- "...Gilson makes his own the
position of Kant that existence is not a predicate... Gilson
wrote...'Being,' Kant says 'is evidently not a predicate or a concept
of something that can be added to a thing'... What is the
Thomististicity of Gilson's claim..."
"... [W]hat he [Gilson] is attributing to Thomas is not found in Thomas... 'No Thomist,' Gilson concedes, 'aiming to express it, should write that existence (esse) is not known by a concept.' Coming from a historian [Gilson] who has been so severe on other interpreters of Thomas [such as Cajetan and Garrigou-Lagrange], it is somewhat disarming to be told that 'historically speaking, our [Gilson's] formulas are inaccurate' and that he should have made clear that he was not using the language of Saint Thomas." - Thomist Ralph McInerny, "praeambula fidei: Thomism and the God of the Philosophers"
- "Father Wojtyla lived at the Belgian college in Rome and the center for... Transcendental Thomism... so called because its approach to the thought of St. Thomas is influenced by the transcendental system of philosophy of Immanuel Kant..."
" ... After earning a second doctorate with a thesis on the ethics of the [Kantian] phenomenologist Max Scheler, Father Wojtyla was appointed in 1954 to the philosophy department of the Catholic University of Lublin..." [https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8105]
Scholar Douglas Flippen gives an exact time when Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II) started thinking that Kantian subjectivistic philosophy became possibly as important as Thomism. He thought that Scheler's Kantian thought could make up for "a certain lack in the approach of " Thomism. The supposedly solid Thomist Etienne Gilson so-called "historic or existential Thomis[m]," it appears, may have helped turned him towards Kant through Scheler:
"It seems likely that at this time Father Wojtyla would have become more aware of different approaches to the thought of St. Thomas. The reason for this is not only the fact that he was studying at the Angelicum with Father Garrigou-Lagrange, called a traditionalist Thomist for his approach to Thomas through the tradition of the commentaries of Cajetan and John of St. Thomas, but also because Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson, the two most famous [supposed] Thomists of the twentieth century, had been active in promoting the thought of Thomas since the 1920s, and this would hardly have escaped notice at the Angelicum. Both Gilson and Maritain, but especially Gilson, could be called historic or existential Thomists because of their interest in recovering the authentic thought of Thomas and because of their conviction that the historic thought of Thomas centered itself on the act of existing as being at the heart of reality..."
"... Father, and then Bishop, Wojtyla lectured at Lublin from 1954 until 1961. In this period of time his understanding and appreciation of the metaphysical approach of St. Thomas increased. This was due not only to his own continuing work on St. Thomas, but also to his interaction with a colleague named Stefan Swiezawski. As George Weigel notes in his biography of John Paul II, "Through faculty colleagues at KUL, and especially Stefan Swiezawski, Wojtyla had his first serious encounter with Etienne Gilson's historical rereading of Thomas Aquinas and with Jacques Maritain's modern Thomistic reading of Catholic social ethics."8 During this period, Father Wojtyla published a number of essays, many of them taking into account the thought of St. Thomas and comparing it favorably with modern thinkers. And yet there is a change of tone in his treatment of the thought of St. Thomas during this period. In the beginning, his praise of Thomas seems unqualified. Toward the end we find criticisms of a certain lack in the approach of Thomas and an emphasis on a positive contribution coming from the phenomenological movement. [Was John Paul II a Thomist or a Phenomenologist?: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8105] - Catholic Monitor
In my opinion, one of intellectual giants in the Catholic Church in the United States is philosopher Edward Feser.
I have seen Feser totally destroy, with a devastating intellectual knock out Mark Shea (which is pretty easy), theologian Massimo Faggioli (a bit harder) and on YouTube win an impressive victory over a very intelligent Atheist scholar.
As one reads the scholar McInerny's "praeambula fidei" it is obvious that he considers Gilson a real scholar who was dishonest in his discourses on Cajetan and Aquinas while he doesn't, it seems, appear to consider de Lubac "orthodox" or much of a scholar:
"'Supernatural' brought de Lubac... silenced... eventually De Lubac learned that it had been other Jesuits, not Dominicans, who had questioned the the orthodoxy of his views... If de Lubac got Cajetan's reading of St. Thomas wrong, what is to be said of De Lubac's own understanding of Thomas." ("praeambula fidei," Pages 70, 84)
The point is, as
McInerny shows in his book, that Gilson and de Lubac were a team who
worked to discredit Cajetan and ultimately St. Thomas' real teachings.
The poor scholar de Lubac needed Gilson's reputation as a honest
scholar to cover for his "question[able]... orthodoxy" and dishonest or
poor scholarship. [https://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/09/was-pope-john-paul-ii-thomist-or.html]
It can be argued that part of what the nouvelle theologian de Lubac's teaching has done is replace the infallible teachings of the Church with Kantian teaching in which all human experience (pagan, heretical, mundane, etc...) is equal to the redemption, grace and teachings given to us by Jesus Christ's Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection as taught and administered through the Sacraments by the Church He established:
"The rejection of the proportionate human nature separate de Lubac more decisively from St. Thomas than anything else, doubtless because this rejection is at the basis of his thought... Grace, as the words suggests, is gratuitous, unowed, above and beyond what our nature is naturally ordered to. The supernatural, as the word suggests, is added onto natural... In de Lubac's account... [it] is almost as if for him the supernatural replaces the natural." ( "praeambula fidei," Pages 85-86)
Below, Feser seemingly affirms McInerny's scholarship against the Gilson/de Lubac philosophy which leads to the "fideistic, subjectivist Christian who would dismiss the atheist’s demand that faith be given an objective, rational defense, and who thereby makes of Christianity a laughingstock":