PROKOFIEFF'S THE CASE OF VALENTIN TOMBERG
The debate over Valentin Tomberg is shaping up as one of the most important in the history of the Anthroposophical Movement because of the seriousness and far-reaching significance of the issues involved. While most of Tomberg's works themselves have been published in English, most of the literature relating to the debate has not, leaving English readers at a decided disadvantage as far as assessing various viewpoints.(1) Sergei O. Prokofieff's recently published work The Case of Valentin Tomberg, Anthroposophy or Jesuitism? is the most comprehensive treatment to date which takes a decidedly negative view of Tomberg.
The book is an English translation of the second German edition. The first edition was published in 1995 by Verlag am Goetheanum. One of its results was a legally-precipitated public apology by Verlag am Goetheanum for defamatory remarks
about Michael French, editor-in-chief of the journal Novalis, and the journal itself.(2) The promise was made to correct those statements in future editions, but Prokofieff circumvented this obligation by publishing the second German edition himself. Several chapters were lengthened and some chapters and appendices were entirely new. In this English translation, an essay by Christian Lazarides that appeared in the two German editions does not appear, some sentences have been added or deleted and others changed. This is a reflection of continuing debate, which elicits response and counter-response.
Curiously, quoted material from Tomberg's works are referenced to the German editions and newly translated, despite the fact that Tomberg's works have already been translated into English. This is an unusual publishing procedure. The disadvantage is that anyone wanting to check referenced quotations has no idea where to find them in the English editions and must turn to German editions for orientation. In light of the issues that emerge from the use of Tomberg quotations (which will be discussed), this is no small matter.
Prokofieff's voice is the most prominent of those that have been raised against Tomberg and he succeeds in amassing an impressive list of arguments against Tomberg. This article's intention is to speak for Valentin Tomberg, and to critically examine some of Prokofieff's most sensational claims.
In the original German edition Prokofieff makes the following remark about Tomberg's alleged delusion (referring to photographs included in the book): "[T]he changes in his face which can be noticed between the first and second periods [of his life] speak a clear language."(3) This sentence has mercifully been deleted from the English edition, but the principle remains the same: in his criticism of Tomberg, Prokofieff perceives things of questionable reality. Conversely, he overlooks what is arguably apparent.
A case in point involves the apparent contradiction between what Tomberg and Rudolf Steiner say about Ignatius of Loyola and the Ignatian spiritual exercises. For Tomberg, the appearance of the Ignatian exercises signified a renewal movement within the Catholic Church. The meditative training of the exercises stimulated an inner transformation and awakening to the reality of the faith. Meditative training became added to prayer; and in this sense, Ignatius with his exercises prefigures the Buddha Avatar to come whose mission will be to unite intellectuality and spirituality.(4)
Prokofieff counters by pointing to Steiner's clear indication that a Rosicrucian path of initiation (which Anthroposophy follows) was a "Geist-Initiation" -- an initiation of the intellect -- leading to inner cognition.(5) The will was considered sacred and was not to be influenced directly, whereas the Ignatian exercises stimulate the will and violate the sanctity of the soul's inner life. They assault the will; although at the same time they strengthen it to the point that it can even effect the will of someone else. This effect on the will of others is what is most dangerous of all about them. Thus, the contradiction between Jesuitism (as evident in the Ignatian exercises) and Rosicrucianism could not be greater.(6)
The issue of the effects of the Ignatian exercises on the will is an important one. In the course of debate, it has been objected that Rudolf Steiner also speaks of Rosicrucian initiation in modern times involving a "special kind of will cultivation", and that he relates the Ignatian will-impulse to apocalyptic inspirations in a seemingly positive light. Prokofieff correctly points out that the crux of the issue is the enjoinder not to influence the will directly but instead via the intellect ("Geist").(7) This is one instance in which debate seems to have clarified the issues.
What Prokofieff fails to realize, however, is that Tomberg does not advocate the practice of Ignatian spirituality today at all. The book Meditations on the Tarot does not recommend the Ignatian exercises. The book's central focus is its own twenty-two meditations. An attempt is made to couple these exercises to the Church's meditative tradition, as exemplified by Ignatius and his exercises par excellence. One can say that in discussing the gradual approach of intellectuality and spirituality throughout history, including in the Ignatian exercises, a theoretical framework is provided for the book's own exercises and impulse -- which is to unite esoteric and exoteric Christianity.
In the book's first edition, Prokofieff had very little to say about the Christian-Hermetic meditations themselves.(8) In the present edition, however, he claims that in Meditations on the Tarot Tomberg develops a path of training, like Ignatius, which emphasizes a direct effect on the will, to which thinking and feeling are "completely subjected." Yet the expositions in question, relating to the twelfth card "The Hanged Man" (whose up-side-down feet, i.e., whose will, is already in a state of direct contact with heaven), argue, in fact, for a balance between the soul's powers with respect to this classic mystical state:
"Now, practical Hermeticism is like Christian mysticism based on the experience of authentic faith, i.e. the experience of the human being upside down, where the will is above intellectuality and imagination. Its practical aim is nevertheless to render the intellect and imagination equal companions of the will favoured by revelation from above."(9)
The issue here is working within the context of the mystical tradition and helping it along to a healthier condition. The author quotes Theresa of Avila, who herself experienced the "hanged" state described above with the will in direct contact with heaven and the other "faculties … suspended". And he expressly states that it is Hermeticism's aim that "the two other powers [thinking and feeling] keep company with the will", just as Theresa was able at times to experience.(10) It is ironic that she is quoted in this context. For Prokofieff takes exception to the mention of her name "in the same category as Loyola", and in referring to remarks by Rudolf Steiner he says that she represented a "complete exception within the mystical current in the Catholic Church that was already tending to decadence at that time."(11)
As for the claim of the over-riding role of the will in Christian Hermeticism, Prokofieff ignores passages such as: "Christian Hermeticism … attributes to the heart the central place in all its practices", and that the work of the Christian Hermeticist is the salvific "restoration of the reign of the heart."(12) In this author's opinion, the book as a whole bears these sentiments out. Prokofieff only sees what he wants to see, missing the forest for the trees and making out of them something that they are not.
In addition to Jesuitism, a second major issue for Prokofieff involves the frequent invocation of the name Papus in Meditations on the Tarot. Noting that the book speaks of a common inspiration among all Hermeticists, Prokofieff concludes that the source of inspiration for Papus and Tomberg is one and the same. Subsequently, Prokofieff quotes Rudolf Steiner's negative comments about Papus, which are meant to call into question the source of Papus' inspiration.(13)
Later on Prokofieff correctly notes that Meditations on the Tarot also indicates that the full realization of Papus' spiritual development and inspiration did not take place until 1917. This poses somewhat of a riddle, for Papus died in 1916. Prokofieff concludes that the suggestion is being made that the full realization of his inspiration did not take place until after death. Since Tomberg appears to have begun his own occupation with Papus and Hermetic literature in 1917; and since the author of Meditations on the Tarot speaks of the common source between his own inspiration and that of Papus and other Hermeticists, Prokofieff also concludes that Tomberg was inspired from 1917 on by Papus himself.(14) In fact, the common source of inspiration is spoken of in the following way:
"This common inspiration, this language that we have in common, is the inner Word which guides and impels us -- inwardly and outwardly at the same time -- in all our aspirations. The Papus of 1890 did not "know" what Papus would become in 1917, but he already directed his efforts towards what he would know, feel and realize -- what he would be, in a word -- in 1917. This was because he knew in 1890 what he did not "know". It was because the inspiration which underlies Christian Hermeticism was present and was working in him. And it was thanks to this inspiration that he broke with the neo-Buddhist stream of the Theosophical Society and that he preferred the intellectual Christianity of Saint-Yves d'Alveydre to the intellectual Buddhism of the Theosophical Society. And it was again thanks to this inspiration that he preferred the real Christianity of Maitre Philip of Lyons to the Christian intellectualism of his youth. Yes, the Papus of 1917, praying and working, was the product of the inspiration which guided and impelled the young student of medicine, subsequent enthusiast for occult science, subsequent bold magician, and again, subsequently, the lover of great intellectual syntheses. Here we have a particular example of the gradual realisation of inspiration working from the days of youth."
"In the beginning was the Word" is the law not only of the world but also of the realisation of inspiration in each individual biography. And the entire community of Hermeticists lives under this law, under the law of inspiration.(15)
Is there any doubt that for the author, the source of inspiration for all Hermeticists -- including the author of Meditations on the Tarot and Papus too -- is the Word, i.e. Jesus Christ? How could Prokofieff fail to understand this?
In the original German edition, Prokofieff fails to mention the above reference to the "Word" at all.(16) Having been called on this point, he includes in the English edition the first sentence of the passage above, but fails to include the second, clarifying passage (beginning with "In the beginning was the Word…"). He also fails to acknowledge the author's understanding of his source of inspiration -- until five chapters later as a mocking afterthought.(17) It would have been more honest for Prokofieff to say: "The author of Meditations on the Tarot thinks thus and such about the common source of inspiration amongst himself, Papus, and other Hermeticists, but this is what I think…." Instead he is more interested in promoting dark theories that cannot withstand the light of a close examination. Ironically his English translator unwittingly abets him in the work of obfuscation by translating "Word" with a small "w", rendering the unwary reader completely incapable of understanding what the author of Meditations on the Tarot really intends to say.(18)
Perhaps Prokofieff would revert to Rudolf Steiner's remark that people can confess Jesus Christ but really be following Lucifer or Ahriman, depending on the way in which the understanding of Jesus Christ lives in their soul (Prokofieff actually does quote this remark in another context).(19) To this it can be said that Tomberg's understanding follows the words of Christ:
'The spirit of the Lord is upon me…
he has sent me to announce good news to the poor,
to proclaim release for prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind;
to let the broken victims go free….' (Luke, 4,18).
Consider the testimony of Martin Kriele, Tomberg's personal friend and publisher, who said that Tomberg's social activity involved praying "night and day" for the dead in purgatory in order to help them.(20) The positive context in which Tomberg imbeds the memory of both Ignatius and Papus can be understood in a similar way.
A third major issue for Prokofieff involves Tomberg's so-called championing of the doctrine of papal infallibility. Tomberg writes that when the pope speaks "ex cathedra", i.e. "from the chair" (of Peter) or the Holy See, "any arbitrariness is absolutely ruled out." He also says that whenever popes spoke "ex cathedra" they spoke in the spirit of Peter, and that no heresy has ever been proclaimed from the Holy See.(21) To contrast these statements Prokofieff quotes Rudolf Steiner's investigation of a so-called "ex cathedra" pronouncement. In this particular encyclical, Steiner says that what was received from the spiritual world had been reversed: "Everywhere what should have been a 'yes' was called 'no', and vice versa."(22) Steiner also says that the dogma of infallibility was erected by the Church as a barrier "against the influence of any kind of new spiritual truths."(23)
With this particular issue Prokofieff cannot be accused of overlooking or distorting the facts. Still, there are many entangled issues here -- the particular encyclical in question ("Pascendi dominici gregis" of 1907), the understanding of infallibility at the time of Rudolf Steiner's remarks, present-day understanding of infallibility in the Church, and finally Valentin Tomberg's own remarks. It is not so easy to disentangle these distinct but related issues, and yet the attempt is justified.
The terms 'ex cathedra' and 'infallible' are virtually interchangeable. The First Vatican Council of 1869-70 taught that:
"When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra...as the pastor and teacher of all Christians [and] defines a doctrine of faith and morals that must be held by the Universal Church, he is empowered, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, with the infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed to endow his Church."(24)
Interpreting this statement, as well as determining which papal proclamations are to be considered "ex cathedra" or infallible and therefore irrevocable and binding, has not proven easy historically. Rudolf Steiner reflects this ambiguity in stating that the pope never says whether he is speaking "ex cathedra" or not.(25) And in Steiner's judgment, the encyclical "Pascendi dominici gregis" (directed against Modernism) did not reflect spiritual truth and was presented as an "ex cathedra" teaching invoking the principle of infallibility or freedom from error.(26)
While many considered this encyclical to be an "ex cathedra" proclamation at the time when it was given, this is no longer true today.(27) The general consensus in the Church today is that only the two Marian dogmas of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and the Assumption (1950) are to be considered "ex cathedra" or infallible teachings.(28)
The reasons for this are complicated and involve the development of thought about infallibility and the conditions necessary for it to be present. For teachings given since the proclamation of the dogma in 1870, the standard of application seems clear. According to the present-day (post-Vatican II) understanding that a pope who intends to invoke infallibility must do so "clearly and unequivocally", consensus indicates that only the proclamation of Mary's Assumption (1950) fulfills this stringent condition.(29) For teachings given prior to 1870, however, the answer is less certain. Attempts at listing such "ex cathedra" pronouncements vary; and most importantly they reveal that over time fewer and fewer teachings have been considered "ex cathedra" with the exception of the Immaculate Conception dogma of 1854.(30) Thus, only the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception are generally considered infallible today.
In addition, however, other considerations also play a role with respect to infallibility-related issues. According to present-day thinking, ecumenical councils -- not "ex cathedra" statements -- are the proper venue for exercising infallible authority. For the engagement and "the intensive working together of the Church" guarantees the truth that Church teachings are meant to reflect. It has also been pointed out that if the pope must make known his intention to speak infallibly, then no teachings prior to the nineteenth century can be considered infallible or "true" -- including those of the early Church Councils which presently define the Christian faith.(31)
Another consideration involves the role of the faithful. What previously guaranteed the authority and "freedom from error" of past council teachings was the process of "Church reception" (acceptance by the faithful): "teaching authority...lives on the basis of the witness of Church reception".(32) It is problematic, however, to apply this principle directly to the dogma of infallibility, because Vatican I negated the necessity of Church confirmation as a condition for the validity of infallibility. One way to acknowledge the participation of the Church, and yet adhere to the formulation of Vatican I (which is considered binding), is to stress that Church reception does not signify ratification. Instead it indicates whether the faithful can assimilate a teaching, and thereby suggests whether or not the teaching can be validly considered "ex cathedra" or free from error.
This understanding of the need for the acceptance of the faithful is important to the notion of infallibility. For it allows extending the "ex cathedra" designation to other important teachings before the nineteenth century, like those of the early Church Councils. At the same time, however, it also implies that the pope is not the solitary axis around which Church teaching and truth revolve.(33)
Thus, all Church teachings, in fact all papal encyclicals, are not considered today to be infallible.(34) This applies in particular to "Pascendi dominici gregis" of 1907, which Rudolf Steiner singled out for criticism. Also, a clear shift is occurring about the nature of infallible teaching. It is not the authority of the pope alone but the shared authority of the pope, the college of bishops and all the faithful (i.e. the Church as a whole) who together determine whether a teaching is to be considered infallible or not.
This notion of shared authority actually involves the principle of "agreement of the whole Church" under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as portrayed archetypically in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts, 15,22). This kind of accord is the basis for the notion of infallibility or freedom from error in doctrinal matters. Rudolf Steiner himself affirms the tradition of bishop consensus under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which implies the acceptance of the entire Church. And yet he cites the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception as an instance when this principle of consensus was not present, therefore constituting a link in the chain of degenerative developments that led to the infallibility dogma.(35) While the Immaculate Conception dogma was proclaimed without the convening of an Ecumenical Council, historical evidence suggests that the principle of consensus -- among the bishops, all the faithful and the pope -- was adhered to, allowing this dogma to stand today as one of the two generally acknowledged "ex cathedra" teachings.(36)
The point is that the notion of infallibility has been evolving over time. Every papal encyclical is not considered infallible, infallibility must be invoked at the time of the teaching, and consensus is a necessary part of the process -- beforehand and afterwards. (Such considerations also help to clarify whether the recent papal teaching banning women's ordination can truly be considered infallible.)(37)
The ultimate question, however, is whether Valentin Tomberg's statements about "ex cathedra" teachings contradict Rudolf Steiner, as Prokofieff claims. Tomberg states that:
"The infallibility ex cathedra, which the office of Shepherd of the Church brings with it, results from the summation of the three meanings of "the rock": the Petrine faculty of openness to the vertical revelation, the active presence of St. Peter as a mediator of that vertical revelation, and the spiritual cross of Peter -- arising through the mission and duty of reconciling the ordinances of eternity with the demands of time. For a decision made and proclaimed by the pope ex cathedra is the result of consultation between the "worldly" responsibility for the ways and destinies of mankind represented by the pope, and the "heavenly" responsibility for the ways and destinies of mankind represented by Peter's mandate received from Christ. Ex cathedra is a state in which all arbitrariness is absolutely excluded, for the pope represents the whole of mankind and brings its requirements to expression, while Peter represents and proclaims the will of Christ. The result of this consultation is a decision and proclamation ex cathedra."(38)
The key words that "all arbitrariness is absolutely excluded" and that "the pope represents the whole of mankind and brings it requirements to expression" mean that the pope does not speak for himself but for all of the Church (in fact, for all of humanity). As the preceding considerations have indicated, the pope alone does not decide which proclamations are considered "ex cathedra". And the "ex cathedra" designation only applies to the two Marian dogmas. One can argue whether these two dogmas capture the essence of what is considered Anthroposophical spiritual truth; but the real question is whether they adequately convey, in a form accessible to all of humanity, a sense for important spiritual mysteries. Tomberg's words, however, reflect the ideal of "agreement of the whole church" under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit -- the same ideal that Rudolf Steiner affirmed as the traditional basis for establishing truth (see note 34) and that present-day Church thought seems to be in the process of recovering.
One can regret that the dogma of infallibility was ever proclaimed because of the hubris and abuse that it threatens. But this does not undermine the integrity of Valentin Tomberg's comments, which speak to the ideal significance and truth of this notion (consensus of the whole under the influence of the Holy Spirit) and try to bring it to the fore. Here again it is not a matter of choosing between Valentin Tomberg and Rudolf Steiner but of affirming both.
These are not the only challenges that can be brought to what Prokofieff says(39), but they should suffice to indicate that a completely different view of Tomberg is possible. This view, above all, acknowledges him as an initiate in his own right, convinced by the depth and grandeur of his works. And it seeks to understand how he continued a mission in the service of Jesus Christ within the Catholic Church, after finding the doors of the Anthroposophical world closed to him.
Two final issues are important to mention -- the Bodhisattva question and cooperation between Platonists and Aristotelians.
Identifying Tomberg as the Bodhisattva who was foretold by Rudolf Steiner has been one of the most provocative issues of the Tomberg controversy. For if the Bodhisattva left the Anthroposophical Society and joined the Catholic Church, what does this say about the Society -- both then and now? While Adolf Arenson had previously identified Rudolf Steiner as the Bodhisattva, -- a theory which Prokofieff himself subscribed to --, (40) Thomas Meyer's recent work The Bodhisattva Question has effectively silenced this supposition.(41) The basis for identifying Tomberg with the Bodhisattva (in addition to the grandeur and sublimity of his works) are Steiner's remark to Friederich Rittelmeyer that the Bodhisattva was born at the turn of the century(42)(Tomberg was born in 1900) as well as Tomberg's own suggestive remarks.(43) In the English edition of The Case of Valentin Tomberg, Prokofieff now reports that Michael Frensch, a Tomberg supporter, has recently published an article quoting friends of Tomberg who say that he himself denied being the Bodhisattva.(44) This report appears to effectively check any talk of Tomberg being the Bodhisattva, and in all fairness the suggestion ought to be withdrawn as an issue in the Tomberg debate. But then the Society is the ultimate loser, for the nagging mystery of the Bodhisattva's identity remains unresolved with no new serious candidate in sight. Tomberg as the Bodhisattva may represents a threat to the Society's identity, but Tomberg as a non-candidate reduces the Society to ignorance on the matter. Is the latter really preferable?
As for cooperation between Platonists and Aristotelians, which according to Rudolf Steiner must take place within the Society by the end of the century, Prokofieff himself is someone who has taken up the call.(45) In this respect, it is noteworthy that the author of Meditations on the Tarot clearly identifies himself as someone working within the Platonic stream.(46) Unquestionably, some Society members are attracted to Tomberg and his work and even feel sympathy for his attempt in later life to inject esoteric impulses into the Church. Is this perhaps due -- at least in part -- to the recognition of Tomberg as a Platonic master by Platonist members? Is the idealistic bent of Platonic thinking which perceives and emphasizes ideal essences -- of the Catholic Church, of Ignatius and his exercises, of Papus and even of the dogma of infallibility -- at the root of a demonized misperception of Tomberg by Aristotelians? Incredibly, in the same pages in which Prokofieff speaks of cooperation between Platonists and Aristotelians, he quotes Rudolf Steiner about "hearts [which] unite Intelligence and Spirituality" in the service of the Michael Impulse.(47) And yet he excoriates Tomberg for daring to champion this same ideal in the Church and relate it to Ignatius of Loyola -- as if Anthroposophy is thereby somehow demeaned.(48)
One has to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to Prokofieff, for in working through his criticisms, one can arrive at greater insight and appreciation of what Tomberg was really about. But Prokofieff is playing a dangerous game. If he is wrong about Valentin Tomberg, he is undercutting the very impulses that he claims to support. But ultimately the stakes are even higher than that. If, after leaving the Society, Tomberg entered the Catholic Church to continue working in the service of Jesus Christ for humanity's benefit and progress, then Prokofieff by his criticism and opposition is guilty of that which he accuses Tomberg -- Jesuitism.
There can be no question of anyone, including Prokofieff, usurping individual responsibility for exercising judgment on these matters. Towards this end, members are urged to inform themselves first-hand through the source materials, in particular Tomberg's own works, and to draw their own conclusions.
1. A few articles have appeared in English and some others have been translated and are available from the Rudolf Steiner Library in Ghent, NY. It can only be hoped that at some future point, more of the resource material will be made available to English-speaking readers.
2. "Richtigstellung", Novalis, 10/1995, p.9.
3. Sergei O. Prokofieff and Christian Lazarides, Der Fall Tomberg (Dornach: Verlag am Goetheanum, 1995), p.113.
4. Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot (New York: Amity House, 1985) pp. 614-15. According to the author, the Maitreya Buddha and Kalki Avatar will unite in one person. See also: Valentin Tomberg, Covenant of the Heart, Rockport, MA: Element, 1992, p.96.
5. The German word "Geist" means both spirit and intellect in English, yet the usual translation of "spirit" is questionable here because Steiner is contrasting powers of the soul (thinking and will) and not the members of the human being (body, soul and spirit). See also GA 104, lecture of June 19, 1908, where Steiner contrasts the "Geist-Initiation" of pre-Christian times with the heart- orientation of Christian times and the "special kind of will cultivation" of Rosicrucian initiations in modern times. Here again, "Geist" or intellect is juxtaposed to the heart and will.
6. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg (London: Temple Lodge, 1997), p.13-14. See also GA 131, lecture of Oct. 5, 1911.
7. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, pp. 141, 181.
8. Prokofieff claims that the present-day form of Tarot occultism "which Tomberg also uses" diverts consciousness away from consciousness-soul development to intellectual-soul consciousness forms, but does not ground this statement any further (Lazarides and Prokofieff, Der Fall Tomberg, p.67).
9. Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot, p. 322.
10. Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot, p.319.
11. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, pp.99-100.
12. Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot, pp.227, 229.
13. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.42ff.
14. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.116.
15. Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot, pp.397-398
16. Lazarides and Prokofieff, Der Fall Tomberg, p. 62-63
17. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.101.
18. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.42. This undoubtedly took place because all German nouns are capitalized, rendering a specialized capitalization in another language imperceptible. The book Meditations on the Tarot was originally written in French, which does not usually capitalize nouns. The French edition reads "le Verbe" (Méditations sur les 22 arcanes majeurs du Tarot, Paris: Aubier, 1984, p.477). Had the existing English translation been used for quotations, the mistake never would have taken place, as the English text correctly mirrors the French original (see note 15).
19. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.17.
20. Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus, komm heraus! (Basel: Herder, 1985), pp.237-238.
21. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, pp.55, 57. See also: Valentin Tomberg, Covenant of the Heart, p.115.
22. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.56. See also: Rudolf Steiner, GA 198, lecture of June 6, 1920.
23. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.56. See also: Rudolf Steiner, GA 184, lecture of Sept. 22, 1918.
24. The Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Richard P. McBrien general editor, (Harper San Francisco, 1995), entry: "Infallibility".
25. Rudolf Steiner, GA 198, lecture of June 3, 1920.
26. Rudolf Steiner, GA 198, lecture of June 6, 1920.
27. Klaus Schatz SJ, "Welche Bisherige Päpstliche Lehrentscheidungen Sind 'Ex Cathedra'?", Werner, Lehmann and Lutz-Bachmann, editors, Dogmengeschichte und Katholische Theologie, (Würzburg: Echter Verlag, 1985), p.405.
28. Klaus Schatz SJ, "Welche Bisherige Päpstliche Lehrentscheidungen Sind 'Ex Cathedra'?", p.414; see also: Empie, Murphy and Burgess, editors, Teaching Authority and Infallibility in the Church, Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue VI (Augsburg, 1978), p.49; and Francis A. Sullivan SJ, Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church, (New York: Paulist Press 1983), pp.19, 105.
29. Klaus Schatz SJ, "Welche Bisherige Päpstliche Lehrentscheidungen Sind 'Ex Cathedra'?", pp. 404-05.
30. Klaus Schatz SJ, "Welche Bisherige Päpstliche Lehrentscheidungen Sind 'Ex Cathedra'?", pp.406-14.
31. Klaus Schatz SJ, "Welche Bisherige Päpstliche Lehrentscheidungen Sind 'Ex Cathedra'?", pp.416-17.
32. Klaus Schatz SJ, "Welche Bisherige Päpstliche Lehrentscheidungen Sind 'Ex Cathedra'?", pp. 417.
33. Klaus Schatz SJ, "Welche Bisherige Päpstliche Lehrentscheidungen Sind 'Ex Cathedra'?", pp.416-21.
34. Francis A. Sullivan SJ, Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church, p.172.
35. Rudolf Steiner, GA 198, lecture of June 3, 1920: "How does one know, how has one known [that the Holy Spirit is really the inspiration of a proposed dogma]? It was known in that the dogma proposed by a council was already the opinion of the entire Catholic Church. This was not the case with the Immaculate Conception. The Catholic Church's fundamental principle that only those things could be made dogmas about which the faithful had previously shown an inclination was broken with."
36. The Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, entry: "Immaculate Conception". In the West the feast was introduced in the eleventh century. Some Church teachers objected to its introduction because of the suggestion that Mary did not need salvation. Duns Scotus resolved their arguments in the thirteenth century. The Council of Trent (1545-63) excluded Mary from its decree on original sin, and subsequently the doctrine was represented in liturgy and art, and in the piety of the faithful. It was well established by the time Pius IX proclaimed the dogma in 1854 after consultation with the world's bishops. (On the issue of consensus, which he specifically invokes about this dogma, Rudolf Steiner appears to have been mistaken.)
37. Francis A. Sullivan SJ, "Guideposts From Catholic Tradition", America, Dec. 9, 1995, pp.5-6.
38. Valentin Tomberg, Covenant of the Heart, pp.114-115.
39. See, for example, what Prokofieff says about Tomberg's remarks on Rudolf Steiner's life and the stages of Christian initiation (Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, pp.59-60) and what Tomberg actually says (Valentin Tomberg, Inner Development, Ghent, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1992, lecture 7).
40. Sergei O. Prokofieff, Rudolf Steiner and the Founding of the New Mysteries, second edition (London: Temple Lodge, 1994), pp.70-78,127.
41. Thomas Meyer, The Bodhisattva Question (London: Temple Lodge, 1993). Meyer arrives at his conclusion on the basis of Elisabeth Vreede's two lectures on the Bodhisattva question and other information such as the remarks of Walter Vegelahn, one of Rudolf Steiner's stenographers. In Elisabeth Vreede's opinion: "Rudolf Steiner belonged to quite another stream than that of the Bodhisattva, which is related to oriental spiritual life" (pp.156-57). Vegelahn indicates that Rudolf Steiner once said in response to a direct question that he was not the Bodhisattva, and that on another occasion he specifically stated that his individuality was not related to Jeshu ben Pandira [the former incarnation of the Bodhisattva] (p.169).
42. Thomas Meyer, The Bodhisattva Question, p.72.
43. Valentin Tomberg, Covenant of the Heart, p.70. Tomberg speaks of the task of the Bodhisattva who was to succeed Rudolf Steiner. See also: Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot, p.614. In neither of these references is the Bodhisattva named, yet the latter suggests that the author knew his identity.
44. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, pp.159-160.
45. Sergei Prokofieff, Rudolf Steiner and the Founding of the New Mysteries, (London/New York: Rudolf Steiner Press/Anthroposophic Press, 1986), pp.289-308.
46. Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot, p.26.
47. Sergei Prokofieff, Rudolf Steiner and the Founding of the New Mysteries, p.307.
48. Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, p.36ff.