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The Endless Fall of the Infallible See

March 27, 1329 : 'In agro dominico'
The papal bull condemning Meister Eckhart


[ Translated by Bernard McGinn, @ E. Colledge & B. McGinn, Meister Eckhart - The essential sermons, commentaries, treatises and defense, NY 1981, pp. 77-81. © 1981 by The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle in the State of New York. Here published with introduction and notes by Ellopos ] 


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

     IT SHOULD be clear that the condemnation of Eckhart’s theology, is not just one among the many falls of the infallible See. It is the condemnation of the prospect of the Catholic Church to have a real theology, that is, a Church with a real heart. Of course we can read this bull also as a document of the numerous convictions that the holy inquisition decided and executed. Yet, Eckhart happened to be the greatest theologian of the West, a saint, father and ascetic beyond Augustine, which means that normally he should set the standards of theology in the West, instead of being accused and condemned. If he was condemned, what kind of 'theology' was prevailing and what kind of 'life' was that 'theology' after? Orthodox Christians can understand what happened in the West, by imagining what would mean and prepare in the East, if St. Symeon the New Theologian was condemned, or St. Maximus Confessor, or the Cappadocians! If we add also the preceding alienation from Constantinople, the continuous falls of the papacy appear as something expected, natural and certain.

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