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Vatican Denounces Jesuit’s Writings

August 22, 1998 GMT

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ The Vatican denounced writings by a popular Jesuit author Saturday, warning of ``dangers″ contained in his works.

A Vatican commission said several works by Anthony de Mello, an Indian-born Jesuit priest, contradict orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine.

De Mello, who died in 1987, wrote books characterized by some as New Age that have been best sellers in many parts of the world.

``Already in certain passages in these early works and to a greater degree in his later publications, one notices a progressive distancing from the essential contents of the Christian faith,″ the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith said Saturday.

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The congregation said de Mello’s works deny the existence of objective morality and claim that religions, including Christianity, are obstacles to truth.

It warned that underlying ideas hidden in de Mello’s many short stories ``can cause grave harm.″

Among the allegedly harmful works were: ``One Minute Wisdom,″ ``One Minute Nonsense,″ ``Wellsprings: A Book of Spiritual Exercises,″ and ``Walking on Water.″

Officials at Jesuit headquarters in Rome were unavailable for comment.

The congregation noted in de Mello’s defense that not all the translations and texts of his works were authorized by him for publication and some were published after his death.

The congregation also said de Mello’s works aren’t all bad because many contain elements of eastern wisdom that can help achieve self-discipline.