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
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
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
Vatican City, 6 October 1995.
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
Cardinal William LEVADA
The translation above is not official and is based on the original
versions in French and Spanish.
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