Vassula Ryden

Vassula tranfigures into the Blessed Virgin Mary
I don't know about you, but pictures of 'seers', 'visionaries' and 'mystics' 'transfiguring' and turning into the Blessed Virgin Mary before an audience of 6,400 people, to me personally, remove credibility from the 'mystic' rather than increase it. It is really very out of character for Our Blessed Lady to appear in like manner as is pictured left, through a 'visionary', in a conference hall before 6,400 people. It is really very out of character with those mystics whose private revelations have been deemed authentic and trustworthy by the Church to be used in such a way.

I'm not saying it is not possible, I'm just saying it is more than a little out of character with what we believe about those authentic apparitions, visions and devotions approved by the Church. My gut feeling is that the source of Ms Rydens message's is diabolical. That's why her message goes down so well with Anglicans who can, according to Vassula's gospel, remain comfortably in the Anglican communion even when Anglicanism is fragmenting so disastrously. The 'miracles' and 'apparitions' surounding her cult only lend more weight to that feeling.  I wonder what Vassula makes of the Ordinariate set up by Christ's representative on Earth, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning? I wonder what she thinks of the lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX bishops? What does she think about 'women's ordination' taking place in the CofE? I doubt, somehow that any of it matters to her, because the Church, to her, is a kind of shape-shifting old witch whose appearance changes to suit your particular denomination. You could say she has made the Church in her own image.

The cult surrounding Vassula is more disturbing than it is intriguing or convincing. The beguiling devotedness of many to her person, not just her really rather dull, vague, facile message on Christian unity, is tremendously cult-like and the attending religious mania that accompanies many of her followers is even more so. I've seen it myself from an Anglican who came to a Catholic parish Church spreading the huge volume of Vassula's writings and trying to force them upon the Priest before scarpering out of the Church like some wide-eyed evangelical nutjob.

There is one Priest in Leeds who devotes a seemingly sizeable portion of his time to defending Ms Ryden more or less as soon as someone publishes something negative about her via electronic media. I do hope he is as quick to defend Holy Mother Church, the Holy Father and the Magisterium, as he is Vassula Ryden. The day Vassula becomes a Catholic, comes into full communion with the Successor of St Peter and actually tells the World that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, the Ark of Truth and the Instrument of Salvation, encourages Catholics to frequent the Sacrament of Penance and proclaims the Gospel in its entirety to anyone who will listen, is the day I'll take her writings and messages a little more seriously...

For all you need to know about Vassula Ryden, click here.

Comments

You write;
"I wonder what Vassula makes of the Ordinariate set up by Christ's representative on Earth, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning? I wonder what she thinks of the lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX bishops? What does she think about 'women's ordination' taking place in the CofE? I doubt, somehow that any of it matters to her, because the Church, to her, is a kind of shape-shifting old witch whose appearance changes to suit your particular denomination. You could say she has made the Church in her own image"

This is not only un-called for, it is grossly unfair. Yes, I am the priest who defends Vassula, but be assured I try to defend anyone who is defamed and insulted on the basis of opinion rather than fact. The picture above your post was taken by a lady I know. She is a Greek lady who knows how to take photographs but not much more. The photos are not faked. You don't like it so therefore it must be the work of the devil. Many have returned to Christ through "True Life in God" but then the devil wants that doesn't he? Many are being healed. Yes Vassula encourages Confession. She encourages Eucharistic Adoration. She says the whole Rosary every day - all the mysteries, she fasts twice a week, she supports and loves the Pope, she promotes devotion to Our Lady. Yes, but all of this is the work of the devil isn't it?
You don't like Vassula and you accuse those of us who support her of focusing too much on her. But it is her critics who focus too much on her - that is why I defend her. Those who read Vassula's writings are focused on the Holy Trinity. What do you think we do when we pray? What do we talk about when we are together in groups? Vassula has thoughts about some of the things you mentioned but she does not speak about all of them - that is not her mission. She speaks for unity as we all should. Do you really know what it means when Our Lord says - "Be one as I and the Father are one"? If you read the messages you will see that there is no doubt that reconciliation with the Pope is central to unity, that acceptance of the Real Presence is central to unity, that recognition of Our Lady is central to unity. I realise that all this will mean nothing because you have made up your mind to criticise and find fault. Fine. All I insist is that you do it with charity and justice and not in a sneering way making innuendos and suggestions that are designed to hurt not heal.
You weren't as quick as usual, Father. ;-)
So, when is she going to accept Our Lord's more general invitation into the fullness of Truth and Salvation in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?

You say she is leading people to Christ, but then Baptists say the same thing and then lead men and women into untold heresy. 'We cannot have God for our Father if we do not have the Church for our mother.'

I'm afraid, Father, that were she to actually come into full communion, rather than partial communion with the One True Church, her writings would be discouraged far more, because then she would actually be 'one of ours'.

And please, with respect, Father, don't pull a St Joan of Arc out of the hat. St Joan of Arc was a Catholic.

I don't even have a huge problem with Vassula's technique. My problem is that she is 'all things to all men' but nothing to the Church founded on St Peter.
Therefore she is unable to lead men and women into Her.
Hmmmmm.Think I prefer Our Holy Father's view of ecumenism.The ecumenism of return.
Mike said…
Laurence.
I, and others in this area, have decided to give up on your blog which has an element of the bi-polar about it.
In 24 hours you have swung from a deeply moving defence of Christian charity, a worthy piece, to intolerance and offence.
Anonymous said…
Dear Fr Abberton,

I wish it were true that you "try to defend anyone who is defamed and insulted on the basis of opinion rather than fact." A few years ago you were guilty of the sin of detraction against a fellow priest. Despite never having met him, spoken to him, or acertained the facts of the matter (to which you were NOT party), you made comments on a prominant blogsite which were untrue, and to use your own words "grossly unfair".

I know because I am that priest!

Again, your own words are apposite: "I realise that all this will mean nothing because you have made up your mind to criticise and find fault. Fine. All I insist is that you do it with charity and justice and not in a sneering way making innuendos and suggestions that are designed to hurt not heal."

You would do well to head your own advice Father.

Laurence, well done for exposing, again, the cruel hoax that is Vassula. Souls are being led astray by this evil.

I'd happily post under my real name, since I have nothing to hide, but I don't want to open up a public row on your excellent blog!
Pat said…
Please check out this excellent website for all the official information on Vassula http://www.infovassula.ch/tlighome.html
- including the 2007 CDF letter from Cardinal Levada that Fr Abberton likes to ignore, which states:- "it remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs Ryden". Yet Fr Abberton runs one in his parish and advertises it on the parish website.
Joseph Shaw said…
If this individual really has found herself at the centre of miraculous cures and supernatural happenings then she needs the Church with desperate urgency. Only with the help of the Church can the necessary discernment of spirits be made and the necessary protection for diabolical attack be provided.

Fr Abberton does her no favours by defending her position outside the Church.
Bradford Exile said…
Thank you Pat for giving the link. Fr Abberton is clearly 'thick as thieves' with these people, despite the clear warnings of the Church against the "suspect nature of her alleged revelations, which contain doctrinal errors."

Why hasn't his bishop put a stop to these 'prayer meetings' which manifest clear disobedience to the magisterium, I wonder. Then again, it is the Diocese of Leeds!
Paul Grant said…
Wow! Let me get this straight - this deranged woman claims that she is trasmogrified into the BVM before the gaze (and cameras) of an adoring public, then this foolish priest claims that the photo is "not faked" thus claiming that this woman did in fact so transmogrify, and then he goes on to claim that there is nothing wrong with this mad woman's cult, of which he seems to be a key member?

And this would be Catholic in what way???

Fr Flatcap would do better to culivate a sound devotion to Our Lady of Fatima or Lourdes than fall in with the devil's bride! But I fear that his involvement in this cult makes him feel special.

As for this crazed harpy Vassula, well.....Her message, such as it is, is one of Indifferentism, not unity. Fr Flatcap demonstrated that in his infamous letter of last December: http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm#abberton

Oh well, let's remember that in the long run, God will not be mocked!
Can we keep it charitable, please.
At least with regard to Fr John.
Jim Riches said…
Laurence, when I clicked on the link you gave I was truly shocked by the facts of this case. This cult has been repeatedly & consistantly denounced by the Catholic Church (including our present Holy Father himself) and the Orthodox authorities. However, as I read on I was unsurprised to see this vile Vassula, Garabandal, and the satanic Medjugorje Cult linked. How can anyone be so taken in by these frauds? It beggers belief. We must pray for the poor souls who are led from the Light of God's Truth into the darkness of these cults.

I am surprised to find this Fr Abberton is a priest in good standing in his diocese. I would agree with Bradford Exile that his bishop ought to tell him to stop spreading this false message and obey the Church. However, in this liberal brave new world of the English Church I think it far from likely.
Pat said…
Jim,
I have sent full details of this problem to Fr Abberton's bishop, with a copy to Fr Abberton. I have had no reply from the bishop, but Fr Abberton stated that he didn't think it was 'correct' of me to bring the matter to his bishop's attention. Fr Abberton is entitled to his opinion, but I disagree with him. I think it isn't 'correct' for a Catholic priest to be promoting/defending Vassula, but there you go.
I have since been reliably informed that people have been complaining to the bishop in Leeds for some time about this problem.
Anonymous said…
Laurence,Pat, and Jim: Your witch-hunt may well end up costing a goodman and wonderful priest his vocation. I know you, who lack purpose and direction, will find the horror of this hard to find. But your idle fingers have done the devil's work once again. Shame on you, really and truly, shame. You lack humility and seek where ever possible to turn your idle self-dissatisfaction into a petty form of power by slandering priests in a closed community. It's enough to make a person sick - you are really wicked
If someone has notified the concerned Priest's Bishop of their concerns regarding Vassula, that is up to them. All I have published is my personal view of the Vassula phenomenom. I certainly have no ill will towards Fr John Abberton.
David A. said…
I am not sure whether anything is to be gained by lovers of the True Life in God messages posting responses on blogs such as this as contributors come across as very fixed in their mindset.

But may I just post this link to an accurate and detailed account of the Vatican's dialogue with Vassula between 2001 and 2004 with a photo of Vassula with Cardinal Ratzinger in his office just a few months before he became Pope. The link is at: www.cdf-tlig.org

Do all you anti-Vassula people really believe that Cardinal Ratzinger would invite a condemned prophet into his office and then pose for a photo with her?
Anonymous said…
Fr. John Abberton is an excellent priest who is entirely correct in what he says. The tone of some of the criticisms made of him here lack christian charity; moreover, it is apparent from the content that these critics have not read the messages which Vassula has been given.
As Fr. Abberton asserts, " If you read the messages you will see that there is no doubt that reconciliation with the Pope is central to unity, that acceptance of the Real Presence is central to unity, that recognition of Our Lady is central to unity. " And the messages are replete with the love of God, with his Mercy.
Richard Collins said…
Good post Laurence. I'll stick with Our Lady of Lourdes, Akita and Fatima - all approved by Holy Mother Church.
The debate rages on...

Yes, I am happy to hear that Vassula sees the Pope as central to unity, the Real Presence as central to unity and Our Lady as central to unity.

I can't get over the feeling, however, that the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and the Protestant Church (all those thousands of denominations who all think different things entirely regarding salvation), have to bend towards Vassula.

Just because the Holy Father meets with someone should not be taken as a blessing of their theology or standing with the Church. Tony Blair, Obama, etc, the list goes on.
Remember the phrase by Pope St Gregory the Great I:

"On the appearance of the Antichrist, not just hoards of Laity but a veritable army of Priests and Bishops shall go over to him."

In other words, Antichrists are very, very, very convincing, so as to deceive, 'even the very Elect of God'.
David A. said…
Just because the Holy Father meets with someone should not be taken as a blessing of their theology or standing with the Church. Tony Blair, Obama, etc,

Of course, the Pope and senior hierarchy have to meet political figures etc. But meeting 'condemned prophets' and posing for a photo?? Come on, be serious.
The Vatican has never condemned Vassula or her writings. So far, they have sounded a note of caution about them and discouraged the Church from organising prayer groups around them, suggesting that this is not advisable.

It is not really heard of for the Vatican to condemn anyone and certainly not the Holy Father. What is more, because the lady isn't Catholic, I wouldn't personally expect the Church to go any further than She has in Her statements.

Fr John seems like a very sober, orthodox and good priest and he seems to take a sober attitude to her texts. This is unlike some of her supporters who basically think that if you don't believe in her writings then you're going to burn. I've met one. He was Anglican and strangely, he presented himself for Communion, clearly not understanding the need for him to be in full communion with the Church and in a State of Grace etc.

Even so, he hadn't really gone to Mass for Mass. He'd only gone so that at the end of Mass he could give the True Life in God book to the Priest concerned.

So clearly, Vassula's writings had not impressed much about the standard basics of 'ecumenism' or Catholicism, on him. Seeing this was what turned me against her. She sows confusion among her followers, whether that is deliberate or a simple omission is up to others to decide.
Because, when you're with Vassula, its all just one big happy Church you see. One big happy family. One big cult.
Jon H said…
I find it ironic that the defenders of this dangerous nonsense acuse everyone else of being "uncharitable" while at the same time calling them 'wicked','idle', 'slanderous', 'sneering', etc, etc,

However, the point which they refuse to address is that the CDF has stated that:"it remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs Ryden", and yet Fr Abberton runs one in his parish and advertises it on the parish website. This is a public act of disobedience & the faithful have a duty to bring such disobedience to the attention of his superiors. This is not a 'witch-hunt' as one hysterical comment put it, but an act of charity - indeed, it is a corporal work of mercy to educate the ignorant.
Jim Riches said…
This woman Vassula, the 'seers' at Megaforgery, and every other charlatan medium, necromancer, and tarot reader, they don't go short of a bob or two do they? Oh, I'm sure our flatcapped friend will claim that she doesn't take a penny herself - someone else pays for her travel, etc. We've heard it all before - from Mary Baker Eddy to Tammy Baker, they are thieves, brigands, & pagans to boot.

What's wrong with this priest & the rest of the cult that they need to have 'itching ears' for the ramblings of this woman? Is the Catholic Faith not enough for them?
David A. said…
the point which they refuse to address is that the CDF has stated that: "it remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs Ryden"

This is the only comment which is deserving of a response. Yes, Cardinal Levada does indeed say that in his letter of 2007. The problem is that his words conflict with what Cardinal Ratzinger told Vassula and conflict also with what he states in his letter to bishops following his dialogue with Vassula.

Now if Cardinal Levada had written his letter following some further investigation or enquiry maybe one could understand his words more easily but no such investigation took place. The most charitable explanation of Cardinal Levada's letter is that it was issued in ignorance of the facts of the case. We shouldn't be surprised at that as Cardinal Levada had not been long in his new post when he wrote the letter.

The letter contains factual errors also and its advice that people should not participate in prayer groups associated with Vassula could only be valid if Vassula had been condemned in some way which, by now, is clear she has not.

None of this, of course, will 'cut any ice' with the several contributors to this correspondence who, in truth, are filled with hatred for Vassula and the messages she passes on to us. No words or argument will soften that hatred.
Jim Riches said…
David A. is at it again! Dismissing the CDF letter as 'ignorant of the facts', and further claiming that it 'contradicts' what Card. Ratzinger told Vassula in private. IF that were true, why has the letter not been corrected? Why has Card. Ratzinger not corrected this situation? IF what you say is true then a grave injustice is being committed against Vassula and canonical action in search of a remedy should have followed. Instead........silence.

Silence from the Holy Father.
Silence from the CDF.
Silence from Vassula's canon lawyers.

No. The situation is clear. The CDF letter STANDS. No-one can uphold the claim that the Holy Father supports this woman without proof. A photo is not proof of his support. It is preposterous to claim that the Holy Father agrees with, supports, encourages everyone he meets. The very fact that the CDF has had to issue guidance on this cult speaks for itself.

One further point - Is it credible that the Lord would choose such a woman as his 'vessel'? This woman has an 'interesting' past to say the least. Where does this re-married divorcee fit in with the likes of St Margaret Mary, St Faustina, Mary of Agreda, or ANY other saintly person who has been granted private revelation of the Lord?

Lastly, EVEN if these revelations were truly from the Lord (and not the demon possessing this woman)none of us would be obliged to believe them. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR OUR SALVATION! They tell us NOTHING that we do not receive from Holy Church.

The cult of this woman & the satanic Medjugorje Cult are just the latest in a long line of gnosticism.
David A. said…
IF what you say is true then a grave injustice is being committed against Vassula and canonical action in search of a remedy should have followed.

Indeed! The matter is being pursued.

Is it credible that the Lord would choose such a woman as his 'vessel'?

Yes, God's ways are always surprising. The Jews found it very hard to accept that the Messiah could be a carpenter...

EVEN if these revelations were truly from the Lord none of us would be obliged to believe them

Indeed. God doesn't force us to do anything. We can accept His gifts or reject them.

the satanic Medjugorje Cult

You clearly must know more about Medjugorje than Pope Benedict.
Pat said…
Anonymous who posted at 24 March at 10:57. I have never seen so much hysterical, sanctimonious clap-trap in all my life. You've been reading too much Vassula. Let's just fisk your comment:-

"Laurence,Pat,and Jim: Your witch-hunt may well end up costing a goodman and wonderful priest his vocation". I AM NOT ON A WITCH-HUNT. IT WOULD BE UNHEARD OF FOR A PRIEST TO BE LAICISED FOR PROMOTING A FALSE SEER. STOP BEING DRAMATIC. "I know you, who lack purpose and direction, will find the horror of this hard to find". YOU DON'T KNOW ME, SO HOW CAN YOU SAY MY LIFE LACKS PURPOSE OR DIRECTION? "But your idle fingers have done the devil's work once again". DEVIL'S WORK? TO ASK PEOPLE TO BE OBEDIENT TO THE CDF? "ONCE AGAIN" - DO YOU HAVE EVIDENCE I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN ALLEGED 'DEVIL'S WORK' BEFORE? "Shame on you, really and truly, shame. You lack humility and seek where ever possible to turn your idle self-dissatisfaction into a petty form of power by slandering priests in a closed community. It's enough to make a person sick - you are really wicked" ALL THIS IS RASH JUDGEMENT AND UNCHARITABLE, BUT I FORGIVE YOU. YOU DO NOT KNOW ME, OR MY MOTIVES. CUT THE PSEUDO-PSYCHOANALYSIS AS WELL. WE SHOULD ALL BE DISATISFIED WITH OURSELVES, AS WE'RE ALL SINNERS AND FALL SHORT OF THE MARK. I HAVE NOT SLANDERED ANY PRIEST. I HAVE MERELY POINTED OUT WHAT IS ALREADY PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, I.E. THAT FR ABBERTON ADVERTISES A T.L.I.G. GROUP IN IS PARISH WHEN THE CDF HAS STATED THAT IT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR CATHOLICS TO BE INVOLVED IN THEM. YOU SAY I LACK HUMILITY, BUT IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT THOSE WHO PRESUME TO KNOW BETTER THAN THE CDF LACK HUMILITY.
Anonymous said…
Jesus says

"I AM THE THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE"

I want to say three things

1/to answer about the photo of Vassula and the Cardinal Ratzinger:

On the original photo he had written at the bottom of this : DO NOT USE IT AS A CHEAP PROPAGANDA.
The photo could be seen on the site www. the problem with Vassula".
That is what is currently David.A
repeatedly.

Moreover, this picture was deleted and replaced with the word Copyrigt
and this with an investigation of the author of the photo and the report:MR Cristian HVIDT

The report of the dialogue comes from the same person.

2/ To understand the "system" Vassula read the report
www.vassula and the hostages of the swiss mafia.

3/ In a internal memo "the french organisation of "vraie vie en Dieu" dated of 16/01/2010
We would like to draw your attention to another important thing
demand of the clergy concerning Vassula which supports messages VVD
.As you know, THE TEAM WILL COVER THE EXPENSES OF PILGRIMAGE CLERGY INVITED PERSONALLY BY VASSULA.
Vassula said that there must be as many menber of the clergy as possible so they can live in unity.

( the last pilgrimage, 23 priests)

The Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople takes the decision
with the light of Jesus. Let us not forget that decision following the visit of Vassula in Romania with all the consequences that followed!

Patriarchate was lighted and

animated by Jesus!


May God Bless and guard

AMEN!
Maggie said…
I had been thinking about becoming a Catholic... But,as I read all the
comments here from "Catholics", I'm having serious doubts.
Do you people read the Bible?
How would you refute this verses?

Mark: 9:38
John said to him, 'Master, we saw someone who is not one of us driving out devils in your name, and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.'

9:39
But Jesus said, 'You must not stop him; no one who works a miracle in my name could soon afterwards speak evil of me.

9:40
Anyone who is not against us is for us.
-- I also thought of these verses:

Mark 12:38
As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces
39: and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
40: They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely."
Anonymous said…
I'm a protestant and while I don't think that everything that Vassula comes from God, on the other hand here was a lady about almost 30 years was not interest in God until she had some of her experinaces. Personality, I think we spend too much time on whether someone is a heretic or not. All of us because of human sin can be off the mark. Personality, protestants and Catholics and Orthodox see themselves as always right all the time and when someone comes along and states they are not like Vassula they get trash.
Anonymous said…

A very important news:

Read the excellent new critical site concerning Vassula Ryden of Maria Laura Pio:

www.pseudomystica.info
Tom Brown said…
Father Abberton said: "Many have returned to Christ through "True Life in God" but then the devil wants that doesn't he? Many are being healed." Uh-huh, yeah just consider that the devil would be quite happy to have converts who are also hooked on TLIG and infect the Body of Christ with more of its errors. Don't underestimate the demons, Father Abberton. They hide their poison in unlikely spots, and it only takes one drop as Pope Leo XIII warned us in Satis cognitum: "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition" http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_29061896_satis-cognitum_en.html
Pelerin said…
I have just re-read this post and the link as I recently met a lady who was very taken with Vasula Ryden and had nothing but praise for her. She is also full of praise for Medjugorge being absolutely convinced that Our Lady appears there. I wanted to gen up on the so called seer should I meet the lady again so thanks for the information.