This past week, leaders at a meeting of the Pontifical Council for Culture in Rome formally requested that Pope Francis lift the official disclaimer of the Catholic Church against the writings of the influential priest-scientist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955).
Teilhard’s writings were only published after the paleontologist’s death in 1955. But by 1962, when the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued the monitum, or warning, his posthumous works had attracted a large following. While Pope Paul VI is said to have had reservations about the warning, according to Gerard O’Connell, Vatican correspondent for America magazine, when he became pope after the death of John XXIII, Paul let it stand.
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