Letter about Teilhard de Chardin

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In a letter highlighting his concerns about Pere Teilhard de Chardin, the philosopher Etienne Gilson wrote to Cardinal De Lubac:

"What worries me is that while our Christian theologians developed their theologies from meditations on the Scriptures, Teilhard, grounded in his evolutionist consciousness, built his theology on a meditation on science.

"Thus it amazes me when people stick his Pauline sayings about the 'cosmic and evolving' Christ up on the bulletin board, because if sin and grace are not the very foundation of the epistle of the Romans, then I don't know anything about Saint Paul. Myself, I'd a hundred times rather be a Lutheran than a Teilhardian.

"The real Saint Paul is the one whose Christ takes away the sins of the world, not the type that would cause a theologian to reject the very possibility of sin. Whoever does not believe in sin has no right to the Christ that Saint Paul believed in. This point is a revealing one because if there is no such thing as a sinful nature, then nature is completely good. Chastity is a curiosity that should be relegated to the antique shop. What we have here is just pure naturalism.

"This is the bait he will use to catch all the Christians who secretly aspire to appropriate what naturalism calls freedom while still calling themselves Christians. I wish I could in good conscience think as much of this man as so many Christian theologians do. I absolutely loathe this kind of discussion.

"You can't get any benefit or enlightenment from thinking about Teilhard. The ravages that he has wrought that I have witnessed are horrifying. I do everything I can to avoid having to talk about him. People are not content with just teaching him, they preach him. They use him like a siege engine to undermine the Church from within (I am not kidding) and I, for one, want no part of this destructive scheme."

From an article entitled 'Teilhard de Chardin: False Prophet' by the Benedictine Fathers of Berlin, New Jersey USA, as reprinted in 'Christian Order', May 1992.


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