Posted by Carlos Antonio Palad, September 21, 2010
Vassula Ryden, a visionary known for her "private revelations" that promote indifferentism, and who continues to be enthusiastically supported by many Catholic and Orthodox clergy and hierarchs despite occasional warnings from the Vatican (and a few from the Orthodox Churches), enthusiastically relates in the latest report on her website that as part of her Mission in Romania on May 2010, a Romanian Orthodox priest invited a Roman Catholic priest to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy of Pentecost.
The Romanian priest is Fr. Daniel Crecan, who is also identified in the report as a Romanian ORTHODOX (not Greek Catholic) parish priest in Bocsa Mantana of the Orthodox Eparchy of Caransebes. The Roman Catholic priest is named as Fr. Rolf Philip Schoenenberg.
The report further states that communion was given to the Catholics present, and alleges that Vassula's mission trip had the support of the Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu, who made headlines in 2008 when he received communion at a Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy. (The report also makes the erroneous claim that Patriarch Kirill had invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit Russia, and quotes Vassula as stating "An Orthodox will not become Catholic, nor is there a need for a Catholic to become Orthodox. We are asked not to differentiate among us, but to respect each other's traditions and celebrate around one altar. The Eucharist must be shared by all.")
29 out of 69 comments with some by TLIG’s Fr John Abberton [The photographs are not reproduced here –Michael.] As always, TLIG followers falsify -- or at least attempt to -- the truth:
If true; this is scandalous. The Romanian Holy Synod should investigate to determine what (if anything) exactly happened and take corrective measures as appropriate. Metropolitan Nicolae (Corneanu) has been the source of scandal in the past. I believe he apologized for his actions and publicly repented when called on the carpet by the Synod after communing with Uniate clergy. If the man is now promoting communio in sacris with the non-Orthodox then he needs to be deposed.
If on the other hand this turns out to be a false alarm (this woman's credibility doesn't sound like it's Triple A) then she needs to be told to shut up and cease promoting heresy and schism (which should be done in any event).
Carlos Antonio Paladsaid:
Just to clarify: the report by Vassula (who is Greek, born in Egypt) claims that Met. Nicolae supported her Mission trip. However, there is no mention on whether he also blessed the concelebration.
If this is true (and I am compelled to admit it probably is), then it is going to be a pretty big scandal in the Orthodox Church. Outside of a very few places in the Middle East where inter-communion has been nodded and winked at by both Catholics and Orthodox at the local level (usually due to all of the intermarriages), this is almost unknown. This sort of thing may be somewhat commonplace in the RCC, but it is still a very serious no-no with us. My guess is that this is going to cause a big stink. And it damn well should! Also I hope someone will finally shut this woman up. The Greek church has been far too vague about her relationship with The Church.
Several years back her case was examined in Athens and the Greek Church stated she was excommunicated. For communing in both Catholic and Orthodox churches. She then initiated a court case against the Greek Church but it was abandoned.
Someone should stop Vassula Ryden. She is becoming very wild. Her automatic handwriting is, in the first place, not a good sign of her 'messages'. She is doing harm to the Church.
Carlos Antonio Paladsaid:
The problem is that Vassula is under the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, which continues to maintain a very warm relationship with her.
See: http://www.tlig.org/en/news/2009-12-04/2104/ this: http://www.tlig.org/en/mission/reports/2009/mission-to-egypt-2009/ and this: http://www.tlig.org/en/spirituality/pilgrimages/egypt2008/ The last report clearly states that Catholics were also communed by no less than the Greek Orthodox Patriarch himself on Pascha 2008. This was confirmed to me by a Filipina Catholic who had been present at the Liturgy.
Is there a distinction between indifferentism and the instinct that what separates Catholics and Orthodox no longer seems so large compared to what separates both groups from the rest of the world?
It’s like arguing with a neighbor over a property line while your country is being invaded. Even if it is a major property dispute with serious impacts on the wealth of both families, it still pales in comparison with what is coming.
Everyone on both sides should obey their laws, but if we are once again beginning to recognize each other as brothers, that is wonderful.
Carlos Antonio Paladsaid:
The unity that counts, the unity that will actually last, the unity that will not contribute towards even greater disunity, is unity of faith. Events like this do not cause unity -- this and similar events only cause greater scandal, and therefore greater disunity. To protest this scandal is not to promote disunity but precisely to defend the meaning of true unity.
I find it very interesting that the proponents of false unity want to move us towards unity by disregarding precisely one of the principles upon which Catholicism and Orthodoxy are united, namely, that intercommunion can come only after agreement on doctrine. Since when did unity come by creating disunity over yet another principle?
I sometimes read a certain forum as well as a couple of quasi-academic blogs where indifferentism between Catholics and Orthodox are relentlessly preached, and what strikes me is the way that the proponents of false unity in these websites so frequently appeal to subtle (or not-so-subtle) ad hominems in order to press their case, just as you do. Those who acknowledge the obvious fact that Catholics and Orthodox do not agree on essential matters, and therefore can neither concelebrate nor routinely receive Communion at each other's liturgies, are condemned as apostles of disunity, ridiculed as upholders of outdated polemics, and are threatened with divine judgement for "prolonging the causes of division" and "doing the devil's work"! It is as if to acknowledge a sad reality is to be guilty of it and to celebrate the fact -- an absurd notion, as anyone can see.
No, we acknowledge that there is division between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, a division wide enough to prevent meaningful concelebration or intercommunion, because we cannot compromise over the truth, and not because we rejoice over division or would like it to continue. To disregard doctrine makes communion quite pointless, don't you think?
Carlos Antonio Paladsaid:
Cosmos: The "invasion" that we should fear the most is the invasion into our minds of the notion that doctrine doesn't really matter. Some people say that Catholics and Orthodox should just "get over it" and proclaim unity without further ado in order to present a unified front against secularism. Do these people not realize that that would be the greatest victory that we can ever give to secularism? Do these people not realize that by embracing doctrinal indifference rather than face martyrdom, they have given up on the meaning and dignity of the name of Christian?
Since it is obvious in this picture that the Roman Catholic priest is NOT dressed in the Eucharistic vesture of either church, he cannot possibly be concelebrating Divine Liturgy with the Orthodox priest.
No, the Orthodox will never join the Roman Catholics unless some become Uniates and then they are no longer Orthodox by definition. As to this concelebration, the Roman Catholic priest does not appear to be vested for mass although it is true that just about anything goes these days as to Latin vestments. The problem here is not this eccentric laywoman but the two clergy and nothing will happen to them at all.
No, all three are a problem -- and she's not merely eccentric.
I concur with Jordan's response. All three are a problem. As for the "nothing will happen to them at all" bit, I can't speak for the Roman priest but the Orthodox priest is almost certainly gong to get called on the carpet for this. As for this wacky heretic, some quick research indicates that outside of the Alexandrian Patriarchate she is generally regarded as a crack pot and has been formally barred from the chalice by a number of Orthodox churches. I am quite certain she would not be knowingly admitted to communion in my church or jurisdiction (OCA).
With the usual caveats I feel comfortable in saying that she is considered to be excommunicated by most Orthodox. It is regrettable though that the Alexandrian church refuses to act since she lives within their canonical territory.
Carlos Antonio Paladsaid:
Jack: "Since it is obvious in this picture that the Roman Catholic priest is NOT dressed in the Eucharistic vesture of either church, he cannot possibly be concelebrating Divine Liturgy with the Orthodox priest."
The priest is dressed in a modern-style alb and a stole -- acceptable vesture for concelebration in the Novus Ordo. When a priest concelebrates in a Mass / Divine Liturgy in a rite other than his own, he will wear the appropriate vestments of his own rite, unless he has specific faculties for celebrating in that rite in which he is assisting.
Now, now - did they really concelebrate or was the Catholic priest merely invited to stand at the altar while the Orthodox priest celebrated? As the Catholic is wearing choir dress this would seem most likely.
Either way, of course, it gave scandal and it is clear that laymen can't tell the difference.
Outside of a very few places in the Middle East where inter-communion has been nodded and winked at by both Catholics and Orthodox at the local level (usually due to all of the intermarriages), this is almost unknown.
Intercommunion happens weekly at my (Catholic) parish, where some Orthodox receive Holy Communion every Sunday. Location = Atlanta.
In addition, my Catholic friends' daughter is married to the son of an Orthodox priest. The couple attends Liturgy at a local Orthodox parish, and the Catholic receives Holy Communion there all the time. Same location.
Intercommunion happens far more frequently than most people realize. Many of the laity, Catholic and Orthodox alike, simply don't care about the rules, and the priests, again, Catholic and Orthodox alike, don't either.
Knight of Maltasaid: Fr. Rene Laurentin (absurdly named one of the top 100 Catholics by dailycatholic.org—slightly behind Wayne Weible, who is a major proponent of the false apparition, Medjugorje,) is a huge proponent of the "seer" named Vassula Ryden, a Pan-Orthodox divorcee who claims that Jesus personally guides her hand in writing messages (http://www.tlig.org/en/background/handwriting/laurentin/). Ryden frequently speaks before the United Nations, where she espouses a syncretistic understanding between Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox. Fr. Laurentin cannot be relied upon as an authority on the veracity of Medjugorje, for the same reason, since he has advanced a highly unorthodox "seer." See, (http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFRYDN1.HTM.)
Vassula Ryden and Medjugorje both espouse a syncretistic and indifferent understanding of the Church. This is opposed to the Tradition of our Church. It is opposed to the great Saints and Martyrs who gave their live to advance the truth that Christ died to forgive us our sins, and created one Church to advance His mission on earth, and in that Church created the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass, as a mode whereby He would remain with us until the end of time.
"Intercommunion happens far more frequently than most people realize. Many of the laity, Catholic and Orthodox alike, simply don't care about the rules, and the priests, again, Catholic and Orthodox alike, don't either."
There's nothing new about this. It’s the same here in the UK between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. It doesn't mean that such people - those who "simply don't care" - represent the leading edge of any kind of movement towards genuine unity.
In my own (Greek) parish, occasional non-Orthodox presenting themselves for communion are politely taken to one side by a reader, who explains to them why it's impossible.
I actually know Vassula quite well. I doubt that many of those who have posted here do. Some of the comments made against her are wildly inaccurate and some are just plain insulting and unjust. Disagree with her by all means but please do it charitably - especially since you do not know her. As regards the "concelebration" it could not have been a real concelebration because of the different rites. The invitation may have been couched in these words and there is an obvious need for clarity here. On TLIG pilgrimages non-Catholic clergy are invited to stand around the altar - NOT to concelebrate, which is forbidden. This was on the specific advice of the Vatican which was consulted on this matter. Orthodox bishops and priests often invite others to receive Holy Communion. Please note this is NOT against Catholic teaching (check it out). Moreover, sometimes, non-Catholics are allowed - in specific circumstances - to receive Holy Communion in Catholic churches. My sister's father-in-law, who is an Anglican, is an example of this (because they lived in Italy etc.)
Please do not attack or insult what you do not know or understand. I have no problem whatever with people disagreeing with Vassula or with Fr Laurentin, but I do have a problem - and so should you all - with insults, injustice and false accusations.
Carlos Antonio Palad said:
Fr. Abberton: This is from the actual report on the TLIG website that I linked to:
"Not only was Rev. Fr. Daniel Crecan inspired to ask Vassula to speak to his congregation after the Divine Liturgy on the great feast of Pentecost Sunday, but he also invited Fr. Rolf, Roman Catholic priest, to concelebrate. In addition to this, Fr. Daniel was overjoyed to invite us all to partake in the Eucharist. What a wonderful gift we were given by the Holy Spirit!
Fr. Daniel, the parish priest of this church shares his perspective on the events of this wonderful day:
"On the day of Pentecost was the feast day for our church and many people came to attend the Holy Liturgy. That day in our community we received many special guests who came from many parts of the world: one Greek born in Egypt, one from Switzerland, and one from the Philippines. That was wonderful and very special for us because we had never before had so many nationalities in our church. It does not matter if our Orthodox community is small, but it is our joy to minister together with believers from other countries and different churches. The Swiss man is my good friend and brother in Christ, a Roman-Catholic priest.
On that special day drawn by the Spirit we celebrated together the Holy Liturgy and we shared together the same Holy Eucharist, the Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It was great, wonderful, divine ... .just like the teachings of our Saviour Christ, "MAY THEY ALL BE ONE!" Communion in the Eucharist is the sign of unity in the Holy Spirit. It was definitely a divine sign given by the Holy Spirit, of full communion in the love of Jesus Christ. But this is not all....we had a lot of people who came to receive the Holy Eucharist, singing, praying together and giving glory to our God.
The presence of many Greek-Catholics sharing communion with us in the same church and sharing the Liturgy was indeed another sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the middle of our community. No words can ever tell the joy of what it is like to have full communion in truth, in unity with the Holy Spirit."
I'm pretty sure that Fr. Crecan knew what a concelebration is, and the pictures on the TLIG website, clearly show the Catholic priest AT the altar, and not simply standing off to the side. For that matter, the protocol that is normally followed is for Catholic clergy attending Orthodox liturgies to stand OUTSIDE the iconostasis, not INSIDE, as this is forbidden to non-Orthodox (something that I've been personally told by a Greek Orthodox priest, and which I've observed in many of the numerous videos of Eastern Liturgies that I've seen.)
Furthermore, concelebration between priests of different rites is not impossible: it happens all the time between Eastern and Latin Rite Catholics.
Anonymous, what you describe is extremely unusual and completely contrary to the teachings of the Orthodox faith. Unfortunately, it's not rare enough.
First, the Orthodox at your parish should not be attending a non-Orthodox service regularly, and should never commune. (I should qualify describing them as Orthodox because communing outside the Orthodox Church incurs an excommunication and separates the party in question from the Orthodox Church.) The RC church stipulates that Orthodox are to respect their own bishop's opinion on the matter (which should be to reject communion from any non-Orthodox). Please inform your priest of this.
As for your Catholic friends' daughter, what kind of Orthodox church is it (Antiochian, Greek, etc.)? Unless she was received into the Orthodox Church, she should never commune there. The priest should not allow it, and if his bishop finds out, that priest could be defrocked.
[123.] "The vestment proper to the Priest celebrant at Mass, and in other sacred actions directly connected with Mass unless otherwise indicated, is the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole". Likewise the Priest, in putting on the chasuble according to the rubrics, is not to omit the stole. All Ordinaries should be vigilant in order that all usage to the contrary be eradicated.
[124.] A faculty is given in the Roman Missal for the Priest concelebrants at Mass other than the principal concelebrant (who should always put on a chasuble of the prescribed color), for a just reason such as a large number of concelebrants or a lack of vestments, to omit "the chasuble, using the stole over the alb".
So, if this priest was concelebrating, then his ordinary should reprimand him for being inappropriately vested, there obviously not having been any "just reason" for the lack of a chasuble.
Father Abberton, whatever did or did not happen at the Divine Liturgy in Romania, we do not have to know Vassula Ryden personally to be able to see that she is not a voice a Christian should listen to.
Carlos, Thank you. It seems you are right about the concelebration. However, one thing you need to understand is that Vassula and those who support her are trying to do what they can to further Christian unity. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we simply accept the invitations offered to us. I am personally concerned that in this case Orthodox sensibilities seem to have been set aside. I can assure you that, when I can, I will look into this matter myself. I can assure you - because I happen to know - that Vassula does everything she can to follow the laws of each church.
The internet site of MARIA LAURA PIO (she is a ex-adept of Vassula) www.infovassula.ch will show you how Vassula is a false prophet. It is very important to read her site (in English and other languages!
The orthodox priest Daniel Crecan was on canonical trial and was excluded from priesthood for good: News from the Orthodox Diocese of Caransebes, Romania. (News from anonymous, Nov. 2) I hope that Fr John Abberton will inform Vassula and Father Laurentin of her responsibility in that exclusion. She has destroyed a priest and his family!
Her credibility is now finished! Tell all the orthodox authorities and the Congregation of the Faith to avoid Mrs Ryden for good!! She can't pretend Unity for Christians in the world. I pray for the truth. [Nov. 3]
Warning against Vassula
I sincerely believe 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.
Defending Vassula's writing such as the fact the abbot Laurentin showed great credulity.
Father Dominique AUZENET (France) [Dec.23]
Father Abberton is one of the TLIG Vassula's spiritual directors.
Father Abberton's puzzling letter to the American TLIG Newsletter readers In this letter he should suggest the destruction of the TLIG reports interreligious pilgrimages and retreats of the last 12 years:
"At this time we need to take great care to avoid the possibility of any thing to remotely connected with clergy of different traditions standing together and dressed f or the liturgy getting into the wrong hands...
To avoid any mistakes I have taken the view that we need to be VERY careful about the American newsletter which contains a photograph of this kind. Therefore i am asking you to remove the photo from the newsletter or to destroy the newsletter itself..." Father Abberton
The other one is a recent problem:
"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. (It was not a concelebration) Unfortunately it seems that the enemies of TLIG are now trawling the internet and looking for anything they can used against us… Father Abberton
Quick Update on Catholic-Orthodox Concelebration Story
Various Romanian blogs and websites are reporting that Fr. Daniel Crecan -- the Romanian Orthodox priest who concelebrated with a Roman Catholic priest in May of this year, as reported on Rorate*-- has been defrocked by his bishop for this act. (See this, this and this, among the many reports from Romania.) *See pages 3, 4 UPDATE (November 16, 2010): New information just received by Rorate from Romania clarifies that Fr. Crecan has been suspended from the priesthood, but not yet deposed, and that he has appealed his suspension by his bishop to the latter's superior, the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Banat, Met. Nicolae Corneanu. Metropolitan Nicolae is known for his great friendliness to Catholics; he even received communion at a Greek Catholic Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in 2008 (an action for which he was later forced to seek forgiveness from the Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod).
7 out of 23 comments:
The article that you link in Ziua de Vest also gives information about the status of Vassula Ryden's Orthodoxy. That is, a large part of the charges against the Romanian priest were that he communed her and promoted her writings, despite the fact that she was excommunicated from the Church of Greece for heresy. The issue of concelebration with the Roman Catholic priest is murkier, as his supporters argue that the latter was simply standing in the altar, and not technically concelebrating. -Samn
I would be mildly surprised if his suspension were overturned. The Metropolitan is already under suspicion by the Holy Synod. What possible grounds would there be for reversing the verdict of this priest's bishop? He was standing in the sanctuary vested and concelebrating the Holy Mysteries with a non-Orthodox cleric.
I think he will indeed be most fortunate if he is not fully deposed and stripped of his Holy Orders. Frankly he should have humbled himself and accepted whatever discipline the bishop thought right. –John
Daniel Crecan must read the internet critical site www.infovassula.ch of Maria Laura Pio, who is an ex-adept of Vassula. Her life was destroyed by the messages. There are a lot of good reports of the Catholic, Orthodox authorities. A very important report is of Father François Dermine, who is a theologian. He studies at the University of Bologna (Italy) and he gives conferences to make understand how Vassula is a prophet new age. –Anonymous
Since I am a reader of "True Life in God" and know both Vassula and Fr. Rolf (the Catholic priest involved) I hope you will allow me to bring some truth into all this.
Firstly Vassula did not organise the programme on that occasion. Fr Rolf had no intention of concelebrating, and in fact did not - and could not. Firstly he does not know Romanian or the actual rite used. Secondly it is completely against TLIG policies to do such a thing. What happened was this: Fr Daniel invited Fr Rolf, to his genuine surprise, to vest and stand with him at the altar. I am not sure whether he did anything to help the priest but he did not concelebrate. Holy Communion was given to Fr Rolf and to Vassula and some others. Vassula is regarded as a "heretic" by some because she is said to have been excommunicated by the Greek Church. However, she is under the Patriarch of Alexandria (she was born in Egypt) who has NOT excommunicated her and has welcomed her (I was there and witnessed this).
Just what are the actual charges against Vassula? The Greeks insist that her involvement in Catholic Masses is wrong and that she should not take Communion in Catholic Churches. However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to "recognise" each others' ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then - reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified.
Secondly she is accused by some Catholics of teaching heresy. This is not the case. The Notification issued by the Vatican has not been rescinded, but at the same time, following the dialogue with the CDF facilitated by Fr Prospero Grech - who has worked for the CDF and knows Cardinal Ratzinger (now the Pope) Vassula was told, by the Cardinal, that when people ask about her at the CDF the answer will be "the position is modified" because her answers to their questions were called, by him, "useful clarifications". His letter to several bishops (given to Vassula for her use) made clear that the question of having prayer groups in a diocese was now, is now, a matter for the local ordinary (as is the case with anything else). Further to this, the Cardinal insisted that her answers should be printed in her books, thus making access to those answers dependent on having a copy of one of her books. He would hardly have done this if he had the intention of forbidding the books!
The letter from Cardinal Levada which is now often mentioned refers to prayer groups but does not specify any faults or problems. In justice we have a right to know what these are. However, it is possible that he is actually not concerned about the prayer groups but about the pilgrimages about which there has been some confusion, caused partly by inaccurate reports.
May I also say, with regard to a very negative web site, that having been a member of a TLIG prayer group does not automatically mean that a person is telling the truth or presenting a true picture of TLIG or Vassula. People come and people go. Some are happy some are not. I dispute the idea that TLIG has ruined someone's life. Where is the evidence for this? Regarding this matter there is more truth to come out in time. I would also like to make this point or ask this question; why is it that the negative web site is automatically regarded as true and the official TLIG web site is not? Also, if people want to criticise someone's writings, should they not read them first? –Fr. John Abberton [a disciple of Vassula] Fr Abberton minimises the Cardinal Levada's internal communication of January 2007 sent to the Presidents of all Bishops conferences, it is a very clear document. Vassula's response to Cardinal Levada can be read on www.infovassula.ch.
The CDF is the only way to valid new prophet, in the Catholic Church, and Mrs. Ryden is orthodox but excluded from her proper church. (Héresies of the Saint Synode 2001, Infovassula.ch)
It is clear that Mrs. Ryden indicated that she does not want to become a catholic, but on the other hand does not act as an Orthodox ,then she has indeed chosen to be in a denominational "no-church's land" with the approval of her "Jesus", for whom "all are the same" (www.tlig.org/en/messages/182/),and this suggests a lot about her idea of unity.(dixit www.infovassula.ch)
I have read all the Vassula's Ryden books... and it is full of naïve expressions like "my flower, I love you, I marry the Christ..." . The central actress in all the books is Mrs. Ryden.
The most shocking is the True life in God's business (Videos, books, i-Pod, magazine, I phone, contribution, everything to spend money). The great mystics are Bernadette Soubirous, Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, Sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité, Saint François, etc... Read their books! They have been recognised by the religious authorities in the world. We have the Bible and we don't need the Vassula's promotion! I pray for truth. –Anonymous
I would just like to clarify a point mentioned in Fr. Abberton's post, who is one of the spiritual advisors of Mrs. Ryden's movement: The CDF letter sent in 2007 by Cardinal Levada to all the Bishops' conferences in the world states in its point 1 that "the Notification of 1995 remains valid as a doctrinal judgment". The 1995 Notification states that Mrs. Ryden's writings contain "several doctrinal errors". The CDF letter also states in point 3 that "in remains inappropriate for Catholics to take part in prayer groups established by Mrs. Ryden".
According to Mrs. Ryden, following her protest regarding this letter, Mgr Amato, number two of the Congregation at that time, wrote to her telling her that this letter "was expressly written with the purpose of informing all the Catholic Bishops of the dialogue" that had taken place in 2002-2004 her and the CDF (in "Response to Cardinal Levada's letter of 2007" an article signed by Vassula and circulated by her official website www.tlig.org This article is no longer available on that website but a copy of it can be found in mine: http://www.infovassula.ch/tliglevada.htm second half of the page).
Regarding intercommunion, Mrs. Ryden is in open conflict with the teachings of both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, which affirm that the sharing of the Eucharist cannot be a means or a stage towards full unity, but rather its culmination. For that reason, it is not generally permitted nor encouraged. In some very exceptional occasions or particular situations, intercommunion does take place with the permission of the competent ecclesiastical authorities.
Mrs. Ryden instead affirms that "Jesus" revealed to her that the Eucharist has to be the means to attain unity. She also says that ecclesiastical authorities don't understand this because they have to repent in order to be able to listen to what the Holy Spirit says to them ("Vassula speaks of unity and intercommunion", 2008, http://www.tligvideo.org/chich.html). Anyone who reads the reports of her interreligious pilgrimages and retreats knows that participants are expected to practice intercommunion, because that is what "Jesus" commands (See for instance: www.tlig.org/print/en/news/2007-06-29/2045).
Regarding the jurisdictional matter, it is my understanding that the Greek Orthodox of the diaspora are under the Patriarchate of their place of residence, not birth. –Anonymous
Fr. Abberton wrote:
"However, I am under the impression that an agreement was made between the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church to "recognise" each others' ministries. Does this include allowing -now and then - reception of Communion? This needs to be clarified."
The Roman Church has always recognized the validity of Greek Orthodox orders, while the Greek Orthodox have had a more diverse (some would say inconsistent) approach to Catholic Orders. Some Catholic priests converting to Greek Orthodoxy have been merely chrismated then accepted "in their orders", others have been chrismated but treated as laymen afterwards (e.g. all the Filipino Catholic priests who have converted to Greek Orthodoxy were received as laymen, then re-ordained), and some have even been (re) baptized.
The Russians of the Moscow Patriarchate are more consistent on the matter, tending (since the 18th century) to simply "vest" Catholic priests converting to Orthodoxy, accepting them with a confession of faith and without chrismation or (re)baptism.
As for reception of Communion, this has been abundantly clarified. The Orthodox are practically unanimous about this: no concelebration with Catholics, and no communion too (although some of the more liberal bishops have unofficially allowed this for specific cases). In the aftermath of the 2008 case of Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae of Banat communing at a Greek Catholic liturgy, the Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod forced him to repent then issued a decree threatening clerics who did the same with deposition from the priesthood. I haven't been able to update this post yet, but on November 22, 2010 the same Metropolitan Nicolae turned down the appeal of Fr. Daniel Crecan, who was immediately afterwards irrevocably deposed from the priesthood by his bishop.
As for us Roman Catholics, let the following quote from the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI Sacramentum Caritatis suffice:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20070222_sacramentum-caritatis_en.html "Participation by Christians who are not Catholic
56. The subject of participation in the Eucharist inevitably raises the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that the intrinsic link between the Eucharist and the Church's unity inspires us to long for the day when we will be able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist together with all believers in Christ, and in this way to express visibly the fullness of unity that Christ willed for his disciples (cf. Jn 17:21). On the other hand, the respect we owe to the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood prevents us from making it a mere "means" to be used indiscriminately in order to attain that unity. (172)
The Eucharist in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible and Tradition. We hold that Eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion are so linked as to make it generally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive the former without enjoying the latter. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their eternal salvation, individual non-Catholic Christians can be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specific, exceptional situations and requires that certain precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe these norms faithfully."–Carlos Antonio Palad
Warning against Vassula (mise en garde par rapport à Vassula) New forum topic France Catholique journal
"I sincerely believe that Father [Rene] Laurentin is extremely naive about the origin of some paranormal and spiritualists like automatic writings. 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. Defending Vassula's writing such as the fact, the abbot Laurentin showed great credulity. Father Dominique Auzenet (France) –Anonymous Patriarchate of Constantinople denounces Vassula Ryden
Also at http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2011/03/17/morning-catholic-must-reads-170311/
By Luke Coppen, Catholic Herald, March 17, 2011
Yesterday, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople issued a strongly-worded decree denouncing Vassula Ryden and her works, excluding her supporters from (Orthodox) communion, and warning people from spreading her teachings her lest they incur canonical censures. An initial English translation of the new decree can be found here; the original decree is on the website of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople. The relevant portion is as follows:
This comes a few months after the Romanian Orthodox Church defrocked one of its priests for concelebrating with a Roman Catholic priest, in an event that came about under the influence of Vassula Ryden. (See this and this for Rorate Caeli's posts on that incident, and this post on another website reporting on the rejection of the priest's appeal of his punishment.)
Vassula continues to enjoy support from some Roman Catholic priests and bishops despite repeated Vatican warnings against her teachings. Hopefully this support will soon disappear...
9 out of 31 comments
Fr John Abbertonsaid:
I can find no reference to this event other than your blog. Can you help me with this? It will, of course, impact on the Vatican's view although only as it affects relations with the Greek Orthodox. What it means in terms of Vassula's standing with the Orthodox is a problem since she has the full support of the Patriarch of Alexandria and the former statements about her "excommunication" were dubious because no evidence exists of a formal enquiry with Vassula present. As far as I know the situation re the Holy See remains the same - i.e. we are NOT condemned and we are free to read the messages.
Fr. Abberton: I indicated the source in my post (in the sentence "An initial English translation can be found here"). Just to be clear, here it is, from the "Mystagogy" website.
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/03/announcement-on-vassula-ryden-by.html This post, in turn, links to the official decree on the website of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Now there's ecumenism for you, against the woman who ironically pushes for union between the churches.
Both the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Holy See have condemned here revelations. I hope they start to agree on other things too soon, but Vassula Ryden is a very good start. An absolute fraud.
Her "locutions" and strange behavior led to her divorce. If something is truly from God, I can't see that it would lead to divorce. How many canonized saints were divorced? It seems much wiser to me for Catholics to read and meditate on the Bible, read the saints writings, or read the CCC rather than reading Vassula Ryden.
She spoke here in Sacramento years ago and is far from just preaching union in the eastern churches, her teachings are bizarre. At Vassula's appearance in Sacramento in 1991 it was quite an event at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. There were even half a dozen port-a-potties for the crowds. Vassula was absolutely a fraud and a joke. A local TV station covered the show. After, in the square in front of the Cathedral, the TV cameraman told me he looked into her eyes with his camera zoom lens and found her extremely scary.
Vassula's "locutions" and strange behavior led to her divorce. If something is truly from God, I can't see that it would lead to divorce. How many canonized saints were divorced? It seems much wiser to me for Catholics to read and meditate on the Bible, read the canonized saints writings, or read the CCC rather than reading Vassula Ryden.
Vassula Ryden uses "automatic handwriting". In an interview printed at a local True Life in God Book, she said that it all these stuffs happened started to write, and even if she "resists, it won't stop." And one more thing, she claims that those who don't believe in TLIG are blasphemous, etc. etc. This raises another flag.
Fr John Abberton is a Vassula promoter/defender from the Leeds Diocese in England. He ignores the 2007 CDF letter from Cardinal Levada (see http://www.infovassula.ch/tligchurchposition.htm) and has a Vassula 'True Life in God' prayer group in his parish. Also, he is implicated in other Vassula-related nonsense on this excellent website, which tells you all you need to know about the ludicrous Vassula. http://www.infovassula.ch/tligcrecan.htm#abberton.
In 1996, Vassula Ryden was coming to Toronto and I bought tickets with my friends. My guardian angel protected me and didn’t allow me to go by allowing illness to strike me. After the "conference" my friends came back confused and gave me a drawing of Vassula’s JESUS as was revealed to her. When I looked at this JESUS drawing, i was horrified and i screamed and shook. I felt evil! That is not my LORD JESUS! I'm glad I never had the chance to even attend her "shows". Vassula still comes to Toronto but every time she has a schedule, the church would issue a warning to the Catholic faithful.