Thursday, March 29, 2018

Be Careful What You Read at "The Catholic Thing"--It May Not Be Catholic

Today the editors at the well known site The Catholic Thing

Editor in Chief: Robert Royal
Senior Editor: Brad Miner 
Managing Editor: Hannah Russo
Associate Managing Editor: Emily Rowles 
Contributing Editors: Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., Mary Eberstadt, Hadley Arkes, George J. Marlin, Rev. Gerald E. Murray, Ralph McInerny (RIP), Michael Novak (RIP), Anthony Esolen, David Warren, Howard Kainz, Rev. C.J. McCloskey, Randall Smith, Rev. Bevil Bramwell, O.M.I.

saw fit to publish an article by Fr. Robert P. Imbelli, Eucharist and New Creation. Who is Imbelli?

Following his graduation from Yale, Imbelli continued his teaching at St. Joseph's Seminary as a professor of systematic theology.[1] Leaving St. Joseph's, Imbelli continued his teaching at the Maryknoll School of Theology. Finally in 1986, he was given a leadership position as Director of the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College. In 1993, he stepped down from this position and has remained an associate professor of theology.
In addition to teaching, Imbelli has been a prolific contributor to journals and magazines like Commonweal, America and L'Osservatore Romano. He also edited and contributed to a book, Handing on the Faith: the Church's Mission and Challenge, in 2006.[1] In addition to his frequent articles, he maintains an almost daily updated blog on Commonweal.
Imbelli is also the author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination: Theological Meditations for the New Evangelization.

The reference to "the Christic Imagination" is a dead giveaway that we're dealing here with a Teilhardian. "The Christic" is the title of an article that Teilhard de Chardin wrote near the end of his life. If you take a glance at it you'll get a flavor for Teilhard's Gnostic, non-Christian, cosmogony. In it you'll find such gems as:

It is Christ, in very truth, who saves,
— but should we not immediately add that at the same time it is Christ who is saved by
I'm not kidding, he really says that. And there's lots more like that. Here--try this, chosen pretty much at random:

Whether rising or descending, every operation (because of the very curvature of the particular ‘space’ within which it finds completion) is ultimately pan-humanizing and pan-Christifying at the same tune. 
So true is this, that to the ‘informed eye’ all opposition is blurred between attachment and detachment, between action and prayer, between centration upon self and excentration upon the Other. 
And this because God can in future be experienced and apprehended (and can even, in a true sense, be completed) by the whole ambient totality of what we call Evolution - in Christo Jesu... 
This is still, of course, Christianity and always will be, but a Christianity re-incarnated for the second time (Christianity, we might say, squared) in the spiritual energies of Matter. It is precisely the ‘ultra-Christianity’ we need here and now to meet the ever more urgent demands of the ‘ultra-human’.
Imbelli rather cleverly doesn't mention Teilhard in his article, although he's well acquainted with Teilhard's thought. Instead he endorses Teilhardian Gnosticism by indirection--by quoting an ardent Teilhardian disciple, Joseph Ratzinger, aka, Benedict XVI:

In one of his most impassioned paragraphs, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger exclaimed:
The Eucharist is never an event involving just two, a dialogue between Christ and me. Eucharistic Communion is aimed at a complete reshaping of my life. It breaks up man’s “I” and creates a new “we.” Communion with Christ is necessarily also communion with all who belong to him. It means that I myself become part of the new bread that he is creating by the transubstantiation of the whole of earthly reality.
Oh my! What could Ratzinger possibly mean by "the transubstantiation of the whole of earthly reality?" Could he possibly mean something like "the divinization of matter?" As a matter of fact that's exactly what Ratzinger does mean. How do I know this? Because Ratzinger said so in his famous (infamous?) passage in The Spirit of the Liturgy:

“And so we can now say that the goal of worship and the goal of creation as a whole are one and the same—divinization, a world of freedom and love. But this means that the historical makes its appearance in the cosmic. The cosmos is not a kind of closed building, a stationary container in which history may by chance take place. It is itself movement, from its one beginning to its one end. In a sense, creation is history. 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 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 toward 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.” 

Count me among those who are not thrilled that "Teilhard went on to give a new meaning to Christian worship." I was perfectly OK with the meaning that was handed down from Christ to the Apostles, the meaning that's embodied in the Roman Canon.

What could the editors of The Catholic Thing possibly have been thinking about by publishing an article by such an obviously questionable author, who quotes with approval a notorious, pertinacious, and open heretic such as Joseph Ratzinger? There are only two possibilities. Either they are intent on propagating Modernist, Gnostic, heresy or ... they're brain dead as regards the Christian faith. Take note of their names, and do not trust their recommendations.

Let's bring this depressing exercise to a conclusion by offering some links to critiques of Teilhard and his influence that every informed Catholic should acquaint himself with--because the future of the Faith depends on being able to separate theological sheep from heretical goats masquerading as sheep:

Teilhard de Chardin: The Vatican II Architect You Need to Know

I  can't recommend the above study enough. It's excellent.

Challenging the Rehabilitation of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

This article is in some respects somewhat naive--particularly in its dubious attempts to distance heretics such as Ratzinger and de Lubac from Teilhard. Read the comments after the article. Devastating.

Benedict XVI Praises the Cosmic Liturgy of Teilhard de Chardin

Has some useful references/links.

The "Spirit of the Council" nightmare that never ends: Teilhard de Chardin is what passes for "New Evangelization" in top Roman university

Contains this eye-opening passage:

Two Catholic thinkers, E. Gilson and J. Maritain, without allowing themselves to be deceived by “the beautiful vocabulary”, the “Great Fairy Tale” , the “pathetic neologisms” and the fanciful visions of the Jesuit (“The Cosmic Christ”, “Omega point of becoming”, etc.) do not hesitate in defining Teilhard’s doctrines as “Teilhard’s gnosis” and “theology-fiction”. Maritain, in particular, reports a significant passage from one of his [Teilhard's] letters to Leontine Zanta: “You know already what is dominating my interests and my inner preoccupations and it is the effort to establish in myself, and to spread all around me, a new religion (call it even improved Christianity), in which the personal God ceases to be the great Neolithic master of the past to become the soul of the World that our religious and cultural era cries out for”.
“New Religion”, “soul of the World”: how can this be linked to the doctrine of a transcendent Creator Who became Incarnate in order to save man from sin?
Again Teilhard writes in 1953: “That which makes Christianity alive is not the sense of Contingency of creation, but that of a mutual developing of the world and God”. In light of this and a thousand other declarations of an evidently pantheistic flavor, it is difficult not to agree with Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, according to whom the Jesuit identifies Jesus Christ with the cosmos, mixing pantheism and evolutionism in a metaphysical way as well as with Hegelian themes such as “without the world God is not God.”
Referring to the studies of Claude Tresmontant’s “Le Père Teilhard de Chardin et la Théologie”, to the discreet conversations with Gilson and some writings by Cardinal Journet, Maritain continues that, regarding other truths of the Faith, Teilhard “extrapolates a pseudo-theology and a pseudo-philosophy from scientific language;” he does not fully accept the concept of creation; evolution, a work of matter, originates the soul, and not the work of God; he defines the Incarnation erroneously as an “immersion in the multiple;” he unites the world and the Incarnation in an essential bond, denying the gratuitousness of Salvation; he sets aside the traditional idea of sin; he distorts the idea of the Redemption (to that of a Christ that allows Himself to be crucified in a world which itself is proceeding towards the Omega point); he call upon Christians to the worship progress, “of kneeling before the world” forgetting the existence of evil and the role of Satan in history.


  1. Because putative macro evolution proceeds with randomness and mutations (absent teleology) , one would have anticipated that the mutant Chardin would have sired no children.

    Sadly he has sired many hopeful monsters whom many think are theological geniuses

  2. Yeah. When we see a major architect of the V2Church and a recent pope hailing (and not just once) "the transubstantiated Host [as] the anticipation of the transformation and divinization of matter in the christological “fullness”, I'd say it's safe to say that we have a problem. When the numerically largest grouping of Catholics who claim to hold to the pure faith against modernists, including many self styled "traditionalists," vehemently maintain against all the evidence that this same man is a theological genius and the ultimate bulwark of orthodoxy, it's safe to say that the problem has metastasized into a full blown crisis of the the most virulent sort imaginable.

    Which is why I decline to self censor myself.