Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mental Evaluations

Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J.
Father Anthony de Mello, S.J. demonstrates an appreciation for Jesus, of whom he declares himself to be a “disciple.” But he considers Jesus as a master alongside others. The only difference from other men is that Jesus is “awake” and fully free, while others are not. Jesus is not recognized as the Son of God, but simply as the one who teaches us that all people are children of God. In addition, the author’s statements on the final destiny of man give rise to perplexity. At one point, he speaks of a “dissolving” into the impersonal God, as salt dissolves in water. On various occasions, the question of destiny after death is declared to be irrelevant; only the present life should be of interest. With respect to this life, since evil is simply ignorance, there are no objective rules of morality. Good and evil are simply mental evaluations imposed upon reality.
Link (here) to  read the full post at Catholic Spiritual Direction


TonyD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TonyD said...

I know nothing of Fr. De Mello’s work, but I wonder how much of the problem is related to wording, or inferences based on wording.

I can read through Fr. De Mello’s positions and agree with them or disagree with them, depending on how I choose to interpret his positions. Is Jesus a master alongside others? Yes. Does that mean that he cannot be considered to be the Son of God? No. Could Jesus be described as “awake” and fully free? Yes. Does that mean that he must be only those things? No. Can we speak of dissolving into God? Yes. Should that be taken literally? No. Is destiny after death irrelevant? Yes, if you want to emphasize the importance of this existence and your values and choices here.

Fred Quijada said...

It's mind-boggling to see the psycho-spiritual mishmash that people, and in this case a cleric, within the Church would at times seriously posit. If Fr. De Mello wishes to truly espouse (and live according to) these theories, then his priesthood can only be seen as dishonest.

Anonymous said...

Blasphemy. This is a sin against the Holy Trinity.
Please, do not even use the title "Fr." when addressing this man.

Daniel Latinus said...

I knew the subject's name sounded familiar.

To me the money quote from the linked article is this:

With the present Notification, in order to protect the good of the Christian faithful, this Congregation declares that the above-mentioned positions are incompatible with the Catholic faith and can cause grave harm.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Notification, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication.

Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 24, 1998, the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist.

+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger


+ Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.

Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli

TonyD said...

I consider JPII a Saint. And I consider the Church to present many true teachings. But Saints, in general, are not infallible (with noteworthy exceptions, of course). As a result, it is reasonable, even worthwhile, to consider Fr. De Mello’s work even in the presence of Cardinal Ratzinger’s statement.

At the same time, if I were in JPII’s place, I would probably have “banned” Fr. De Mello’s work too. Not so much because it is “incorrect”, but because it is worded in a way inconsistent with Catholic understanding. So this is a case where “love your neighbor” = “respect their values” = “respect the values of a legitimate community”, with the community being the Catholic community.

So perhaps the real value of Fr. De Mello’s work has been in allowing us to discuss this aspect of God’s values.

Anonymous said...

Every six months or so this website has a run at Fr. DeMello. Get some fresh material please.

Joseph Fromm said...

Thanks for your readership!