Feb 11, 2002
The Catholic Register
1155 Yonge St.
In The Catholic Register of Feb. 10 there is a letter of William S. Watson defending the writings of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. This letter needs correction.
William Watson admits that Teilhard de Chardin’s writings were never approved by the Popes from Pius XI to Paul VI. This gives the impression that they were not disapproved. From 1926, when his Jesuit superiors forbade him to teach, he was the object of many warnings from his Order and from the Holy See. Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI tried to prevent the spread of his errors. By the authority of Pope John XXIII, all Ordinaries, Superiors and Rectors were asked to “effectively protect, especially the minds of the young, against the dangers of the works of Father Teilhard de Chardin and his followers.” (Acts of the Apostolic See, August 6, 1962).
William Watson also implies, quoting the Prairie Messenger of June 21, 1981, that Cardinal Cassaroli, Secretary of State, approved of Teilhard’s works when he wrote to Archbishop Pupard on the 100th anniversary of Teilhard’s birth. This ambiguous letter was followed by a Statement of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office printed in l’Osservatore Romano of July 20, 1981. It repeated the warning of 1962 banning the writings of Teilhard and did so “against rumours that it no longer applied.”
As Jacques Maritan said in “The Peasant of Garrone” (p.264) in the writing of Teilhard de Chardin, “We are in the realm of ‘Great Fables.'” We are not surprised that Pope Pius XII called his writings “a cesspool of errors.” The Church’s condemnation of the works of Teilhard de Chardin remains in force.
Msgr. Vincent Foy, P.H.