Mixed Messages on Meier?
That’s Monsignor John P. Meier, priest of the Archdiocese of New York, Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Bronx native. His four volume (and counting) work, A Marginal Jew, drew this praise from Pope Benedict: “a model of historical-critical exegesis.” This judgment, first offered in volume one of the Pope’s Jesus of Nazareth, has been reiterated in volume two. In addition, the new volume cites Meier several times.
However, in the “Glossary” of volume two — explicitly designated as “Prepared by the Publisher” (and indeed, there is no glossary in the Italian edition) — the listing under “Meier” says the following:
The premise of his critical work is that he proceeds using a critical method the results of which he maintains might produce agreement about Jesus of Nazareth’s identity and intentions among critical Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and agnostic scholars.
Now, as I understand it, Meier’s infamous “unpapal conclave,” convened by him in the bowels of the Harvard Divinity School, harbors no illusions about the possibility of reaching agreement regarding “the identity and intentions” of Jesus of Nazareth. Or have I misread the intentions of the good Monsignor?