Grahame Fallon

Thanks for publishing my letter titled 'Evolution conference' in the December/January AD2000. As I have said in a number of places, I don't know how brethren most closely associated with AD2000 feel about the spirituality of Jesuit Father Pierre Teilhard (1881-1955), but I am grateful that the Editor and Editorial Board have never failed to accept and publish anything that I have ever submitted to AD2000 - usually or always of a Teilhardian nature.

For that I am truly grateful and I never cease thanking our dear God for your kindness.

In all this I am ever mindful that some Catholics regard the 'silencing' of Teilhard before and after his death - especially the monitum issued by the Holy Office (now Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in 1962 and again by the Press Office in 1981 - as amounting to nothing other than a declaration of heresy.

But now, considering that the Church proposes to reconsider the condemnation of Galileo (1564-1642) and to re-examine the archives of his trial next year (CathNews), I hope and pray that similar kindness may soon be extended to Pierre Teilhard.

As I have seen it over the last 42 years, Teilhard's only fault was that he yearned to make Jesus bigger than the theologians had made Him since the death of St Maximus the Confessor (580-662), 30 years after Muhammad (570-632).

By that time Islam was spreading out of Arabia east and west, north and south across the Judaeo-Christian world. As George Maloney SJ said, 'There was an eclipse in the cosmic dimension of Christology' - at least in the West (The Cosmic Christ from Paul to Teilhard, page 15).

Father Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) agreed. In his 1968 Introduction to Christianity (Herder & Herder, 1971) he noted that whereas Eastern Christianity has always sought to 'see' the Christian Faith in a 'cosmic and metaphysical' perspective, that enlarged perspective is 'at last beginning to gain currency in the Western consciousness as well - especially as a result of stimuli from the work of Teilhard' (p.52).

Woody Point, Qld

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