24 June, 2021

Gospel According To De Mello

The unorthodox writings of Indian priest Anthony de Mello create an uproar in Rome

Gospel According To De Mello

IT is being seen as just another of the many devices of the Western Church to pin its Asian counterpart down. Two months ago, a notification emerging from the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation of Doctrine of Faith, a padded modern-day progeny of the Inquisition, tolled out a warning to the 'Christian faithful'. That some of the writings of an Indian Jesuit Fr Anthony de Mello, who passed away in 1987, were "incompatible with the Catholic faith" and could "cause grave harm". Coming from the Roman portals and with approval from Pope John Paul II, the notification from the watch-dog organisation is being viewed as the first nail on the Asian cross.

"On the part of Rome," says Fr Allwyn D'Silva of the Mumbai-based Social Justice Cell at St Pius College, "there is a constant watch on Asian theologians and an unnecessary worry about the growth and thinking of the Asian Church. But the fact is that Asian values are more Christ-like than those of the West. Christ himself followed the customs of his people and...

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