[quote="Orangebookbag, post:8, topic:275663"]
Chardin was a passionately unique thinker in the Church.
His scientific investigation was a form of prayer, a disposition that many of today's scientists would do well to emulate.
Interestingly enough, I find two of my heroes (whose writings I value more than Chardin's) on either side of this issue. To say the man is polarizing is an understatement.
In the one corner, Malachi Martin. Adviser to three Popes, professor of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, exorcist, and theologian. Martin devotes an entire chapter in his book The Jesuits to the "heresies" of Teilhard de Chardin.
In the other corner, Henri de Lubac. Both Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XIV expressed their indebtedness to de Lubac, and he was even made Cardinal by JPII (though Pope Paul VI offered him the cardinalate decades earlier). De Lubac was a close friend of Chardin's, and wrote an overview and defense of his work.
I think if you approach him properly, de Chardin is sound. He is not infallible, and thus needs to be read with a healthy dose of prudential judgment.
It's kind of baffling to me how you can put Martin and de Lubac on the same level. I find it hard to see much value in Martin's work. But obviously people differ on which writers they find valuable.
I didn't actually know that de Lubac defended Chardin. Since de Lubac is one of my heroes (as Martin is not), that makes Chardin go up in my estimation.
My (Episcopal) parish in NJ had a supply priest for a while who was a huge Chardin fan. While I liked and respected this priest personally, he's the only Episcopal priest I've ever had as a pastor whose basic orthodoxy I was rather unsure about (I don't recall him ever saying anything I'd consider downright heretical--bear in mind that my definition of orthodoxy is going to be much broader than that of most folks on this forum, or I wouldn't still be Episcopalian--but I never got the sense that his sermons and religious conversation were fundamentally informed by the Rule of Faith).
So that put me off Chardin a bit, but it's probably an unfair judgment. I've wanted to read him for years.