Not long after that they picked up on Vassula Ryden and turned her into another promoter of unity. That not being enough to create the image they wanted (to be the promoters of God's word) they teamed up with woman named Debra Geileskey, now Debra Burslem. In the early 1990s Debra and her husband, Gordan, ran a real-estate business and bought their own property as investments. But they were $300,000 in debt. Then Debra started having apparitions and visions. Her husband left her and is now living with another girl and keeping her in court with countless lawsuits. Then others started filing lawsuits also because of the almost a million dollars she conned out of people, including the Mansours. When I pointed this out, the also threatened to sue me.
What bothers me the most is that good people do not defend the truth and stand back when others are slandered thinking it is not their problem but truth is everyone's problem. Another thing that bothers me is that no matter how much proof you give people that an apparition is false, they will not give it up. A good example is coming up soon, Loreen, the beauty queen that married the Medjugorje seer, Ivan Dragicevic, is filling for divorce. Will even that convince people that it is false? No!
Pastor decides not to allow conference after realizing the role of a self-proclaimed mystic.
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Monday rescinded its invitation to hold a Christian unity conference later this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.
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.
Kostelnik also returned a $3,000 donation to the cathedral and a $200 deposit for food service.
His letter, faxed to event sponsors Monday, caught them and their public relations firm by surprise. Claire Mansour, one of the sponsors, said she did not know if she and her husband, Antoine Y. Mansour, a general surgeon, could find another location to hold the conference in time. A full-page advertisement had already appeared in Tidings, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Press releases were also distributed, saying that Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant leaders would discuss "a new era of relations" among them.
"To me this is a betrayal by my church," she said, referring to the withdrawal of the invitation by the Roman Catholic cathedral.
The meeting was to have been under the auspices of Ryden's "True Life in God" organization and sponsored by the New Jerusalem Foundation, headed by the Mansours, who live in Beverly Hills. They have long supported Ryden and were associated with her Los Angeles appearance in 1995.
Antoine Mansour, in a handwritten Oct. 7 letter to Kostelnik, assured the pastor that Ryden's writings "have been cleared by the Vatican."
But Kostelnik wrote Monday that Mansour's assurance was "a serious misrepresentation of the current Vatican view of Ms. Ryden's speeches and writings." He said 1995 and 1996 Vatican statements cautioning Catholics against following Ryden remained "in full force."
"The 1995 statement cautioned Catholics that Ms. Ryden's 'revelations' were merely the result of private meditations and contained doctrinal errors. It also advised bishops not to provide any opportunity in their dioceses for the dissemination of her ideas," Kostelnik wrote.
"In short, it is my belief and that of Cardinal Mahony that instead of a Christian unity conference where all participants have an equal opportunity to share and speak, what is now taking its place is a Vassula Ryden conference," Kostelnik wrote.
During an appearance in Los Angeles in 1995, Ryden told an audience at the Los Angeles Convention Center that Jesus joked with her as she ate ravenously.
"Finally," she told the audience, "he asked, 'Is it good?' And I said, "Yes, Jesus. Thank you.' There was nothing wrong, so I continued eating. After a while he said, 'Don't you want me to bless it?' "
Her current website, http://www.tlig.org/ , quotes Jesus as addressing her as "My Vassula" and tells her he was giving her his lamp to remove spiritual darkness from the world.
Critics have challenged the authenticity of Vassula's supposed messages from God because she has changed some of them over time. Vassula, who was in Washington, D.C., and could not be reached for comment Monday, told The Times in a 1995 interview that God gave her permission to make such changes. She said it was possible for a perfect God to regret something he said, just as he regretted creating a race that would fall from grace.
Claire Mansour said Monday that the Los Angeles archdiocese "had all the information" about the conference for months, including Ryden's appearance.
"It was very clear. We didn't hide anything," she said, adding that she had expected a full house at the 3,000-seat cathedral.
But she said God had the "final word" on the matter.
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From Catholic's United for the Faith - CUF
The Catholic Church's position regarding True Life in God by Vassula.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The TLIG association is claiming that the Church has recently modified it's position regarding the writings of Mrs Ryden and suggesting that the Notification is no longer valid. This is not true. Please read hereunder our latest updates, which include the text of Card. Ratzinger's July 2004 letter as well as our correspondence with the Conference of Swiss Bishops confirming that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has NOT modified it's position regarding TLIG.
Official Position of the Catholic Church:
Notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Cardinal Ratzinger's Press release regarding the Notification
Validity of the Notification (see also "recent developments" hereunder)
The Catholic Church's official position regarding the TLIG messages and Mrs Vassula Ryden is contained in the 1995 Notification, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
The Notification is a very severe warning regarding the errors and negative elements contained in the messages. It requests Bishops not to authorize the promotion of TLIG in their dioceses. It advises the faithful not to consider the messages as of divine origin.
Since it's publication in 1995, the Notification has
not been modified nor cancelled, and therefore is a valid document which
figures in the Vatican website, in the list of doctrinal documents issued by
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/doc_doc_index.htm
Recent developments: The Conference of Swiss Bishops confirms that the July 2004 letter is NOT a modification of the CDF's position
When Mrs Ryden moved to Rome some years ago, she started approaching several congregations of the Holy See in order to try to regularize her situation with the Catholic Church and obtain a revision of the Notification. Her efforts were kindly welcomed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which addressed her five questions for her to answer by writing. The questions concern some of the points contained in the Notification. A copy of this exchange of letters can be consulted in the TLIG official website http://www.tlig.org/cdf.html
In addition to the above, the CDF requested Bishops around the world to give their own opinion regarding the messages and Mrs Ryden's activities.
In January 2005, the TLIG association announced that Cardinal Ratzinger had written a letter dated July 2004 addressed to the Presidents of 5 Episcopal Conferences (Switzerland, Uruguay, France, Canada and the Philippines) who had voiced concerns regarding the writings and activities of Vassula Ryden. A copy of this letter was given to Mrs Ryden, but it has not been published by the CDF. The TLIG association affirms that the letter contains a positive modification of the CDF's position regarding Mrs Ryden's writings, and some have even suggested that the Notification is no longer valid. We have requested to see a copy of this letter, but different TLIG sources have systematically refused it to us, saying that it is at this time the decision of Mrs Ryden to provide it only to bishops and priests, together with other documents that "help" understand the meaning of the letter (see the TLIG official website: http://www.tlig.org/cdf.html).
We have therefore written to the Episcopal Conference of Switzerland asking for confirmation of the above. Here is the answer we received from the Secretary General of the Conférence des Eveques Suisses (CES) on February 23rd, 2005 (the original mail is in French):
I willingly answer your question of February 16th.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith maintains all it's reservations regarding the writings and actions of Mrs Ryden. The past July 13th, the CDF did indeed write to the President of the Conference of Swiss Bishops (CES) to request him to remind the Catholic faithful that their participation in the "ecumenical" prayer groups organized by Mrs Ryden has to follow the directives of the Diocesan Bishops.
Since the letter is an internal correspondence, I cannot give you a copy of it. However you must know that the position published by the CES some years ago (and that we are sending you by post), and that already reflected a notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, keeps all it's value.
Hoping to have helped you, I present you my distinguished greetings.
Abbé Agnell Rickenmann - Secretary general
Some days letter I received the position of the CES, which was a copy of the 1995 Notification.
Latest update: Text of the July 2004 Letter signed by Card. Ratzinger
Shortly afterwards, the text of the July 2004 letter was sent to me by a person who had obtained a copy of it. As the Swiss Bishops indicated above, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) does not indicate that it has modified nor intends to modify it's position. In fact, the CDF refers to the 1995 Notification and mentions the dialogue it had with Mrs Ryden at her request, which concluded with the publication in the latest TLIG book of her letter of April 2002, containing clarifications regarding several points mentioned in the Notification. Cardinal Ratzinger refers to these clarifications as "useful", but apparently not satisfying or thorough enough to modify the CDF's general position regarding the TLIG writings (not to be considered as of divine origin), nor the instructions given to Bishops in order to avoid the diffusion of the messages in their dioceses.
The second paragraph of the letter is a reminder that the catholic faithful, even when participating in ecumenical prayer groups, have to follow the dispositions of the Diocesan Bishops. (The instructions for Bishops regarding the activities of Mrs Ryden are indicated in the 1995 Notification.)
I copy hereunder the text in English of the July 2004 letter as it has been published by the TLIG association (click here to see the image of the original in Italian):
Palazzo del S. Uffizio, 10 July 2004.
To the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of France, Switzerland, Uruguay, Philippines, Canada.
As you know, this Congregation published a Notification in 1995 on the writings of Mrs Vassula Ryden. Afterwards, and at her request, a thorough dialogue followed. At conclusion of this dialogue, a letter of Mrs Ryden dated 4 April 2002 was subsequently published in the latest volume of "True Life in God", in which Mrs Ryden supplies useful clarifications regarding her marital situation, as well as some difficulties which in the aforesaid Notification were suggested towards her writings and her participation in the sacraments (cf. Attachment).
Since the aforementioned writings have enjoyed a certain diffusion in your country, this Congregation has deemed it useful to inform you of the above. Concerning the participation in the ecumenical prayer groups organised by Mrs Ryden, the Catholic faithful should be called to follow the dispositions of the Diocesan Bishops.
In communicating to you the above, I use the occasion to assure you of my lasting and profound esteem.
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
We would also wish to add that it was never the intention of the CDF to make the above letter public. This was indicated to us by the Conference of Swiss Bishops (see above), who refers to the letter as an "internal correspondence". Moreover, when Vassula received a copy of the July 2004 letter, it was accompanied by a letter signed by the Under Secretary of the CDF Fr. De Noia, in which he indicated that he was sending her a copy of the letter for her information.
The use that the TLIG association is making of the correspondence with the CDF, presenting it as a reversal of the Church's position regarding Mrs Ryden's writings, is clearly abusive.
Thank you for passing on this information to whoever reads the TLIG messages.
Maria Laura Pio
Other interesting articles on the Notification and Church Position
NEW http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2004/features_oct04.html See in particular the section entitled "The authority to judge and the duty to obey".
NEW www.christianorder.com/features/features_2005/features_jan05_bonus.html Please keep in mind when reading this article, that the Notification is not technically speaking a condemnation, but a warning. This is due to the fact that Vassula Ryden is Greek Orthodox, and the Church cannot interfere with the "spiritual life of any other Church's faithful", but does have "the duty to clarify and warn it's faithful about any disorder created by any person's or organization's attitude" (see article on validity of the Notification)
"A propos de Vassula Ryden: un cas de discernement", by Joseph Moerman (theologian), in Choisir, num. 434, February 1996, Geneva (Switzerland). by Joseph Moerman (theologian), in Choisir, num. 434, February 1996, Geneva (Switzerland).
"Rome persiste et signe", by Anita Sanchez Bourdin, Famille Chrétienne, num.988, December 19th, 1996, Paris.
Doctineal Errors in her writtings. ---- http://www.mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/tligerrors.htm
Church Warnings against Vassula ------ http://www.mypage.bluewin.ch/cafarus/tligtheologians.htm