My spiritual father, Fr. Gommar A. DePauw, JCD, used to tell me, “The Jesuits are always good for a laugh or a heresy. Usually both.” I couldn’t help but think of his truthful quip when it was brought to my attention that there is an online petition to “Pope” Francis, asking him to declare the vile heretic Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ as a “Doctor of the Church.” (See https://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/declare-pierre-teilhard-de-chardin-s-j-a-doctor-of-the-roman-catholic-church). Who is Teilhard de Chardin? This post will expose his life and works which his admirers are trying to obscure and thereby paint the (demonstrably false) picture of a man hailed as “priest, geologist, paleontologist, philosopher, theologian, and mystic, [who] was both a distinguished scientist and one of the most influential and visionary thinkers that the Catholic Church produced in the twentieth century.” (Ibid). Most people have probably never heard of Teilhard (1881-1955) or the destruction which he brought to the Church and the world at large.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born in south central France on May 1, 1881, and was educated at the Jesuit College at Mongre; he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1899. Teilhard continued philosophy and seminary education from 1901-05. This was followed by a three-year sojourn to Cairo, Egypt, where he taught physics and chemistry at a Jesuit school and developed his interest in paleontology. He went to England in 1908, studied theology, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1911 at the age of 30. He returned to Paris and studied paleontology thereby earning a doctorate in 1922.
Two men influenced Teilhard in his priestly formation:
- Fr. George Tyrell, one of the most vociferous Modernists of the era. He denied the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. He was excommunicated by Pope St. Pius X in 1908, and died unrepentant
- Henri Bergson, a French Jew and philosopher whose theories on science and evolution fascinated young Teilhard
Teilhard’s philosophy transformed the universe from a place in which we exist to a place that, through evolution, exists with us. Evolution, for Teilhard, is the hermeneutic key for understanding the place of Christ within the vast cosmos. Teilhard saw everything moving towards perfection—which he called the Omega Point—as a movement toward God that was simultaneously physical and spiritual. He called the transformation divinization, and saw humanity as currently passing through an evolutionary-spiritual dimension he termed the Noosphere, so that we can enter the final stages of the Pneumatosphere and become one with God.
It’s not difficult to see how his ideas are akin to pagan Hindu pantheism with evolution thrown in the mix. Moreover, what do these fancy sounding words and phrases (Omega point, Noosphere, etc.) mean? They were simply made up by Teilhard (like Piltdown Man) to justify his heterodox ideas and make them sound “profound.” In Teilhard’s own blasphemous words, “Christ saves. But must we not hasten to add that Christ, too, is saved by evolution?” (See Le Christique, )
For a priest, he spent a most of his time going on excavations and writing his theology/philosophy books. When he was a missionary in China, he never made a single convert, and he almost never offered the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
- 1926, his Superior forbade him to teach
- 1933, the Holy See ordered him to give up his subsequent post in Paris
- 1939, the Holy See banned some of his writings
- 1947, Rome also forbade him to write or teach on philosophical subjects
- 1955, his Superiors forbade de Chardin to attend the International Congress on Paleontology. That same year, de Chardin died in New York on Easter Sunday
3. Since everything is evolving, there is no fixed and immutable dogmas or morality (One religion or set of morals is as good as another).
4. Eventually, everyone gets to enjoy happiness–there is no Hell for the wicked (Hell is considered “negative” and outdated theology).
5. In his pantheistic idea, not only humanity, but all of nature is evolving. Hence, there should be reverence for the Earth; Teilhard will sometimes describe Earth as an “altar” upon which humanity and nature are “transubstantiated.”
You can see these ideas at work in the Vatican II sect. He helped shape the Robber Council and the sect it created. How, you might ask, can someone who was censured and had his ideas condemned, be so quickly rehabilitated to the point of adopting his heresies? It started way before the unenforced Monitum of 1962. The Modernists were driven underground but were never extirpated. Teilhard himself, when condemned under Pope Pius XII, said: “I have got so many friends in good strategic positions, that I feel quite safe about the future” (Letter, Sept. 24, 1947, wherein de Chardin remarks on his numerous disciples in positions of great influence in the Church, which would certainly appear to have been borne out by the accolades given de Chardin during the Second Vatican Council–Emphasis mine).