The participants of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture met in Rome from November 15th - 18th, 2017 to discuss the theme “The future of humankind - New challenges to Anthropology”.
In discussing prospective models of Christian anthropology that can best fit the current situation, we highlighted the unavoidable necessity to take into account the essential characteristics of the modern cosmological model, in particular its holistic evolution that relates our own consciousness to its history.
In more general terms, the discussion advocated a reconciliation among science, philosophy, theology and the humanities in the quest for a credible anthropology.
On several occasions, during the discussion, the seminal thoughts of the Jesuit Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, anthropologist and eminent spiritual thinker, were evoked. We unanimously agreed that, albeit some of his writings might be open to constructive criticism, his prophetic vision has been and is inspiring theologians and scientists. Explicit references to his work can be found in several magisterial documents, from Popes Paul Vl to John Paul II to Benedict XVI and to Your Holiness1,2.
Because of these considerations, we respectfully ask Your Holiness to consider the possibility of waiving the Monitum that since 1962 has been imposed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Holy Office) on the writings of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
We believe that this act not only will acknowledge the genuine effort of the Jesuit to reconcile the scientific vision of the universe with Christian eschatology, but it will represent a formidable stimulus to all philosophers, theologians and scientists of good will to cooperate towards a Christian anthropological model that, along the lines of the Encyclical Laudato si', fits naturally in the wonderful warp and weft of the cosmos.
We invoke Your paternal blessing and e assure our prayers for Your Holiness.
Rome, November 17th, 2017
1 A. Spadaro, SJ, La Civiltà Cattolica 2016 III 26-238 l 3987-3988 (13-27 agosto 2016)
2 Pope Francis, Encyclic Laudato Si', n. 83, footnote