Teilhard de Chardin: The Vatican II Architect You Need to Know

In the middle of the fourth century, Saint Jerome remarked that the world “awoke with a groan to find itself Arian.” Arianism divided the Church and Empire of the fourth and fifth centuries and beyond by claiming that the Divine Logos, Jesus Christ, was not of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father and not co-eternal with the Father as defined at the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.). Some sought to substitute homoiousios, “of a similar nature,” to find a peaceful solution. However, as the Catholic Church has perennially taught, the truth must be presented whole and complete, without subterfuge or compromise.

In the mid-twentieth century, one may have paraphrased St. Jerome: “the world awoke, without so much as a whimper, to find itself Teilhardian.”

Still troubled by the Galileo affair, the Church bent over backwards in trying to incorporate faith and science into a seamless garment. Following the 1925 Scopes Trial, Darwin’s theory of evolution was more and more presented as dogma by the scientific community, and Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881-1955) took it upon himself to reconcile Darwinian evolution and Catholic theology [i].

In fact, Teilhard was originally censured and exiled by his Jesuit superiors in 1923 for questioning the doctrines of original sin and eternal damnation. In 1947, upon return from banishment in China, he was once again censured by the Holy Office, Pope Pius XII himself having called his work a “cesspool of errors.” However, Teilhard began further insinuating his ideas among his fellow Jesuits at the French theologate La Fourvière in Lyon by means of unsigned mimeographed monographs. By the mid- to late 1950s, his theories were extolled by many, if not most, Jesuits, including Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, and especially Henri de Lubac, who wrote glowingly of Teilhard: “We need not concern ourselves with a number of detractors of Teilhard, in whom emotion has blunted intelligence” [ii]. By the time of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in October 1962, the Society of Jesus had all but abandoned the Neo-Scholastic theology of Francisco Suarez in favor of Teilhardian evolutionary “cosmogenesis.”

The reason for Teilhard’s popularity, as stated above, was his apparent resolution of the differences between religious truth as proposed by the Catholic Church and scientific “fact” as proposed by Darwinian evolution. The problem was that his solution was neither particularly scientific nor particularly Catholic, a fact he admitted privately to his cousin Léontine Zanta in 1936:

What increasingly dominates my interests, is the effort to establish within myself and define around me, a new religion (call it a better Christianity, if you like) where the personal God ceases to be the great monolithic proprietor of the past to become the Soul of the World which the stage we have reached religiously and culturally calls for. [iii]

This proposed synthesis is not a “new and better Christianity,” but rather a negation of the Catholic faith, as presented in the definitive dogmatic constitution of Vatican I, Dei Filius (April 24, 1870):

Deus … est re et essentia a mundo distinctus, in se et ex se beatissimus, et super omnia quae praeter ipsum sunt et concipi possunt, ineffabiliter excelsus. (God … is to be declared as really and essentially distinct from the world, of supreme beatitude in and from Himself, and ineffably exalted above all things which exist, or are conceivable, except Himself.)

Teilhard’s “God,” the “soul of the world,” is identical with nature and consequently subject to change. As Teilhard explains it in his book Human Energy:

As a direct consequence of the unitive process by which God is revealed to us, he in some way ‘transforms himself’ as he incorporates us. … I see in the World a mysterious product of completion and fulfillment for the Absolute Being himself. [iv]

And, again:

[God] evolves, via “complexification” and “convergence” to his own perfection, immersed in matter. … One is inseparable from the other; one is never without the other[.] … No spirit (not even God within the limits of our experience) exists, nor could structurally exist without an associated multiple, any more than a center can exist without its circle or circumference[.] … [I]n a concrete sense there is not matter and spirit, all that exists is matter becoming spirit [God]. [v]

One must note that in Teilhard’s writing there is hardly any mention of purely spiritual beings or entities within the existing cosmos. There is virtually no mention of angels or demons, no Satan, no St. Michael, no guardian angels, nor is there much mention of particular judgment or the existence of Hell.**

Teilhard’s “God” is no more nor less than the “god” of Pantheism as described (and rejected) by St. Pius IX in his allocution Maxima Quidem, June 9, 1862:

There exists no Supreme Being, perfect in His wisdom and in His providence and distinct, all things are God and have the very substance of God. God is thus one and the same thing as the world and consequently spirit is identified with matter, necessity with liberty, truth with falsehood, good with evil and justice with injustice[.]

Teilhard, through his denial of original sin and of the consequent need for redemption, tried to inject Christ into his pantheism by naming him the “Cosmic Christ” or the “Alpha” and “Omega” of revelation. Christ is an emanation of God infused into matter from the beginning, evolving, was born into this world, died, rose from the dead, and ascended – not to heaven, but to the “noosphere,” a spiritual level encircling the earth, where all spirits contained in matter will eventually converge at the “Omega Point,” where Christ awaits us, guiding us on with “unconditional love.” At the “Omega Point,” we, and the entire cosmos, down to the lowliest atom, will be divinized, and “God” will be “all in all” [vi]. The quote was selectively picked from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians 15:28. Whether this “all in all” will be totally spiritual, as in Buddhism and other Eastern religions with which it shares similarities, or whether, as others affirm, humans, alive at the end of time, the “Omega Point,” will become “transhuman,” filled with the transformative knowledge of the “noosphere” (some even citing the internet), is unclear in the writings of Teilhard.

As for Teilhard, the problem of evil is not due to angelic or human malice, but is an inevitable side-effect of the evolutionary process: “In our modern perspective of a Universe in a process of cosmogenesis, the problem of evil no longer exists.” The “Multiple” is “essentially subject to the play of probabilities of chance in its arrangements.” It is “absolutely unable to progress toward unity without engendering [evil] here or there by statistical necessity” [vii]. It appears, then, that there is no room for error or sin, as all is inevitably evolving toward the “Omega Point” drawn on by the infinite love of Christ.

In fact, for Teilhard, the Mystical Body of Christ “forms a cosmic Center for mankind and the whole material universe” [viii]. This insight he claims to have found in St. Paul. The passage – “You … are Christ’s Body[;] … each of you is a different part of it” (I Cor. 12:27) – reveals humanity in its varying functions to be the mystical Body. This is a misreading of St. Paul, who is clearly speaking of the baptized Christian community.

It is just on the part of God and to give relief to you [followers of Christ] who are afflicted and to us as well, when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire. These [who afflict you now] will be punished with eternal ruin, away from the face of the Lord and the glory of his power[.] (2 Thessalonians 1: 6-8)

It also contradicts the words of Our Lord himself:

I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. … I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world[.] (John 17: 9-16)

For Teilhard, all religions are an attempt to realize this ultimate transformation, led on by the Cosmic Christ, who animates, loves, and awaits all at the Omega Point.

Teilhard does not deny the role of the Church in bringing about his vision of cosmogenesis. In a letter to his friend Auguste Valensin, S.J., he writes:

I believe in the Church, mediatrix between God and the world[.] … The Church, the reflectively christified portion of the world, the Church, the principal focus of interhuman affinities through super-charity, the Church, the central axis of universal convergence and the precise point of contact between the universe and Omega Point. … The Catholic Church, however, must not simply seek to affirm its primacy and authority but quite simply to present the world with the Universal Christ, Christ in human-cosmic dimension, as animator of evolution.

Teilhard, therefore, said:

We must work toward an ecumenism open not only to Christianity, but also to other religions, because all religions of inner necessity converge in the Cosmic Christ and are destined to find their completion in the single Church of Christ.

Having done away with an eternal supernatural order, there is no room for “sanctifying grace” freely bestowed by God, especially through the sacraments (historical Catholic prerequisites to eternal salvation). All that exists is the onward movement of the cosmos toward unity in the Cosmic Christ, who animates and awaits us at the Omega Point.

As to the Eucharist, according to Teilhard, it is by means of the Eucharist that the Church gradually divinizes the world: “Adherence to Christ in the Eucharist must inevitably, ipso facto, incorporate us a little more fully on each occasion in a christogenesis which itself … is none other than the soul of universal cosmogenesis.”

Teilhard de Chardin’s “Mass on the (Altar of the) World“:

Since once again, Lord … I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole world my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world[.] … I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labor. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits[.] … My chalice and my paten are the depths of a soul laid widely open to all the forces which in a moment will rise up from every corner of the earth and converge upon the Spirit. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to a new day[.] … I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity; those … who, … through their vision of truth or despite their error, truly believe in the progress of earthly reality and who today will again take up their impassioned pursuit of the light[.] … This is the material of my sacrifice, the only material you desire[.] …  Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at this dawn of a new day.

In Teilhard’s “Mass,” there is no mention of Christ’s propitiatory death on the cross for the salvation of souls, nor of Transubstantiation [ix] of the Eucharistic Species into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Rather, this is an offering of all trials and works of humanity to build a future divinized common earthly reality.

Given this brief summary, it should be clear that Teilhard’s “new and better Christianity” is a paean to Darwinian evolution raised to the level of universal theosis and has little or nothing in common with traditional Catholic Christology.

It is therefore not surprising that, at the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Office, under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, issued the following “monitum” (warning):

Several works of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, some of which were posthumously published, are being edited and are gaining a good deal of success. Prescinding from a judgment about those points that concern the positive sciences, it is sufficiently clear that the above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine[.] (Given at Rome, from the palace of the Holy Office, on the thirtieth day of June, 1962. Sebastianus Masala, Notarius.)

It would appear that the case was closed; however, this was not to be. Under the influence of Jesuit periti (counselors), especially Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar, the Teilhardian vision re-emerged [x]. Pope Paul VI tentatively wrote in a 1966 address contained in Insegnimenti di Paulo VI, the official compilation of his thought: “Teilhard de Chardin, who gave an explanation of the universe that, among many fantastic and imprudent things, nonetheless understood how to find the intelligent principle that one should call God inside everything. Science itself, therefore, obliges us to be religious. Whoever is intelligent must kneel and say: ‘God is present here’” [xi].

The real revolution, according to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the present head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, began with Pope John Paul II and his letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on 22 October 1996, when he affirmed:

[S]ome new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies – which was neither planned nor sought – constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

On May 12, 1981, the centenary of Teilhard’s birth, cardinal secretary of state Agostino Casaroli wrote to Cardinal Poupard, rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, as follows:

The international scientific community and, more broadly, the whole intellectual world, are preparing to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. … I am happy, Your Excellency, to communicate this message to you on behalf of the Holy Father [Pope John Paul II] for all the participants in the conference over which you preside at the Catholic Institute of Paris as a tribute to Father Teilhard de Chardin, and I assure you of my faithful devotion.

The Vatican Press Office, however, two months later, reaffirmed the monitum, which remains in effect.

Communiqué of the Press Office of the Holy See (printed in L’Osservatore Romano, English ed., July 20, 1981):

The letter sent by the Cardinal Secretary of State to His Excellency Mons. Poupard on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin has been interpreted in a certain section of the press as a revision of previous stands taken by the Holy See in regard to this author, and in particular of the Monitum of the Holy Office of 30 June 1962, which pointed out that the work of the author contained ambiguities and grave doctrinal errors. The question has been asked whether such an interpretation is well founded.

After having consulted the Cardinal Secretary of State and the Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which, by order of the Holy Father, had been duly consulted beforehand, about the letter in question, we are in a position to reply in the negative.

H.H. John Paul II, echoing Teilhard’s “Mass on the Altar of the World,” continued in his praise of Teilhard:

The Eucharist is also celebrated in order to offer “on the altar of the whole earth the world’s work and suffering” in the beautiful words of Teilhard de Chardin. [xii]

The praise was continued by Cardinal Ratzinger, who said in is Principles of Catholic Theology:

The impetus given by Teilhard de Chardin exerted a wide influence [on the Council]. With daring vision it incorporated the historical movements of Christianity into the great cosmic process of evolution from Alpha to Omega. … The Council’s ‘Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World’ (Gaudium et Spes) took the cue; Teilhard’s slogan “Christianity means more progress, more technology,” became a stimulus in which the Council Fathers from rich and poor countries alike found a concrete hope. [xiii]

And again, from his Spirit of the Liturgy (emphasis added):

Against the background of the modern evolutionary world view, Teilhard depicted the cosmos as a process of ascent, a series of unions. … From here Teilhard went on to give new meaning to Christian worship: the transubstantiated Host is the anticipation of the transformation and divinization of matter in the Christological “fullness.” In his view, the Eucharist provided the movement of the cosmos with its direction; it anticipates its goal and at the same time urges it on. [xiv]

Pope Benedict also reaffirmed his praise of Teilhard on July 24, 2009, during the vespers service in the Cathedral of Aosta in northern Italy, as reported by John Allen (emphasis added):

Toward the end of a reflection upon the Letter to the Romans, in which St. Paul writes that the world itself will one day become a form of living worship, Pope Benedict said: “It’s the great vision that later Teilhard de Chardin also had: At the end we will have a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host. Let’s pray to the Lord that he help us be priests in this sense,” the pope said, “to help in the transformation of the world in adoration of God, beginning with ourselves.”

To confirm the shift from traditional Catholic theology to Teilhard’s “new and better Christianity” in July of 2009, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. said, “By now, no one would dream of saying that [Teilhard] is a heterodox author who shouldn’t be studied.”

The current holy father, Pope Francis, as a product of Jesuit education, refers to Teilhard’s eschatological contribution in his encyclical Laudato Si in paragraph 83 (footnote 53):

83. The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things [53]. Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures. The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things.

In footnote 53 of the encyclical, the pope makes a clear reference to the statements of previous conciliar popes cited above:

Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr Teilhard de Chardin; cf. PAUL VI, Address in a Chemical and Pharmaceutical Plant (24 February 1966): Insegnamenti 4 (1966), 992-993; JOHN PAUL II, Letter to the Reverend George Coyne (1 June 1988): Insegnamenti 11/2 (1988), 1715; BENEDICT XVI, Homily for the Celebration of Vespers in Aosta (24 July 2009): Insegnamenti 5/2 (2009), 60.

We see here Pope Francis’s reliance on Teilhard and his vision of the “Cosmic Christ” drawing all, regardless of religious affiliation, nationality – in fact, all living creatures, and even inert matter, which contains rudimentary “Spirit” – to be Christified at the end of time, or the “Omega Point” of evolution. It explains his fascination with ecology as well as the tearing down of all walls, both political (including the end of nationalism and amalgamation via mass immigration) and religious (via ecumenism): “Proselytism is solemn nonsense.” “Luther’s intention 500 years ago was to renew the Church, not divide her.” As Teilhard expounded in Human Energy, “[t]he age of nations has passed. Now, unless we wish to perish, we must shake off our old prejudices and build the earth” [xv].

The evolutionary theories of Teilhard help explain some of the current holy father’s most puzzling statements. In a March 15, 2015 interview, Eugenio Scalfari, the famed atheist reporter, quotes (from memory) as follows: “What happens to that lost soul? Will it be punished? And how? The response of Francis is distinct and clear: there is no punishment, but the annihilation of that soul. All the others will participate in the beatitude of living in the presence of the Father. The souls that are annihilated will not take part in that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is finished.” This interview was first published on the Vatican website but then removed. When questioned, Vatican spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica did not deny the conversation, but said, “They were private discussions that took place and were never recorded by the journalist.”

These sentiments were reiterated on October 9 of this year, 2017, in an article published by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, once again quoting Eugenio Scalfari:

Pope Francis has abolished the places where souls were supposed to go after death: hell, purgatory, heaven. The idea he holds is that souls dominated by evil and unrepentant cease to exist, while those that have been redeemed from evil will be taken up into beatitude, contemplating God. … The universal judgment that is in the tradition of the Church therefore becomes devoid of meaning. It remains a simple pretext that has given rise to splendid paintings in the history of art. Nothing other than this.

To understand, perhaps, some of Pope Francis’s reticence to clarify passages of Amoris Laetitia, one must recall that neither original sin nor traditional mortal sins exist in Teilhard’s worldview – only infinite mutations or variants in the evolutionary process moved by the unconditional love of the “Cosmic Christ.” Some of the pope’s statements include the following, emphasizing that all who live in loving relationships share, to some degree, in the all-encompassing love of Christ:

The unmarried. “I’ve seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity[.]”

The sacramentally married. “[A] great majority” of Catholic marriages are “null.”

The so-called “remarried.” Priests could – in some cases – offer the “help of sacraments” to Catholics living in “irregular family situations” as part of a broader effort to support and integrate divorced Catholics in other relationships into the life of the church.

Homosexuals. “Who am I to judge?”

Further evidence of the underlying Teilhardian influence on Amoris Laetitia are found in the words of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria, whom Pope Francis named official interpreter of Amoris Laetitia:

Hardly anyone else has tried to bring together the knowl­edge of Christ and the idea of evolution as the scientist (paleontologist) and theologian Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., has done. … His fascinating vision has remained controversial, and yet for many it has represented a great hope, the hope that faith in Christ and a scientific approach to the world can be brought together. … These brief references to Teilhard cannot do justice to his efforts. The fascination which Teilhard de Chardin exercised for an entire generation stemmed from his radical manner of looking at science and Christian faith together.

It should be remembered that on October 11, 2016, the weekly bulletin of Cardinal Schönborn’s cathedral in Vienna published, with pictures, a glowing profile of a same-sex couple and their adopted son, titled “we are dads.”

While all the confusion existing in the modern Church cannot be fully laid at his feet [xvi], Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. and his Jesuit confrères, with their “new and better Christianity,” have unfortunately deracinated Holy Mother Church, replacing the worship of the eternal God with the worship of man and creation.

Finally, it is worth mentioning: while there is no direct evidence linking Fr. Teilhard to Freemasonry, their goal is the same: the deification of man. In the words of Manly P. Hall in his Lost Keys of Freemasonry:

Man is a God in the making. … The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. It is relevant that Teilhard’s works are read and quoted in the lodges. [xvii]

*Editor’s note:  after we received this essay for publication, the news broke at Vatican Insider that the “Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture largely approved a proposal to be sent to Pope Francis, asking him to contemplate whether it is possible to remove the Monitum of the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office on the works of Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin”. The petition, according to Vatican Insider, was approved on Saturday, November 18, 2017, “during the work of the Assembly on ‘The Future of Humanity: New Challenges to Anthropology’.” Further:

The proposal, as raised by the online newspaper Sir , is thus motivated: “We believe that such an act would not only restore the genuine efforts of the pious Jesuit in an attempt to reconcile the scientific vision of the universe with Christian eschatology but would also represent a formidable stimulus for all theologians and scientists of good will to collaborate in the construction of a Christian anthropological model which, following the directions of the encyclical Laudato Siis naturally placed in the wonderful plot of the cosmos. “

Pope Francis is expected to receive the proposal for consideration soon, if not already. As of this writing, no decision has been announced.


[i] It should be mentioned here that a contemporary of Teilhard, Fr. Georges Lemaître, a renowned physicist and the postulator of the “Big Bang” theory, advised Pope Pius XII not to mention his discovery as proof of the doctrine of creation “ex nihilo,” as scientific knowledge, which is refined and always growing and changing and should not be used in defense of the Faith, which is unchanging.

[ii] Henri Cardinal de Lubac, S.J., The Religion of Teilhard de Chardin (New York: Image Books (1967). De Lubac is generally considered the main influence on the Vatican II document The Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes). De Lubac, himself first censured by Pope Pius XII, went on to be named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1983.

[iii] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Letters to Léontine Zanta, trans. Bernard Wall (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 114 (letter dated 26 January 1936).

[iv] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Heart of Matter (New York: Harcourt Brace Jahanovich, 1978), p. 54.

[v] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Human Energy (New York: Harcourt Brace Jahanovich, 1969), pp. 57, 58, 162.

[vi] “What we call inorganic matter is certainly animate in its own way[.] … Atoms, electrons, elementary particles … must have a spark of spirit” (Science and Christ, written 1920s, published in English in 1968).

[vii] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Comment je vois, Par. 29, Tr. p.39, cit. Jacques Maritain, The Peasant of the Garonne (New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1968), p. 265.

[viii] Le Coeur de la Matière, (1950), p. 30, cit. “The Body of Christ in the writings of Teilhard de Chardin S.J.,” by Cristopher Moody S.J.

[ix] The Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215 spoke of the bread and wine as “transubstantiated” into the body and blood of Christ: “His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been transubstantiated, by God’s power, into his body and blood.”

[x] David L. Schindler, Heart of the World, Center of the Church (New York: William B. Erdmans, 1996), footnote 34 on p. 22, exposes von Balthasar’s cautious but fundamental dependence on Teilhard.

[xi] Speech to Employers and Workers of a Pharmacy Company, February 24, 1966, in Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, Poliglotta Vaticana, 1966, pp. 992-993.

[xii] Pope John Paul II, Gift and Mystery, (New York: Image, 1996), p. 73.

[xiii] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 334.

[xiv] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), p. 29.

[xv] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Human Energy (New York Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1969), p. 37.

[xvi] See Philip Trower, The Church and the Counter Faith (Oxford: Family Publications, 2006) for a résumé of intellectual currents leading up to Vatican II, or here for an essay on the Jesuit formation of Pope Francis.

[xvii] “The Masonic bishop, priest, or layman will forsake his faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. This may occur slowly but it is inevitable. Sooner or later he will be confronted with the dilemma posed by Monsignor Dillon above. If he remains in the Craft, however, he will lose touch completely with the Divine element in the religion he has secretly betrayed and become preoccupied with the human. He may recite the prayer of the Modernist Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin, with conviction—

“‘May the Lord preserve in me a burning love for the world, and a great gentleness and may he help me persevere to the end, in the fullness of my humanity.'”

This post has been updated.

** Correction: this article originally claimed that “nowhere in Teilhard’s writing is there to be found any mention of purely spiritual beings or entities within the existing cosmos. There is no mention of angels or demons, no Satan, no St. Michael, no guardian angels, nor is there any mention of particular judgment or the existence of Hell”. It has been brought to our attention by a reader that in fact, there is some mention of these things — though very little, and not in a way that expresses with clarity and firmness the Church’s teaching on these matters — specifically, in Le Milieu Divin, under the subheading ‘The outer darkness and the lost souls,’ (p.140-143.). Nevertheless, we have amended the text accordingly in the interest of correctness and fairness to the late Fr. de Chardin. 

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