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!
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.