Vassula Disinvited


#1

The Roman Catholic cathedral of Los Angeles on Monday rescinded its invitation to hold a Christian unity conference later this month after concluding that the principal speaker was to be a controversial self-proclaimed mystic who claimed to speak directly with God, Jesus and Mary.

In a letter to the sponsors, Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, said that what had been represented by sponsors as a Christian unity conference had turned out to be largely a forum for Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox laywoman who has attracted worldwide attention with her reports of sacred conversations.

At the same time, a leading Greek Orthodox priest said Monday he previously had also pulled out of the Jan. 28 conference. “Everything is very suspect. That’s all I’m going to say,” said the Very Rev. John Bakas, dean of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.

A publicist for the conference said a second Greek Orthodox priest, from Brooklyn, had also decided not to attend.

Kostelnik said the decision to withdraw the cathedral’s invitation to play host to the conference was “final and not subject to change.” He said that the meeting was turning into something different than originally proposed. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, had earlier agreed to offer welcoming remarks at the conference but now approved the withdrawal, Kostelnik said.

latimes.com/news/local/los_angeles_metro/la-me-visionary10jan10,1,2361989.story?coll=la-commun-los_angeles_metro


#2

Sounds like a wise decision by the pastor of Holy Angels, the Orthodox priests, and Cardinal Mahoney to me. The very fact that a conference for “Christian unity” was actually to be a platform for this woman sets off alarm bells in my head, too.


#3

[quote=HagiaSophia]The Roman Catholic cathedral of Los Angeles on Monday rescinded its invitation to hold a Christian unity conference later this month …At the same time, a leading Greek Orthodox priest said Monday he previously had also pulled out of the Jan. 28 conference. “Everything is very suspect. That’s all I’m going to say,” said the Very Rev. John Bakas, dean of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.
[/quote]

. According to Claire Mansour, one of the sponsors of the conference:””To me this is a betrayal by my church,” she said, referring to the withdrawal of the invitation by the Roman Catholic cathedral.” (LA Times).

A problem was the scheduled appearance of the mystic, Vassula Ryden, who quotes Jesus as addressing her as “My Vassula.”

[/font]http://www.tlig.org


#4

I think the problem is the “misrepresentation” made by Dr. Mansour, the husband of Claire, that Rome has a standing approval of the visions of Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox laywoman, which is NOT TRUE!


#5

[quote=Amadeus]I think the problem is the “misrepresentation” made by Dr. Mansour, the husband of Claire, that Rome has a standing approval of the visions of Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox laywoman, which is NOT TRUE!
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This is one of the few “visonaries” who I believe the CDF felt it had to personally issue a statement about – and the Cathedral obviously was not “informed” that this gathering was going to include her.


#6

Yes, the main sponsors (the Mansour couple, who are both Catholics, I think) tried to hide the presence of Vassula Ryden as the main speaker in that “Christian unity conference.” And when the Archdiocese found this out, they tried to reason out that the latter’s visions and activities were “approved” by Rome.

Of course the Archdiocese fully knows the real score as the notification re Vassula Ryden issued by the CDF was fully dessiminated to all the world’s Catholic bishops, and ultimately to each pastor under their respective jurisdicitions.

For our guidance, quoted hereunder is the CDF’s:

**NOTIFICATION ON VASSULA RYDEN ** (6 October 1995)
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.


#7

[quote=Amadeus]I think the problem is the “misrepresentation” made by Dr. Mansour, the husband of Claire, that Rome has a standing approval of the visions of Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox laywoman, which is NOT TRUE!
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I am not even sure if it is true she is a Greek Orthodox laywoman. She is in a state of excommunication. No doubt the Greek Church hopes for her repentance but at this time one can’t say that she is Greek Orthodox without qualifying it.

The GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH has issued the following statement (the original is in Greek) on its official website regarding Vassula Ryden.

ecclesia.gr/greek/holysynod/commitees/heresies/heresies-0008.htm

Synodal Commission on Heresies and Sects.

"The Commission, having examined the evidence, has reached the conclusion that Vasoula Ryden is excommunicated from the Orthodox Church, although she still presents herself as a member.

"In addition it should be known that the Church periodical “Dialogue” has printed extensive reports regarding Vasoula Ryden’s organisation.

"Vasoula has asked the Greek Minister of Justice to bring to trial for slander and libel both the Secretary of the Greek Orthodox Synodal Commission on Heresies, Fr Kyriako Tsoiro, and the Church publication. The trial was scheduled for 30 June 2000; however Ryden withdrew the charge two days before the trial was due to commence.


#8

Fr. Ambrose:

Thanks for your clarification!

It is more in keeping with our view that Mrs. Ryden was never received by or converted to the Catholic Church, contrary to your previous assertions that she belonged to us, although you cited instances where she received Holy Communion from Catholic priests.

We prefer that she remains an “excommunicated” Greek Orthodox laywoman! :wink:


#9

[quote=Amadeus]It is more in keeping with our view that Mrs. Ryden was never received by or converted to the Catholic Church, contrary to your previous assertions that she belonged to us, although you cited instances where she received Holy Communion from Catholic priests.

We prefer that she remains an “excommunicated” Greek Orthodox laywoman! :wink:
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All the same, she is a communicant Roman Catholic. She lives in a villa on the outskirts of Rome and receives communion on Sundays at her Roman Catholic parish.


#10

[quote=Fr Ambrose]All the same, she is a communicant Roman Catholic. She lives in a villa on the outskirts of Rome and receives communion on Sundays at her Roman Catholic parish.
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That does not a Catholic make.


#11

[quote=JKirkLVNV]That does not a Catholic make.
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Explain!

If your Church consistently and over many years gives communion to a person how can they not be part of your Church?

Do you have Catholic communicants who are not Catholics?


#12

Do you have Catholic communicants who are not Catholics?

There are people who take the Eucharist who aren’t Catholic, as opposed to Catholics who receive it. Just because she stands in line and takes it doesn’t mean she’s accepted by the Church, nor that she accepts the Church in full. It just means she’s abusing the Sacrament.


#13

[quote=Ghosty]There are people who take the Eucharist who aren’t Catholic, as opposed to Catholics who receive it. Just because she stands in line and takes it doesn’t mean she’s accepted by the Church, nor that she accepts the Church in full. It just means she’s abusing the Sacrament.
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That’s silly. Are the parish priest and the local bishop allowing someone to abuse the Sacrament?

Vassoula has been living in that parish for years and goes to communion every Sunday when not travelling. Everybody knows who she is - it’s not as if she is somebody you can overlook! So the priest and the bishop are obviously happy for her to have communion.

She’s not a member of the Orthodox Church - she’s excommunicated. So she must be a member of the Catholic Church. Unless you want to say that Catholics give communion to people who belong to no Church at all, not Orthodox and not Catholic?!


#14

[quote=Fr Ambrose]That’s silly. Are the parish priest and the local bishop allowing someone to abuse the Sacrament? Possibly

Vassoula has been living in that parish for years and goes to communion every Sunday when not travelling. Everybody knows who she is - it’s not as if she is somebody you can overlook! So the priest and the bishop are obviously happy for her to have communion. Possibly

She’s not a member of the Orthodox Church - she’s excommunicated. So she must be a member of the Catholic Church. Unless you want to say that Catholics give communion to people who belong to no Church at all, not Orthodox and not Catholic?!
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Now you’re baiting us: you know full well that just because she ISN’T Orthodox doesn’t mean she IS Catholic. Last I checked, our priests and bishops don’t require us to carry our baptism and confirmation certificates with us to Holy Communion for examination, still less decrees of excommunication from daughter churches or other ecclesial communities. She ain’t Catholic, Father, as I’m sure you know, sitting there with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek and a twinkle in your eye.


#15

Being excommunicated doesn’t mean one is no longer Catholic, it means one cannont take part in the Sacraments. It’s likely that in this case she remains Greek Orthodox but unable to receive Sacrements in that rite.


#16

[quote=Fr Ambrose]That’s silly. Are the parish priest and the local bishop allowing someone to abuse the Sacrament?

Vassoula has been living in that parish for years and goes to communion every Sunday when not travelling. Everybody knows who she is - it’s not as if she is somebody you can overlook! So the priest and the bishop are obviously happy for her to have communion.

She’s not a member of the Orthodox Church - she’s excommunicated. So she must be a member of the Catholic Church. Unless you want to say that Catholics give communion to people who belong to no Church at all, not Orthodox and not Catholic?!
[/quote]

She may have a dispesation from the local ordinary to receive Eucharist in a Catholic church. If I were in Greece and no where near a Catholic church I would need the permission from the local ordinary (partiarch) in order to receive Eucharist at an Orthodox church.


#17

[quote=Ghosty]There are people who take the Eucharist who aren’t Catholic, as opposed to Catholics who receive it. Just because she stands in line and takes it doesn’t mean she’s accepted by the Church, nor that she accepts the Church in full. It just means she’s abusing the Sacrament.
[/quote]

More than just abusing the sacrament for she unwitingly is bringing condemnation upon herself by doing so.


#18

I think a lot of Roman Catholics would be astonished by how careful the Orthodox churches are toward giving communion.

When the communicant approaches the chalice the priest prays over them by name! Anyone the priest does not know will not be communed unless the priest has spoken with them beforehand or there is some prior understanding. Only clergy may distribute communion, the procedure very tight.

One does not confess anonymously ever, and one does not commune anonymously either. A person like this Vassula could probably show up in any Roman Catholic parish in the USA and receive communion anonymously, the EMC (even the priest) may never know. She could not get away with that in an Orthodox church.

I wonder what most Roman Catholics imagine it could be like if there was a healing of the rift between our churches. I am afraid a lot of RC would feel offended by being turned away and not understand that the normal Orthodox practice is not like the Roman Catholic practice. (I can imagine all the threads that would generate!) One cannot just ‘pop-in’ for liturgy and stand in line for communion. It is important to speak to the priest before liturgy! Especially if a first time visitor. He may expect you to make a confession then and there and you should be prepared for that possibility. A most common practice is to go to church the night before for vespers and make ones’ confession at that time.

So to put it bluntly, it is astonishing to Orthodox that a non member can receive communion in the Roman Catholic church and the explanation that anyone could stand in line anonymously is no excuse at all. The church hierarchy shares in the abuse by allowing procedures that make it possible for such a thing to happen. I see it as another important (yes, very important) change the west should have to make before Orthodox would be able to consider reconciliation possible.

+T+
Michael


#19

More than just abusing the sacrament for she unwitingly is bringing condemnation upon herself by doing so.

Yup, and that’s her responsibility before God.


#20

[quote=Ghosty]Yup, and that’s her responsibility before God.
[/quote]

And the priest who knowingly communes her.


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