@AlbanyDiocese – Is it just me, or is this pretty weird?

After the years and years of Agony in Albany, things are looking up. There is a great bishop there now and, I hear, many improvements.

However, just as Rome was not built in a day, nor destroyed in a day, neither is it to be cleaned up in a day.

I received a note from a reader about an upcoming “convocation for St. Bernard’s School of Theology” entitled “A Christological Spirituality for Conversion to the Earth“.

No, I spelled that correctly. I double-checked “conversion”, just as you did with that same double-take I did.

The presenter, Sister Mary Frolich, RSCJ, was interviewed about this talk. Here’s what I read:

Q: How would you describe the title of your talk in layman’s terms?

Sister Mary: The talk will be about how our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with the Earth are related to each other.

Q: In the description of your presentation, you write that “the Spirit of God has labored with love to make known the face of Christ in the wondrous web of life on Earth.” How so?

Sister Mary: The theological approach I am embracing is that Christ was already beginning to be incarnated from the very beginning of creation, although the incarnation came to the fullness of expression in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
In this perspective, Christ lives in all creatures, and evolution allows more and more dimensions of divine life to be expressed through created forms. For example, creatures’ capacities to know and to love (which are aspects of the divine image) increase as one moves along the evolutionary tree.

Ummm… what?

If I were involved with the Diocese of Albany, I think I would want to know more about this woman and her position before she spoke about it on any property related in anyway to the local Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mike says:

    Just more of the Teilhardian rubbish that clogs the main stream of post-Vatican-2 ‘theology’.

  2. Adelle Cecilia says:

    Oh dear, this sounds more than just a little hippy-ish.

  3. CasaSanBruno says:

    Yeah, we’re all marching towards the Cosmic Christ,…. Splendid.

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with and kind and elderly priest in Bratislava some years ago. He had obviously been trained in de Chardin and nouvelle theologie. He said, not with a little triumphalism, that we were on the brink of new humanity and all of the stuff he had been taught was about to come to fruition.

    I looked out his window and saw an endless series of massive Soviet built housing projects, all split pea green stucco monstrosities. Having lived in the former USSR and seen what it had wrought, I remember thinking to myself, “that brink sure seems far away.”

  4. The Egyptian says:

    Yeah, we’re all marching towards the Cosmic Christ,….
    And we expect the Priest to do it walking backwards ……..

    I have had too many experiences with some of these polyester nightmares (different order, same pew), someone needs to check their incense supply, after all your supposed to use a thurible not a bong

  5. WmHesch says:

    If only critics of Teilhard had half of his poetic eloquence

  6. La Sandia says:

    St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry is in my home diocese, the equally loopy Rochester, NY diocese, where it has been referred to as the “French Road Heresy Factory.” Thankfully the new bishop there seems to be doing some good work, but it’s going to take a long time to clean up the messes left by Clark and Hubbard.

  7. johnnys says:

    I knew there had to be a tree in there somewhere.

  8. ArthurH says:

    Pure and unadulterated Teilhard. If phrased the right way– it isn’t here–there is much to be said for Teilhard’s view, but what IS usually said about it is just more Mother Earth stuff that is pure pagan in meaning.

    E.G. God does not “do time”– he exists in the timeless of His everlasting “now”–and, while Christ came for us in a specific time 2000 years ago, the Incarnation was for God an eternal act… as was every act of His on earth (and anywhere/any “time”) since the Person of Christ is the Eternal Word, the Logos, the 2nd Person. And, since ALL creation has its being as a participant in the Being of God, and since He is the Eternal Law in which we participate via the Natural Law: He is indeed “in” all and in a special way in us– a short but real step away from Pantheism’s saying He IS all– Teilhard was not wrong.

    See? Not wrong, but also not right as stated in the nun’s “flyer”.

  9. Charivari Rob says:

    re: Conversion to the Earth

    Is the Earth 115V or 240V?

    If I need a converter/adapter thingy, Father, can I get it from Amazon using your link?

  10. CasaSanBruno says:

    The monitum issued by the Holy Office, without poetic eloquence:

    “Several works of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, some of which were posthumously published, are being edited and are gaining a good deal of success. Prescinding from a judgement about those points that concern the positive sciences, it is sufficiently clear that the above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine. For this reason, the most eminent and most revered Fathers of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    WmHesch: Just for fun, here ya’ go:

    There once was a paleontologist
    Who also trained as a geologist
    He created Omega Point-ism
    Dabbled in Pantheism
    And invented the Noosphere- that’s the gist.

  12. teomatteo says:

    Wow with all that is going on, I will pray for this bishop that he does the right thing for the people in his care.

  13. There is no problem with making analogies. There are so many fascinating and fruitful analogies one can make between the Creator and the creation on all levels.

    The problem comes in when one gets so excited about the analogies as to forget about necessary distinctions. Let me give a couple of examples that may be familiar. In the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, the Church is described as “a kind of sacrament”; this is a valid analogy, but note the distinction: “kind of.” Another, from Sacrosanctum Concilium, is the passage describing all the ways Christ is present in the liturgy: in the readings, in the Gospel, in the people, in the celebrant, and — most supremely — in the Holy Eucharist. A lot of us have seen this passage presented, but with the necessary qualifying language about the Eucharist being left out.

    If the author wants to say that God is present in some fashion in Creation, well that’s true; and it’s true to say this foreshadows the Incarnation, etc., no problem. But don’t get carried away with the analogy.

  14. VP says:

    Sister is a Professor of Spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union and past President of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. According to CTU’s website, her “current research interests include the contributions of the physical and human sciences to insight into spiritual transformation, contemplative contributions to fostering ecological conversion, and methodological issues in spirituality.” There is not much in the Catechism about these topics that are so vital to the Church’s mission. Francis will get on that after he returns from Ireland.

    The CTU was founded in 1968, a year which will never die, and is “a highly respected institution in the eyes of the Archdiocese of Chicago,” which used to have as its pastor a Catholic bishop.

  15. AndyMo says:

    I’m reminded of my conversion to the earth whenever I have ashes imposed on me at the beginning of Lent.

  16. Brian Cannon says:

    I once saw the image of a bearded man in a tortilla (flour), so I think I know what she’s talking about. Get woke, people.

  17. bibi1003 says:

    Along the environmental theme of this post, I’m reminded of a crazy article in our diocesan newsletter during Lent. The author insisted that we give up beef for Lent; not as a sacrifice to the Lord, but because we wouldn’t be wasting the thousands of gallons of water used to raise cattle. Huh???

    The diocese used to mail the newsletter to all parishioners (never asking if we wanted it)and then tried to bill us for it. No way.

  18. Ave Maria says:

    Lost souls seeking Jesus in the trees and flowers. While they may reflect a bit of the glory of His creation, they do not make for union with Christ. Sad. A distraction at best and heresy at worst.

  19. Fuerza says:

    I live in the Albany diocese and would just like to add a comment that, despite some of the absurdities that persist, Bishop Sharfenberger is awesome. He is pretty vocal about eliminating abusers and the secrecy that protected them, and is sympathetic towards the more traditional among us. We now have 4 licit TLMs in the diocese (though only two are weekly at this point), and the bishop has himself celebrated it publicly on a few occasions. Addtionally, a friend of mine recently informed me that she was considering leaving her parish because she was uncomfortable with the new priest. His crime: celebrating Mass ad orientem. I personally took this as a good sign.

  20. NBW says:

    Hippy nun drinking the Teilhardian Koolaid. Sister Mary: do you really believe in that Christ is in an angry Grizzly bear or a snake?? The hippy happy clappy nuns are the reason why so many don’t know their Faith very well, including myself, or lost their Faith.

  21. ResMiranda says:

    Hmm. I think I’d recommend a dose of sober reading to dear Sister Mary Frolich, RSCJ. How about the curious case of Father Bones and Mister Natch from “Hostage to the Devil”? I’m not sure that anything more subtle would get through.
    Omega Point, indeed…

  22. VP says:

    @ AveMaria – Correct. The CTU teaches you to find Jesus in the trees and flowers, the parking lot, and everywhere around you. Except in the Eucharist, probably. The CTU’s website is almost a parody of 60’s and 70’s “sorta looks like Catholicism.”

    The Historical and Doctrinal Studies Department “prepare(s) students with…the ability to competently interpret the Roman Catholic tradition in a faithful, historically critical, and culturally sensitive manner.” In other words, our students will learn how the Church has harmed countless people over time, and then be trained to dilute the teachings beyond recognition, so that the Faith does not unduly challenge the spiritually feeble.

    The application requires name, address, credit card number, and, in lieu of a personal statement, a video of yourself singing 4 verses of “All are Welcome” from memory.

  23. Charles E Flynn says:

    I prefer the CTU where Jack Bauer worked.

  24. Mallu Jack says:

    In the original, rejected schema for Vatican II (see https://wdtprs.com/2018/05/the-council-that-might-have-been-but-wasnt/ and https://jakomonchak.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/the-council-that-might-have-been/ ), this issue was addressed:

    “The children of the Church should also take care not to be deceived by erroneous opinions and
    so to distort any of the revealed truths… They must not weaken the Catholic doctrine on the subsistence of the world in itself and on the utter simplicity and perfection of God, by daring to think that God so directs the world’s evolution that he is gradually gathering all things into himself, that he is somehow joining them to himself, and that he thus in some way becomes a participant in the world’s construction. Neither scientific investigation nor sound philosophy can give suitable arguments for maintaining such false opinions.”

    ” It also rejects the error of those who, abusing a falsely so-called
    philosophy or science, substitute for the personal God impersonal or merely ideal and therefore
    useless fictions, or who, rejecting a demonstration based upon objective truth, profess that the
    existence of God rests only on a subjective and merely voluntary adherence of the mind to God.”

    “But the dogma of creation is also openly distorted by that pantheistic evolutionism whose proponents do indeed admit that the world comes from a single and immaterial principle, which they call divine, but mistakenly conceive things, as if the world were nothing but the totality of the changes, especially in the life of the human spirit, that are produced by the gradual self-evolution of that principle.”

    “The Sacred Council rejects, therefore, the errors both of those who do not properly distinguish
    between the natural and supernatural orders and assert that man’s call to the state of grace and glory is owed to human nature or that it must be granted him by God, and of those who, blinded by
    naturalism or a false humanism, are so ungrateful for the grace of God that they either spurn those
    gifts or deny that they are to be desired above all others.”

    Translation by Fr Komonchak

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  26. Marius2k4 says:


    Pages 67 onwards describes Teilhard de Chardin becoming possessed.

    “The man was walking in the desert, followed by his companion,
    when the Thing swooped down on him.

    What was advancing toward them was the moving heart of an immeasurable pervasive subtlety

    The man felt that he was ceasing to be merely himself; an irresistible rapture took possession of him as though all the sap of all living things, flowing at one and the same moment into the too narrow confines of his heart, was mightily refashioning the enfeebled fibres of his being. And at the same time the anguish of some superhuman peril oppressed him, a confused feeling that the force which had swept down upon him was equivocal, turbid, the combined essence of all evil and all goodness. The hurricane was within himself.And now, in the very depths of the being it had invaded, the tempest of life, infinitely gentle, infinitely brutal, was murmuring to the one secret point in the soul which it had not altogether demolished:

    The spirit: “You had need of me in order to grow; and I was waiting for you in order to be made holy. Always you have, without knowing it, desired me; and always I have been drawing you to me. And now I am established upon you for life, or for death. You can never go back, never return to commonplace gratifications or untroubled worship. He who has once seen me can never forget me: he must either damn himself with me or save me with himself.”

    The spirit: “I am the fire that consumes and the water that overthrows; I am the love that initiates and the truth that passes away. All that compels acceptance and all that brings renewal; all that breaks apart and all that binds together; power, experiment, progress – matter: all this am I.
    ‘Because in my violence I sometimes slay my lovers; because he who touches me never knows what power he is unleashing, wise men fear me and curse me. They speak of me with scorn, calling me beggar-woman or witch or harlot; but their words are at variance with life, and the pharisees who condemn me, waste away in the outlook to which they confine themselves; they die of inanition and their disciples desert them because I am the essence of all that is tangible, and men cannot do without me.”

    And then the frenzy of battle gave place in his heart to an irresistible longing to submit … Turning his eyes resolutely away from what was receding from him, he surrendered himself, in superabounding faith, to the wind which was sweeping the universe onwards.

    Who does that spirit sound like, to whom he submitted?

    You wouldn’t believe how hard this is to find online. Bing search, at least, doesn’t index many of the quotes from this that I’ve heard. Note that this most profound experience of his happened August 8, 1918. — One year after Fatima, and on the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple (August 8, 70AD). His errors are at the core of the catastrophes and cataclysms overhanging the Church and the world.

  27. Marius2k4 says:

    A part of a great conference by a wonderful priest (whom I miss at my local parish very greatly) regarding Teilhard, vis-a-vis Our Lady of Revelation:


    I recommend the whole series. He’s quiet, so use headphones or listen on something with more volume than a cell phone alone.

  28. robtbrown says:

    WmHesch says:

    If only critics of Teilhard had half of his poetic eloquence

    Like a really good defense lawyer defending a client who has committed first degree murder.

  29. JustaSinner says:

    I think there was a song about this Sister:

    Soho Hippychick

    It’s hard to tell you how I feel without hurting you
    So try to think about yourself the way that I see you
    You’re life revolves around the force of oppression
    And I won’t deal with the true blue devils of correction
    Got no flowers for your gun
    No hippychick
    Won’t make love to change your mind
    No hippychick
    No hippychick
    No, hip hip hip hip hip
    Today, we’ll sit here drinking coffee in your incident room
    Tonight, you’ll close the door and lock me in that bare bulb gloom
    Love, it ain’t something riding on a motorbike
    And love, I stopped loving you since the miners’ strike
    Got no flowers for your gun
    No hippychick
    Won’t make love to change your mind
    No hippychick
    No hippychick
    No, hip hip hip hip hip hop

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