TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2013
Years ago I bought from a dealer in antique books a booklet entitled
"Teilhard de Chardin, between myth and heresy," written by P.
Hyacinth Scaltriti OP and published with ecclesiastical imprimatur
in the early '60s.In the book, the learned Dominican priest's
thesis refuted some of the famous Jesuit theologian's
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's thesis, considered one of the greatest
exponents of the "new theology."
Some will say that what Fr Scaltriti thought about it matters little, because
what really matters is what the Holy See says. Well, the Supreme
Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, at the time under the
leadership of the heroic Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, published
a "Monitum" signed by Bishop Sebastiano Masala, to warn the bishops,
superiors of religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and
Directors of the University, about the dangers of the works of P.
Theilard de Chardin, because (and I quote) "in the field of philosophy
and theology is clearly seen that the works mentioned contain such
ambiguities and even errors so serious, that offend Catholic doctrine."
On the same day in which the Monitum was published (30 June 1962),
"L'Osservatore Romano" published an article in which was refuted
some theses teilhardiane. Here are some: "[...] the dangerous
ambiguities and errors that occur in certain expressions of Teilhard
about the traditional Catholic concept of creation (move back to
the Fourth Lateran Councils and Vatican I). [...] In his conception
of the relationship between God and the Cosmos, Teilhard de Chardin
has weaknesses that can not be passed over in silence. He, it is true,
explicitly states and over the necessity and transcendent personality
of God, however, in the logic of his thought Teilhardian divine
transcendence is not expressed in a sufficient way.God is portrayed
as supreme unity that somehow is incorporated in the universe,
so the divine unity in some way becomes a participant of the cosmic
multiplicity and God in a sense is made a more perfect assimilation
of the Cosmos. [...] In the essay already quoted, "The Christique,"
reads even - and says "en vrai sens" - a "troisième nature" of Christ,
not human, not divine, but "cosmic"! We do not want to take the letter
and "en vrai sens" as Teilhard writes at this point, otherwise it would
be pure heresy. [...] We also know that Teilhard did not infrequently
make statements not entirely consistent, if not sometimes contrary
or contradictory, and we want to concede that the thought
of Teilhard remained in a phase of distress. However, his writings
in many places are always more or less mixed with Catholic doctrine.
[...] Truly our century has a great need of authentic witnesses to Christ,
but we hope that they do not have to inspire the "system"
And making our reflections, we believe we have
acted in the mind of Monitum, which is published today in our newspaper. "