Sunday, August 19, 2007
AUTOMATIC WRITING IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
In a blog on Aug. 16 I linked an interview in which Jewish scholar Daniel Matt claimed the Zohar may have been a product of automatic writing.
The prophecies of Vassula Ryden are said to have resulted from automatic writing. At
this website you can read the words of Maria Laura Pios, who has dedicated an entire website to refuting Vassula:
By all accounts she was doing fine living a very down-to-earth life as a wife of a diplomat with all the social obligations and changing circumstances that it involved. But in 1986 she had a shocking experience. She was making a shopping list when suddenly her hand began writing in a strange handwriting, very different from her own. The words on the paper said: ”I am your guardian angel and my name is Daniel”.
This event marked the beginning of a radically changed life. Since then everything in her life has been centrered around her daily communication with the divine world. At first she communicated with her angel Daniel, later on with Jesus, Maria, Yahweh and the Holy Ghost. Most of her conversations though are with Jesus, and since 1990 Vassula has published 12 books – all named ”True life in God” – containing extracts from these conversations. The books have been translated into 40 different languages.
Who is moving her hand?
Representatives from the Greek Orthodox Church very early pointed out that the strange handwriting was very similar to occult automatic writing, and the Church did not want to support her activities. Within the Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, she has found strong and learned defenders who claim that this handwriting is certainly not automatic writing, but a so-called hieratic writing coming from a divine source. They consistently refer to her as ”one of the most prominent living prophets”.
Her writings and her person have been officially examined by the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Vassula herself as well as her followers tend to give the impression that the Vatican has fully accepted her as a true prophet receiving divine revelations. This is certainly not true. On the contrary, as early as in 1995 a vatican notification stated and announced to Catholic leaders and laity that her writings and messages were not to be considered supernatural but should be taken only as private meditations. This judgement is still valid.
Automatic writing played a part in the life of the founder of Pentecostalism, a forerunner of the charismatic renewal movement in the Roman Catholic Church. The following is taken from an article by Rick Salbato:
Despite the fact that there were indeed Pentecostal churches before 1901,
this should not detract from the fact that it was Charles Francis Parham who
is the one individual who is almost universally acknowledged to be the
founder of modern "Pentecostalism" and the individual most instrumental in
publicizing the idea of "glossocentric pneumabaptism", or the idea that the
"baptism of the Holy Spirit" is evidenced by speaking in tongues. The modern
Pentecostal movement is generally recognized to have begun at the Topeka
Kansas Bible College on January 1st, 1901, when Parham, a former Methodist
minister and holiness preacher, invoked the Holy Spirit over his
congregation, and a certain Agnes Ozman, one of Parham's students began,
according to eyewitnesses to speak in "Mandarin Chinese"...
It was undoubtedly at Shiloh that Parham conceived the idea of tongues as an
articulate foreign language-since he apparently first heard tongue speaking
at Shiloh; the occult practice of automatic writing was also practiced by
adherents of the cult.
Probing further back in Roman Catholic history we encounter Madame Jeanne Guyon, mystic and contemplative (1647 to 1717) who gave us the Quietist heresy. Madame Guyon used automatic writing:
"Modern critics say that Jeanne-Marie used self-hypnosis to achieve her 'spiritual' states and trances and point out that she used 'automatic writing' which suggests spiritualist practice. They wonder that she had so little to say about Christ (in proportion to the total number of words she wrote)." —Christian History Institute
An article in Jewish Heritage Online Magazine claims that automatic writing occurs through the agency of the Maggid. The article speaks of Joseph Caro, a well-known mystic among the Safed Kabbalists had a maggid.
The Jewish Encyclopedia describes the Maggid, tracing the advent of this type of prophecy to the sixteenth century, and indicates it resulted from the persecution of the Jews in Spain.
My Jewish Learning indicates that Joseph Caro kept a diary of the Maggid's pronouncements and indicates that Caro may have been "a far greater scholar than his Maggid".
What do we get when we stir all of these elements into a mystical soup? "'OPUS ANGELORUM - Satanism and Disobedience' by Richard Salbato, 2-16-2007". The article opens with the following paragraph:
Based on 80,000 pages of private revelations that Gabriele Bitterlich allegedly received from heaven, the Opus Angelorum was founded in Austria in the years shortly after the Second World War. The 80,000 manuscript pages written by Frau Bitterlich came into existence within a period of only two months: [See Note below] Opus Angelorum retreat masters state: "an angel stood behind her and commanded: 'Write!'...The angel didn't give her a moment's peace, and she had to write almost continuously for the entire time."
And that is why, when the parish where I am registered brought Opus Angelorum in for a retreat, I abandoned the parish.