To those who have been studying his works for decades, he has really never went away, but become much more important and vital as the study of his work—a complicated process—and the evolution of Catholic knowledge, become more congruent.
William Ockham, in his great blog about Fr. Teilhard, has written an extensive and timely post about recent events concerning Fr. Teilhard.
I have remained silent at the most recent public remarks by Cardinal Gerhard Müller and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), mostly because the conflict saddens me and I feel like a child caught in the middle of a dispute between Mom and Dad. However, I also recognize that both “sides” have legitimate issues that need to be addressed and that some degree of healthy tension is good for the growth of any large, diverse organization (and the Catholic Church certain fits that category) as long as the discussion remains respectful. Despite the gross exaggeration of the conflict by the media, both Archbishop Peter Sartain and the head of the LCWR confirmed that the discussion remains productive and respectful. As the LCWR said:
“[B]oth Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, archbishop delegate overseeing the implementation of the CDF mandate, and the LCWR presidency affirmed the accuracy of the Cardinal’s remarks and commented on the positive conversation that followed. For LCWR, this conversation was constructive in its frankness and lack of ambiguity. It was not an easy discussion, but its openness and spirit of inquiry created a space for authentic dialogue and discernment.
“In our first visit on April 27 to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Monsignor Paul Tigue, Secretary, shared that Pope Francis insists upon creating, as part of the New Evangelization, a culture of encounter, marked by dialogue and discernment. We experienced this culture of encounter in every Vatican office we visited in the Curia, an encounter marked by genuine interaction and mutual respect.
“This is a very complex matter, yet LCWR was heartened by the attempt of both CDF and LCWR to find a way through that honors the integrity and mission of both offices . . . At our meeting with the CDF officials, we experienced a movement toward honest and authentic conversation on some of the matters that lie at the heart of our faith and our vocation. We have come to believe that the continuation of such conversation may be one of the most critical endeavors we, as leaders, can pursue for the sake of the world, the Church, and religious life. “
Yes, both “sides” do some really ill-advised things that make me scratch my head in bewilderment (e.g. the LCWR inviting Barbara Marx Hubbard to a conference or Cardinal Müller taking another unjustified swipe at Elizabeth Johnson, who is a first-rate Catholic scholar who has handled herself with class and dignity in the spirit of Teilhard de Chardin with the support of prominent Catholic priests and theologians). However, despite the portrayal in the media all parties seem to be respectful, open and engaged in finding a productive resolution. Hence, I have been silent on the issue.
However, a recent column by David Gibson of Religion News Service forces me to bring the silence as it not only mentions Teilhard de Chardin, but it rightfully implies that Teilhard is a potential bridge between the CDF and the LCWR. While there are some inaccuracies in the article and overly-sensational in its headline, it is a worthwhile read and David Gibson is one of the best in the business. The entire article can be found here but below is an extended excerpt:
Retrieved May 23, 2014 from http://teilhard.com/2014/05/23/reclaiming-teilhard-de-chardin/