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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Th Devil's Advocate Needs to Look at This One! Fulton Sheen and Teilhard de Chardin: Strange Bedfellows?

Teilhard de Chardin
I've read many books by Fulton Sheen and watched a number of his old TV shows from Life is Worth Living. Much of what he's written is beautiful, insightful, and thought provoking. But one thing completely baffles me -- his fulminating admiration for Teilhard de Chardin. 

What got me thinking about this was a sermon I listened to from Pentecost Sunday contrasting the "Apostle of Rome," St. Phillip Neri, and Chardin, the "Apostle of Modern Thought," Chardin's story is creepy to say the least.

In his writings he describes an encounter in the desert with "The Thing" that sounds similar to the encounter Mohammed had in the desert with an angel, a dark angel for sure! As described, the event bears NO resemblance to any encounter with Christ any saint has ever described. I'm even curious as to whether the "companion" Chardin mentioned was a "spirit guide." Here's how Father described it in his sermon contrasting Chardin's bizarre encounter to the mystical union between St. Philip Neri and Jesus:

Teilhard de Chardin in one of his early compositions as well as his last book (which was autobiographical), mentions a mystical encounter through which he had experienced early in his career. He writes: “The man [that is, Chardin himself] was walking in the desert, followed by his companion, when the Thing swooped down on him. Then, suddenly, a breath of scorching air passed across his forehead, broke through the barrier of his closed eye lids, and penetrated his soul. The man felt he was ceasing to be merely himself; an irresistible rapture took possession of him . . . . And at the same time the anguish of some super human peril oppressed him, a confused feeling that the force which had swept down upon him was equivocal (vague, ambiguous), turbid (confused), the combined essence of all evil and all goodness . . . . ‘You called me: here I am,’ says the Thing; ‘I was waiting for you in order to be made holy,’ it went on to declare. ‘And now—I am established on you for life, or for death. . . . He who has once seen me can never forget me: he must either damn himself with me or save me with himself.’” To which Chardin replied: “O you who are divine and mighty, what is your name?” Clearly, he was not really a scientist after all, but a sort of mystic being led by a spirit guide. ...but not from above!!...

St. Philip received an outpouring of the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost... Chardin, the spirit of his so-called “cosmic christ.” They are not the same. As St. Robert Bellarmine says: “For every heresy speaks wonderfully about Christ, yet does not preach the true Christ, but another which it invents for itself.” The effects of each spirit prove the veracity of this claim!
Chardin is the guru of the New Age, another indictment against his philosophy. In a series of articles on Chardin, Professor Walter Veith, describes the Jesuit's spirituality:
As both a Jesuit priest and a scientist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin sought to bring together elements of the Christian faith with the theory of evolution. The result was a departure from both Christian doctrine and evolutionary science.
Teilhard’s views deeply influenced the New Age world. In fact, as Gary Kah tells us, “Chardin is one of the most frequently quoted writers by leading New Age occultists.”
Among the views he promoted which were condemned by the Church at the time (his books were restricted until after Vatican II) was his theory of the "cosmic Christ," described by Veith:
The universal Christ, or Maitreya, is not Jesus Christ but rather a New Age Ascended Master who is said to come and lead all religions into unity. This universal Christ is an attempt to steal the glory from the true Christ, Jesus. Here are Teilhard’s thoughts on the matter:
...a general convergence of religions upon a universal Christ who satisfies them all: that seems to me the only possible conversion of the world, and the only form in which a religion of the future can be conceived (emphasis added).ii 
I believe that the Messiah whom we await, whom we all without any doubt await, is the universal Christ; that is to say, the Christ of evolution.iii
Chardin was a pantheist, a philosophy at complete odds with Catholic doctrine of a personal Savior who loves each of us individually. Pantheists believe that man, like other material creation, is just one manifestation of God. Instead of man being made in the image and likeness of God; he is just one part and must become one with the universe. Chardin's nature-babble permeates the environmentalist nonsense of our day. Here's what Veith writes:
The view that the universe and God are identical, or that nature is God, is a New Age belief that Teilhard supported in these words: 
"My approach...would narrow that bringing out what one might call the Christian soul of pantheism or the pantheist aspect of Christianity."iv 
"I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe."v
What exactly does it mean and what does one do to become "one with the universe?"

Anne Roche Muggeridge in her book, The Gates of Hell: the Struggle for the Catholic Church (1975), writes about the unity between Marxism and Tielhardianism:
...the irresistible evolutionary process of humanity has been opportunely bolstered for the Catholic left by Teilhard de Chardin's "evolutionary Cosmos" process theology. Neither Marxism nor Teilhardianism has room for the concept of original sin and the fall of man, therefore, no need for a belief in individual redemption. Both are deterministic and progressive, both hold that change is always for the better and man and society perfectible.  
This is the man that Fulton Sheen praised to the skies in his 1967 book, Footprints in a Darkened Forest:
It is very likely that within 50 years when all the trivial, verbose disputes about the meaning of Teilhard's ‘unfortunate’ vocabulary will have died away or have taken a secondary place, Teilhard will appear like John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, as the spiritual genius of the twentieth century.
Yikes! Was Sheen a victim of the idiocy following Vatican II? Could this brilliant man really not see and understand why Church authorities condemned Chardin's writings? Chardin is the epitome of the "I'm okay, you're okay" new age culture that finds solace in crystals and incense instead of God. Chardin seemed to believe that as long as we identify with the universe (and recycle) we will all merge back into the throbbing primordial soup of life on Judgment Day where we become sucked into God. (This reminds me of nothing more than Sartre's existential nausea and Screwtape's relishing the fact that he may be given Wormwood to eat after that unfortunate apprentice devil loses his "patient" to God.)

My admiration for Sheen has taken a nose dive. I've been stupid myself in the past. I'm embarrassed to admit that I once even thought Rod McKuen's driveling poetry was worth reading. But I didn't have either the education or intelligence of a Fulton Sheen.

I'll continue to research Sheen's enthusiasm for a man who was clearly a fan of the occult. I hope Sheen changed his mind about Chardin before his death in 1979. It's amazing that a priest who says he made a Eucharistic holy hour every day of his ordained life could be so deceived by a Jesuit who may very well have been possessed by the devil.

For more on Chardin, I recommend Hugh Owen's article on the Kolbe Center website,  Teilhard de Chardin: False Prophet of a “New Christianity” And remember the words of St. Paul, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema." (Galatians 1:8)


Tom said...

Uncle Fultie's gushing tribute of Teilhard in his 1967 book was the transcript of an episode of his post Rochester, New York, Archbishop interlude (which was a failure and from which he resigned after three years) TV series, The Fulton Sheen Program - an epidoe that you will never see on EWTN!

Edison Frisbee said...

Wow....very interesting!

Roe Antinore said...

John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila were both misunderstood and persecuted in their own time. I am a third order Carmelite so I have studied both. John was imprisoned and beaten by his fellow priests for his ideas and spirituality yet we today know him as truly a saint of his time. Same with Teresa of Avila. She knew was what was wrong in the convents and set about to change it albeit amongst much kickback from her sisters. Bishop Sheen was human. Humans make mistakes. Is it possible he was just "mistaken" about Teilhard? I don't know much about Teilhard but I do love to listen to Fulton Sheen's sermons. They hit home with me. I've never found him to preach anything that went against our Catholic Faith and morals although I never did see or listen to any of his sermons regarding Teilhard.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I'm not accusing Sheen of being evil, Roe. And I'm certainly not going to throw out his books. But I will read them with my critical reason antennae fully extended. I found a 1967 article which points out his support for Alinsky community organizing in Rochester. That was probably one of the reason for his failure as a diocesan bishop. He supported a priest who sounds like all the socialist leftist priests of our day. One of the smartest moves of Satan is to get good people to do his work out of a misguided sense of moral righteousness. Satan loves to masquerade as an angel of light with pastoral sensibilities who absolutely loves the poor while he works to enslave or eliminate them.

rohrbachs said...

Another data point is that Sheen reportedly told Bella Dodd not to name names of the communist infiltrators.

Unknown said...

Malachi Martin offers a whole chapter on TdeC in his bookThe Jesuits. A must read. I was in College when Chardin caught fire. Noosphere? Existentialism? I didn't know what he was talking about but the whole church was swept away by him. I guess Sheen caught the wave too. It was also Saul Ali nsky time as I recall. Another disaster. Read MM.

Nancy Reyes said...

Sheen's time in Rochester was a disaster, since he implemented a lot of "reforms" (or maybe left the reformers already there push their agenda).. and he only lasted briefly, and then asked to retire "because of age".
Catholic exchange has this article on him:
Chardin's writings were taken up enthusiastically, because they tried to reconcile science and religion. The heresy there was subtle and missed by many: it is only 50 years later that we see the "Fruits" of his philosophy.
The problem is not evolution per se (God directed evolution has been a Catholic theory since Augustine), but because he saw man evolving to God, ignoring the importance of Christ.
Also, Chardin's part in the Piltdown man hoax (where even if he wasn't part of the hoax, nevertheless, he never hinted it might not be true) makes his career as a scientist questionable.

Susan Matthiesen said...

Flannery O'Connor was once enamored of Tielhard de Chardin but backed off a bit when she heard that the Church was cautioning his works....although she clearly liked him and explains why in this link.

elpine flower said...

RIP Fr Belisarius.He once told me when he entered the Jesuits he spent his Novitiate in de Chardin's cell. He felt it was oppressive and said he spent time decorating the walls with gold fleur de lilles that he traced and cut out from gold foil paper. Eventually he said he came to resent the adulation other Jesuits seem to feel visiting de chardin's grave. I( I will leave it to your to imagination as to what he said they should have been doing at the grave site ) . Fr left the Jesuits behind and became a Melkite Catholic priest. I miss our phone conversations and debates especially over the Crusaders . To his credit he did tell me I was right after he ordered a book by Barbara Frale ,a Vatican Paleographer who worked in the Secret Vatican Library and who found some fascinating ancient documents on the Templars and the Shroud of Christ, while researching for her PhS from the University of Venice.

As for Bishop Sheen, although my mother adored him , his affect reminded me too much of how people described meeting with Cdl Donald Wuerl in private conversations over abuse cases. Maybe it's just me , but his pacing and swirling cape just left me cold as being too theatrical. None the less, I am happy his remains are being returned to his family instead of becoming an object of financial gain for Cardinal Dolan.

Chriss Rainey said...

I strongly suspect this oneness and evolution to perfection crap is in full bloom in the documents now being drafted for the upcoming synod of the Amazon.

elpine flower said...

I agree with your suspicions Chriss.

Some of us believe Bish Fulton Sheen was a sleeper.
forbidding Dodd to blow the whistle on the Commies she knew for a fact she planted in the seminaries and the fact that he was quick to institute sex ed when he got his Diocese, all bespeaks of the same tactics Dodd revealed were the instructions given to the communist plants.
They were told to rise as high as they could in their clerical careers appearing to be very orthodox in their beliefs and then to turn everything on it's head. "Cosmic Christ" is a pretty UN orthodox view of the Faith and the sex ed itself is a direct prohibition of what the Earliest Christians were taught according to the writings in the "Didache" , writings that predated the compilation of the Scriptures but were not deemed Canonical because the authors were unknown, yet they were not considered Gnostic because the information was neither new or heretical. Under "Gross Sins which lead to other sins", the corruption of boys is clearly forbidden for the earliest Christian communities.
Sexual education by any persons other than parents with the God given responsibility to form their children in Faith and morals is a corruption of the Natural Law.
A v Hildebrand who disseminated copies of the Lenninger couple's notarized copy of what they heard Bella Dodd say in public Catholic seminars, let me know that ONLY homosexual communists took on the seminary assignments.
Always look for true humility in a priestly instruction and the theatrical swirling cape showman just did nothing to convince me of priestly sincerity........just IMHO

Chriss Rainey said...

Would you say the same about the Book of Enoch?

I read it recently and have been very inspired by its content.

elpine flower said...

Yes , in that the author is not clearly known. Copies of the Didache were discovered
much later though and they have been identified as instructions to Early Christian on what was then the orally transmitted Gospels by the Apostles and the Disciples.

I found the explanation of what was to be considered a False Prophet very interesting in light of what we know about our clerics today.
A False Prophet then, was any cleric who took donations and then used the money on luxuries for himself. Someone preaching anything different or contradictory to the Apostles preaching about Jesus was a heretic.

elpine flower said...

Chriss I responded in more depth but I do not know if it went through to post.

You can read about the Didache here.

note bene the corruption of boys was considered a gross sin......and a False Prophet was any cleric who took donations and used them for personal luxuries.....
I wonder what the Apostles think of some of our clerics and Prelates today?

elpine flower said...

Yes , similar because the author or authors were not clearly identified.

The Didache was discovered much later. They were instructions given by the Apostles to the Early Christians before the Gospels were written.
Allegedly Christians would ask for explanations and the Apostles and Disciples would explain .

A False Prophet was defined as a cleric who would take donations and use them for his own luxuries.Gross sin that led to other sin included the "Corruption of boys".
They were discovered in an ancient Christian Monastery in Constantinople and
dated 50 -120 AD.
On Mt Athos they have over 6000 Early Christian Codexes.

Can you imagine what the Apostles would think of the mansions some of these Cardinals and Bishops have? Just lst week I was looking at pictures of a mansion on Voris' site that was given to the Arch Diocese of NY as a retreat house for priests. Dlan decided to keep it for himself because it had, "...too many stairs." It had a 70 ft indoor lap pool built to look like a Venetian canal complete with and arched bridge.

This is what the Apostles explained a False Prophet to be in the Didache.

elpine flower said...

Maryanne and Chriss,

Apologies for three copies of comments on the same subject. Being somewhat techno challenged, I did not think the first two went through at all.

Paul Jackson said...

First things first.
Church needs to re-establish Devil's Advocate aka Promoter of the Faith!

Tancred said...

Sheen was always an Americanism. Maybe he got religion toward the end as he saw what the creatures of the council were doing to the Church.

Dymphna said...

Archbishop Sheen may have protecting Bella Dodd's life when he told her not to name any of the infiltrators. We may never know why he did that and it's one of the reasons along with the lack of miracles why he should not be canonized.

BrotherBeowulf said...

On the relation between Chardin and Francus and the Synod, laborious study has been devoted by the inimitable James Larson on the Rosary to the Interior website.

Thanks Mrs Krietzer for Chardin exposé. The Thing is clearly diabolical.

“Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou alone hast destroyed all heresies throughout the world!”