Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI and 'modern evolutionary world view'.

Consciously evolved and loving it.


"The great vision of Teilhard de Chardin"

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, the pope 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." - Source
That's interesting, isn't it.  I'm not asking a question.  Perhaps that helps explain the Barbara Marx Hubbard  invite to the LCWR conference in St. Louis - considering she too is an admirer of de Chardin?     Maybe not. 

As Cardinal Ratzinger, the Holy Father referenced de Cardin in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy, specifically mentioning the Noosphere.
"For example, against the background of the modern evolutionary world view, Teilhard de Chardin depicted the cosmos as a process of ascent, a series of unions.  From very simple beginnings the path leads to ever greater and more complex unities, in which multiplicity is not abolished but merged into a growing synthesis, leading to the 'Noosphere', in which the spirit and its understanding embrace the whole and are blended into a kind of living organism.  Invoking the epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, Teilhard looks on Christ as the energy that strives for the Noosphere and finally incorporates everything in its 'fullness'.  From here Teilhard went on to give a 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 provides the movement of the cosmos with its direction; it anticipates its goal and at the same time urges it on." - The Spirit of the Liturgy
Maybe the LCWR is orthodox then?  Somehow I don't see the same understanding in the evolved thought of Barbara Marx Hubbard and the LCWR...

Cosmic girl.
“Here we are in 2012, we now have a noosphere: It’s Facebook, it’s Twitter, it’s the 5.7 billion cell phones, texting,” Hubbard said. “The planet has grown a new nervous system in the last 50 years, and this nervous system connects us.”

Catholic theologians familiar with Hubbard and her writing on “conscious evolution” say there is, indeed, a link between her work and Teilhard’s.

Though Teilhard’s writing was not without critics in the Vatican, it had a significant impact on the Second Vatican Council, said John Haught, senior fellow in science and religion at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center in Washington.
“Teilhard would find in Barbara a kindred spirit,” Haught said. “He thought that the basic division in humanity is not between believers and nonbelievers, but between those who hope and those who do not.”

Franciscan Sr. Ilia Delio, a senior research fellow in science and religion at Woodstock Theological Center, said Hubbard is a “forward thinker” who, during the LCWR meeting, may call on women religious “to be more creative and engaging in our life and the way we think about God and creation.”

“I think she might say that we are in a new age, knowing ourselves to be in evolution, and certainly for religious women, this is a very different awareness than where religious life evolved in a static universe, and developed within the parameters of a static universe,” Delio said. “And we no longer live in that universe, we live in an evolutionary one.” - NCR
Really?

There is a gay-Catholic connection here as well... wouldn't you know I'd find that connection?  A sort of gay-fusion, synergy perhaps ...
Evolution is speeding up in the universe, and we are moving into a new level of religious consciousness that is more global and pluralistic in nature. Does Christianity have something distinct to offer, or are we too worn out by internal divisions and complex theological traditions? Do we long at times for the old fixed universe?

We are called to be whole-makers, to evolve by uniting, growing and becoming more complex. We are not to seek the living among the dead. Rather, we are to forge a new future, a new hope, a new life that begins with our own lives. - Sr. Ilia Delio Source 

40 comments:

  1. To be fair, the quotes from Ratzinger sound *somewhat* like something some of the Church Fathers would have said. Notice also how it does not reduce Christ, and it is centered on Him.

    But the idea that Christ's Incarnation and resurrected body signals the beginning of the transformation of all Creation is very Patristic, is it not?

    Also, what is the context of the quote? Was it followed by a "this may be all well and good, BUT..."

    The thing with heresy is that it's true to an extent. That's why it's called "heresy" - "choosing", as in, choosing a part of the truth and excluding others, leading to untruth.

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    1. I wasn't being critical of Ratzinger at all - the context is followed by a more traditional observation - sorry - I didn't want to copy the whole chapter. My real point was to contrast the Pope's views with Marx Hubbard's views, etc.

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  3. TEILHARD DE CHARDIN!! O MY!! How disturbing. I must have missed the reference to de Chardin in "The Spirit of the Liturgy". I really don't know WHAT to say to this. I will wholeheartedly agree with John Haught that the writings of de Chardin, "had a significant impact on the Second Vatican Council". I remember reading a book in the early 1980s entitled, "Teilhardism And The New Religion" by Dr.Wolfgang Smith ........Why this continued almost hypnotic fascination with Karl Rahner and Teilhard among Council era Periti theologians? I for one will be happy when their memories and more importantly influence are long forgotten. Here follows the book description of Dr Wolfgang Smith's work:

    Teilhardian ideas are at the root of the ""new religion"" laying waste the Catholic Church today. This brilliant scientist, mathematician and philosopher shows Teilhard's theory of the physical and spiritual evolution of all things (including God) to be scientifically fraudulent and philosophically impossible. Also explodes the theory of biological evolution. Absolutely refutes the notion that Catholic teaching should evolve in order to keep up with science. A brilliant work! 272 pgs, PB

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    1. And yet we are not free to simply refute the Council. And since we've been talking about him so much today, Fr. Hardon was whole-heartedly in support of the Council's teachings.

      Also, Humani Generis makes it clear that biological evolution is not in conflict withe the Catholic faith, provided certain details are kept in place (most importantly, the historical existence of Adam and Eve). This has nothing to do with changing church teaching to keep up with science. If you read Humani Generis and other relevant texts (Dei Verbum, to name one) it is clear that this is not what is going on.

      There is a long history of prominent Catholics (including saints) who did not believe in a literal 6-day creation, nor that the world is only 6000 years old. I for one, cannot fathom the latter, since the historical record itself is over 6000 years old, and human civilization demonstrably existed before this point.

      And *linguistic* evolution is an absolute fact that cannot be denied in any way, shape, or form. When we see related languages appearing at the dawn of recorded time, it's pretty good evidence that there was some prehistory.

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  4. Terry: My father and mother were close friends with all the padres from the Woodstock Theological Center in DC. They were, for the most part, total loons. Sr Delio is certainly the chief gal loon. Well there is Hellwig. Delio used to be a Carmelite nun. I have never forgotten how she described her sister nuns with the most heartless lack of charity.

    It was not until decades later that I was to put together how, in part, I lost my way in terms of the influece these crazy, but I mean, lunatic Jesuits had on me.

    For anyone educated by the Jesuits or at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in the early 70's, as my brothers and I were, were subjected to reading the Divine Milieu. I remember at that time what on earth is this man talking about, lol...

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    1. Maria,

      Thank GOD and His holy mother that you even have faith today. I mean REALLY!! Considering being subjected garbage...So what on earth WAS Teilhard talking about in "The Divine Milieu"?!

      I wonder what Father Hardon had to say about his Jesuit brother?

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    2. Delio a former Carmelite? Ah, that's too bad.

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  5. I remember thinking at that time what on earth is this man talking about, lol...

    Sorry for the typo.

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    1. Maria

      I was APPALLED when my 80 something Jesuit Old Testament professor told me in 1984 that Adam and Eve were not historical persons. So then I went to the library to and started researching papal documents on human origins and come across "Humani Generis" for one which contradicted what this priest was teaching in his class. This Jesuit priest btw was one of the main editors for that monumental work of Catholic orthodoxy "The New American Bible"............That experience prompted me to read Dr Wolfgang Smith's book on Teilhardism. I don't get the continued fascination with him.

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  6. I hadn't thought of it until now but I suppose that it why the Jebbies developed the "consciousness examen" , not exactly what Ignatius had in mind...I can't remember where I read this, but all of this took root a hundred years ago. Started w/ George Tyrell SJ SJ, then Chardin, then Rahner SJ, and well, we know where we are now, right? lol

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    1. YES!! I remember that "Consciousness examen"! I too remember researching and reading about George Tyrell SJ and of course we know of Rahner's continued influence. And exactly we are where we are now lol. but I mean such scandal and so many souls put at risk! How many people lost what little faith they had?

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  7. Servus: Truly, it was an act of pure grace and God's mercy that I hung on. I led the most sin soaked life. But you know what? When I made a general confession after this deep conversion (is there any other kind?) I confessed to the most wonderful old Jesuit at the Bascilica in Baltimore. Ignatius of Loyola has a lot to do w/ my conversion. Fr Hardon too. Fr. Hardon says that the manner of your conversion is very important, ie, how it came about. I am on the Jesuits at America Mag and Good Jeusit Bad Jesuit day and night ;) Funny, how God works.

    Sorry, Terry. Please forgive me for usurping your blog w/ this.

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    1. Yes, I too had such a conversion. I am so grateful to God for His grace and mercy to me. I am also grateful to the Miles Christi priests and their preaching the Spiritual Exercises, general confession and continued spiritual direction. They are true sons of St Ignatius of Loyola. Above all I am grateful to Our Lady who remembered my little acts of faithfulness to her over the years.

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  8. Maria,

    I think your notion of the "consciousness examen" expressed here is not what every Jesuit who speaks about it in that way has in mind. For some balance, I'd consider Fr. George Aschenbrenner, SJ's article:

    http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/consciousness-examen/

    Or, this book by Fr. Tim Gallagher, OMV - a fine priest and Ignatian scholar:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Examen-Prayer-Ignatian-Wisdom/dp/0824523679

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  9. Servus--the denial of Adam and original sin comes from Rahner, er, I should say the enemy :)

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    1. Precisely, which is why I question continued fascination with both Teilhard and Rahner's ideas among Churchmen in the highest levels.

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  10. I went to a retreat w/ Aschenbrenner this past Lent. I like my examen the way it is, the way Ignatius intended it. Thanks for the references though!

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  11. How did Ignatius intend it, Maria? How is what Aschenbrenner wrote in that article different from what Igantius intended?

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  12. I remain happy as a clam because I never read anything even remotely theological written after the 12th century.

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  13. except from Ashcenbrenner article on this .Orginally published 1972. Aschenbrenner developed the "consciousnes examen. You can read the article. I am not interested.

    When examen is related to discernment, it becomes examen of consciousness rather than of conscience. Examen of conscience has narrow moralistic overtones. Its prime concern was with the good or bad actions we had done each day. Whereas in discernment the prime concern is not with the morality of good or bad actions; rather the concern is with the way God is affecting and moving us (often quite spontaneously!) deep in our own affective consciousness.

    Thanks, but no thanks. 1972 was about the time I had to decipher Chardin's nonsense at the Convent of the Sacred Heart. I was 17. And people wonder why we lost our faith...

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  14. Love the girls

    You are TOO funny. A girl after my own heart;)

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  15. The Holy Father looks rather dapper in his suit, Terry, don't you think, lol?

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  16. Has Our Lady ever appeared to a recognized theologian?

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    1. St Bernard is a doctor of the Church.

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  17. Maria,

    Are you saying that, if God does in fact affect and move us deep in our own affective consciousness. you aren't interested in relating to God in that way?

    Or, do you mean that you don't believe God in fact does act that way?

    Something else?

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  18. Shawdowlands: Well said ;)

    Patrick: I appreciate that you have another view. I would just like to leave it there, OK?

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  19. Thanks, Love the Girls. I am no theologian ;)

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  20. Maria,

    Ok, though when you or anyone else make blanket statements against "lunatic Jesuits" that I think are unsubstantiated, I'm going to call you on it because you ought to be able to stand behind your criticisms. Potentially damaging the reputations of others is not charitable no matter how orthodox one thinks one is.

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    1. Patrick Dunn,

      The best that can be said for most of those supposed theologians is that they are scandalous. They write in cryptic language that leads the unsuspecting away from clear teachings of the Church.

      If they want to drift off into gnosticism, let them, but they should at least have the decency to not take others down with them by publishing books for general consumption.

      Let them publish in 'scholarly' journals where the like minded can find them.

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  21. There are good Jesuits and have been in the last 40 years though in small numbers. Father John Hardon SJ, Father Hugh Thwaites SJ and others come to mind but when one speaks of Father Karl Rahner SJ and Father Teilhard de Chardin SJ and their legion of disciples who have managed to dismantle and extinguish the faith in many what more does one have to say? An editor of the "New American Bible" was my Old Testament professor (an 80 something year old Jesuit) denied that Adam and Eve were historical persons along with original sin as the class took notes and without question digested everything he had to say. I mean he was an authority on scripture wasn't he? This is just a small bit of the huge scandal of those Jesuits in places of authority leading souls astray.

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  22. love the girls,

    I was talking about a particular form of prayer that I thought was being disparaged unfairly, and not a particular theologian.

    However, since you raise the subject, I'm amazed how some here have flippantly attributed blame to certain theologians as if every crisis the Church faces today is because of them. Does their critics actually understand them, or is it simply capitalizing on the ease with which one can lob bombs in comment boxes and, in the process, refuse to engage an actual argument to the contrary?

    The fact that the Holy Father (albeit as Cardinal Ratzinger) found some merit in de Cardin seems to make those who dismiss him so easily seem rather short-sighted, in my opinion.

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    1. Patrick, sone wiill say that that just means there's reason to find fault with the Holy Father.

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    2. Mercury writes: "some will say that that just means there's reason to find fault with the Holy Father."

      And depending on what the Holy Father finds merit in, they would be justified. Being Pope doesn't make him universally infallible.

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    3. You are right, but he is someone we shouldn't be quick to judge (as if we should be quick to judge anyone).

      There are sometimes people who try to be more Catholic then the Church, or condemn things as "liberal" when it is not. Some of the writings of the Greek Fathers and the Desert Fathers sound
      shockingly "liberal" to some ears, yet are a part of tradition.

      At the very least, the Holy Father's theological opinions should be given reflection instead of shouting "see, he's contaminated too!"

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  23. WARNING REGARDING THE WRITINGS OF FATHER TEILHARD DE CHARDIN
    Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office
    On June 30, 1962, the Holy Office issued a monitum (warning) regarding the writings of Father Teilhard de Chardin. In 1981 the Holy See reiterated this warning against rumors that it no longer applied. Following is the text of both the monitum and the 1981 statement:
    Admonition

    "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 judgement 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.

    "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.

    "Given at Rome, from the palace of the Holy Office, on the thirtieth day of June, 1962.

    Sebastianus Masala, Notarius"

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFTEILH.HTM

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    1. Yeah, that worked, didn't it.

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    2. Yeah...so I'm left wondering why any reference or fascination with him would be in order. Are they trying to "rehabilitate" him and his theological thought?

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  24. A Periscope on Teilhard de Chardin

    By Rev. Fr. John W. Flanagan, S. T. L. , D.C.L.

    Published in Catholic Priests Association Newsletter, Vol.1, 1971


    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/modernism/periscope.htm

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