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145. Feb. 2/15, 1974. Meeting of the Lord

Dear Alexey —

Just a note to go with the Teilhard article — I think it was Sarah who sent it to us, but maybe it was you; in any case you might as well keep it in your “evolution” file. It is well done but, of course, “unpublishable,” as she says. Most people will just stop listening when they hear “fraud,” “conspiracy,” or anything like that. If you mention “fraud” in connection with Teilhard de Ch. it should be no more than a hint. Likewise Vatican II should be mentioned as little as possible in the “Christian evolution” section, as there are those who will leap at the opportunity to believe that you are of a “pre-Vatican II” mentality.

I suspect also that Sarah is overestimating Teilhard’s direct influence on the “New Christianity.” That phrase was coined (I think) by St. Simon 150 years ago, and much preparation was made for it before Teilhard. Probably T. appeared at just the right time to take advantage of the modernist current and make everyone start to think of it in connection with his name.

There are some good points for the “Christian philosophy” section on pp. 39-41.

Concerning your chapter on “Early Man” — very good! We will send it back shortly with a few comments. This is most of the “scientific” raw material you will need to support your conclusions on the “scientific” side of evolution. Only — where is the “fluorine dating system”? Isn’t that in fashion now?

This whole “book” on evolution seems to be piecing itself together very well — and its doubtless better this way than it would have been starting from a pre-conceived plan. Frankly, we had never even thought of some of the theological aspects which we have been uncovering now.

It would be good to have a quote from Charles Lyell or someone else from the period when the “immense antiquity” of man and the earth first “dawned” on men, to show precisely why they started thinking that way.

We look forward to your visit on March 1. Please pray for us.

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

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