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The Vatican, in its concern to protect lay Catholics from the influence of misleading and heretical teachers, sometimes mistakenly condemns the work of those who are neither misleading nor heretical. Nayak's (missiology & comparative religions, Univ. of Fribourg, Switzerland) book on Anthony de Mello, S.J., the well-known Indian Catholic spiritual teacher, forthrightly opposes the Vatican's ill-considered notification of June 24, 1998, condemning de Mello's teachings and trying to reduce his influence. Besides the fact that de Mello had died the previous year and was thus unable to defend himself, the notification based its criticisms on texts erroneously attributed to him. The notification is especially significant because it was issued on the authority of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now Pope Benedict XVI. For the book's first third, Nayak, a former Jesuit priest and disciple of de Mello, gives an informative biography of de Mello and a précis of his teachings. He then systematically dismantles the notification and its accompanying explanatory material. Unfortunately, this latter portion is dull reading and will be of little interest except to scholars of religion. For academic libraries only.
—James F. DeRoche