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Defending the papal church, without reason

Here is a letter I received about the papal condemnation of Meister Eckhart:

I am a Roman Catholic who was married in a Roman Catholic Church with a stained glass window of Meister Eckhart. The reason I mention this is to emphasize that his statements were declared heretical, not he himself.

In fact, if those who run this site [The Meister Eckhart Site] were true disciples of Eckhart, they would bow to the Church just as he did, and admit that these statements are, when taken in certain senses, heretical. [cf. The Papal Condemnation of Meister Eckhart]

Moreover, anyone who understood the essence of faith as Eckhart did, that it is the habit of mind whereby we assent to the First Truth qua First Truth, would hold with love to Christ’s own words: “He who hears you, hears ME” and observe the right and proper authority of the successor of Peter to whom Christ entrusted authority over the Church in the manner in which that same Church has declared it continuously over Her 2,000 year history.

You may be able to understand these statements in an unheretical way – but wisdom would be able to see that God’s judgment, as manifest through His Vicar on earth, is true, and not the judgment of a man – something which eckhart himself would tell you today if you listened.

I intend no polemics here, but just to share my opinion and to hear what you think in response. God bless!

Dear Joseph,

It seems that the papal church now allows silently some sort of appreciation, spontaneously coming from certain circles, concerning Meister Eckhart. I believe you will agree that a stained glass of the Meister is not something common, rather a very rare and recent exception.

All this time, since his (actual) condemnation, many members of the papal church have expressed their appreciation and even veneration, opposing de facto the authority of the pope who never officially restored Eckhart’s standing.

He was not declared heretical, yet the condemnation of some (and most crucial) of his teachings made him de facto a heretic in the conscience of the church.

This move is important not only as such, but mainly because the Meister’s position belongs among the greatest saints and fathers, along with Augustine. You can imagine the magnitude of this distortion, I guess, when such a saint and theologian is not allowed to guide the church, but, on the contrary, is covered with (at least) suspicion.

You say that in certain senses the condemned teachings of Meister Eckhart can be understood as heretical. Can not the Bible itself sound heretical in certain senses?

Should we condemn the biblical teachings because of the heretic interpretations and senses that the papal church discovered and used in order to excuse the burning of ‘heretics’ and the selling of absolution papers?

The second part of your letter, the attempt to approve the condemnation because ‘Christ’s Vicar on earth’ is infallible and we should follow him as if Christ himself was leading and speaking, is also a proof about what was said above for probable heretical readings of the Bible itself.

1 Comment

  1. Jose de Jesus

    Reading here both the mail and the commentary I want to say that I agree with the commentary or response to the mail. I recognize the Bishop of Rome as being in the seat of Peter the apostle, and as such having a symbolic presidency, but cannot accept that from that follows infallibility. There is not such a thing in humans. I was born in the Roman Catholic Church, and as soon as I learned about the Orthodox Catholic Church wonder about the fact that it has the word Orthodox as his name, recognized by the Roman Church and felt that for some reason it is so. Later, with the years I learned also that something very important seems to be lacking in the Roman Church and then found that this very thing is not lacking in Eckhart teachings and it is also not missing in the Orthodox Church. Now that a new Bishop of Rome has been chosen and looking at the invitation and assistance of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, I have great hopes that these things are going to be properly addressed. Maybe, this is precisely the Pope called Petrus Romanus, as in Malachy words, and if the unity of the Church is going to be achieved, it certainly requires a redefinition, on the part of the Roman Church, of what the Presidency of the Roman Bishop means and, who knows, maybe we will not need another Pope, as we know now, and the Bishop of Rome will only be that, which is already all it is. My is the view of a lay christian that calls himself just Catholic and living in Latin America. I just discovered this very interesting website while reading and searching about Meister Eckhart.

    Jose de Jesus.