Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist who became widely known for his books on spirituality. An internationally acclaimed spiritual guide, writer and public speaker, de Mello hosted many spiritual conferences.
The few talks which he allowed to be filmed, such as "A Rediscovery of Life" and "A Way to God for Today," have inspired many viewers and audiences throughout the United States, Canada, and Central America. De Mello established a prayer center in India. He died suddenly in 1987. His works are readily available and additional writings were published after his death.
In 1998, some of his opinions were condemned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, wrote for the Congregation:
"But already in certain passages in [his] early works and to a greater degree in his later publications, one notices a progressive distancing from the essential contents of the Christian faith. ... With the present Notification, in order to protect the good of the Christian faithful, this Congregation declares that the above-mentioned positions are incompatible with the Catholic faith and can cause grave harm."
Some editions of his books have since been supplemented with the insertion of a caution:
"The books of Father Anthony de Mello were written in a multi-religious context to help the followers of other religions, agnostics and atheists in their spiritual search, and they were not intended by the author as manuals of instruction of the Catholic faithful in Christian doctrine or dogma."