Sunday, March 6, 2011

Direction for Our Times?

In the 1980s a false 'visionary' was travelling the world with her messages. She managed to deceive a Marian theologian from Dublin who promoted her throughout Ireland and Europe. Vassula Rydén, a divorcee, not Catholic, claiming, from November 1985, to be receiving private revelations dictated by an entity which she identifies with Jesus. The messages are available in 10 to 12 volumes.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued two warnings and invites all the faithful not to regard Mrs. her writings and speeches "as supernatural and to preserve the purity of the faith that the Lord has entrusted to the Church". The Congregation continues to refrain from an explicit condemnation,simply because Mrs Rydén, a Greek Orthodox, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Church.

In 2003 another divorced woman appeared claiming to have 'conversations' with Jesus, the saints, God the Father, and I guess, everyone in Heaven. And she has written 'volumes'. No surprise.

In 2005 a thread started on a Catholic Internet forum named “The Catholic Community Forum.” A forum member going by the name “MDS” posted on September 17, 2005 an E-mail exchange that he had with a representative of the Direction for Our Times DFOT apostolate, later reproduced on another website, Unity Publishing. MDS was troubled that the DFOT representative was unwilling to name Anne’s Bishop. MDS wanted to write to the Bishop and ask for a statement as to where Anne and her apostolate canonically stood in his Diocese. MDS wasn't happy with the reply so he then took the E-mail exchange to the Catholic Community Forum for their thoughts. Unity Publishing picked up the thread and followed up the story. The woman 'Anne' was using a false name saying 'heaven' told her not to reveal her real name in order to protect her family. Richard Salbato from Unity Publishing exposed her real name as Kathryn Ann Clarke, a divorcee from Chicago.

Mr. Salbato disclosed the written source of his expose of Anne as Kathryn. He produced E-mail correspondence (goes with a warning of explicit language!) of an intimate conversation between Anne/Kathryn and her DFOT C.E.O. The correspondence revealed "a heavily vulgar woman who claimed to be receiving messages from heaven even while the correspondence was occurring." (Wiki). Her travel engagements were reduced to zero and she indicated to Catholic writer Deal Hudson that she only travels when [heaven] tells her to travel.

Getting back to MDS and the bishop in question. 'Anne' or her associates sought the Imprimatur which was obtained on September 8, 2005 by Bishop Escaler of the Philippines.

Bishop Escaler was retired as of 1997, which has led to questions about the validity of his Imprimatur for her Volumes. For a more detailed analysis on this read here.

It turns out that 'Anne' the lay apostle lives in Co. Cavan, Ireland and her bishop is Leo O'Reilly. He granted permission in 2006 for her materials to be disseminated. He states, "In so far as I am able to judge, she is orthodox in her writings and teaching." On the DFOT website they quote the Bishop:
I have known "Anne," the founder of the movement, for several years. She is a Catholic in good standing in the diocese, a wife and mother of small children, and a woman of deep spirituality.
Bishop O'Reilly never once actually states in his 2006 letter that he has given permission for her materials to be disseminated. What he does say is that she does not publish anything without his permission. It is presumed that he has given permission, but his letter is not precise. Fine. But she is claiming to have supernatural 'conversations' and he is ignoring the vulgar 'conversations' she had with her CEO publisher. Why is this? Questions need to be asked.

Finally, the 'volumes' are being published and distributed by none other than Veritas, the publishing company and chain of bookstores owned by the Irish Bishops Conference.

Recommended reading - the E-mail correspondence between Kathryn Ann Clarke and her CEO.

While recognising the validity of Unity Publishing's findings on Anne the lay apostle, Cailin does not endorse the site itself.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Genuine and True

A young man recently sent me a private message on Facebook to tell me I'm wasting my time talking about God, because God doesn't exist.

I replied, "I believe He does indeed exist".

He responded, "Do you have any evidence to prove that God exists?"

"Yes. Jesus.", I answered.

When someone claims to have a supernatural vision of, for example, Our Lady, the Church does not say that it believes that Our Lady is appearing, but instead that it believes the person who claims that they have had a vision is telling the truth. The individual goes through a rigorous examination to see if they are a person of honesty, credibility, truthfulness, and of sound mind and spirit.

So how do we know that Jesus is the Son of God? A good place to begin is to study the testimony of the witnesses. The disciples witnessed Jesus perform miracles, they witnessed Him calming the sea, they witnessed Him on Mount Tabor with Moses and Elijah, and heard the voice of God say "This is my Son, the beloved, listen to Him". And above all St. John the Evangelist tells us:
"But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
And he who saw it, has given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knows that he what he says is true; that you also may believe."
John 19:33-35
A closer look at the word 'true' reveals:
True (ἀληθινὴ)
Genuine, according to the true ideal of what testimony should be.

True (ἀληθῆ)
Literally, true things. As distinguished from false. Thus, by the use of the two words for true, there are brought out, as Westcott remarks, the two conditions which testimony ought to satisfy; the first, that he who gives it should be competent to speak with authority; and the second, that the account of his experience should be exact."
Three days after his death, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalen and the other disciples. What Jesus said came true. And on the third day......

Yes, I believe God does indeed exist.