The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Vassula Ryden
                                              (1995 and 2007)


Notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Vassula Ryden (1995)

by Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Many Bishops, priests, religious and lay people have sought an authoritative judgement from this Congregation on the activity of Mrs. Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox residing in Switzerland, who in speech and in writing is spreading in Catholic circles throughout the world messages attributed to alleged heavenly revelations.

A calm, attentive examination of the entire question, undertaken by this Congregation in order to "test the spirits to see whether they are of God" (cf. 1 Jn 4:1), has brought out-in addition to positive aspects-a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of Catholic doctrine.

In addition to pointing out the suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occurred, it is necessary to underscore several doctrinal errors they contain.

Among other things, ambiguous language is used in speaking of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, to the point of confusing the specific names and functions of the Divine Persons. These alleged revelations predict an imminent period when the Antichrist will prevail in the Church. 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. Furthermore, the proximate arrival is foretold of a Church which would be a kind of pan-Christian community, contrary to Catholic doctrine.

The fact that the aforementioned errors no longer appear in Ryden's later writings is a sign that the alleged "heavenly messages" are merely the result of private meditations.

Moreover, by habitually sharing in the sacraments of the Catholic Church even though she is Greek Orthodox, Mrs. Ryden is causing considerable surprise in various 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.

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 Dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas. Lastly, the Congregation invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. Vassula Ryden's writings and speeches as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church.

Vatican City, 6 October 1995.

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Clarification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Vassula Ryden (2007)
by Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

25th January 2007

Prot. N.: 54/92 – 24945

Your Eminence / Your Excellency,

Requests for clarification on the writings and activities of Mrs Vassula Ryden continue to arrive at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in particular regarding the validity of the Notification of 6th October 1995 and the criteria that should be followed in defining the provision of local Churches regarding the advisability of spreading the writings of Mrs Vassula Ryden.

At this regard, the Congregation wishes to specify as follows:

1) The Notification of 1995 remains valid concerning the doctrinal judgement on the writings examined (cf. attachment 1).

2) Following a the dialogue which has taken place with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mrs Vassula Ryden has however provided clarifications on certain problematical points which appear in her writings, and also on the nature of her messages, which do not present themselves as divine revelations but, rather as personal meditations (cf. attachment 2: Letter of April 4th 2002 published in the True Life in God vol. 10). From the normative point of view, then, after the above mentioned clarifications, it is advisable to make a prudent evaluation, case by case, taking into account the concrete possibilities for the faithful in reading these writings within the framework of such clarifications.

3) Finally, it is reminded that the participation of Catholics in prayer groups organized by Mrs Vassula Ryden is not advisable. In the cases of ecumenical encounters, the faithful should comply with the provisions given by the Ecumenical Directory, the Code of Canon Law (can. 215; 223 §2, 383 §3) and the diocesan Ordinaries.

In sending you this information, I am sincerely yours in devotion to the Lord.

Cardinal William LEVADA

Prefect

The translation above is not official and is based on the original versions in French and Spanish.

See also:

    Notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Vassula Ryden

    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Issues Press Release on Ryden Notification