report on the site mentionned upper.

Vassula is not recognised by our Pope as a "new prophet" even if she appears on a photo
whith the cardinal Ratzinger!

The last notification from the Congragation for the Doctrine of the Faith is signed by the Cardinal Levada january 2007.
You can read the Vassula's response to:

Vassula Ryden response to Cardinal Levada
Anonymous said…
The warning of Mrs vassula Ryden by 4 Archbishops, 3 Bishops and one Apostolique administrator of the Province of Marseille.
In Marseille, October 22,2011

http://nice.cef.fr/actu_anciennes.php?action24u
Anonymous said…
Vassula Ryden wants to take her critics to COURT.



On November 9,2011, I received an international document summoning me before a judge in Belgium, accused of having damaged Mrs Ryden and her Foundation's honour and reputation, and requesting the reparation of the damage as well as the removal of some articles from the website.

read the article on:
www.infovassula.ch

The letter sent to me by Mrs Ryden's lawyers begins as follow:
"Mrs Vassula Ryden is the author of a work titled True life in God: a divine dialogue which contains many messages designed to promote the reunification of the Christian churches under the AUTHORITY OF THE POPE AND THE FOUNDATION'S FOUNDER"( Vassula)!......
Anonymous said…
Mrs Vassula Ryden :Heretical positions

the Church of Cyprus, said that her writings and her christian 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.

www.Church of Cyprus: Announcement Concerning Vassiliki ( Vassula)
Anonymous said…

A very good news:
The new critical site of Maria Laura Pio concerning Vassula Ryden has changed address:

www.pseudomystica.info