Laudato Si: The Teilhard Connection
As I have indicated in other columns on this page, Laudato Si is an astonishing collection of problematical statements the likes of which have never appeared in any papal encyclical, ranging from dubious scientific opinions to humanist social commentary addressed to “every person living on this planet,” to a grab bag of vague political and economic recommendations which are none of the Pope’s business. But what does it all mean? As Andrea Galgiarducci has so succinctly put it, “there is everything and nothing in ‘Laudato Si.’”
One could write an entire book about this paradigmatic document, which signals what I would call a final, “post-Catholic” phase of the Church’s “opening to the world” at Vatican II. But I will have to limit myself to columns like this one.
Today, I would like to mention yet another of the detonated mines in this minefield of a document: its endorsement of that theological and scientific fraud, Teilhard de Chardin. It comes at paragraph 83 of Laudato, where we read the following stupefying pronouncement:
The end of the way of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been achieved by the risen Christ, fulcrum of the universal maturation…. The final end of other creatures is not in us. Instead, all advance, together with us and through us, toward the common destination, which is God, in a transcendent fullness where the Risen Christ embraces and illuminates everything. The human being, in fact, gifted with intelligence and love, and attracted by the fullness of Christ, is called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.
[Note: This is my own translation, as the Vatican’s English translation is not faithful to the original Italian, including the key phrase fulcro della maturazione universale — “fulcrum of the universal maturation.”]
With all due respect, what sort of nonsense is this? Christ has not “achieved the fullness of God” with the Resurrection. Christ is God, and He rose by His own power. Nor is Christ any sort of “fulcrum” of a “universal maturation,” according to which “all creatures” are “advancing” “through us” toward some nebulous “transcendent fullness.” This is nothing other than de Chardin’s bogus notion of Christ as the Omega Point, or end, of the evolution of all things. And, indeed, Francis at this point in the “recyclical” cites none other than de Chardin: “Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin…”
Contribution? What contribution? In terms of science, Teilhard contributed two frauds: the alleged “missing links” Piltdown Man and Peking Man, the former withdrawn in disgrace by the British Museum and the latter consigned to oblivion when evidence emerged that this so-called evolutionary ancestor of man was simply an ancient man.
In terms of theology, Teilhard contributed a mountain of neo-Modernist, poetic gibberish condemned by the Holy Office under John XXIII on June 30, 1962, only a few months before the opening of the disastrous Second Vatican Council:
The above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine.
For this reason, the most eminent and most revered Fathers of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers.
Teilhard was not only a scientific and a theological fraud. He was also an evolutionary monomaniac, who openly advocated eugenics — the selective breeding of humans — as also advocated by his patron, the infamous atheist and eugenicist Julian Huxley. Huxley promoted Teilhard’s “work” after it had met with nothing but condemnation in the Church since the 1920s. For example, in his The Phenomenon of Man (p. 281), to which the evil Huxley wrote a laudatory introduction, Teilhard openly declared:
So far we have certainly allowed our race to develop at random, and we have given too little thought to the question of what medical and moral factors must replace the crude forces of natural selection should we suppress them. In the course of the coming centuries it is indispensable that a nobly human form of eugenics, on a standard worthy of our personalities, should be discovered and developed.
As Huxley could see, Teilhard’s evolutionary theology leads in the end to atheism, for Evolution is Teilhard’s god. Let Teilhard’s own words convict him: “It is Christ, in very truth, who saves — but should we not immediately add that, at the same time, it is Christ who is saved by Evolution?” (The Heart of the Matter, p. 92) Fittingly, therefore, de Chardin is the only “Catholic” author whose works were on display in Moscow’s Hall of Atheism alongside those of Marx and Lenin. Thus, de Chardin’s “work” is literally among “the errors of Russia” of whose spread Our Lady warned at Fatima.
Yet now, for the first time, this heretical loon receives favorable mention in a papal encyclical, which cites his imaginary “contribution” to the Church. There is no end of trouble with Laudato Si. It is just another aspect of the “diabolical disorientation” of the Church in our time.