Sunday, October 30, 2016

I can't believe First Things ran this ad

Were my eyes deceiving me? I saw this full page ad in First Things (Nov. 2016 issue, p. 15) advertising a book entitled A Retreat with Teilhard de Chardin by Rev. Donald Goergen, O.P., Ph.D. (Aquinas Institute of Theology):
Experience the towering mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin in this one-of-a-kind retreat that you can experience in your home or car.

Presented by gifted professor, author, and contemplative retreat leader Rev. Donald Goergen, O.P. A Retreat with Teilhard de Chardin will capture your spiritual imagination and deepen your life with Christ. There conferences are life-changing [Yeah, I bet!].

Trained as a scientist and ordained as a Jesuit priest, Teilhard had a mystical vision of the world was [sic.] both universal and deeply personal. This moving retreat will lead you to discover how this vision can shape your spirituality today [Shirley Maclaine would love this!]. Let Teilhard accompany you and offer wise guidance in your journey to eternal life.
Oh, brother!




It's hard to believe that the Church didn't learn its lesson with Henri Perrin and the French worker protest fiasco of the 1940s. But no, De Charden like Rahner remains a dead fly in the postconciliar ointment that many still want to retrieve and reconstruct in some wild stab at going back to a "Tomorrowland"-like world of theological heroics. DeLubac studiously tried to defend him. Flannery O'Connor was intrigued by him. Kreeft invoked him (in his winsome if not quite right headed 'Ecumenical Jihad'). As did likewise one Joseph Ratzinger, in scattered places within his prolific output.

But I think it was Frank Sheed who while it all sounded pretty, you could never be quite sure just what he was saying, except that it sounded not quite right. Which in my book is a rather reliable red flag. As is a dubious record of archaeological truth-telling. But a combination of good prose, hip (for the era of love beads & lava lamps) parlance, and an arresting pose apparently emits a seductive charm that lulls and lingers. It did as well in the case of Marshal McLuhan, who was far more orthodox and actually brought to the conversation a fistful of decent, defensible ideas. De Charden on the other hand, fell much closer to someone like Edward Cacye. I wonder if FT would run an ad for something by someone like him...

Pertinacious Papist


First Things and Edward Cacye. Now there's a test case I'd like to see!



Also, anytime someone starts reference a 'great' by their first name only ("Teilhard"), you know you are in for something...