Friday, 20 May 2011

Vassula, "True Life in God" and the Statement from the Patriarchate

I post this asking for the prayers of Holy Mary, Theotokos.

This is a statement from the Foundation for True Life in God regarding the recent notification from the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding Vassula and "True Life in God"

VASSULA excommunicated - a response to this false statement,
by the Foundation for True Life in God, Geneva (Switzerland).

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has recently published, on its website a statement of condemnation regarding Vassula Rydén and True Life in God faithful of Greek Orthodox faith. A certified translation into English of the Greek original is attached. It is to be noted that the Patriarchate has only expressed itself in Greek, leaving people of other languages to themselves.

The statement of the Patriarchate has been misinterpreted by some people who have publicly declared that Vassula has been excommunicated.
Such declarations are wholly untrue and do not accord with the Patriarchs statement which is not a decree of any description and does not refer to excommunication.

What the statement does is to accuse Vassula and the Orthodox TLIG faithful of acting in defiance or in breach, of Orthodox Christian Doctrine and Faith. That is equivalent to an accusation of heresy. (A denial of or deviation from the doctrine of the Orthodox Church).
The appropriate procedure for dealing with heresy is very clearly laid down in the Canon law of the Holy Church. The statement calls upon Vassula and her followers to discontinue the dissemination of the TLIG messages and to renounce their teachings in order to avoid the appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons. Under those Canons, the prescribed penalty for heresy is Excommunication (often called anathema) but, under the Canonical procedures of the Church a decree of Excommunication can only be made after formal proceedings have taken place before the Ecclesiastical Courts or/and before a Holy Synod. Such proceedings involve a formal Complainant, a Defendant and Witnesses, and an appeal procedure (Hierarchical), regulated by Article 44.1 of the Charter of the Church of Greece

Only when this procedure has been exhausted, is the crime of transgression against the faith punished by Excommunication or sometimes by exclusion from the sacramental life of the Church for a temporary period.

There have been no proceedings for Excommunication instituted before the Ecclesiastical Courts or the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the case of Vassula Rydén. That is not surprising because the Holy Orthodox Church like the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church regards Excommunication as a last resort, an instrument to be wielded with great reserve and caution and only to be imposed after repeated warnings and discussions. No such discussions have taken place between Vassula and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Vassula has already written to the Patriarch personally, to request that she and her Theologians enter into a proper dialogue with him. Her request is presently under consideration by the Patriarch.

Until due judicial process is established and concluded by the Church, any public comments stating or implying that Vassula and TLIG faithful have been excommunicated by the Holy Orthodox Church are wholly untrue and harmful to her and those members of TLIG who are of the Greek Orthodox faith.

The present statement is published by the Foundation for True Life in God after due research into this matter. Its purpose is to prevent publication of further ill advised comments and to encourage correction of untruthful statements already published.

Geneva, May 2011

Here is a translation of the notification. A serious attempt has been made to secure an unbiased translation since there is nothing to be gained by misreading this document - either consciously or unconsciously. Those who seek to serve Christ must seek to serve Him in truth. It may never be possible in this life to avoid colouring such things according to our own preferences, but this translation has been sought without any such intention.

Announcement on Vassula Rydén, by The Ecumenical Patriarchate.
(Copy of the original, certified translation, May 2011)

The Orthodox Church, following strictly the shining example and teaching of the Holy Apostles, the teaching of the Fathers of the Church who have their succession, and the divinely-inspired decisions of the Ecumenical Synods, safeguards as a pearl of great price the faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which the Christian plenitude experiences through their participation in the Sacraments and entire spiritual life of the divinely-founded ecclesiastical body.

Hence, whatever movement and improvised tension, personal or collective, in contempt or in breach of the dogmas of the Orthodox Christian faith and life in Christ within the Church as the only path for the salvation of our souls, all the more the self-proclaimed "supposedly charismatic" personality, is rejected always as an unacceptable innovation.

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, Mother Church disapproves of the rash and frivolous teachings of Vassula and her organization founded under the title "True Life In God", which are 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.

We express, lastly, the profound sorrow of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the acts of some - fortunately few - clergy of the Orthodox Church to be found at talks of the said "Vassula" and give to her a "certificate of Orthodoxy."

At the Patriarchate, the 16th of March 2011
Of the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod


The original of this translation is on file with due certification for legal purposes.
Foundation for True Life in God, Geneva (Switzerland

1 comment:

  1. I remember listening to a tape of Vassula in the eighties, where she spoke of unity of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. She said the Holy Spirit would be responsible for the bringing about of this, as man was unable to accomplish this himself. I remember her using the analogy of two trees being bent towards each other.

    We should expect resistance to this, in the flesh. However, ultimately, Jesus' prayer, May they all be one will win out. It has to.

    I will continue to pray for unity and trust that God knows what he's doing and when his plan will be carried out.

    Persecution always brings about good fruit, if we allow it to. He won't leave us as orphans.