“It has sometimes seemed to me there are three weak stones sitting dangerously in the foundations of the modern Church: first, a government that excludes democracy; second, a priesthood that excludes and minimises women; third, a revelation that excludes, for the future, prophecy.”

(Letter to Christophe de Gaudefroy, 7 October 1929, Lettres in⁄dites, 80)

In 1929 this Jesuit scholar saw to the heart of the matter regarding the clerical structures of the Church. And on the nature of the human experience:

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

The Phenomenon of Man (1955)

And in reflecting on the future of the universe, Teilhard is filled with hope and an awareness of human responsibility focused not just inward on personal salvation but outward into the universe:

“Human Energy presents itself to our view as the term of a vast process in which the whole mass of the universe is involved. In us, the evolution of the world towards the spirit becomes conscious. From that moment, our perfection, our interest, our salvation as elements of creation can only be to press on with this evolution with all our strength. We cannot yet understand exactly where it will lead us, but it would be absurd for us to doubt that it will lead us towards some end of supreme value.

From this there finally emerges in our twentieth century human consciousness, for the first time since the awakening of life on earth, the fundamental problem of Action. No longer, as in the past, for our small selves, for our small family, our small country; but for the salvation and the success of the universe, how must we, modern men, organize around us for the best, the maintenance, distribution and progress of human energy?”

(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Building the Earth, “Human Energies” p. 67-68)