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The Holy Mass - Part III

Teilhard de Chardin:
Precursor of the Council and Its Liturgy

Dr. Remi Amelunxen
The Tridentine Mass was never formally abrogated by Pope Paul VI. This is to say, not one word in the Missale Romanum of Paul VI issued on April 3 1969, stated it. While Paul VI did not abrogate the Tridentine Mass, he nevertheless, through the infamous Fr. Annibale Bugnini, mandated all the Bishops of the world to implement the Novus Ordo Missae.

Paul VI Novus Ordo Missae in Italian

Rome, 1975: For the first time Paul VI saying the Novus Ordo in Italian

The rest is history. For all practical purposes, by this directive the Tridentine Mass was placed in limbo. Although not formally forbidden, this was practically the case. Only the Bishops and priests who resisted the Novus Ordo from the beginning continued to say the Tridentine Mass. All the others obeyed the papal directive, which exerted a universal intimidation over the great majority of priests to succumb to the Novus Ordo - or else it was the end of their apostolate.

Further, they did what they were told because of their misguided high respect for the papacy and a wrong understanding of papal infallibility. Despite their concerns that the escalating and ever more radical changes in the Mass had deviated from Tradition, they felt obligated to obey their superiors, who took their orders from the Pope.

This blind obedience, however, is a false obedience because it is one that destroys the final end toward which obedience is turned. To obey the Conciliar Church on matters that conflict with the prior Magisterium is to agree to foster the destruction of the Faith and the Church.

we resist you to the face

The legitimate position of Catholic resistance is laid out here

Thus, as Atila Guimarães points out in his article “The Duty to Resist,” (1) faithful Catholics found themselves in a difficult and paradoxical situation: Faced with the dilemma of accepting unorthodoxy via blind obedience, they continued on the path to strict orthodoxy and resisted the apostate authority.

This position of resistance is defended by Saints and Doctors of the Church, as well as by famous theologians, Guimarães notes. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas, in many passages of his works, upholds the principle that the faithful can question and admonish Prelates when the Faith is under threat or endangered. (2)

Certainly this is the case today, and one of those threats to the Faith involves the radical changes in the Novus Ordo Missae, which has a deliberate flavor of heresy. Indeed, Paul VI invited six Protestant theologians to help to write the Novus Ordo, because he wanted to be sure that nothing would displease Protestantism.

The minor revision of the Mass made in 1962 was a prelude of the drastic aforementioned changes still to come.

But before proceeding with some details of those changes, a review is necessary of the preparatory groundwork laid for the Conciliar Revolution before John XIII opened the Council. In that preparation, one man clearly played an important role.

Teilhard de Chardin, herald of change

Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was one of the prime representatives of the Modernist Revolution at the turn of the 20th century who managed to escape the condemnation of St. Pius X.

Indeed, Pope Pius X was fighting Modernism in the Encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis (1907) along with the Syllabus of Errors entitled Lamentabile sane, which was published as an appendix to Pascendi; it condemned the 65 modernist errors.

At that time, the controversial Jesuit Fr. George Tyrell was preaching those same errors in England, and found himself duly chastised. By the time of his death in 1909 he had been expelled from the Jesuits and excommunicated from the Church.

Teilhard de Cardin votive candle

50 years after the Council, progressivist Catholic bookstores sell Teilhard de Chardin votive candles ...

After receiving the constant support of Pope Leo XIII, the modernists were forced into retreat during the papacy of Pope St. Pius X. But after the Saint's death, the errors re-emerged. It was Tyrell's protégé, the young Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who took up where his mentor left off, focusing specifically on integrating Catholic theology with the theories of evolution. Those theories had been strongly condemned by St. Pius X through his Biblical Commission, which had forbade any interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis that were not literal.

De Chardin taught that evolution is an ascent toward consciousness, and that this signifies a continuous upsurge of mankind toward the Omega Point, or Christ. Thus mankind - by an ever-expanding consciousness - is on its way toward integrating itself with that final Christ. It was in effect the introduction of Pantheism into the Church. As noted in another series of articles, evolution has been a major destructive force in advancing the great apostasy that now is officially installed in Holy Mother Church.

De Chardin's works were condemned six times by the Vatican and monitums were issued banning the publication of some of his key works, such as The Divine Milieu (1927) and The Phenomenon of Man (1940), which were nonetheless still published and taught in many Catholic Universities. He was frequently accused of heresy.

Notwithstanding, as World War II raged on, de Chardin, thanks to the connivance of Pope Pius XII, continued to expound his new vision of Catholicism, ignoring the bans and restrictions. At that time, he reportedly remarked to a friend, “I now have so many friends in good strategic positions that I am absolutely without fear for the future.” (3)

In fact, Teilhard would never be defrocked and formally excommunicated like his mentor Tyrell, even though he espoused the same heretical thinking. In 1962, the Holy Office wanted The Phenomenon of Man to be put on the Index of Forbidden Books, but John XXIII forbade that, and instead issued another weak monitum warning that his works had "ambiguities or rather with serious errors that offend Catholic doctrine." (4)

large host Benedict XVI

Benedict ratifies de Chardin's pantheist/cosmic vision of the Eucharist in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy

By the time of the Council, several Prelates made interventions declaring the formerly condemned Teilhard de Chardin was the intellectual “father” of Vatican II. Later, Card. Joseph Ratzinger would affirm that Gaudium et spes took its notion of Christianity from Teilhard de Chardin's evolutionary vision of the cosmos. (5)

The de Chardin boom continued. Speaking on the centenary of Teilhard's birth in 1981, Card. Agostino Casaroli, writing on behalf of John Paul II to the rector of the Institut Catholique in Paris, lauded the "amazing impact of his [de Chardin's] research, the brilliance of his personality, the richness of this thought, his powerful poetic insight, his acute perception of the dynamics of creation, his vast vision of the evolution of the world." (6)

His thinking also has influenced Church liturgy. In 2000 Ratzinger’s work The Spirit of the Liturgy, he described how Teilhard's vision of Christ became central to the post-Vatican II liturgical and “eucharistic experience.” He wrote:

"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.” (7)

In this regard, we can say that the Novus Ordo Missae, whose analysis we shall continue in the next article, is rooted in errors promoted by Teilhard de Chardin before the Council began. It is our hope that this digression should open the eyes of readers to how deep-rooted the Conciliar Revolution is. Further, it can be maintained that, generally speaking, the influence of Teilhard de Chardin on the Council and the post-conciliar era has been overlooked and not given due consideration.

As Bishop William Adrian of Nashville, Tennessee, stated after the Council, “The European periti, who really imposed their theories upon the Bishops, were deeply imbued with the errors of Teilhardism ... which errors ultimately destroy all divine faith and morality and all constituted authority.” (8)


  1. We Resist You to the Face, Los Angeles, 2000, pp. 153-154.
  2. Ibid., p. 154. Guimarães also gives other quotes from books of Fr. Peter Lombard, Fr. Francisco de Vitoria, Fr. Francisco Suarez, St. Robert Bellarmine and the great Jesuit commentator Fr. Cornelius a Lapide.
  3. Mary Martinez Bell, The Undermining of the Catholic Church, 1991, pp. 74-75.
  4. John Cowburn, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: A Selective Summary of His Life, Melbourne: Mosaic Press, 2013, p. 116.
  5. Card. Ratzinger: Gaudium et spes took its notion of Christianity from Teilhard de Chardin, Tradition in Action website.
  6. M. M. Bell, The Undermining of the Catholic Church, p. 70.
  7. Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ignatius Press, 2000, p. 29
  8. David Martin, Vatican II: A Historic Turning Point, Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 2012, p. 109.

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Posted March 9, 2014