Can I Trust the Writings of Fr Anthony de Mello?
Who is Fr Anthony de Mello and can we trust his spiritual writings to lead us to a deeper union with Christ? Dan and Melissa discuss the problems with Fr de Mello’s influential spiritual guidance and the Catholic Church’s position on non-Christian teachings.
Topics/Questions covered in the show:
- Melissa’s experience of spiritual consolation at Mass, and the importance of properly orienting our hearts to God before entering into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
- Who is Fr Anthony de Mello and why are his writings on spirituality problematic in the Catholic Church?
- A warning issued by the Vatican regarding Fr de Mello’s writings as “incompatible with the Catholic Faith and can cause grave harm”.
- The Catholic Church document, Nostra Aetatae – Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, on handling truth found in non-Christian religions as “a reflection of a ray of truth”.
- No one can be saved outside of the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ. (John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me.”)
- The misleading teachings that led Fr de Mello down the wrongful path of questioning fundamental truths of the Catholic Church.
- EWTN Religious Catalogue – online
- Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
- EWTN Global Catholic Radio
- Divine Intimacy – Book of daily devotions by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen
- Spiritual dictionary terms used in this show from Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life (click on the term to see the definition):
- SpiritualDirection.com posts on Fr de Mello:
- Can I Trust Fr Anthony de Mello? Part I of II – post on SpiritualDirection.com. Contains warning.
- Can I Trust Fr Anthony de Mello? Part II of II – post on SpiritualDirection.com. Contains explanatory notes.
- Notification Concerning the Writings of Father Anthony de Mello, SJ – from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
- Nostra Aetate – Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Paragraph 2: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.”
- John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” – USCCB Bible link
- Romans 1:20-21 – “Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.” [The witness of creation is sufficient for someone to recognize the one true God.] – USCCB Bible link
- 2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard ‘delay’, but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” – USCCB Bible link
- Apophaticism or apophatic theology — Orthodox Wiki link
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – USCCB Bible link
- Questions? Send an e-mail to Questions@myavila.com or call 818-646-7729. Please leave your name, location, and question(s).
Don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and help us get the word out. If the show is inspiring to you and you would like to help us make it a daily show, please click here to donate. All donors will receive a signed copy of your choice of Dan’s books: Finding God through Meditation, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, or Navigating the Interior Life.