The Quote of the Day, "One Galileo in two thousand years is enough" (October 9), attributed to Pope Pius XII on being asked to proscribe Père Tielhard de Chardin, brought to mind almost the same words by the late Cardinal Suenens.

In a powerful speech on October 28, 1964, when Pope Paul VI removed the birth control issue from the Vatican Council's agenda, Cardinal Suenens stated, "I beg you, my brother bishops, let us avoid a new Galileo affair. One is enough for the Church" (R. McClory, "Turning Point", p.60).

Pius XII in his 1950 encyclical Humani Generis silenced a good number of very prominent theologians, among others the Dominicans Congar and Chenu. The Jesuits de Lubac and Tielhard de Chardin met the same fate, while Rahner was put under special censorship (Kung, "Christianity", p.517).

Typically, the encyclical did not identify anybody and in so doing Pius XII diplomatically may well have considered that in refraining from condemning outrightly the exponents of the nouvelle theologie, he somehow evaded repeating the Galileo affair.

Happily, most of them resurfaced and, featured as the leading lights in Blessed John XXIII's Council.

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