Important update regarding Church position (March 2005): The TLIG association is claiming that the Church
has recently modified it's position regarding the writings of Mrs Ryden and suggesting that the Notification is
no longer valid. This is not true. Please read our updated "Church Position" page, which includes the text of
Card. Ratzinger's July 2004 letter as well as our correspondence with the Conference of Swiss Bishops confirming
that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has NOT modified it's position regarding TLIG and that the
1995 Notification remains valid.
Important update regarding Church position (March 2005): The TLIG association is claiming that the Church has recently modified it's position regarding the writings of Mrs Ryden and suggesting that the Notification is no longer valid. This is not true. Please read our updated "Church Position" page, which includes the text of Card. Ratzinger's July 2004 letter as well as our correspondence with the Conference of Swiss Bishops confirming that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has NOT modified it's position regarding TLIG and that the 1995 Notification remains valid.
The True Catholic Church's position regarding
(January 2006): 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".
Official Position of the Catholic Church:
Recent developments (February 2005): The Conference of Swiss Bishops confirms to us that the July 2004
letter is NOT a modification of the CDF's position.
Latest update (March 2005): Text of the July 2004 Letter signed by (former) Card. Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
Some recent comments regarding the Catholic Church's position on TLIG
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. Refering to 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
EWTN - Catholic Q&A: Answering two questions regarding the Church's position on Vassula Ryden (March and October 2004), EWTN expert Colin B. Donovan answered: "Despite efforts and claims by her supporters and promoters that these judgements [1995 Notification and 1996 Press Release] are under review, or no longer apply, the Holy See has not changed its position on her writings, nor its instructions to bishops regarding her conferences and activities, which must NOT be hosted or promoted by Catholic entities or officials." He also pointed out that "The CDF issued the Notifications publicly (in L'Osservatore Romano and the Acta Apostolicae Sedis) and would have to just as publicly rescind them." (Read the whole answers at: http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/search.asp?source=/vexperts/conference.htm indicating as keyword "Vassula" and year "2004").
Catholic Apologetics International: Extract of M. Forrest's answer to the question: "Was Vassula condemned by the Church?" (February 2005): "In this day and age, wherein the Vatican has adapted a very liberal, accepting posture toward the world, other religions, etc, I think wisdom and prudence would dictate that, if anything, we should AMPLIFY the implications of such Vatican warnings, rather than look for ways to mitigate them. There seems to be very little that is rejected as unacceptable these days. In my opinion, until such time as the Church tells us that Vassula's writings are perfectly safe, we ought to view them very skeptically, as potentially dangerous, if we bother to view them at all. 98% or 99% safe is just not good enough. The Adversary works most effectively in that little 1-2%." Read the whole answer at: http://www.catholicintl.com/qa/2005/qa-feb-05.htm#Question%2069
Brother Ignatius Mary of the Order of the Legion of Saint Michael, answering a question regarding the validity of the Notification (December 2004): "There has been no reversal of the decision that Ryden's writings are not from a supernatural source. The 1999 interview with Cardinal Ratzinger also did not reverse the negative decision about Ryden's writings, it merely pointed out that "technically" her writings are not condemned because "...from the strictly procedural point of view, no person may be condemned without a trial and without being given the opportunity to air their views first. What we say is that there are many things which are not clear". The Cardinal continues, "Her writings contain many good things but the grain and the chaff are mixed up. That is why we invited Catholic faithful to view it all with a prudent eye and to measure it by the yardstick of the constant faith of the Church." (...) To date, however, the negative decision as to the legitimacy of her writings having a heavenly source has not been rescinded. The warning of the 1995 Notification remains in force." Read the whole answer at: http://www.saint-mike.org/qa/FS/ViewAnswer.asp?QID=355
Christian Order - Article by Father Peter-Joseph of Wagga Wagga, Australia, has a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and is currently the Chancellor of the Maronite Diocese of Australia. Here's an extract from "Apparitions True and False" (January 2005): "From my article, the reader should realise that Cardinal Ratzinger’s private, or public comments - even if authentic - cannot undo a decree of the Holy Office. Only a new decree can undo an old decree – not an interview given to the press! Even the Pope’s personal opinions and beliefs have no authority, and cannot be cited to override Church law or doctrine. As I said in my article, the Church is governed by public statements and promulgated laws, not by personal interviews or private communications. Even if there is further, or a new investigation, all Catholics are still held to the only official judgement hitherto given, which is negative."
KNOWN AS: "Vassula Ryden"; "My Angel Daniel"; "True Life in God"
SEER: Vassula Ryden
YEARS: 1991 - Present
STATUS: On October 6, 1995, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a public release which stated, "the alleged 'heavenly messages' are merely the result of private meditations."
It further added, "Given the negative effect of Vassula Ryden's activities, despite some positive aspects, this Congregation requests the intervention of the Bishops so that their faithful may be suitably informed and that no opportunity may be provided in their Diocese for the dissemination of her ideas. Lastly, the Congregation invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula's writings and speeches as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church." (View Document)
In December, 1996, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed its position when it stated "the faithful are not to regard the messages of Vassula Ryden as divine revelations, but only as her personal meditations." (View Document)
ALLEGED REVELATIONS AND CONCERNS: The above statements from the Congregation of the faith highlight:
1) "An imminent period when the Antichrist will prevail in the Church."
2) "In millenarian style, it is prophesied that God is going to make a final glorious intervention which will initiate on earth, even before Christ's definitive coming, an era of peace and universal prosperity.
3) "The proximate arrival is foretold of a Church which would be a kind of pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine.
4) "By habitually sharing in the sacraments of the Catholic Church even though she is Greek Orthodox, Mrs. Ryden is causing considerable surprise in variouso circles of the Catholic Church. She appears to be putting herself above all ecclesiastical jurisdiction and every canonical norm, and in effect, is creating an ecumenical disorder that irritates many authorities, ministers and faithful of her own Church, as she puts herself outside the ecclesiastical discipline of the latter.
5) "Her marital status is not yet clear, being divorce, and which we (the Roman Catholic Church) is studying."REVIEW Addressing two major concerns that are found in Mrs Vassula Ryden's earlier writings, it can be concluded: 1) Her personal meditations, at one time, promoted contrary to the Words of Jesus that are found in the Holy Bible, that the gates of Hell would prevail against the Church. Jesus said,
"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." [Mt. 16:18]The question at hand is, "Are we to believe the Sacred Words of Jesus or the words of Mrs. Vassula Ryden? The Church is the final authority in determining what is the truth and what is not the truth!
2) The Catholic Church has always condemned the teachings of a secular messianism in "millenarian style" as some of Mrs Vassula Ryden's writings have prophesied. On this subject, it is sufficient to quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
# 675 "Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."3) Mrs Ryden's habitually sharing in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church even though she is Greek Orthodox, has misled some of the Roman Catholic to become indifferent to their living faith, believing that in the spirit of ecumenism, all Churches are equal, each one being a different way that leads to salvation.
# 676 "The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism."
In its release of the document "Dominus Iesus" on August 6, 2000, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church condemned this belief that all Churches are equal or can lead to salvation. (See Document)
THE END RESULT IF BELIEVED In consideration to the fact that Mrs. Ryden's personal meditations are NOT divine revelations as stated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to continue to read such material can endanger the faith and morals of the faith Catholics.
By this, it is meant that when proper discernment is not applied, the faithful can be led towards embracing false teachings of:
1. The Antichrist will prevail in the Church;Because of the potential risk of endangering one's faith and morals by reading Mrs Vassula Ryden's material, it is recommended that the faithful avoid reading it UNLESS they have access to a QUALIFIED Spiritual Director who is prepared to guide the faithful through the readings while pointing out the doctrinal errors.
2. A millenarian style secular messianism;
3. A kind of pan-Christian community;
4. Ecumenical disorder.