"Pantheist" was a label that was falsely attached to Teilhard by his critics.

The Divine Milieu by Teilhard de Chardin, page 93-94


Pantheism seduces us by its vistas of perfect universal union. But ultimately, if it were true, it would give us only fusion and unconsciousness; for at the end of the evolution it claims to reveal, the elements of the world vanish in the God they create or by which they are absorbed. Our God, on the contrary, pushes to its furthest possible limit the differentiation among the creatures he concentres in himself. At the peak of their adherence to him, those who are chosen discover in him the consummation of their individual fulfillment. Only Christianity therefore saves, along with the rights of thought, the essential aspiration of all mysticism: to be united (that is, to become the other) while remaining oneself. More attractive than any world-Gods, whose eternal seduction it embraces, transcends and pacifies—In omnibus omnia Deus (En pasi panta Theos)—our divine Milieu is at the antipodes of false pantheism. The Christian can plunge himself into it whole-heartedly without the risk of finding himself one day a monist.


From his book "The Faith of Teilhard de Chardin" page 20 – 24 by Henri (Cardinal) de Lubac S.J., (Also titled "The Man and His Meaning" by some publishers)

Henri de Lubac
Henri de Lubac

Pere Teilhard was far from divinizing the Cosmos, the world known to us by experience, nor did he in any way bury the Divinity in it, or dilute the Divinity with it, as some critics have persisted in accusing him. Such accusations have been based on occasional expressions that have been misunderstood, and are made in spite of very many passages, written at all periods of his life, in the most explicit terms, passages, too, that are the most central and integral to his thought. In fact, Teilhard protests against those who endow the Universe with “divine attributes”. In his view, on the contrary, “far from pointing to the discovery of a new God, science will only be able to show us the matter which is the sheath of Divinity"; once again in our own day, Nature is revealed to us (as it was to St Augustine) not as divine and to be adored, but as humble and suppliant. He rejects “a ‘naturalist’ cult of the world” and recognizes a “love of the earth” as legitimate only when it is based on God—the—Creator. The whole of creation is seen by him as answering to the attraction of the Creator, with whom there can be no final rejoining except through a sort of inversion, of turning back, of excentration.

There are other passages in which he simply contrasts the Christian or the “guest of the divine milieu” with the pantheist.  In any case, apart from the actual terminology, there can be no doubt that of all contemporary thinker it was Teilhard who was the most outspoken opponent of pantheistic concepts of Godhead. He vigorously rejected every type of “pantheist bliss”. In every doctrine, whatever might be said for it in other respects, that describes the “final state” as “a faceless organism, a diffuse humanity, — Impersonal”, he denounced its “betrayal of the Spirit". On one occasion he spoke of the “triumphant joy”, retained even in his “worst hours”, that he drew from his faith in the transcendence of God. At the same time he held that “we must love the World greatly if we are to feel a passionate desire to leave the World behind”. He knew also that "the false trails of pantheism bear witness to our immense need for some revealing word to come from the mouth of Him who is”. He sought, too, to do more than reject or refute pantheism: by establishing the “differentiating and communicating action of love”, he neutralized its temptation.

What perhaps introduces some confusion into this subject is that too many people in our modern West, even including some who are extremely firm in their faith and heedful of the spiritual life, are apt to forget the divine Presence and the divine Action in all things—even indeed at the natural level. It is here that a superficial cult of the spiritual has done a great deal of damage. Just as many, when they have to consider their final end, can only oscillate “between the concept of an individual survival that leaves beings isolated from one another, and a reflection that absorbs them into the one”, so the divine transcendence is too often conceived, or rather imagined as itself, too, being purely exteriorized. As Père Abel Jeanniere has said, “Among many who are opposed to the thought of Teilhard we find an underlying mental attitude which allows no possibility of distinction except in separation and mutual exteriority.” It was of these people that the author of the Milieu Divine was thinking when he said: “Of those who hear me, more than one will shake his head and accuse me of worshipping Nature.” In fact, “however absolute the distinction between God and the world (since everything in the world—and the world itself—exists, even at this present moment, only by divine creation), God is present in the world and nothing is more present in it than the God who creates it: for "it is in him that we live, and move, and have our being”. Deus non creavit, et abiit (St Augustine.)

Père Teilhard de Chardin lived, with great intensity, this prime truth, constantly recalled in Scripture and Christian tradition, by the Fathers of the Church and the great scholastic theologians, no less than by the mystics. With all these, he held that God is both “further than everything and deeper than everything”. His master St Ignatius Loyola, in particular, had taught him to “contemplate God as existing in every one of his creatures”. He “venerated an omni-presence" resting on and losing itself in “the peace of a deep intimate union.” St Teresa would have been delighted to meet him on her road, to save her from the “half-baked doctors, always so ready to take exception” who would not leave her in peace, as she entered into her mystical life, to believe that God is present in all beings; Teilhard could have set her mind at rest by assuring her that God’s intimate presence is not an impossibility but a solid fact. He could have told her, in the words of St Thomas Aquinas, that “God must be present in all things, and that in an intimate manner”.

Henri de Lubac was a French Jesuit and a world-renowned theologian. During the 1940s de Lubac, like Teilhard, came under suspicion from the Vatican for his teachings. He was eventually obligated to stop publication of his works but was later exonerated. In the aftermath of Vatican II de Lubac became disappointed by the ensuing disorder and wrote several works explaining the true teaching of the Council fathers.


In the consistory of February 2, 1983, Pope John Paul II raised Henri de Lubac, at 87, to the College of Cardinals.


De Lubac (1896-1991) was the author of numerous important theological studies including The Splendor of The Church and Catholicism, Christ and the Destiny of Man. From the latter book's foreword: "The encounter with this book became an essential milestone on my theological journey." ~ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1988 (Now Pope Benedict XVI)

Referring to Henri de Lubac and de Lubac’s former student Hans Urs von Balthasar, Pope Benedict XVI stated in his book “Milestones: Memoirs, 1927-1977”, “I cannot even begin to say how much I owe to my encounter with them”.