Rorate Caeli

Patriarchate of Constantinople denounces Vassula Ryden

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:

In this spirit, and for the beneficial protection of our pious Orthodox plenitude from dangerous spiritual confusion, who do not know well matters underlying the risk of delusion, rejects from the Mother Church Vasiliki Paraskevis Pentaki - Ryden, widely known as a "Vassula", and her organization founded under the title "True Life In God" which rashly and frivolously proposes teachings based on the supposed "direct dialogue between her and the Founder of the Church Jesus Christ our Lord", and those conquered by her and the supporters of "True Life In God", which deviate arbitrarily from the God-given teaching of the Church, but also scandalize the Orthodox phronema of pious believers.

Hence, we call upon the proponents of these unacceptable innovations and the supporters who maintain them, who henceforth are not admitted to ecclesiastical communion, not only to not be involved in the pastoral work of the local Holy Metropolis, but also to not preach their novel teachings, to prevent the appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons.

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...


  1. 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.

  2. I suppose Vessula was a dud, I didn't follow that one, but you can never expect a condemnation of Medjugorje or Fr. Gobbi from Rome.

    They're in favor of it.

  3. Anonymous12:43 PM

    I bet she would make a hit at the La Religious Education Conference. Most there would believe her 100 percent. She could speak from the pulpit during the closing Pentecostal Mass.

  4. 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.

    This post, in turn, links to the official decree on the website of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:

  5. 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.

  6. Excellent news! I have been a frequent critic of Bartholomew I but I must tip my hat here. The Ecumenical Patriarch is not the Orthodox Pope, but he is the First Hierarch of the Church. When he speaks with this kind of language his words carry great weight. Most of the Orthodox churches have now formally or informally condemned this heretic and barred her from the chalice.

    Yes, the Patriarch of Alexandria has been scandalously cozy with her. But this effectively makes it clear that she is outside the Church. It will force the PofA to deal with her or it will leave him quite isolated. In any event this is pretty much a "case closed" decree and I believe will be accepted as such throughout the Church. There is no possibility of Vassula being able to seriously pass herself off as "Orthodox" now.

    Well done Your Holiness!


  7. Anonymous3:36 PM

    She spoke here in Sacramento years ago and is far from just preaching union in the eastern churches, her teachings are bizarre.

  8. Do remember that this repudiation by Constantinople has effect ONLY within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and her dioceses.

    I'm sure, however, that other Orthodox Churches will give it due attention.

  9. 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 Ruyden.

  10. In 1995, Ryden was living in Switzerland; any idea whether she's still there? There is a diocese in that country under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, so she may be His Holiness' subject after all. But other jurisdictions are present in the country too.

    Thanks to Rorate Caeli for publishing this!

  11. Jack
    It is true that the EP has no direct authority over any other bishops. He is however the First Hierarch of the Church. When he publicly declares someone a heretic and formally excommunicates her (and lest us be clear that is exactly what just happened); I assure you that will get more than "due attention" from the other bishops. Our ecclesiology is not neat. But it does generally work.

    This is an example of the proper exercise of "primacy" in the Orthodox Church. As I noted in my earlier comment, this is an essentially "case closed" declaration.

    In ICXC

  12. To "Johannes"

    My apologies. I mistakenly deleted your excellent comment.

  13. 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.

  14. Gideon Ertner12:33 PM

    John AO,

    This is not a defence of Ms. Rydén, but I am a bit confused. If one Patriarch excommunicates someone, why does that necessarily mean that that person is outside the Church? Is it not perfectly within the power of another Patriarch to come to a different conclusion that would be every bit as legitimate - at least in his own jurisdiction?

    That is at any rate what the Orthodox ecclesiological system suggests to me. If there is nothing more than a primacy of honour, decisions taken by this primacy can lay claim to no necessary binding force upon the rest of the Church. In this scheme, the status of Ms. Rydén is ultimately completely dependent upon consensus among all kefales of the churches.

  15. Fr John Abberton is a Vassula promoter/defender from the Leeds Diocese in England. He ignores the 2007 CDF letter from Cdl Levada (see here:- ) 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.

  16. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Excellent! I PRAY JESUS to tell the truth about MRS Ryden ...and now The Patriache of Constantinople must anounce this very good news to :


    (the CDF letter 2007 of Cardinal Levada)

    Bavo your Holiness!!

  17. Gideon
    The Orthodox Church tends to act by consensus. The EP has not acted alone. His action merely confirms the decisions already made either formally or informally by most of the other canonical churches. That said when the First Throne speaks with such decisive language it carries enormous weight, as was once the case when Old Rome spoke against heresy before the schism. The PofA essentially is now confronted with a unified church and the court of last appeal has spoken.

    He can either accept that decision or be isolated on the matter. Can he continue to commune this woman? Sure. Just as Catholic priests and bishops routinely commune people that they should not. But from a practical matter the matter is now closed.

    In ICXC

  18. Anonymous9:49 PM

    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 porta-potties for the crowds. Vassula was abolutely 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.

  19. Anonymous3:40 PM

    On April 2nd 3rd 2011, there will be in Belgium, to Namur, a gathering under the name "unis par Christ" (United by Christ)

    Among the speakers,there will be Mrs Ryden and Orthodoxes priests by whom names follows:

    Mrg SEVERIOS ( Syria orthodox)

    Mrg Jules Joseph ( Melkite- Jerusalem)

    Mrg Isidore ( Melkite-Libanse)

    Mrg Leonard ( partisan of Vassula- latin _Belgium)

    Will these priests be sanctioned under the terms of the new provisions of the excommunion of Vassula?

    Is the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople is inform of this meeting?

    Do they belongs to the "who gave to Vassula a certificate of Orthodoxy?"

    If somebody knows the e-mail of the Greek Patriachate of Constantinople, inform him!

    God Bless you!

  20. Anonymous of 15:40
    None of the entities you named are Orthodox. The Syrian is a non-Chalcedonian and the others are all under the Pope, As far as I can tell this has nothing to do with us.

    In ICXC

  21. elremg4:02 AM

    in 1996, vassula ryden was coming to toronto and i bought tickets with my friends. my guardian angel protected me and didnt 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 everytime she has a schedule, the church would issue warning to the catholic faithful.

  22. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Your Holiness Bartholomew

    Your recent denouncement of Vassula Ryden from the Orthodox church has caused great pain and disillusionment among the True Life in God readers and I’m one of them, an Armenian Orthodox. It was surprising to me that a clergy of your rank and caliber does not follow his cannon law which says that when there is a problem with a member of the church you should clarify it with dialogue and let the “accused” have a fair hearing. Your words of condemnation on Vassula without a hearing and giving her a fair chance to explain herself are truly unjust and far from a charitable action from the Mother Church to whom she belongs. Christ called her and speaks to her for the benefit of the church. This is a gift and not a heresy nor a danger to the Church. There are thousands of witnesses who converted and came back to the sacraments of the church – “you can tell them by their fruit.” The Spirit of God and of prophecy will never die.

    Your judgment therefore is unjust and not according to the scriptures which say “do not stifle the Spirit but check what is good.”

    The former Cardinal Joseph Radzinger, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, now Pope Benedict XVI, has read Vassula’s writings and has found nothing that is contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures. I personally would like to witness to the fact that the messages of TLIG enhanced my relationship with God and increased my love for Him, leading me to a life of prayer and meditation. In other words it put me on fire for God. It also helped me to better understand the Scriptures since they are a reflection of the Bible, “a reminder of His word” as Jesus calls them.

    In this age of unprecedented corruption, apostasy and darkness is it likely that God, who is an ocean of mercy, will stand by and watch His children, whom he so lovingly created, perish? He will definitely intervene and will try to wake them up from their slumber and will call them back to Him and that’s what He is doing in the messages of True Life in God through Vassula. It doesn’t seem to me that you have read the messages Your Holiness, otherwise you would not call them a heresy…

    It is imperative that people should recognize God’s voice and listen to what He has to say in these crucial times before it’s too late…


    Margo Kupelian

  23. Margo
    If this sort of post is indicative of the mindset of her followers then H.A.H. acted correctly and none too soon. She is a heretic and canon law is very clear on that subject. Also you are quite wrong in claiming that Pope Benedict has in any way affirmed her activities.

    In ICXC

  24. Anonymous2:34 PM


    You have believed in Vassula and her messages, and now you realise you have been "manipulated"...
    You must believed in the religious authorities as the Patriarchate of Contantinople, and Pope Benoît XVI (the notification of Cardinal Levada january 2007)....and in the Bible.

    Don't forget Jesus is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.

    Read the excellent report of François Marie Dermine
    www.Vassula Ryden:The reasons of the church by François Marie Dermine
    A theologian's view .

    www.Validity of the Notification and comments on CardinalRatzinger's
    interview 1999( you will realise the diference with TLIG)

    ( the best critical site which explain what TLIG has changed the truth)

    www.Vassula Ryden and the Hostages of the swiss mafia ( to understand how the foundation of Mrs Ryden is
    financed in the world, and the Beth Myriam)

    www. Vassula Ryden and false prophets, illusion trap.

    I pray for you, to be lighted by Jesus.

    God bless you!


  25. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Vassula and her Followers against the validity of the decree of the Patriarch of Constantinople:read the site of Sadinopoulos.

    The article discusses the translation of the decree and the alternate version circulated by the TLIG association.

    www.MYSTAGOGY.My translation of the Decree Against Vassula Ryden.

    Vassula states that the document is not signed by the Patriarch himself,( she says the same for the Notification of the CDF 1995 written by Benoît XVI)

    She invites who read and love TLIG messages to write,and conplain to the Patriarch Bartolomew.( she gives his address)

    Vassula and her followers,are seeking to soften and deny this reality, however it is clearly written in the official document of the Saint Synode.

    Now, read the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI.
    He has issued guidelines on distinguishing between real or "demonic" visions of Jesus ,the Virgin Mary,messages, stigmata- the appearences of the five wounds of Christ-and weeping or bleeding statues:

    The Pope said to be deeply concerned by the explosion in the number of pseudo-mystics, who claiming a direct line to God, set themselves against the bishops and lure the Catholic faithful out of the church and into cults.

    The first step will be to IMPOSE SILENCE on the alleged visionaries and if they refused to OBEY, then this will be taken as a sign that their claims are FALSE.

    It said that in many cases "signs" from heaven were exposed as HUMAN TRICKERY......

  26. Anonymous8:17 AM

    I’m posting the letter I wrote to His Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, for denouncing Vassula Ryden. It might concern others too.
    Your Holiness Bartholomew
    I am an ordinary member of the Armenian Orthodox Church and I love my church. However, it’s been ten years that I’ve been involved in TLIG and have become a devotee of those messages, since everything that is propagated in the Gospels came to life in my soul through those teachings and became a living, breathing reality. I came to know intimately the Man-God, Jesus, His infinite love and mercy. Those messages open up a path that is worth examining and following, as it reveals the Gospel truth, Church sacraments and all the Christian precepts thoroughly, illuminating their essence.
    The preaching of Christ does not end with the New Testament, as the Holy Spirit continues to act through the endowment given the prophets. To stifle the prophetic utterances means to go against God. They are God’s living-breathing vital messages for today, which fill our hearts with the hope of salvation. Not to read, or to ignore and deny the divine messages received by Vassula, attests to a spiritual dogmatic narrow-mindedness and does not affirm the infallibility of the Greek Orthodox Church.
    The attitude of a true clergyman, especially someone in your office, would be to practice discernment and to differentiate the true prophetic utterance from the heretical. This has led thousands to conversion.
    I now attend the Armenian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church with the same faith and dedication. There is no difference for me. Religion and faith are far superior to the concept of nationality and denominations. And if, esteemed Patriarch, you were to read the messages with discernment, You would have manifested Your ecumenical role and duties more beneficently, in which case all of us would be serving one purpose: Unity. And You can rest assured that Vassula has made a large contribution to that effort.

    Sophia Acton

  27. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Sophia, ( Wisdom!)

    if you think Vassula has contributed to the Unity why this lady has received several, notifications about her messages? You seem to ignor them!
    The Vatican recently put on line the notification of october 6, 1995:

    "from the notification":
    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 addition to positive aspects... a number of basic elements that must be considered negative in the light of the Catholic doctrine.
    In addition to pointing out the suspect nature of the ways in which these alleged revelations have occured, it is necessary to underscore several doctrine errors they contain.
    Among other things, ambigous language is used in speaking of the Persons of the Holy Spirit, to the point of confusing the specific names and functions of the Divine Persons.
    The fact that the aformentioned errors no longer appear in Ryden's later writings is a sign that the alleged "heavenly messages" are merely the result of private meditations.
    You can read the complete Notification on and the recent notification of Cardinal Levada , january 2007.

    The Vatican has never appealed Vassula for Unity!

    If you understand french language ,you can hear , how Jesus gives his teachings to her. There are three stories about to be "one" with Jesus, and Blessing.
    www.Gloria TV Montreux 2005 part 4

    1/ Education to be one with Jesus:
    she was writing messages for hours when she thinks she has cooked a roast which is burning in the oven, Jesus said to her:what are we waiting? Let"us" off the oven! Also, she is "one" with Jesus!

    2/ Another time, she tells Jesus, that she should visit her sister ( this is happening in Greece) "we" take the bus and Vassula said to Jesus "we" have a ticket and "we" are two, we did indeed!

    3/Teaching of Blessing:
    It is in Pully Switzerland on her balcony and she is eating when suddenly Jesus appears and asks, " is it good?" Yes Lord, it is good!I want to bless your food? Yes Lord.Jesus stayed there until I finished eating,to thank him.

    It is a very intensive mystic dialogue and teaching!
    It must be very ignorant of Jesus words from the Holy Bible to believe such stories! It is implausible and naive nonsence! Nobody can agree and believe that Jesus is the author of this dialogue, never!!
    I think any person to hear such nosense would agree with the notifications of the Vatican and the Patriarch of Constantinople.

    I pray for you Sophia.I wish that the Holy Spirit down the other side in your heart,and light you the path to Easter and enlighten you the "Real Jesus" of the Bible, and not the one of Vassula!

    Hélène de Troie

  28. Is it shocking and sadly disturbing to read so many messages on the computer disgracing her name?
    How many women and men of God suffered the same way under leaders of their church and others who followed them?
    Our good Lord calls those who are open and obedient to His desires and power out His spirit upon them to do His work our broken church whose leaders always have to seek His wisdom and discernment when new questions come their way.
    Thirty years have passed by since Vassula called by Jesus to give up her worldly and enjoyable life and follow Him. She never read the Bible and went very seldom to church, still Jesus chose her and gave he His teachings that we in our worldly ways find them difficult to accept. Jesus has given her a big burden which she bears with great love, patience and obedience. He speaks to her about His broken body (the church), how He hungers to have us celebrate the Eucharistic feast together at one table with His catholic church. Let us remember His words-“Father, Let them be one, just as You and I are one.” When will this be? I truly feel this will not be unless God’s people seek His help and grace against pride to humility which is the only way to Holiness. This can bring us all to that one table to celebrate the most precious gift of His body and His blood shared together.
    I have attended three of Vassula’s gatherings and we sang at two of them. I must confess I have never heard her talk against her church or speak against Christ’s teaching and it can be this way to anyone who hears or read her writings seeking the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and discernment.
    I also feel strongly that bishops and priests who are listening to her have the gifts of wisdom and knowledge and great patience. I feel God is calling them to support this poor humble woman that is going through such a tough time of sadness. No doubt our Lord is giving her all spiritual and physical strength she needs.
    My prayers are that God will bless her and give her all the peace and joy amidst this struggle and also that his desires will be fulfilled.
    In Jesus & Mary
    Eva Luis

  29. Anonymous9:48 AM

    To run after revelations, would be not only silly remark,but to insult GOD who has already said everything in JESUS CHRIST ( cf.the rise of Carmel, 1,II,chap.22) Saint Jean de la Croix.

    Also let us reread Saint Jean L'Evangeliste who, already in apostolic time, must have called the judiciousness of minds.

    "My liked property,do not trust any mind, because a mind which divides Jesus,is not from God." (I,Jean4,I-6)

  30. Anonymous4:39 PM

    This article is not signed by Mrs Ryden,inadmissible!

    Mrs Ryden and her supporters do not accept the decree of the Patriarche of Constantinople saying that is this not an excommunication.She doubts the decree into believing that we must look at the canon law more closely. But who else knows better than the Patriarch canon law himself?

    In the Orthodox canon law, as in the latin canon law, most of the excommunications come "IPSO FACTO" and are delivered without the person being called before.

    If clarifications of the CDF are favorable as Vassula claims, why does not she becomes "Catholic"? It would show her good Faith (See the notification of the CDF 1995)

    If she does not believe in the authority of her church and if she continously re-issue is that there are serious doubts about the person issuing her

    Mrs Ryden wants above all juridictions of the church, the Patriarch and something worth thinking about:

    PaulVI Homélie of 29/04/1972
    "given the situation of the church today:

    Paul VI warmed: the enemy of the church, the smoke of Satan has entered God's people
    We see the doubt, uncertainely, problems, anxiety, dissatisfaction, confrontation. We no longer trust the Church, but they put it in the first profane prophet who came just to talk about a social movement..
    The question has entered the consciousness and entered throuhg windows that should be open to the light.
    Criticisms and doubt came from science, yet made to give us truths that not only does not leadus away frm God, but do look further and celebrate even more intensely;
    An adverse power was involved, whose name is the devil: that mysterious being which ST Peter refers in this letter...
    Satan deviates from the teachings of the Bible and the Church whose to refuse aknowledge its existence,
    or, explain it as a pseudo-reality, an invention of the mind to personify the unknown causes of our ills.

  31. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Nobody has never seen God, the only son, who is the boson of the Father, the one he did know: JHON 1-18

    Today, no apostle, no prophet,nor any doctor has no right to bring us new revelations doctrinales. Everything that is written in the Bible is sufficient and final revelation of God's word for us.The apostles and modern prophets can only explain what already written in the Word of God without adding or deleting.All those who bring us new revelations are false prophets, we have to divert. Our "UNIQUE" Biblical basis: the person and work of JESUS CHRIST.