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.


  1. Hmm, Cailin. Do you remember the saying - "People who stand for nothing will fall for anything"? Chesterton, maybe?

  2. I do not really know anything about "Anne" the Lay Apostle, but I am not fond of this judge, jury and trial by internet sort of thing. We are all sinners. We have all done things we regret. Well I have anyway. I am trying to imagine the blog post that would reveal that I am a complete fraud, a lukewarm catholic, a horrible wife, mother, daughter and friend. Maybe I should write it myself and save someone else the bother!

    Re her divorce. It is really nobodies business. It was annulled! So she was never really married.

    re: Unity Publishing, how did they get those e-mails, if they are legitimate?

  3. Yes, Christopher, a sound saying.

    I wish the Vatican guidelines were published. Before any bishop endorses a so called 'visionary', there needs to be an in-depth investigation of the person, not just the writings. They are proposing that in the future the 'seer' will have a thorough examination by a psychiatrist, a theologian, an exorcist, etc. This is right and proper, seeing as they all make a fortune out of innocent people.

  4. No I have not read her books. I once glanced though them online, and you can download them for free!

  5. The writings of Ann have been submitted to Rome, so I will wait for the judgement of the Church. Richard Salbato is not an official judge of the church.

    I personally have no interest in Ann, or her books, but I do not the internet lynch mob approach. It is for God and His Church to judge Ann, not me.

    Below, letter from Ann's Bishop.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Direction For Our Times (DFOT) is a religious movement founded by "Anne," a lay apostle from our diocese who wishes to remain anonymous. The movement is in its infancy and does not as yet enjoy canonical status. I have asked a priest of the diocese, Fr. Darragh Connolly, to assist in the work of the movement and to ensure that in all its works and publications it remains firmly within the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church.

    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. From the beginning, she has always been anxious that everything connected with the movement be subject to the authority of the Church. She has submitted all her writings to me and will not publish anything without my permission. She has submitted her writings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and I have done so, as well.

    In so far as I am able to judge, she is orthodox in her writings and teaching. Her spirituality and the spiritual path that she proposes to those who wish to accept it are in conformity with the teachings of the Church and of the great spiritual writers of the past and present.
    +Leo O'Reilly
    Bishop of Kilmore
    16 June 2006

  6. Caroline, we are all sinners but we are not all claiming to have 'conversations' with all of heaven and making a fortune from it.

    In the history of the Church, all authentic visionaries have been assessed on their moral and spiritual life. Lourdes and Fatima in particular are perfect examples of authentic visionaries. Rue de Bac is another. I'm afraid having read the email conversation with her CEO I have no doubt about the falsity of these happenings. Also her writings on purgatory are not in line with Church teaching and the teachings and writings of the saints.

    She's a dud.

  7. One other thing: has the bishop sent a copy of the email to the Vatican.

    All you have to do is read some of her writings and see the errors.

    She described Our Lady as 'frustrated' one day. If ever I've heard something of the devil, this is it. Or someone in a coven.

  8. The big clean out has begun in The Church in Ireland, starting with sexual abuse. From there it is hoped that it will move on into the exposure of spiritual abuses and how they work under different guises. In some cases one kind of abuse has to be first exposed before the hidden root is revealed.

  9. My problem is with your public judgement!

    Her Bishop has made a judgement.(His right and duty). The Vatican will in time make its judgement. I will await its response before I decide that "If ever I've heard something of the devil, this is it. Or someone in a coven."(your very harsh words!)

    Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
    Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
    Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
    John 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
    Romans 2:3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?
    Romans 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

  10. Caroline, As a baptised Catholic I have every right to speak out on matters as serious as this, where 1,000s of gullible souls are misled yet again by a false messenger and where the false messenger makes a fortune out of it. In fact it is my duty. So I will not be silenced.

    There is a huge difference between judgment and discernment. To describe Our Lady as 'frustrated' can only come from a diabolical source. My words are not harsh. My question again is - has Bishop Leo O'Reilly forwarded the email he received from Mr. Salbato to the Vatican? If he has not then he is concealing something. This is very grave, akin to concealing abuse. The Vatican can only make a correct judgment when it has all the facts, good and bad.

  11. Well, "Irish Catholic", I once condemned Vassula based on advice which I now know was wrong. You are also mistaken in some of your remarks. In the journal "30 Days" Cardinal Ratzinger said, in an interview, that the Notification was not a condemnation but a warning. He also told two South American bishops that they may continue to read her writings (I have one on video saying this). Also, Vassula had a dialogue with the CDF, helped by Fr. Prospero Grech who had been on the staff. He worked with Vassula and acted as her go-between. Cardinal Ratzinger was well aware of this. A lay theologian, Neils Hvidt wrote a book on Christian Prophecy (you can find it on Amazon). He knew Cardinal Ratzinger and asked him to write a foreword in his book, which he did. The book contains a short discussion of Vassula - and it is not negative. Also Cardinal Ratzinger told Vassula that she should print the answers she had given to the CDF in her books, thus signalling that if people wanted to read the answers they could use her books. He also said that when anyone asked the CDF what the current position is, the answer would be, "the position is modified". Since then the dialogue has continued with the Vatican. Those who follow TLIG are NOT disobeying the Vatican. I have read the messages. I am an exorcist priest. I have been ordained for 35 years and I have some experience in dealing with mystics since I have been a director to one (not Vassula) for over 25 years. If you want more information I will be glad to supply it - or any references to the articles and videos I have mentioned.

  12. Fr. John, sorry for delay in publishing the comment. I was offline for Lent. With all due respect I know several priest, theologians, etc who have got it wrong on 'mystics'.

    Is it permissible to ask the name of the person you have been giving direction to?

  13. Apparently, all the behaviors of the seers and the of alleged apparitions and locutions and the messages given used to have to be analyzed before permission was given to follow these things, but canon law was changed to make that unnecessary. That was unfortunate, I think, because imagine the defiance or let down, if it's all considered false. Can a bishop lie about messages being orthodox or a heretical bishop think it's true, based on his false beliefs?

  14. It is too bad when "mystics"=locutionists. According to the Doctors of the Church such as John of the Cross, the Mystical Doctor, and St Teresa of Avila, Doctor of Prayer, locutions are quite a lesser phenomenon, can easily mislead even the Saints, and we must not be attached to them. God can produce phenomena, however Christian mysticism is not phenomena.