CDF Notices on Vassula Ryden

Author: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

EWTN: The following documents of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith) have been issued on the subject of the writings and activities of Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox, and author of True Life in God. Over the course of 12 years, the Holy See affirmed their non-supernatural character, despite conversations with Mrs. Ryden which lead to clarifications of some of the texts. While admitting there is no absolute prohibition of individual reading, the Holy See continues to caution the faithful against attributing to them a supernatural origin, or reading them, as individuals, in contradiction to the teaching of the Church. Organized activity, however, such as prayer groups, is inappropriate for Catholics. 

1. Notification (6 October 1995)  

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF/DDF) addresses questions raised about the teaching contained in her writings, instructs bishops not to permit dissemination of her ideas, and cautions the faithful not to regard the writings as being from God.

2. Clarification of the 1995 Notification (December 1996) By means of a press release, the authority of the 1995 Notification is re-asserted, in clarification of certain interpretations attributed to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger by Mrs. Ryden's followers. Also contains a useful general statement regarding the duty of the Church's Pastors about the dissemination of alleged private revelations.

3. Letter to Presidents of  [certain] Bishops Conferences (10 July 2004) 

Informs the presidents of episcopal conferences where the True Life in God movement is active, about the clarifications of her writings, as published in True Life in God, vol. 10. It calls on Catholics "to follow the dispositions of the Diocesan Bishops" with regard to participation in her ecumenical prayer gatherings (a change from the absolute prohibition of the 1995 Notification). Nothing in this letter, however, indicates a modification of the statement in the 1995 Notification suggesting that the writings are "merely the result of private meditations."

4. Letter to Presidents of Episcopal Conferences (25 January 2007)

Reaffirms the validity of the doctrinal judgments of the 1995 Notification, affirms that her writings, which are not to be considered divine revelations, must be read within the context of the clarifications which she made to the Congregation in 2004, and notes that Catholic participation in the prayer groups organized by the True Life in God movement are "inappropriate."