The following letter was published in Catholic Insight, December, 2014, in response to Fr. Tony Van Hee S.J.’s defence of Teilhard de Chardin (Part II) published in the November, 2014 issue.
Letter to the Editor
The Truth about Teilhard de Chardin
Misguided attempts to try to justify the still banned erroneous writings of Teilhard de Chardin are harmful to the faithful. Sadly, Fr. Tony Van Hee SJ and his sources contribute to the spread of heresies.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII debunked Teilhard’s errors in his great encyclical Humani Generis: “Some impudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution… Communists gladly subscribe to this”. Monsignor Leo Schumaker noted in his book The Truth About Teilhard Pope Pius XII “definitely referred to him [Teilhard], among others” in this reproach.
The other quote of Pope Pius XII that I have noted previously was from the scholarly publication called “Doctrine and Life” that is no longer in print. I classify de Chardin as an “arch-heretic” because of the multitude of errors and mini- heretics that he engenders.
If Teilhard worthily received Sacraments before his death, there was still no public retraction of all his errors on record. The damage had been done — Teilhard’s goal in life was “aimed at nothing less than bringing about a radical change in the teaching of the Catholic Church.” He appointed two “militant atheists, among his literary executors”, who “took over” his “manuscripts and published them without the permission of the General of the Jesuits and without an Imprimatur. The Jesuits get no share in the immense profits being made by the sale of these works; atheists like Sir John Huxley have used them for the propagation of atheism; Russian Communists have translated [them] into Russian…” (Mindzenty Report, Vol. XIX, No. 4, PO Box 11321, Saint Louis, MO).
The confused ideas that Teilhard spread against the traditional conception of Paradise, the First Adam and the Church’s doctrine of Original Sin are explained in great detail in Chapter VII of “Teilhardism and the New Religion, A Thorough Analysis of the Teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin”. For example, “Christianity teaches that the Fall of Adam has affected the whole of mankind with the condition of Original Sin; and Teilhard finds this hard to accept. ‘It is impossible to universalize Adam,’ he tells us, ‘without destroying his individuality.”’ Apparently Teilhard believes that Adam could not have had an effect upon the whole of mankind so long as we conceive of him as a bona fide person. And this leads him to suppose that Adam is not a person, but some kind of principle: ‘Strictly speaking, there is no first Adam,’ he declares. ‘The name disguises a universal and unbreakable law of reversion or perversion’…. Teilhard has taken it upon himself to impugn two thousand years of Christian tradition… Instead of discarding the concept of Original Sin, he recasts it in strictly evolutionist terms. And this suffices to remove the sting of ancient doctrine.” In his book Christianity and Evolution, Teilhard vents on the Dogma of Original Sin: “It clips the wings of hope” and the form in which it was expressed “represents a survival of obsolete static views into our now evolutionary way of thinking. Fundamentally, in fact, the idea of Fall is no more than an attempt to explain evil in a fixed universe.”
“Conclusion: Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, and Paul VI, endeavored to prevent the spread of the modernistic errors of this pseudo-scholar, who, as he himself confessed in a letter to a priest friend, has apostatized but deliberately remained within the Church to more easily spread his errors (The Strange Faith of Teilhard de Chardin).” (A periscope on Teilhard de Chardin, by Rev. Fr. john Flanagan, S.T.L., D.C.L.)
The nine monita against his writings still hold and we have a moral duty to respect and obey them (CDF, Holy Office, Monitum on the Writings of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, June 30, 1962. In 1981, the Holy See reiterated this warning against the rumours that it no longer applied.) Deitrich Von Hildebrand, who wrote Teilhard de Chardin – A False Prophet, “is a true prophet and did us all a great service in foretelling what would occur after his death” (See Fr. Robert Levis www.ewtn.com, unorthodox modernist books, 09/10/2000).
Remaining in the Truth of Christ,
Msgr. Vincent Foy