To: Pope Francis

Declare Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church.

Teilhard is already, in all but name, justly acclaimed as a Teacher par excellence of the universal Christian Church. Therefore, we ask His Holiness Pope Francis to declare him a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church.

Why is this important?

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881-1955), priest, geologist, paleontologist, philosopher, theologian, and mystic, was both a distinguished scientist and one of the most influential and visionary thinkers that the Catholic Church produced in the twentieth century. Grounded in the theology of St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Ignatius Loyola and informed by the modern scientific discovery of cosmic and organic evolution, Teilhard created a pioneering synthesis of religious and scientific thought that many have found to be profoundly fruitful. His concept of the “noosphere” was startlingly prescient in its anticipation of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and other forms of electronic communication that have truly unified humanity as a single community of thought. He is recognized by many scientists and theologians as one of those whose ideas paved the way for the work of the Second Vatican Council, whose 50th anniversary has just been celebrated.

Teilhard’s synthesis continues to stimulate theological thought, inside the Catholic Church and beyond, including notably the development in recent decades of vigorous scholarly and popular movements of evolutionary theology and creation spirituality. His hopeful eschatological vision continues to inspire people throughout the world. For these reasons, Teilhard is already, in all but name, justly acclaimed as a Teacher par excellence of the universal Christian Church.

Doctors of the Church comprise about three dozen ecclesiastical writers, from early Christian to modern times, who have been honored posthumously by popes or general councils with that title due to the integrity of their faith, eminent learning, and personal holiness. Although those formally designated in the past as Doctors of the Church had previously been canonized, there is no requirement for this in Canon Law. Therefore, we respectfully and earnestly petition His Holiness Pope Francis to declare Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Reasons for signing

  • Teilhard perceived the creative presence of the transcendent God in the immanent dimension of reality. He offers us the insight by which humanity can cooperate with our creator in the process of salvation history, as the universe evolves into eternal and full communion with the Triune God. He teaches the Church how to grow more and more into its true self.
  • I've been promoting and teaching the ideas of Teilhard for over 40 years. Paulist Press has published five of my books on Teilhard's spirituality, especially for those who are what I call "Teilhard beginners." I have two more book in the works.
  • I signed because when I discovered Teilhard's work in 1967 as a college junior it inspired me to study evolution in graduate school where I minored in population biology, and it contributed much to my understanding of my faith.

Updates

2016-08-28 09:08:25 -0400

100 signatures reached

2016-06-24 12:36:28 -0400

50 signatures reached

2016-06-20 14:30:38 -0400

25 signatures reached

2016-05-25 20:01:13 -0400

10 signatures reached