The following reflection ties together threads of thought contributing to the Holy Father's formation — so as to understand, better, some of his more controversial words and acts. In doing so, it does not intend to calumniate his person or denigrate the office he holds.
The Theological Formation of Jorge Bergoglio, S. J.
- H.H. Pope Francis -
The third year of his pontificate now complete, Pope Francis remains, to say the least, an enigma. A great deal of commentary on the present reigning pontiff of the Catholic Church has been focused, especially here in the United States, on his political and economic policies. These include his preoccupation with themes concerning poverty, immigration, and social justice, as well as the environment and global warming.
While these are interesting speculations, they do not answer the question of the deeper theological vision underlying these political positions. An important element perhaps lies in the simple fact that he is a product of 20th-century Jesuit formation.
First, one must take into consideration Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whose thought has become almost universally accepted within the Jesuit order.(1)
Originally censured by his superiors in 1922 for questioning the doctrines of Original Sin and Eternal Damnation, in 1947, upon return from banishment in China, Teilhard began insinuating his ideas among his fellow Jesuits via unsigned mimeographed monographs. By the mid to late 1950s his theories were extolled by some of the best and the brightest Catholic thinkers i.e., Frank Sheed, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen,(2) and even Jacques Maritain(3) and Etienne Gilson(4) for a short period.
The reason for his popularity was his apparent resolution of the differences between religious truth as proposed by the Catholic Church, and scientific "fact" as proposed by Darwinian evolution. The problem was, unfortunately, that his solution was neither scientific nor Catholic, a fact which he admitted privately to his cousin Leóntine Zanta in 1936:
What increasingly dominates my interests, is the effort to establish within myself and define around me, a new religion (call it a better Christianity; if you like) where the personal God ceases to be the great monolithic proprietor of the past to become the Soul of the World which the stage we have reached religiously and culturally calls for.(5)
And what are the tenets of this new and better Christianity that Teilhard had in mind? Essentially it involves the elevation of humanity along with the entire cosmos to the apex of divinity via an evolutionary process.
God evolves, via 'complexification' and 'convergence' to his own perfection, the 'Omega point,' immersed in matter. One is inseparable from the other; one is never without the other; ... No spirit (not even God within the limits of our experience) exists, nor could structurally exist without an associated multiple, any more than a center can exist without its circle or circumference. In a concrete sense there is not matter and spirit. All that exists is matter becoming spirit [God].(6) [Ergo, neither angels nor demons are present in Teilhard's cosmos.]
For Teilhard, Christ stands at the "crux" of evolution, as the first to realise His own evolving divine/human nature, or "God consciousness." Ascended to the pure spiritual level or "Noosphere," He stands also at the "Omega point" where everything converges and coalesces into the one divine substance.
The first acknowledged promoters of Teilhard's new, but ever old pantheist(7) theology were the theologians at the French Jesuit Theologate at La Fourvière in the city of Lyon. Foremost among them was Teilhard's disciple, Henri de Lubac, professor of Fundamental Theology.
While Teilhard's letters were at first read surreptitiously, their influence was enormous, especially in de Lubac's writings, which led to his censure by Pius XII, and to the temporary dismissal from his post in 1950.(8) On the death of Pius in 1958, de Lubac was officially rehabilitated by his Order and resumed his defence of Teilhard's evolutionary theology, especially in his hagiographic biography, Teilhard de Chardin, The Man and His Meaning (1965).
It is generally acknowledged that de Lubac was the guiding spirit of the closing document of Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, the Constitution on the Church and the Modern World.(9) He was made a Cardinal by John Paul II in 1983. While Pope Francis acknowledged his debt to Henri de Lubac in a recent interview with the progressive French journal La Vie (2 March 2016).(10)
In the La Vie interview, the Holy Father also praised the French Philosopher Emmanuel Mounier, a disciple of both Teilhard and Friedrich Nietzsche.(11) At the same time, Francis singled out Fr. Michel de Certeau S.J. as the most eminent of all modern theologians. Fr. de Certeau is an avowed Freudian thinker and founder, along with Jacques Lacan, of the Ecole Freudienne de Paris in 1964.(12) Not only are the theories of Sigmund Freud essentially antithetical to Christian morals and Divine Revelation, Fr. de Certeau was also a vocal critic of Western Christian "cultural imperialism."(13)
Perhaps the most significant and proximate influence on the Holy Father was his late mentor and foremost promoter, Cardinal Carlo Martini, S.J.. An avowed enthusiast of Teilhard de Chardin (as stated in a 2007 Italian interview(14)), he twice championed Cardinal Bergoglio's bid for the papacy. It is Martini's view of the Church — "I recommend three very strong ones [changes]. The first is conversion: the church [sic] must recognise its errors and follow a radical path of change, beginning with the pope and the bishops" — that is now echoed in the papacy of Francis.
With an acknowledgement of Teilhard's influence (as referenced by the pope in footnote 53 of the quote below), Pope Francis himself presented a synopsis of Teihardian theology in his recent encyclical, Laudato Si:
83. The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things. [Footnote 53 - “Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr Teilhard de Chardin ...”(15)] Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures. The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival [Omega point], which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things. Human beings, endowed with intelligence and love, and drawn by the fullness of Christ, are called to lead all creatures back to their Creator.
Another prominent promoter of Jesuit innovative theology, Karl Rahner S.J., was also influential in Jorge Bergoglio's religious formation. The young Bergoglio came under the influence of Rahner while in the seminary via his teacher and friend, Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone,(16) a Rahner scholar who also introduced the future Pope to "Argentine Popular Theology" — a variant of Liberation Theology but, theoretically, without the Marxist overtones of class struggle.
Some salient points of Rahner's theology, as pointed out in his seminal work, Foundations of Christian Faith, a book considered by many to be the 'Summa' of progressive post-Conciliar thought are as follows:
First, Rahner, like Teilhard, was a pantheist. "God and the grace of Christ are in all things, as the secret essence of each reality.... He who accepts his own existence, and thereby his humanity, even though he doesn’t know it, says yes to Christ."(17)
Further, following Teilhard and Hegel, Rahner posits an incomplete God (Absolute mind) at the beginning who must find completion in time. Whereas Hegel's 'Absolute mind' becomes other in order to understand itself, Rahner's God wants to communicate Himself to the other in order to awaken a response of love: "When God wants to become what he is not, man comes to be."(18)
Again, as in Teilhard, Christ is not the Redeemer who bore our sins, as set forth in the Gospels, but the man who said "Yes" for all humanity on its evolutionary journey to being reabsorbed into the divine presence.
Philosophically, Rahner follows Heidegger as an Existentialist. Man has no defined nature as in Aristotle and Aquinas, but only human experiences or "human reality" (Rahner's term) which Heidegger labelled "existentials." Every individual experiences life differently, but there are existentials that are common to all men. Among these, according to Rahner, is the "self-communication of God" [Kerigma] to all men.(19)Thus we arrive at his famous dictum affirming the "Anonymous Christian." For Rahner and his followers — as there is no specific/given divine positive or natural law, and therefore no absolute rules of conduct — one must follow one's own conscience based on lived experience guided by the innate self-communication of God.
This new concept of conscience may be found in the Holy Father's interview with Eugenio Scalfari of La Republica in 2013, where the Pope stated to his interlocutor:
Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.(20)
Rahner's dubious doctrine of the divinely inspired autonomous conscience is echoed in the following passage by Fr. James Martin, S.J., which appeared in America, a Jesuit journal, following the 2015 synod on the Family:
At the heart of every group discernment [a Jesuit term for decision-making] is the idea that everyone should be ... radically free to follow God's will wherever it may lead. This means that the participants in the group should free themselves from "disordered attachments," including "fealty to things, ideas and people” — including previously accepted beliefs and figures of authority — "that prevent one from thinking, speaking and acting freely. The most essential element of group discernment is this absolutely radical freedom.(21)
On the broader level, following Rahner, one cannot judge one religion to be better than another, as all are divinely inspired.(22)This extreme ecumenical view was proclaimed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue in an interview given in 2008 at the Vatican. He stated, at that time, that new guidelines were being prepared for the Catholic Church's dealings with other world religions. He concluded his talk by telling his interlocutor that he would be travelling soon to India and that there he wanted to "give this message that all religions are equal."(23)
Ecumenism is very dear to the heart of Papa Bergoglio, as seen especially in his relations with Muslims and Jews. In 2014, he prayed in Jerusalem with his friends Imam Omar Aboud and Rabbi Abraham Skorka before the Wailing Wall, and again in the Vatican gardens.
Rabbi Skorka, the Pope's Jewish colleague from his days in Argentina, with whom he co-authored the book, On Heaven and Earth, is a disciple of Martin Buber, the Hasidic Jewish thinker whom Skorka quoted extensively at the Rome conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews on June 28, 2015. The following quote is an excerpt:
Martin Buber´s teaching about interpersonal 'I-Thou' relationships must be considered here. The core of Buber´s philosophy is the essence of dialogue, one that could be developed by each one with himself, with the other, with Nature and with God. .... [The entire speech must be read to fully understand the Jewish view on the nature of Jewish/Christian "dialogue."](24)
Based on the quotes below from Buber's seminal work, I and Thou (Charles Scribner and sons, 1958) it is apparent that Buber follows a near identical pantheist or panentheist(25) world view as Teilhard de Chardin (emphasis added):
In severy sphere in its own way, through each process of becoming that is present to us we look out toward the fringe of the eternal Thou; in each we are aware of a breath from the eternal Thou; in each Thou we address the eternal Thou.... (p. 2)
But conscious life means the return of cosmic being as human becoming. Spirit appears in time as a product — even as a by-product of nature, yet it is in spirit that nature is timelessly enveloped..... (p. 11)
Every child that is coming into being rests, like all life that is coming in being, in the womb of the great mother, the undivided primal world that precedes form. ...... (p. 12)
As Fr. John W. O'Malley S.J. points out in his book What Happened at Vatican II (Havard University Press, 2008), Buber had a significant influence over Christian theologians both prior to and during the Second Vatican Council. Fr. O'Malley tells us that a year before the Council, the then young Jesuit, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, published a book entitled Martin Buber and Christianity, in which he praised Buber as "one of the most creative minds of our age and the originator of the dialogical principle." Subsequently, in 1967, von Balthasar published The Church and Israel, in which, following St. Paul in Romans 9-11, he said that Judaism is the true root to which the "wild olive branches" (Christianity) have been attached to form the complete "Eschatological Israel."(26) (The Church is to be ultimately grafted back to the original Jewish root, rather than the conversion to the Catholic Faith on the part of the Jews.)
According to Fr. O'Malley, Buber's concept of 'dialogue' became a guiding force for Conciliar deliberation, and he adds that, "No single word, with the possible exception of aggiornamento, would be more often invoked to indicate what the council was about." That 'dialogue' has replaced 'proselytism' as both the policy and practice of the Catholic Church since Vatican II, is an established fact. It can be clearly seen in a further quote from Pope Francis' October 2013 interview with Eugenio Scalfari:
Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.
And again in his exhortation to the Italian bishops on 10 November 2015:
May the Church be a leaven for dialogue, encounter, unity. Indeed, our very formulations of faith are the fruit of dialogue and encounter between different cultures, communities and claims. We must not be afraid of dialogue; on the contrary, it is precisely comparison and criticism that helps us to preserve theology from being transformed into ideology.
This paradigm shift away from proselytism to dialogue is, as we have seen, indisputably traceable to the thought of Martin Buber. While Pope Francis has not officially endorsed Buber's thought, he has highly praised his disciple Emmanuel Levinas.(27)
Based on his childhood experience of Hasidic community life, Buber envisioned a perfected world in which an infinite variety of secular and faith communities would accept each other in non-judgmental I - Thou relationships and thus, via 'dialogue' and 'communion', "form the solidarity of all separate groups in becoming one humanity."(28)
But then, as von Balthasar rightly points out, since Buber does not accept the mystery of the Incarnation, he can explain it only by a "kabalistic pantheism."(29)
For Buber, following the Kabalistic doctrine of the Hasidim, the problem of evil lay not in any personal sin, but in the restrictive forces of untamed elemental material forces or passions. He posited, however, again following the Jewish mystical Kabbalah, that these elemental restrictive forces (kelipot) would, in the end, be drawn into harmony with the supreme Thou, thus bringing about the redemption of the entire universe.(30) This process of the restoration and reintegration of both the cosmos and the God-head is referred to in Kabalistic doctrine as Tikkun ha-Olam or simply Tikkun Olam.(31) The theory and practice of Tikkun Olam is generally presented by Jewish sources as working for peace, harmony, and social justice which makes it compatible with sympathetic Catholic thinkers, including the present Holy Father. The true meaning of Tikkun Olam, however, has a far deeper and, as will be shown, "sinister" meaning.(32)
According to Gershom Scholem, in his authoritative book on the subject and with the same title, Kabbalah is a form of Jewish Gnosticism or mystical theology "in which God unfolds and develops in man… [whose] principal mission is to bring about Tikkun Olam or restoration of this world and to connect the lower [earthly] with the upper [divine].” Scholem explains:
The concept of tikkun, or restoration, involves the problem of evil, …. the root of evil resides within the Ayn-Sof [the unlimited divine source] itself.… Evil, therefore, for the kabbalist is simply the sitra ahra or ‘emanation of the left’ and at the end of time, through the process of man’s work of tikkun even the devil, 'Samael' will become Sa’el, one of the 72 holy Names of God.(33)
A further explanation or overview of Kabbalah is given by the Argentinean writer, Jorge Luis Borges, an author much admired by Pope Francis,(34) in his book, Seven Nights. In one of the Seven Nights, according to a 1987 review in The University Bookman, "Borges takes us on an intellectual stroll through the Kabbalah, in which he considers the necessity of evil, theodicy, which he, along with the Gnostics, equates with an imperfect God of creation who is not the final God." He allegorically cites "two libraries owned by the German philosopher, Leibnitz: one containing 1,000 copies of the one perfect book, the Aeneid, and a second containing only one copy of the Aeneid and 999 imperfect books. The 999 of the second library make it superior as evil is in the variety, but evil is necessary for the world." (my emphasis)
(The reference to ecumenism in these two supposed libraries becomes obvious if one substitutes "religions" for libraries; "Roman Catholicism" for the one perfect book — the Aeneid, while the 999 other books being the religions, cults, and sects of human or diabolical origin.)
The lesson of the Kabbalah, Borges tells us in his remarkably succinct, if disparate essay, is in "the doctrine of the Greeks called apokatastasis, that all creatures, including Cain and the Devil, will return, at the end of great transmigrations, to be mingled again with the Divinity from which they once emerged.”(35)
Another possible influence on the Holy Father, and the Jesuits in general since the opening of dialogue in the 1930s, is that of Freemasonry. The core doctrine of Freemasonry(36) is also based
As Albert Pike in his authoritative Morals and Dogma of Freemasonry explains in chapter XXII, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret,
The primary tradition of the single revelation has been preserved under the name of the 'Kabalah' .... of that Equilibrium between Good and Evil, and Light and Darkness in the world which assures us that all is the work of the Infinite Wisdom and Infinite Love; ...There is no rebellious demon....(37)
While Teilhard's evolutionary theory involves primal matter becoming spirit, Kabbalah, be it either esoteric Judaic or Freemasonic, posits, as seen above, the unknowable primal spiritual entity, Ayn Sof, as the source of both good and evil.(38)
Both the Teilhardian, Gnostic and Kabalistic "theologies," however (as well as the theory of Hegel whose thought informs the majority of German theologians, including Cardinals Walter Kasper and Reinhard Marx),(39) hold that the incomplete "God" of the beginning will be made whole and complete only by the workings of humanity (i.e., tikkun olam).
Is the Holy Father aware that the Teilhardian path he appears to be following undermines the authority of our Creator and Heavenly Father? Is he aware that the new trend in theology given to "inclusion," opens the way to the doctrine of apokatastasis?
Given Pope Francis' professed devotion to the Blessed Mother and his invocations of popular piety, one may, as faithful Catholics, presume that the Holy Father's understanding of the "Complete God" of the end, does not go so far as to include the principle of evil nor the diabolical false gods, the Devil and his fallen angels, as does Albert Pike in his Morals and Dogma,(40) and the Theosophist and 'Illuminated' Freemason, Helena Blavatsky in her occult classic, The Secret Doctrine. Blavatsky writes:
Once the key to Genesis is in our hands, it is the scientific and symbolic Kabbala which unveils the secret. The Great Serpent of the Garden of Eden and the Lord God are identical....(41)
Even so, it should be remembered here that the monitum (warning) issued by the Holy Office in 1962 condemning Teilhard's thought, reiterated in 1981 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has never been lifted. (Both documents reprinted below.)
Sancta Maria, Spes nostra, Sedes Sapientiae, ora pro nobis.
* * * * *
Several works of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, some of which were posthumously published, are being edited and are gaining a good deal of success. Prescinding from a judgment about those points that concern the positive sciences, it is sufficiently clear that the above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine.
For this reason, the most eminent and most revered Fathers of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers.
Given at Rome, from the palace of the Holy Office, on the thirtieth day of June, 1962. Sebastianus Masala, Notarius
COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE PRESS OFFICE OF THE HOLY SEE
(printed in L'Osservatore Romano, English ed., July 20, 1981):
The letter sent by the Cardinal Secretary of State to His Excellency Mons. Poupard on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin has been interpreted in a certain section of the press as a revision of previous stands taken by the Holy See in regard to this author, and in particular of the Monitum of the Holy Office of 30 June 1962, which pointed out that the work of the author contained ambiguities and grave doctrinal errors.
The question has been asked whether such an interpretation is well founded.
After having consulted the Cardinal Secretary of State and the Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which, by order of the Holy Father, had been duly consulted beforehand, about the letter in question, we are in a position to reply in the negative. Far from being a revision of the previous stands of the Holy See, Cardinal Casaroli's letter expresses reservations in various passages — and these reservations have been passed over in silence by certain newspapers — reservations which refer precisely to the judgement given in the Monitum of June 1962, even though this document is not explicitly mentioned.
(2) "He [Chardin] wrote that his thought was in one direction: ‘A rethinking of Christianity on the scale and dimension of the universe as it is revealed ever more clearly to us.' .... ‘to attain heaven through the fulfillment of earth. Christify matter.’ .... It is very likely that within 50 years when all the trivial, verbose disputes about the meaning of Teilhard's ‘unfortunate’ vocabulary will have died away or have taken a secondary place, Teilhard will appear like John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, as the spiritual genius of the twentieth century." - Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Footprints in a Darkened Forest (Meredith Press, 1967), Chapter 6.
(3) Jacques Maritain, Réflexion sur le progrès (Pekín, 1941): "I had the pleasure of finding from the point of view of its author, similar concepts [to my own] in a recent conference presented by renowned paleontologist, Teilhard de Chardin, in which he indicated that as old as prehistory may appear to be in our eyes, humanity is very young, and he shows that human evolution must be faced as the continuation of the evolution of life in its entirety where progress signifies the ascent of consciousness and where the ascent of consciousness is tied to a level of superior organization; 'if progress is to continue, it won't do so on its own, Evolution by the mechanisms of synthesis, is ever more fulfilled in freedom'." - cit. Jules Meinvielle, De Lamenais à Maritain, (Editiones Nuestro Tiempo, 1945), p. 5.
(4) Etienne Gilson, re. Teilhard de Chardin: "Under the continual flow of scientific or other alluviums he kept intact and miraculously preserved the nugget of pure gold which was the piety and faith of his childhood." - Semenarium 17 (1965), p. 727. (It must be stated, however, that both Gilson and Maritain had grave reservations about Teilhard later on.)
(5) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Letters to Leóntine Zeta (Paris 1965), pp. 127-8.
(6) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Human Energy (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1969), pp. 57, 162.
(7) Pius IX Allocution, Maxima Quidem, June 9, 1862 - PANTHEISM: "There exists no Supreme Being, perfect in His wisdom and in His providence and distinct from the universe. God is identical with nature and consequently subject to change. God is evolving in man and in the world and all things are God and have the very substance of God. God is thus one and the same thing as the world and consequently spirit is identified with matter, necessity with liberty, truth with falsehood, good with evil and justice with injustice...."
(8) De Lubac, H., At the Service of the Church (Ignatius Press, 1993), p. 67.
(9) John W. O'Malley, S J., Vatican II: Did Anything Happen? (Continuum 2008), p. 75.
(11) Highly influenced by both Teilhard de Chardin and Friedrich Nietzsche, Mounier was exceedingly hostile to Capitalism and "Bourgeois Christianity." According to his biographer, John Hellman, by the 1940s Mounier was of the opinion that prior to his Esprit ("religion of the spirit") group, based on brotherly love, there were no true Christians and that, perhaps, he and his followers were "the first true Christians." - John Hellman, Emmanuel Mounier and the New Left 1930 - 1950 (University of Toronto Press, 1981), p. 199, as cited in Philip Trower, The Catholic Church and the Counter-Faith (Family Publications, 2006), pp. 123 -127.
(12) The infiltration of Freudian analysis into the Jesuit order was confirmed to this author by Fr. John Hardon S.J.. During the 1970s, he and all the Jesuits of his province were submitted to Freudian analysis by a Jewish psychiatrist.
(13) See: Michel de Certeau, The Writing of History (Columbia University Press, 1988). Fr. de Certeau has heavily influenced the current Jesuit policy of eradicating all vestiges of "Western Cultural Imperialism" — typified by the May 2015 removal of the statue of 19th-century Jesuit missionary Fr. De Smet from the campus of the Jesuit University of St Louis.
(14) Cardinal Carlo Martini, "L'universo? É harmonico" Avenire 15/12/07.
(15) Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr Teilhard de Chardin; cf. PAUL VI, Address in a Chemical and Pharmaceutical Plant (24 February 1966): Insegnamenti 4 (1966), 992-993; JOHN PAUL II, Letter to the Reverend George Coyne (1 June 1988): Insegnamenti 11/2 (1988), 1715; BENEDICT XVI, Homily for the Celebration of Vespers in Aosta (24 July 2009): Insegnamenti 5/2 (2009), 60.
(16) Vatican Insider, 4 March 2013, www.lastampa.it ("Fr Scannone meet my pupil Bergoglio").
(17) Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith (Crossroads, 1982), p. 228, cit. Trower, op.cit., p. 256.
(18) Rahner, op.cit., p. 225.
(19) Ibid., p. 146.
(21) Fr. James Martin S.J., America, Oct. 9, 2015. - cit. James K Fitzpatrick, The Wanderer, Oct. 19. 2015.
(22) In a recent interview (16 March 2016), Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI warned against this Rahnerian syncretism, affirming the unique role of the Catholic Church in the economy of salvation. (More disturbing aspects of this same interview are treated in the ensuing article - Ed.)
(23) Vatican City, June 11, 2008, http://legacy.sandiegouniontribune.com. (It should be noted that the Teilhardian/Rahnerian cosmos is compatible, if not identical, to the monistic Hindu concept of Advaita Vedanta.)
(24) Rabbi Skorka posits that Christianity is a branch of Judaism that will eventually return to true Temple worship in Jerusalem.
(25) For the definition of Pantheism, see Pius IX at footnote 7. Panentheism posits a "God" who or which is other than creation, but a creation that is filled with the divine essence. Teilhard's theology is somewhat ambiguous on this point, but definitely leans toward full pantheism.
(27) La Vie, 2 March 2016.
(28) Speech to German book trade, 27 September 1953, cit. Trower, op. cit. p. 104.
(29) D Schindler, op. cit., p. 111.
(30) Martin Buber, as quoted by Philip Trower, op. cit., p. 104.
(31) "The symbol of Tikkun ha-Olam embodies the most distinctively Jewish, as well as the single most important ethical injunction of the Kabbalah: the command that humanity must restore and redeem a broken and fallen world (see Shevirat ha-Kelim). As articulated by Isaac Luria in 16th century Safed, Tikkun is a symbol with both metaphysical and theological implications. Luria and his disciples understood every event in the created universe, indeed the very act of creation itself to be an introduction and prelude to Tikkun ha-Olam. For them it is only as a result of the world's restoration that both cosmos and God can be said to be complete" (www.newkabbalah.com/tikkun.html). According to Rabbi Adnin Steinsaltz, the present acting leader of the nascent Sanhedrin, re-established at the city of Tiberius in Israel on October 13th 2004, “Kabbalah is [now] the official theology of the Jewish people.” (See Joseph Dan, Jewish Book News, The Jewish Book Club, Allentown, Pa, p. 28.)
(33) Kabbalah (Dorset Press, 1987) p. 136.
(35) Seven Nights (New Directions, 1984), cited in The University Bookman, Ed. Russell Kirk, Winter 1987, p. 15, Review by Anthony Kerrigan.
(36) See H. Reed Armstrong, "The Masonic Infiltration of Mainstream Catholicism", Christian Order, May 2015.
(37) Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry (Charleston: Southern Jurisdiction, A M 5680), pp. 841, 859.
(38) Ayn Sof (without limit) of the Kabbalah is essentially the same as the A-pollon (the not many or the limitless primal source) of Neo-Platonism as derived from Plotinus' Ennead 22.214.171.124.33., as explained by Michael Leitman of the B’nei Baruch Kabbalah Education and Research Institute: "Like Kabbalah, [Pierre Teilhard] de Chardin’s Philosophy Speaks About Humanity’s Desire To Reunite Into One Soul. .... His theory is founded on the ideas of Plotinus (205-270) about the emanation of the One (an incognizable Primary Essence, characterized as Goodness) into the Mind and the universal Soul, with the consequent transformation again into the One. According to Plotinus, first the One exudes the universal Mind, which consists of a world of ideas, then the Mind produces a universal Soul, which splits into separate souls and creates a sensitive world. Matter emerges as the lowest degree of the emanation. When the creatures of the sensitive world reach a certain degree of development, they recognize their own incompleteness and strive for a union. Subsequently, they attain adhesion with the One. ... According to de Chardin, man strives to enter the sphere of the Mind and to dissolve in God. Evolution did not end with the human being as an individual, but rather proceeds as humanity unites into societies with a growing differentiation of individual functions and as a result, a growing degree of interconnection.
(39) Walter Kasper: for Hegel, truth is the whole. "But the whole is nothing other than essence consummating itself through its development..."; "... the world is not finished, but involved in a continuous process in which man and the world mutually change and affect each other. It is not an eternal natural order, but a historical world." Einführung, in der Glauben, (Matthias-Grünewald Verlag, 1972, 4th Edition 1975) & translated (by V. Green) as W. Kasper, An Introduction to Christian Faith, Burns and Oates, 1980, pp. 135, 156, 157. See also, Gott in der Geschichte, Gott heute: 15 Beiträge zur Gottesfrage (Mainz, 1967): "The God who is enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offence to man... One must deny him for man's sake, because he claims for himself the dignity and honor that belong by right to man."
[(40) Albert Pike's following Lucifer Quote of 1889 may be found in the Library of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, 1773 16th St. NW Washington, DC. (Though generally contested by Freemasons, it is in keeping with the Pike quote from Morals and Dogma referred to in the above text.)
"That which we must say to the crowd is, we worship a God, but it is the God one worships without superstition… The Masonic religion should be, by all of us initiates of the high degrees, maintained in the purity of the Luciferian Doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay (the God of the Christians), whose deeds prove his cruelty, perfidy and hatred of man, barbarism and repulsion to science, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him?
"Yes Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also God. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods… Thus the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy; and true and pure philosophic religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, God of Darkness and Evil."
(41) Helena P. Blavatsky , The Secret Doctrine (Theosophical University Press, 1963), Volume I, p. 414. Volume II, pp. 234, 235, 243, 245.
"Once the key to Genesis is in our hands, it is the scientific and symbolic Kabbala which unveils the secret. The Great Serpent of the Garden of Eden and the 'Lord God' are identical.... When the Church, therefore, curses Satan, it curses the cosmic reflection of God.... For it is he who was the 'Harbinger of Light,' bright radiant Lucifer, who opened the eyes of the automaton [Adam] created by Jehovah, as alleged; and he who was the first to whisper, 'In the day ye eat thereof, ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil' - can only be regarded in the light of a Saviour. An 'adversary' to Jehovah... he still remains in Esoteric Truth the ever loving 'Messenger'... who conferred on us spiritual instead of physical immortality.... Satan, or Lucifer, represents the active... 'Centrifugal Energy of the Universe' in a cosmic sense.... Fitly is he... and his adherents... consigned to the 'sea of fire,' because it is the Sun... the fount of life in our system, where they are purified... and churned up to re-arrange them for another life; that Sun which, as the origin of the active principle of our Earth, is at once the Home and the Source of the Mundane Satan... " (on November 24, 1877, Blavatsky was initiated into the Grand Orient Adoptive Rites of Memphis and Miriam with highest rank of Crowned Princess 12.)