Fr. Hardon on Whether any of Teilhard de Chardin is worth reading

Recent attention has grown again in the Fraudster Teilhard de Chardin. Some even suggest that it may be worth exploring. So I thought I’d post here a couple of clear opinions by Fr. Hardon, just in case some of the recent fans putting words in his mouth are tempted to put words in his mouth here also…

Q: Are any of Teilhard de Chardin’s writings worth reading?

All of Teilhard de Chardin’s writings were published contrary to his Jesuit obedience.

Not long after his ordination, Chardin began to write. And what he wrote was not good theology.

And so, Chardin’s writings were forbidden. Say that again. They were forbidden.

So what did Chardin do? Did he stop writing? Oh no!

He found a woman in France to cooperate with him. His writings, she made sure, would be published. Of course, without his Jesuit superior’s permission. So, he’s written extensively.

Pray for the repose of the soul of Teilhard de Chardin.

Hardon, John A. S.J.

Q: Was Teilhard de Chardin ahead of his time?

If by ahead of his time, the question meant what we normally mean, the answer is absolutely “NO.”

Teilhard de Chardin was absolutely wrong.

Was he ahead of his time in preparing the deluge of errors that the world would be drowning in by the end of the 20th century?

The answer is yes.


Q: What are your thoughts on Teilhard de Chardin? Would you consider him the high prophet of the so-called new religion? It seems that many nuns in particular consider him a saint. He is being taught in the local high schools, and also in the university.

A more complete development of my thoughts on Teilhard de Chardin, a fellow Jesuit, can be found in my book, Christianity of the Twentieth Century.

There are two sides to Chardin. There is the believing, pious, spiritual, and, I trust, sincerely Christian side. There is another side, the speculative, the purportedly scientific, the highly philosophical. The first side I can dismiss except to say that I think there was this side to Chardin as revealed in many of his private letters to his friends.

However, it is the other side of Chardin that I think has made him a prophet in many circles. On this second side, he teaches, depending on where you look, complete cosmic evolution. This is more than most people suspect. It is not merely that man on his bodily side developed from a lower species, anthropological evolution, which is, at least, a tenable theory. According to absolute and complete evolution, everything in the universe, and the word is everything, is in the process of becoming. There are those, his Christian admirers, at least most of them, who claim that Chardin excluded from the process of evolution the deity. There are others, however, Huxley, for example, would be one, who wrote his introduction to Chardin’s phenomenon of man, and Christians too, who claim that Chardin explicitly taught that even God is part of the evolutionary process.

In other words, that the infinite God of Judeo-Christianity is a thing of the past, that the God of the future, of the so-called new religion, is a God in process, and that we, by our free volition, individually and collectively contribute to the process.

I need not say that on this second level, Chardin is not suitable diet for any Catholic educational institution.


This article, Fr. Hardon on Whether any of Teilhard de Chardin is worth reading is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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