At the LCWR Woodstock in Orlando the sisters learn that “we are stardust”.

The LCWR Woodstock 2013 has begun at Yasgur’s Farm … er… the Caribe Royale Resort near Disney World in Orlando.

Today they had a talk from their featured speaker, Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF.

Excerpts from the National Catholic Register coverage:

LCWR Keynote Speaker Advocates ‘Cosmological Rethink’ of Religion

Sister Ilia Delio discusses an ‘evolutionary’ approach with the women religious gathered in Orlando for the group’s 2013 annual assembly.

ORLANDO — Sister of St. Francis Ilia Delio, melding science and theology, took her fellow women religious on a journey through the cosmos yesterday in her two-part keynote speech, “Religious Life on the Edge of the Universe,” [I guess being on the edge of the bus seat isn’t enough.] at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) here. In the second part, following lunch, Sister Ilia emphasized love and authenticity.
“If we are to rethink in terms of religion, we have to think in terms of cosmology,” Sister Ilia said.  [and… obedience?]
“We have to understand the order of the whole,” adding, “There is no cosmos without God, and no God without cosmos.” [Ummm… hey… Sister? I hate to break this to you, but… not really.]
Sister Ilia, director of Catholic studies and visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, has a doctorate in pharmacology [!] as well as historical theology. [How about pharmacological theology?]
The 825 attendees of the LCWR 2013 assembly — titled “Leadership Evolving: Graced, Grounded & Free” — listened as Sister Ilia discussed the evolving philosophical, theological and scientific theories that she said are shaping man’s [ooops] outlook of God and nature.
Dionysius [I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and guess that she doesn’t mean the god of wine.] proposed everything has its place in the spiritual order, Sister Ilia said. What brought about disorder? Laughter ensued when Sister Ilia stated, “It was sin that led to disorder, and it was attributed to a woman who shows up in Genesis and was never heard from again.” [Why not pick on Adam?]
A mixture of Scripture, philosophy from Plato and other Greek thinkers helped develop our theory of Jesus Christ — unchanging, static — a mechanical God.
Sir Isaac Newton contributed a world of law and order where everything is autonomous and related. Sister Ilia remarked that Newton’s God is the “Florida God. He charges it up, sets it in motion and then retires — probably to Orlando.”
The audience again laughed. [Meanwhile, on this blog…]
Sister Ilia’s description of her belief as a young postulant about keeping order brought nods of affirmation. “As a postulant I thought — ‘If I pray and obey, I can keep my part.’” [But that’s so… non-cosmic.]
God is more than mechanical, and the universe is far from static. “We have an incredible, dynamic, expanding universe. Simply from the point of science, this is awesome,” Sister Ilia said, adding, “Literally, we are stardust.” [Groovy.]


I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, “Where are you going?”
And this he told me…
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s Farm,
I’m gonna join in a rock and roll band.
I’m gonna camp out on the land.
I’m gonna get my soul free.
We are stardust.
We are golden.
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Then can I walk beside you?
I have come here to lose the smog,
And I feel to be a cog in something turning.
Well maybe it is just the time of year,
Or maybe it’s the time of man.
I don’t know who I am,
But you know life is for learning.
We are stardust.
We are golden.
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
By the time we got to Woodstock,
We were half a million strong
And Everywhere there was song and celebration.
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky,
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation.
We are stardust.
Billion year old carbon.
We are golden..
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.]

Teilhardian Ideas

Sister Ilia is a devotee of Jesuit scholar Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his theories on evolution and love, reminding the audience the Church is not opposed to evolution.


‘Giving Birth to God’

Ending her presentation, Sister Ilia reminded the attendees, “God is within and up ahead — not above. God is the power of the future. To rest on God is to rest on the future.”
Nothing is more awesome than to give birth to God,” she said.  [Ehem… I think only one person knows about that.]



I look forward to the complete transcript of her 2.5 hour presentation.

Oddly, the Fishwrap’s coverage didn’t mention the connection with Teilhard.

I’m still hurt that the nuns rejected me.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Magisterium of Nuns, Women Religious and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jameeka says:

    love the “pharmacological theology”….

  2. DavidJ says:

    The stardust thing really is pretty neat if you think about it–but it has to reinforce our perspective of ourselves as created, not Creator.

    The rest of the talk…well, not so neat.

  3. Philippa Martyr says:

    You know, she’s got a job with a good salary, plus she’s a nun and a Bride of Christ, plus her retirement is all taken care of. I’d love to get a piece of that action, except that I’d have to give up being a faithful Catholic.


    Nahhhh. I have a very gorgeous Sacred Heart image in the kitchen of Jesus as Man’s Man. I can’t turn Him down like that for a butch haircut and a coffee machine.

  4. Philippa Martyr says:

    PS I hate the Joni Mitchell version and always have, even though she wrote the song. You could try this link instead – I checked; there don’t seem to be any nude shots, although there’s one image of drug use …

  5. Mark H. says:

    Can I also re-emphasize the fact that she supposedly is in charge of the “Catholic Studies” program at Georgetown?

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    The “new cosmology”/”universe story” is something most Christians are not even aware of, perhaps there needs to be a specific analysis/condemnation of this belief system from the CDF so the Faithful who are actually proceeding in good faith are better able to protect themselves against it. I definitely think it is leading people in a post-Christian direction.

  7. Bob B. says:

    Wonder if the sisters who gave an in-service (to Catholic teachers) on using Enneagrams are attending this conference?
    So she’s the director of Catholic studies and visiting professor at Georgetown – what, there are no dissident Jesuits around to teach religion? She has a doctorate in pharmacology, as well as historical theology and she talked about the cosmos? Really? That’s just too plain easy (and far out man)!

  8. Ben Kenobi says:

    *Sigh*. Father Z, why must you torture us so?

  9. APX says:

    Is that a man or a woman? I can’t tell.

  10. StWinefride says:

    A few years ago, the Pontifical Council for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue brought out the document: Jesus Christ – the Bearer of the Water of life – A Christian reflection on the New Age.

  11. Matthew says:

    That’s it! I’m leaving the state until this thing is over. I can’t even be an hour away from this nuttiness. If you want me I’ll be in Buffalo.

  12. Philippa Martyr says:

    ‘Wonder if the sisters who gave an in-service (to Catholic teachers) on using Enneagrams are attending this conference?’

    Oh Bob – enneagrams are soooooo 90s

  13. Evovae says:

    A mixture of Scripture, philosophy from Plato and other Greek thinkers helped develop our theory of Jesus Christ — unchanging, static — a mechanical God.

    Um…I grant that this may be filtered through the reporter. But if if it’s not, then I’m somewhat shocked (actually less than I ought to be…) at how anyone with a doctorate in historical theology could conflate the Early Modern mechanistic conception of God with the ancient metaphysical argument for God’s changelessness. One need only scratch the surface of St. Augustine (who probably knew more about ancient philosophy than we could ever hope to) to find something like: “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!” There’s nothing remotely mechanistic about that, and Augustine was about as Platonic as they came.

    Could this ancient idea of God’s immutability have contributed to the mechanistic idea? Sure, why not. But that’s not the point. It’s a commonplace of modern academic sophistry to blame “undesirable” developments on so-called “root causes”, as though the demonstration of a historical influence automatically implies the necessity of that influence and the inevitability of that development in anything that partakes of the original influence, e.g., reading the sexual abuse crisis back into priestly celibacy via dubious psychological models of control and repression.

    Oh yeah, and there’s always the point of plausible deniability: “helped develop”. There’s never a direct accusation that you can call them on, but the negative associations are emphasized so that the inexpert audience leaves with an altered framework that’s tantamount to accepting an unproven blanket assertion. This is how the culture changes. Cf. Overton window.

    Ugh…the hardest prejudices to overcome are those entrenched in the authority of “scholarship”.

  14. Priam1184 says:

    Yes Father, there is indeed a lot of pharmacological theology going on at this conference…

  15. The Catholic Church is not against biological evolution, and we are biologically traceable back to the cosmic dust leftover from the development of the sun according to the natural sciences, which are very trustworthy on the overall. Reason constrains us to accept these facts, I believe. However, Mother Church is very much against the concept of spiritual evolution, especially on the level of God. That’s against something as fundamental as sacred Scripture, which plainly states that God does not change and is beginningless and endless. It’s rank heresy to say that biological evolution applies to the spiritual dimension of reality, especially to God. The entire talk is not only goofy, but absurdly heretical. The fact that they cannot understand (and so many others cannot understand) why Rome was just a tad concerned at the teachings coming from the LCWR is beyond comprehension. Laudetur Iesus Christus!

  16. PCali says:

    Stuff like this makes, unavoidably, makes me nauseous. It’s such a perversion of what the religious life, and Catholicism, should be.

    I think I’ll go cry myself to sleep now….

  17. Clinton R. says:

    “If we are to rethink in terms of religion, we have to think in terms of cosmology…”

    Wow, what a bunch of mumbo jumbo nonsense. Nothing St. Louise de Marillac, St. Clare of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Bridget of Sweden or any of the holy women of the Church would have uttered. The women of the LCWR are possessed by a spirit and it sure isn’t the Holy Spirit. As often been cited, the LCWR are aging and declining. What young woman would want to join a bunch of harpies with their constant whining and complaining? Meanwhile the traditional orders are growing and are much younger. The LCWR are sadly irrelevant.

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    “Sister Ilia, director of Catholic studies and visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, has a doctorate in pharmacology [!] as well as historical theology. [How about pharmacological theology?]”

    Ah! The pharmacology explains it all – of course your theology will be wacky if you combine it with eating mushroooms and certain herbes!

    Sister Delirium.

  19. Trisagion says:

    “No God without Cosmos” – note the groovy absence of the definite article – always an amber light.

    Surely this statement makes God contingent: it suggests that God is in some way dependent on the Cosmos or the existence of the Cosmos. God was free to create or not to create. He chose to create freely, not of necessity. I suspect this doyen of pharmacological theology (great coinage, Reverend Father) had in mind that the Cosmos reveals to us God’s existence (Dei Filius, anybody) and reveals things to us about God but, as ever with these people, it sounds like a contingent God and is suggestive of the “h” word.

    In other news, the Solemnity of the Assumption was marked at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth, by Mass in the vetus ordo, celebrated by Fr Phillip Harris, not as a special occasion but simply as part of the round of Masses for the Solemnity. As you say, FrZ, Pope Benedict is the Pope of Christian Unity.

  20. jflare says:

    “A mixture of Scripture, philosophy from Plato and other Greek thinkers helped develop our theory of Jesus Christ — unchanging, static — a mechanical God.”

    This quote doesn’t look like an article-writer’s interpretation of her comments. It looks like..she meant to say precisely this.
    ..Which really blows my mind. I don’t remember that the Church ever “developed a theory of Jesus Christ” exactly. Christ’s life and sacrifice have always been understood by the Church as a verifiable–or rather verified–fact. From the references made by the Gospel writers and various other sources, we know that he lived, died, and resurrected.

    Maybe she means that, over time, we’ve developed various strains of thought regarding His life, His message, and His sacrifice, but I still can’t refer to these as “theories” really.
    An “interpretation” might consider His life and teaching as differing in some manner from another “interpretation”, but so long as both admit to His divinity and so forth, we have ample cause to accept them.
    To me, though, a “theory” sounds more like a notion that would describe some aspect of the physical universe, or perhaps something related to common human behavior. In either case, the “theory” would be proved–or not–by statistical analysis and testing something.

    On the whole, her thought process sounds to me about as Catholic as..well, words fail me.

  21. pmullane says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how peopel can spout the most obviou tripe in the world of academia and still be taken seriously. The only response of a serious human being to this self regarding rubbish is to laugh at it. Its illuminating of the rigid dogmatic grouthink of the LCWR that there is nobody there willing to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    All these nuns should take turns going on retreat at Tyburn in London or Cobh, or Scotland, or Rome, or Ecuador, or Colombia, or Peru, or New Zealand, or Australia, or Nigeria.

    What they would witness is not stardust, but dust and ashes, the truth of humility and the complete giving over to the love of Christ daily in one’s life.

    And, for the vast majority of those nuns, no one knows their names.

  23. iPadre says:

    I’ve got three words for Sister Moon, I mean Sister Air, ug, whatever her name is. PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS

  24. PA mom says:

    I really think that they need to return to contemplating Jesus and Mary. This cosmos level stuff seems to get them confused and flung past Christianity. Why would anyone pay to hear this stuff?
    Lastly, when is the Archbishop’s speaking slot? He should. That way they can hear and feel actual Christianity again. Who knows, maybe they would still like it?
    I took all of the children to the FSSP chapel yesterday and my oldest daughter’s favorite parts were how beautiful the chapel was (surrounded in images of the Blessed Mother) and how great the priest’s homily was. That’s a win.

  25. Philippa Martyr says:

    What they would witness is not stardust, but dust and ashes, the truth of humility and the complete giving over to the love of Christ daily in one’s life.

    And, for the vast majority of those nuns, no one knows their names.

    I know their names. I was in that community for five and a half years, and yes, some of the sisters there certainly do give all for Christ.

    But they have their internal troubles too, and they are serious ones. Some religious communities have been poisioned by the type of rubbish that Sr Woodstock here dishes out, but other communities – Tyburn among them – have suffered because of other problems, equally caused by all too human failings.

    Orthodoxy is not always a guarantee of good government, common sense, or humility.

  26. robtbrown says:

    How can I not link to Hoagy’s masterpiece?

  27. marylise says:

    Much has been written about the problem of homosexual priests, but perhaps we need to pay more attention to the problem of homosexual religious sisters. A homosexual man who tries to be a priest faces a fundamental obstacle: he has no vocation. Why? Because he is ontologically incapable of embracing the Church as his bride; therefore God, Who is just, does not call him to this role for which he is unfit. Similarly, a lesbian who tries to become a religious sister is ontologically incapable of embracing the Divine Saviour as her Spouse; therefore God, Who is just, does not call her to do so. Homosexual persons who fake their way through the priesthood or religious life experience, among other things, indescribable boredom. This is partly why they cause scandals, including the scandal of idiotic public utterances, thereby giving ammunition to the enemies of the Church.

  28. Phil_NL says:

    Am I the only one who finds it highly ironic that the lyrics do affirm, in a way, the existence of a Garden of Eden, while the LCWR doesn’t even seem to manage that anymore?

    I fear the conference highlights a severe case of apple-poisoning…

  29. a catechist says:

    For those of us born after Woodstock, “Stardust” isn’t about drugged out hippies, it’s the title of Neil Gaiman’s best novel, and my initial reaction was that she owes Mr. Gaiman an apology. On the other hand, the female protagonist of “Stardust” has actually fallen to earth from outer space, which would explain a lot about that speaker…

  30. Glen M says:

    2.5 hours? How could any sensible person listen to that nonsense for that long?

    Is there a tangible objective to this conference? What are they trying to achieve?

    Where does the money come from for this conference and their bus tour?

  31. frjim4321 says:

    Oddly, if it were not for my eight grade teacher turning me on to Tielhard I probably would never have considered entering the seminary.

  32. jbosco88 says:

    I have degrees in Pharmacology and Physiology. I’m hard pushed to see how Pharmacology justifies her ideas.

    Oh yes – THC. How silly of me.

  33. VexillaRegis says:

    marylise: Exactly!

  34. jbosco88 says:

    Does anyone else think the good Sister got the wrong type of herb blessed before Mass yesterday?

  35. Legisperitus says:

    Did she take the name of Ilia from Star Trek?

    KIRK: Spock, did we just see the beginning of a new life form?
    SPOCK: Yes, Captain, we witnessed a birth. Possibly a next step in our evolution.
    KIRK: I wonder.

  36. Philippa Martyr says:

    Marylise, do you think they started out as lesbians?

    A homosexual man who tries to be a priest faces a fundamental obstacle: he has no vocation. Why? Because he is ontologically incapable of embracing the Church as his bride; therefore God, Who is just, does not call him to this role for which he is unfit.

    I always believed it was because he was so wounded in the ‘father’ part of his being that he could not be a good spiritual father to the many children who would need him. Perhaps it’s both.

    But I hesitate to use ontology when talking about homosexual orientation, because I don’t believe anyone was born that way, or made that way by God, or any such thing. So it’s hard to talk about ‘being’ at that level. Also it’s a very broad spectrum of behaviours and tendencies, and it can change in the individual over time.

    But to return to lesbian nuns:

    I think there is a world of difference between:

    a) someone who went in that way, knowing it and hiding it deliberately;
    b) someone who was just not all that interested in men, and took that as a sign of a religious vocation which was later confirmed by the Church, and then after making perpetual vows was seduced physically and spiritually over time by heresy and sexual permissiveness which was allowed to run rampant in the community they’d joined;
    c) someone who went in that way, knowing it and being open about it with religious authorities, and having proved themselves by living chastely or never having acted out.

    I suspect most of the rather butch-looking elderly nuns we see might have been in group b), if they’re in any sexual group at all. They all entered a long time ago. I think most female religious superiors are now much wiser, especially in good communities, and anyone with a major psychosexual problem can and should be screened out.

    Even if it’s not for ‘ontological’ reasons, it should be so that the community can have some degree of peace and mutual trust and safety as well.

  37. Legisperitus says:

    Philippa Martyr:

    Maybe “constitutionally” could be substituted for “ontologically.”

  38. robtbrown says:

    How did this topic move from the sister’s theological problems to homosexuals and lesbians?

  39. ocalatrad says:

    To think that the Benedictines of Mary and the LCWR actually agree on something: the Benedictines of Mary are at the top of the music charts, all over the news and shooting for the stars! Meanwhile, the LCWR is, well, just stardust.

  40. Salvelinus says:

    Boil, boil, toil and trouble…

  41. robtbrown says:

    The sister makes an error often found among those with no facility for theology. Although she is correct is jettisoning the square cornered cosmos of Newton, it is nonetheless serious error to trace it to ancient Greek thought. The better pre Vat II philosophy manuals (e.g., Napoli) point out the flaws in Newton’s Cosmology.

    Even more serious is the implicit rejection of the distinction between substance and accidents as a basic principle of Cosmology. Whatever problems Relativity and Quantum physics present, they should not usurp all Cosmological principles.

    It has been my experience anyone relying on the Dynamic/Mechanistic couplet to understand theology lacks basic understanding of it.

  42. Elizabeth D says:


  43. acardnal says:

    I hope Archbishop Sartain has been taking good notes for his report to the CDF.

  44. Philippa Martyr says:

    robtbrown, it wasn’t me! Although I did describe her haircut as butch, so I guess it was me.

    Legisperitus – I still don’t buy it, because I don’t think homosexuality is ‘constitutional’ either. It’s a manifestation of our fallenness, definitely, like any other sinful inclination, and it comes with slavery, like any other sinful inclination that leads to addictions and acting out.

    The degree to which it can be overcome is a question of grace and hard work, and seems to be very individual, which is why the Church is wise to have an across-the-board ruling on ordaining homosexual men. It’s too risky; the wound is a very deep one in most men, and there’s almost always been acting-out.

    Anyhoo … Sister is welcome to her haircut; I’m happy to soldier on just as I am.

  45. Tim says:

    Star dust is an appropriate reference, as the LCWR appears (I hope) to have reached the final flame out…

  46. Johnny Domer says:

    “There is . . . no God without cosmos.”

    Strictly speaking, isn’t that a misstatement of dogma? It seems like denying that God existed before Creation is a denial of a pretty fundamental truth of Catholic teaching. St. Thomas argued that it was logically possible for the created order always to have existed, but insisted that it did not because Revelation said it didn’t. Furthermore, there is no way that God can be in some way contingent upon the cosmos’ existence.

    I also hate the poo-pooing of the “simplistic” approach to religious life, just praying and being obedient. Pretty sure that’s all St. Therese of Lisieux did.

  47. Aleta-120 says:

    Does tend to make a girl rather cautious about considering religious life. [Don’t let the LCWR types put you off the thought. There are wonderful communities of sisters out there!]

  48. Brandon Underwood says:

    Well what do you know. We have another addition to the deposit of faith in 2013: “There is no cosmos without God, and no God without cosmos.”


    And who knew that Jesus was just a “theory…”?

    Nobody told me it was create your own religion day…

    All sarcasm aside (and sarcasm is the polite response to this), aside from the fact that every word out of this woman’s mouth is a heresy, I love it how everybody either thinks they are somehow a scientist now, or just takes it on faith (because they themselves do not have any real knowledge of science) that science has all the answers, and they can arrogantly throw that card around without any fear of contradiction.

    Their naivety is breathtaking.

    I do not claim to be any kind of a great scientist, but I do have very legitimate scientific credentials and can assure you that even putting faith aside for a minute, any intellectually honest scientist will tell you that the more we learn, the more we discover we do not know.

    And the list of things we “think” we know is minuscule compared to what we clearly do not know.

    Notwithstanding the above, I still think it is a fair statement to say that we have a reasonably good knowledge in science of how the world works today. But we have NO IDEA from a strictly scientific sense about what makes it work or how it even stays in order, much less stays in order to the degree that it can sustain life.

    Any true scientist who does not admit this is either completely incompetent, or intentionally being deceptive.

    With respect to Sr.’s “theories,” in addition to being heresy, what do any of them have to do with with bringing people closer to God and getting them into heaven? The only thing I see Sr. doing is seriously undermining the Christian faith. What further proof does anybody need of the serious theological problems occurring in the LCWR than this? The Holy See could not be anymore vindicated in its findings than by Sr.’s diatribe.

  49. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Pharmacology. Does that mean she has access to oxycontin? That would explain why she’s

  50. AttiaDS says:

    Why did they include a picture of a 12 year old boy?

    I could point out that this woman is a bride of Christ but there are no orders that would take me, but, I don’t dwell on things like that…

    Ilia Dilio. You know her parents gave her that name as a goof. It was a little more subtle than, “Dilia Dilio.”

    Too bad Ilia isn’t advocating true philia.

  51. techno_aesthete says:

    Thanks, Philippa, I was thinking of that recording (C,S,N & Y) when I read the lyrics. I don’t think I ever heard the recording by Joni Mitchell.

  52. OrthodoxChick says:

    I was an infant during Woodstock, so when I hear “Stardust”, I think “pixie dust” and Tinkerbell. That’s probably who the sisters are really worshipping anyway down there near Disney World.

  53. MarkJ says:

    What is truly sad is that these sisters began their vocations by taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to the Church and to Our Lord. Somehow, satan tempted them away from that, and they fell for his lies. God have mercy on them, that they may regain their sight and be bathed once again in the Light of Truth. And may God preserve us all in His Truth. There but for the grace of God…

  54. AdIesumPerMariam says:

    Archbishop Sartain is gonna need to take a second plane full of all his notes of the heretical and just kooky things said…

  55. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Oddly, if it were not for my eight grade teacher turning me on to Tielhard I probably would never have considered entering the seminary.

    Did you, like Teilhard, become a Nazi sympathizer?

  56. marylise says:

    Philippa Martyr, robtbrown, Legisperitus & Vexilla Regis: Thank you for the discussion. When God calls a man to the priesthood, He is asking that man to transfer the love he might have had for a wife to the Church. If the man had no desire for a wife in the first place, he cannot make the transfer. Similarly, when God calls a woman to the religious life, He is asking that woman to transfer the love she might have had for a husband to Himself (the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity). If the woman had no desire for a husband in the first place, she cannot make the transfer. Therefore, the incapacity to receive a vocation in both cases is so deep as to be at least virtually ontological. The question of how homosexuality arises, whether or not it is acted upon, and degrees of associated culpability is irrelevant. There is no vocation. As to the leap from homosexual orientation to theological error, it is only a small jump. The catalyst is boredom. Lesbians in religious life are bored by St. Thomas Aquinas and other teachers of true Catholic doctrine. They don’t get it. So they have to invent something that seems more exciting to their insatiable craving for novelty, need for comfort and obsession with personal relevance.

  57. StWinefride says:

    MarkJ: There but for the grace of God…


  58. frjim4321 says:

    “Did you, like Teilhard, become a Nazi sympathizer?” – brown

    An extreme, erratic opinion, not held my many serious scholars.

  59. PostCatholic says:

    “There is no cosmos without God, and no God without cosmos.” [Ummm… hey… Sister? I hate to break this to you, but… not really.]

    Well, for once I agree with you! Of course there’s a cosmos without God!

    Okay, I realize you probably objected to the other half of the phrase, but still it’s a fairly ridiculous statement which would seem to imply that the existence of all time, space and matter depends upon a deity which isn’t transcendent.

  60. Magash says:

    Teilhard’s writings require that the reader have sound philosophical and theological underpinning. For someone who does not have this solid foundation, such as Sr. Delio, his work is susceptible to being misinterpreted. For someone who wants to twist his writing to serve some heretical proposition (probably Sr. Delio) it’s not difficult to do.
    I tend to agree that generally speaking middle schoolers are not prepared for Teilhard. This of course depends on their own level of philosophical and theological formation, and the amount of guidance they can count on from their own spiritual directors (be they parental or ministerial.)
    We should, however, not treat Teilhard himself as heretical, even though his writings were questioned. He is not the first theologian whose writings were questioned, only to be later quoted by later orthodox theologians and even Popes. Even good men sometimes draw erroneous theological conclusions or are misinterpreted by others, or have written in such a way that their writings could be misinterpreted rather easily.

  61. Tedster says:

    Father, I never much got into Woodstock and never really wanted to, but your video piqued my interest a little and I watched a youtube video, sort of a documentary type. I think I may have spotted a couple of the sisters in the video. Gives argument to your remark on pharmacological theology!

    Look at 2:01 of this:

  62. contrarian says:

    “A mixture of Scripture, philosophy from Plato and other Greek thinkers helped develop our theory of Jesus Christ — unchanging, static — a mechanical God.”

    Ed Feser, check your messages.

    Also, Salvelinus, you win the thread.

  63. Father Z,

    As to your not being admitted to the conference, look on the bright side. You have been exempted from hours of agonizing pain, the result of having to bite your tongue, repeatedly (if not continuously) to prevent you interrupting countless examples of inanities and worse. I think you were granted a reprieve from several days of suffering, unlike my Archbishop (Abp. Sartain), who likely had no alternative than to attend.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  64. Bob B. says:

    Stardust, Nat King Cole – got it. (I didn’t think they knew anything but Kumbaya .)

  65. Tim says:

    According to Wikipedia, Teilhard has been quoted by Pope BXVI. As others have stated, his (and really any writings by anyone) need to be seen in the light of Christ and not try to distort them to fit ones own personal agenda. I prefer the Keep It Simple, Stupid approach. : )

  66. Tim says:

    To clarify – the statement “his writings” was in reference to Teilhard, not BXVI.

    I vote for Fr Sotelo for winner of the thread. LOL

  67. Supertradmum says:

    July 1, 1962.


    Several works of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, some of which were published posthumously, are being edited and receiving considerable support.

    Refraining from a judgment in that which concerns the positive sciences, it is quite evident that in philosophical and theological matters the mentioned works are filled with ambiguities and even serious errors that offend Catholic doctrine.

    For this reason, the Most Eminent and Most Reverend Fathers of the Supreme and Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as the Superiors of Religious Institutes, Rectors of Seminaries and Directors of Universities, to protect minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers of the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and his associates.

    Given at Rome, from the Palace of the Holy Office, on the 30th day of June, 1962.

    Sebastian Masala, Notary

    L’Osservatore Romano, July 1, 1962, p.1

  68. skypilot777 says:

    from Wikipedia:
    1962 : A decree of the Holy Office dated 30 June, under the authority of Pope John XXIII warned that “. . . it is obvious that in philosophical and theological matters, the said works (de Chardin’s) are replete with ambiguities or rather with serious errors which offend Catholic doctrine. That is why … the Rev. Fathers of the Holy Office urge all Ordinaries, Superiors, and Rectors … to effectively protect, especially the minds of the young, against the dangers of the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and his followers”. (AAS, 6 Aug 1962).

    The danger of Teilhard’s theology is that its conclusion is the error of immanentism. Namely, that “we are all becoming Christ” or “our evolutionary destiny, and highest aim, is to become Christ.” Another frightening conclusion of Teilhardism: “Jesus of Nazareth was merely human, but he lead his life as the best example of how to become Christ by accepting his evolutionary destiny.”
    Later theologians, having been infected with Teilhardism, distributed this poison further. Remember Karl Rahner and “anonymous Christianity”?

    It is no surprise that almost all seminarians’ formation has led them later, as priests, to hold fondly onto these errors. And again, not surprising that this particular sister’s formation has made her an admirer of de Chardin and his theology (apparently with emphasis on the immanentism).

    It is time to put an end to this tacit acceptance of neo-modernism throughout the Church. I can see nothing less than a clear, concise Papal pronouncement being adequate to accomplish this.

  69. Alaina says:

    My father once told me that the more you study the sciences and “the cosmos”, the more you gain proof of God’s existence and His greatness. He is definitely above (yes, I said above).

    Take a little bit of knowledge, the uncontrollable need to be really, really important, and some of what Fr. Sotelo said, and you get stardust.

  70. RichR says:

    This is the dusk-ing of the Age of Aquarius

  71. Random Friar says:

    Technically, almost everything on planet Earth could qualify as “stardust,” from, well, dust, to us, to sewage, to plastic, to uranium. It’s how you get the heavier and heaviest elements. The whole process of exotic stars and novae is fascinating, but I don’t see it that romantically, I’m afraid.

  72. Joseph-Mary says:

    “Nothing is more awesome than to give birth to God,” she said. [Ehem… I think only one person knows about that.]

    I about spit out my lunch when I read that line!

  73. Tim says:

    Some of my favorite (simple to understand, not subject to interpretation) quotes and prayers;

    In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal (St. Bernard).

    Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you, things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace (St. Augustine, Confessions).

    Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt they have for me in this sacrament of love…. I come into the heart I have given you in order that through your fervor you may atone for the offenses which I have received from lukewarm and slothful hearts that dishonor me in the Blessed Sacrament. (Christ speaks to St. Margaret Mary: Third apparition).

    The first thing that a person finds in life and the last to which he holds out his hand, and the most precious that he possess, even if he does not realize it, is family life. (Blessed Fr. Adolph Kolping)

    Happy Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord that I may carry out Your holy and true command. Amen. (St Francis of Assisi)

    Have nothing to do with anyone who would stand in your way and would seek to turn you aside from fulfilling the vows which you have made to the Most High (Psalm 49:14) and from living in that perfection to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you. (Clare to Agnes, Letter II in Murray Bodo, O.F.M., Clare: A Light in the Garden, p. 118.)

  74. Rich says:


    Also please consider that it is not be proper to individuals or groups who represent religious communities to go around claiming that they are the face of religious life today. If a religious feels she has to make that claim, then it should evoke a moment of pause for the listener to consider why, indeed, the religious makes such a claim.

    In all reality, the sisters at this conference whose voices are those whom the LCWR chooses we hear, are not the face of religious life today.

    The communities who are thriving and continually looking for land and buildings to house their new sisters are those who comprise the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist being a good example of one such community). Although between the LCWR and CMSWR there are similar numbers of individuals being added per year, the LCWR is four time larger than the CMSWR, meaning that the CMSWR’s communities are growing four times as quickly.

    Check out the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious’ website, and spend your “comic energies” focusing on the communities who comprise them ;-)

  75. Charlotte Allen says:

    In all fairness, I must point out that Sister Ilia’s reference to “Dionysius” was not a reference to the Greek god of wine but to a body of writings attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite, the learned Athenian converted by St. Paul, as the Acts of the Apostles record, and regarded as a saint in his own right. Indeed Dionysius is identified in Western Christian tradition with the Roman martyr Dionysius, the first bishop of Paris (“St. Denis”).

    During the late fifth century there surfaced a number of mystical works of theology in Greek that were claimed to have been written by Dionysius. Modern scholars nearly universally agree that they couldn’t have been written by the Areopagite, however, as they show the influence of a kind of neo-Platonic philosophy that was not developed until well after the first century. So today the author of those works is usually called “Pseudo-Dionysius” by scholars rather than plain old “Dionysius.”

    Dionynius’s works have always been regarded as orthodox in both the East and West. They were translated into Latin during the early Middle Ages and widely circulated, with many theological commentaries. Dionysius was fascinated by the order of creation, which he viewed as an outpouring of God’s divinity that touched even the lowliest of creatures, such as frogs. It was Dionysius who was responsible for naming the nine orders of angels that are commonplaces of Christian angelology to this day. The scholastic theologians of the later Middle Ages–including St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Bonaventure–revered Dionysius and quoted him numerous times in their own works.

    And I must say that I have a soft spot in my musical heart for “We Are Stardust,” even though I’m sure glad I didn’t even try to go to Woodstock for the rain, mud, traffic, and general grime. Not to mention the hippies. It’s a pretty song, and its premise may even be true–as some physicists argue that all the elements on the periodic table were products of a great exploding star-burst at some very distant time. [And if you smoke enough dope, Joni starts to sound good, too.]

  76. This is why we should just ignore them. Let’s focus on the good nuns and let them fade away as a bad memory from the past.
    The funny thing is they complain about the CDF and then they keeping promoting stuff that is fairly obviously NOT Catholic. (I studied Theology in Rome but my mom who never studied theology could tell you this is wrong.)

  77. Fr_Sotelo says:

    U.S. history is filled with the stories of innovative and pioneering women religious. But the LCWR is not passing on that torch.

  78. NYer says:

    I happened to stop by BJs earlier today to pick up a few items. While navigating the aisles, I caught the fleeting image of a young nun in full habit wearing a white veil. What a beautiful sight!! A few minutes later, I caught up with the trio of sisters and enjoined them in some conversation. They said they were a traditional community, not contemplative but a teaching order. Their youthful faces gleamed with joy and the love of Christ. One of the sisters offered me a holy card which I gratefully accepted. It featured a beautiful image of the Blessed Mother with The Hail Mary on the reverse, along with the name of their community – Daughters of Mary, Mother of our Savior – and website link. In thanking the sisters, I offered them a holy card of a favorite saint, Josephine Bakhita. Their smiles were now strained which struck me strange. Perhaps they had never heard of St. Bakhita. I offered a short biography of the saint’s life and, to ensure any possible concerns might be addressed, I added that Pope Benedict began his encyclical “Spe Salvi” by citing the life of St. Bakhita. The sisters maintained their frozen smiles. Once home, I checked their web site only to discover that their community was formed in 1984 by a Bishop Kelly. In checking further, I discovered that the community is a member of the Society of St. Pius V, which is not recognized by the Vatican. Apparently, both groups find themselves on opposite ends of the Catholic spectrum. How truly sad.

  79. Johnno says:


    – “The Catholic Church is not against biological evolution”

    Depends on what you define ‘biological evolution’ to mean according to the duplicitious language of heretic evolutionists.

    The Church dogmatically teaches and the Church Fathers are unanimous that:

    1. All humanity is descended from Adam and Eve.
    2. Adam and Eve were instantaneously created.
    3. Spiritual and Corporeal creatures (Angels and biological life) were created in the same manner.
    4. All life was instantaneously created whole and entire as regards their entire substance. Thus any ‘evolution’ is therefore downwards, not upwards. And this is what proper observational Science attests to. We are not all in a state of ‘becoming’ like gods.
    5. 6 Day Creation in the order Scripture dictates.
    6. Miraculous Ex Nihilo Creation.
    7. Death and suffering is the consequence of sin, not the means of creation that evolution demands. God is not cruel nor a torturer.
    8. The Earth stands still within the barycenter of the Universe, as attested to by observational science.
    9. God is perfect and made one Creation/one universe. There is no Multiverse, with multi-Christs of different characters on multiple earths.

    The Churchmen today softpedal and tiptoe around the facts dealing with other religions, particularly the religions of macro-evolution and Copernicism. The Church of 2013 refuses to condemn error and instead engages in soft gentle dialogue and openness.

    The modern story of evolution is not compatabile with the Catholic Faith. Throw it overboard and you will get rid of the other filth and contradiction that results from it.

  80. Johnno says:

    Matthew P. Schneider, LC

    The reason we can’t ignore them is because they are poisoning the minds of others with this nonsense. For the sake of saving souls from hell, they must be stopped, if only for their own salvation. This stuff is dangerous and you won’t believe how many people today are uncritically open to this nonsense.

  81. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    “Did you, like Teilhard, become a Nazi sympathizer?” – brow

    An extreme, erratic opinion, not held my many serious scholars.

    Why would a serious scholar waste his time with the likes of Teilhard?

  82. acardnal says:

    Deacon Schneider, I agree with Johnno. The LCWR cannot be “ignored”. And the CDF is NOT ignoring them either. We must use the Spiritual Works of Mercy when faced with evil.

  83. acardnal says:

    It’s difficult to identify any habits in the photo you posted. Unfortunate.

    I finally got a chance to read the article you linked to from the NCRegister. I noted this quote:
    “Delio first focused on the continuing human understanding of the history and function of the 13.8 billion-year-old universe before asking how the historical and mystical persons of Jesus Christ fit into those understandings.”

    “Persons”? More poisoning of the minds of the ignorant. Assuming the statement is an accurate representation of what Sr. Delio said, I’d suggest that Sister read the Baltimore Catechism instead of Teilhard de Chardin. News flash: Jesus Christ is ONE person, a divine person who has two natures – human and divine.

  84. StWinefride says:

    acardnal: “We must use the Spiritual Works of Mercy when faced with evil

    We are to save our own souls first and work out our own salvation in fear and trembling (Phil 2.12). What is actually being accomplished if in the process of performing Spiritual Works of Mercy people condemn themselves by their lack of charity towards others? I personally don’t like these posts and on this thread I have tried to contribute something other than mockery.

    Matthew 12:36 says: “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

  85. Patrick-K says:

    Evolutionary, huh? It’s odd how the LCWR lovey-dovey ideals are supposed to be evolutionary. Darwinian biological evolution, accomplished through natural selection, is the utterly ruthless destruction of the weak and dominance of the strong. Survival of the fittest. Struggles to the death over scare resources. I watched a nature show the other day where a male and female lion went into another pride’s territory looking for food, so they didn’t starve. The lion whose territory it was raped the female and mutilated the genitals of the male for entering into his territory. He was stronger — that’s how evolution works. Is that what the LCWR has in mind?

  86. trespinos says:

    A good Dominican fisking of as much of the LCWR speaker’s text as he could stomach can be found at
    I really hope Abp. Sartain’s report to the CDF is enough to seal a decision to cut the LCWR loose. In the same way that continuing the ARCIC discussions seems pointless now that it’s becoming clear the Anglican leadership is bent on following the Episcopalians clear away from the apostolic faith, further talks with the LCWR would seem to define a waste of time.

  87. jflare says:

    “frjim4321 says:

    ‘Oddly, if it were not for my eight grade teacher turning me on to Tielhard I probably would never have considered entering the seminary.’

    Did you, like Teilhard, become a Nazi sympathizer?”

    robt, I can’t claim to be a big fan of frjim, exactly, but this comment strikes me as being waaaaay out of line.
    My education lies in natural science, not philosophy, theology, or political science, so while I can say that I’ve heard the name before, I have no idea who Teilhard is/was.
    Even so, I would hope that we could be bothered to have enough respect for each other that we wouldn’t resort to barbs like this.

  88. robtbrown says:

    Johnno says,
    4. All life was instantaneously created whole and entire as regards their entire substance. Thus any ‘evolution’ is therefore downwards, not upwards. And this is what proper observational Science attests to. We are not all in a state of ‘becoming’ like gods.
    5. 6 Day Creation in the order Scripture dictates.
    6. Miraculous Ex Nihilo Creation.
    7. Death and suffering is the consequence of sin, not the means of creation that evolution demands. God is not cruel nor a torturer.

    4. Although St Augustine would not opt for the emergence of man via evolution or that men would become gods, his understanding of the Hexameron is unique.

    5. The Order presented in Genesis is in fact the order of things–simpler things came into existence first, more complex things later. And the Six Days indicate six separate events.

    6. Creatio ex nihilo is sufficient. No need to add “miraculous”, the theological meaning of which does not really fit here.

    7. By definition material things are limited in Time and Space. Thus, it is the nature of living things that they die. By a gift of Grace, the First Parents were immune to Death (cf Rom 5:12). This gift was lost when they sinned.

  89. Unwilling says:

    Charlotte Allen explains everything relevant to Pseudo-Dionysius. It can also be noted that the referred-to mystic’s name is not exactly the same as that of the Greek god, which is “Dionysos” (_os, not _ios — the “i” being added to indicate its being derived from; cf. Demetrios). This (formation with “i”) is a regular, but not frequent practice; see Wikipedia “Theophoric”.

  90. Kathleen10 says:

    Marylise, agreed to your comment, but would like to respond to this part:
    “The question of how homosexuality arises, whether or not it is acted upon, and degrees of associated culpability is irrelevant. ” You are probably intending to refer to the homosexual acts between two consenting adults, but of course much of this acting out is actually demonstrated as in man/boy sexual activity, which was a problem even before our culture decided homosexuality is A-OK. In the John Jay study of Catholic Church sexual abuse, 81% of the victims of priests were adolescent males, many of them around 12 or so. This is a primary general age of interest for male homosexual predation. In this way their acting out concerns all of us who care about the spiritual, sexual, and emotional destruction of all vulnerable children. I’m not trying to nitpick your comment, a good one, I just wanted to point this out.
    And these nuns are easily entertained.

  91. Johnno says:


    4. Augustine’s understanding is indeed unique, but posed as an illustrative example against general hyperliteralism of Scripture, and in any case his opinion is against the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers which is what we are bound to dogmatically accept.

    5. The Order of events of Genesis is not merely something conveniently poetic so that you can perform a synthesis between a heretical philosophy and the Catholic Faith. It gives a strict sequence of creation that is the complete opposite of the creation myth posed by modernist scientists. And it certainly does not pose any ‘simpler before more complex’ given that the Earth & water exists before the Universe, and birds before land animals etc.The 6 Days are also literal days by measure of a transition of evening to morning always understood as regular solar days. An attempt to imagine that each day was billion x 24 hours long is still not in accord with what cosmological evolutionsts would like.

    6. Creation Ex nihilo, something from nothing, IS MIRACULOUS. Until cosmological evolutionsts can show otherwise, and they never will, I don’t know why anyone bothers taking them serously except because they are led astray by sophistry and deceived by false teachings. The Scientific Method itself cannot operate here because it needs lesser phenomenon to explain greater phenomenon; but here must explain the phenomenon of all phenomenon before which there was never any prior phenomenon. Today we have scientists trying to escape this by claiming other dimensions exist from which the undetectable invisible energy adn matter that created our universe came forth from, with an infinite universe generating machine with different Christs and different deities forming a polythestic godhead, where one version of you is a sinner, another version is not, through which we can escape into and become one with, and all this feeds into the fanciful ideas and ridiculous theological notions that our dear LCWR sisters subscribe to and thus it is relevant to what we are discussing here. You can thank the current scientific establishment and theistic evolutionsts for that, after all we’re told over and over again that all this is perfectly compatabile with our faith! No problems, nosiree!

    7. The Church, Fathers and Scripture say that ALL OF NATURE fell prey to the sin of Adam since it was under his domain? That it groaneth in pain until now and awaits a restoration? So you think it’ll be restored to… what exactly? If things now are the same as they were at Creation’s beginning, then what need for any restoration? So you are stating that the character of God, who is Good, by His own will created a system where suffering and death were integral engines of creation for absolutely no reason, and who even after finishing the Creation still called it “Good” contradicting Himself and every statement He makes about Death and decay being an intruder upon the whole of Creation and sending His Son to die to redeem us from a death that existed without sin? Sin didn’t just afflict Adam & Eve with Death, it cursed everything in nature, a sign to man that it is God who upholds reality, and a sign of his own impending death and decay and the hell that awaits him from the cues of nature which are temporal signs of an eternal reality. In the end God will make all things new again, restoring our bodies and also the Creation. Adaptation and the springing forth of new life also signify this as God created the Universe and Life with such fail safe systems in anticipation of our Fall, which is why for the same reason the Lamb was slain in eternity before the foundations of the world which in time would bring death & decay upon itself through sin.

  92. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Johnno,

    I’d appreciate it if you replaced
    The Church dogmatically teaches
    I, Johnno, dogmatically teach.

    Pardon me if that was harsh, though.

    As for your specific points, the dear @robtbrown has already said much. I might try on my own, though, that,

    4 Whether or not St. Augustine is unique, it certainly does contradict the “unanimous consent of the Church Fathers” you claimed one comment above. Nor are we “bound to dogmatically accept the overwhelming consensus of the Fathers”. We may be for the unanimous one. But who decides on “overwhelming”, to begin with? Anyway, there is no patristic consensus we are bound to accept, if St. Augustine is an exception to it… that is if not additionally a dogma of the Church comes to it.

    5 I give a quote from the SSPX’s catechism (who have some reputation of not casting away previous teachings, haven’t they), published in audio format on their German webpage, “according to the present state of natural science, the sun existed before plants did”.

    6 What the dear @robtbrown obviously wanted to say that the word “miraculous” is technically out of place, because “ex nihilo” says it all and a miracle is defined as a divergence (ordered by God) within created things from the created laws of nature.

    7 The dear @robtbrown said it all.
    I allow myself to say that the same things you say here usually come from creationist Protestants, and first of all we must to be clear about what we are attacking and what we are defending. It is simply Catholic teaching* that man is (a fortiori the animals are) by nature mortal. [*Technically, I do not know whether the Magisterium said so at a place. However, it is at the least the unanimous consent of Catholic theologians of all times, and apparently the Bible (overlooked by Protestants): The Tree of Life stood there for a reason, after all.]

  93. Johnno says:

    Imrahil –

    It is the Catholic Church you have to deal with. Not me. And certainly not any Protestants (though in this instance, they are correct in in conformity with Catholic Teachings).

    It is the Church Fathers who’ve unanimously stated Creation took place in 6 literal days. It is they you have to deal with. Not me.

    It is Pope Benedict XV who said in Spiritus Paraclitus that “by these precepts and limits [set by the Fathers of the Church]…wish, indeed, that inspiration itself pertain to all ideas, rather even to the individual words of the Bible…” Not me.

    It is Pope Leo XIII in Providentissumus Deus that the Fathers “endeavored to acquire the understanding of the Holy Scriptures not by their own lights and ideas, but from the writings and authority of the ancients, who in their turn, as we know, received the rule of interpretation in direct line from the Apostles.”

    It is the Council of Trent that stated that no one could “in matters of faith and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine…interpret the sacred Scriptures…even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.” Not Me.

    I can go on, and I’ve addressed you before, but for the sake of Fr.Z’s reminder to me to keep things brief so as to help his moderation, I’ll make it short.

    You need only to look up the Church Fathers to see that the consensus is ‘overwhelming’ and ‘unanimous’ so much so that the Church has dogmatically ruled in authoratitive Papal letters, and at Latern Council IV, Cologne, Vatican I etc. to be in agreement with them. And in contradiction to the modernist fable of biological and cosmological evolution.

    I don’t see the point of quoting the SSPX as you did. If they believe that, then on that point they’ve erred just as anybody else, but they are not the authority here. The Church Fathers, the Popes and Church Councils are.

    And the Tree of Life existed for the same reason that oxygen, food and water did – to keep man alive. Because man is a dependant being. He depends on God. He won’t live by bread alone. However just because God made man dependent on an ecosystem is not the same as making God responsible for unwarranted death, even unto the animal kingdom. Which is why Genesis states that plant life was made for animals to consume (not each other), and why when all is said and done the lamb shall lie down near the lion without fear.

  94. robtbrown says:


    Before I respond to your individual comments, I want to make it clear that I am in no way defending biological evolution.

    4. St Augustine’s position among the Fathers is such that it makes no sense to speak of Patristic consensus or unanimity when he is in disagreement with other Father, even if CAPITAL LETTERS ARE USED.

    NB: Augustine did not have access to Aristotle’s metaphysics, and he relies on the concept of rationes seminales, which is foreign to hylomorphic theory.


    a. I agree and have stated here more than once that the order of creation in Genesis is a statement of the ontological order of existing things. I have also noted here recently that there are ontological leaps that cannot be explained via material structure: inanimate to animate; vegetative to sensate; sensate to rational. I have used the example that a polygon inscribed in a circle can have the number of its sides increased infinitely, but it never becomes a circle.

    b. The concept of “literal days” must be considered insofar as Genesis says that the sun wasn’t created until day 4.

    6. I prefer St Thomas’ concept that a miracle is when the First Cause (God) produces an effect without the usual natural causes. Generally, that can take two forms: Quoad modum and Quoad substantiam. The first refers to a natural phenomenon occurring in a supernatural manner, e.g., tumors can shrink either from natural causes or from chemotherapy. If a tumor shrinks instantaneously, however, it is considered miraculous. The second refers to a phenomenon that cannot happen with natural causes, e.g., a man with no pupils having sight.”

    Creatio ex nihilo obviously is without natural cause that God circumvents as in a miracle. Thus strictly speaking, it cannot be labeled miraculous.

    7. Once again, here I follow St Thomas, who follows Scripture.
    a. The First Parents were created in Time.
    b. That which is subject to Time is subject to both substantial and accidental corruption, the former referring to death.
    c. By a gift of Grace , the First Parents were immune to substantial corruption but not to accidental corruption. And this Grace of Original Innocence produced a harmony, which included gifts to the Intellect and Will
    d. The loss of that Grace produced not only death but ignorance and malice.

    7. The moaning (ingemiscit) which St Paul mentions in Romans refers to the constant motion of the universe (of which Time is a measure), which will only rest at the end of the world.

    In what way was the universe changed by Original Sin? Obviously, not cosmologically—heavy things still fall, things float that are less dense than liquids. Time existed before the Fall and continued afterwards. Two possible phenomena come to mind: 1) The destruction of the harmony between man and his environs produced disorder; 2) Man being subject to death meant he must consume more to maintain relative health.

    There is not agreement on certain facets of pre lapsarian life, e..g, whether man was a vegetarian or not. And according to Gregory of Nyssa procreation via sexual union is a consequence of Original Sin.

  95. robtbrown says:

    Johnno says,
    which is why for the same reason the Lamb was slain in eternity before the foundations of the world which in time would bring death & decay upon itself through sin.

    Neither St Augustine nor St Thomas would agree with you.

  96. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Johnno,

    I rest my case on the fact that St. Augustine did not share your unanimous consensus of the Fathers.

    I do acknowledge that the dear @robtbrown put things better than I did.

Comments are closed.