Saturday 27 February 2010

An unlikely prophet

This image of Vassula sitting on a wall on Patmos during the 2007 TLIG pilgrimage is one of my favourite photos of her. It is because she looks such an unlikely prophet!

But I'm sure that is just one of the reasons God chose her. I believe history will show her to be the greatest prophet of our age.

To quote Archbishop Frane Franic: "Therefore, I unite myself to all those Catholic bishops and theologians that defend the authenticity and sincere veracity of Vassula Ryden, seer and mystic, one of the greatest of our times" (see the Archbishop's full testimony further down this page)

Vassula Ryden is Greek, born in Egypt and belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church. In 1985, while living in Bangladesh, Vassula experienced a vision of her Guardian Angel Daniel, and later, after a purification and spiritual growth, she was called by God to serve Him by transmitting His divine words to people all over the world. Vassula receives the inspirations in the form of locutions and through interior visions. God asked Vassula to call these prophetic messages "True Life in God". The messages are a call to all from the Holy Trinity. God asks for a greater repentance, reconciliation, peace, love and, above all, the Unity of the Churches.

Publication of 'True Life in God' began in 1990 and the work has been translated into many languages and given rise to a widespread readership.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Seer and mystic, one of the greatest of our times

And here is my favourite testimony about Vassula from the late Archbishop Frane Franic, great lover and supporter of Medjugorje:

(Testimony of + Frane Franic, Archbishop Emeritus of Split and Makarska )

In reading the books of the divine messages and knowing that the author, Mrs. Vassula Ryden, is a daughter of the Greek Orthodox Church, I was very impressed to find in them a fidelity, and I am firmly convinced, an absolute fidelity to all the revealed truths as taught and expounded by the Catholic Church.

I would like to humbly point out that in 1941 I received a Ph.D. from the Gregorian University, which was at that time very faithful to Thomist theology and philosophy and that I have myself taught this theology for 38 years, from 1942 until l980, at the Interdiocesan Theological School of advanced studies in Split. I have come to know about the various objections that were formulated by certain Catholic theologians concerning the messages of the books of "True Life in God". But these objections are certainly not able to put in doubt my conviction that all these books contain authentic messages coming from Christ Himself, messages that include the truths concerning faith in the supernatural, truths in which both the ancient Byzantine Orthodox Church and the Roman Church believed, up until the painful moment of their separation. Consequently, the messages correspond well with the ancient faith of the Holy Greek Orthodox Church, which implies that Vassula does not have to formally abandon her belonging to the Orthodox Church in order to become Catholic.

I maintain this firm conviction even today, notwithstanding the "declaration" (notification) of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published in the Osservatore Romano dated 23-24 October 1995.

I pray to the Lord that this "declaration" be clarified [prayer answered!], thus removing any confusion in our Church as well as removing the difficulties that have cropped up because of this "declaration" in the ecumenical relations between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.

Furthermore, I feel I must declare that in the messages of Vassula's books one finds certain truths that are today in a state of crisis in our own Church. These truths are very clearly stated in these messages and asserted in a surprisingly firm and decisive way. Truths such as the Virginity and the Holy Motherhood of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary, the real presence of the Body and of the Blood with the Soul and the Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

According to my humble but firm conviction, there is no error and there have never been any errors, either in the first books of Vassula nor in those that followed. There is no error when Vassula speaks about Christ calling him Abba or Jahweh, neither when she says that Christ will come in the world to bring a period of His peace, because it has to do with the historical return of Christ into this world through His Church, who during that period of Peace will be renewed; and then, the presence of Christ will be even more visible to all mankind in this world, as the Holy Virgin and Queen of Prophets was saying at Fatima, and as she is still prophecying now in Medjugorje.

Therefore, I unite myself to all those Catholic bishops and theologians that defend the authenticity and sincere veracity of Vassula Ryden, seer and mystic, one of the greatest of our times.

Saturday 20 February 2010

Cardinal Napier testimony - 2009

Despite an unfortunate letter from Cardinal Levada in 2007 about Vassula, Cardinal Napier from South Africa wrote the following strong support for her and her mission in 2009:

The Cardinal writes:

In May controversial 'messenger of God' Vassula Ryden visited Durban where she spoke to a number of groups. Because some of the following questions were being asked about her – whether her 'revelations' are regarded as genuine; whether she is orthodox in her writings; and what her standing is with the Catholic Church - I invited her to the Chancery for a conversation over lunch.

Our conversation made it clear that her calling to be a mouth-piece whom Jesus Christ is using took place in extraordinary circumstances. But what is even more challenging is her relationship with the Catholic Church.

In 1995 the Holy See made it known that it had serious doubts about the authenticity of the revelations published by Vassula. In 2004 in response to a request by Vassula the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made a thorough investigation. Cardinal Ratzinger then Prefect of the Congregation stated in a letter that Vassula had answered satisfactorily the questions put to her. However the matter was confused anew by Cardinal Levada's 2007 statement which reaffirms the 1995 notification but totally ignores the 2004 statement.

It was therefore with keen interest that I awaited the opportunity to engage her in conversation. What struck me from the start and what remains a lasting impression is her total openness - especially when asked to explain what happened to her or why it should have happened to her at all. She is just as puzzled why she should have been chosen since she had completely lapsed from the practice of her Greek orthodox faith.

Another matter of interest is her relationship with the Holy See. She enjoys cordial relations with many of the top officials at the Vatican who are anything but negative towards her.

It is therefore reasonable to state categorically that as far as the Church is concerned Vassula poses no threat to the Catholic Faith whatsoever. Indeed the messages which are communicated through her are consistent with the Church's own call to repentance and a return to the basics of the faith - in particular the basic prayers such as the Rosary and other devotions once so common in Catholic family and parish spiritual life.

The above message of the Cardinal was printed in the Catholic News Bulletin of the Archdiocese of Durban, June 2009, No.464. It is also available on the diocese website here.