Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teilhard, the Catholic Darwin

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter has written an interesting article regarding comments made by Pope Benedict XVI about Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest, scientist and philosopher who died in 1955. Teilhard's writings were so far ahead of his time that the Church viewed his theology with suspicion.

From the July 28, 2009 NCR article, "Pope cites Teilhardian vision of the cosmos as a 'living host'" comes the following quote:

"...Now the pontiff has also hinted at a possible new look at the undeclared patron saint of Catholic ecology, the late French Jesuit scientist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Benedict's brief July 24 reference to Teilhard, praising his vision of the entire cosmos as a "living host," can be read on multiple levels -- as part of the pontiff's rapprochement with the Jesuits, or as a further instance of finding something positive to say about thinkers whose works have set off doctrinal alarms, as Benedict previously did with rebel Swiss theologian and former colleague Hans K√ľng."

And further on: "On the basis of his scientific work, Teilhard developed an evolutionary theology asserting that all creation is developing towards an "Omega Point," which he identified with Christ as the Logos, or "Word" of God. In that sense, Teilhard broadened the concept of salvation history to embrace not only individual persons and human culture, but the entire universe. In short order, Teilhard's thought became the obligatory point of departure for any Catholic treatment of the environment."

Read the complete article