Catholic teaching on Creation


#1

I’m sure there are threads about this but I searched and coudn’t seem to find any. I’ve heard many teachings on the Catholic view of how the world was created, but my knowledge still seems quite vague. What is the definitive teaching on Creation? Thanks.


#2

[quote=General Septem]I’m sure there are threads about this but I searched and coudn’t seem to find any. I’ve heard many teachings on the Catholic view of how the world was created, but my knowledge still seems quite vague. What is the definitive teaching on Creation? Thanks.
[/quote]

There is none…except that we must believe (as the First Vatican Council declared) that:

“If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been created by God from nothing, let him be anathema.”


#3

You can order the CD, or the DVD, or some good articles from
www.catholicintl.com

CD and DVD are on the Catholic Doctrine of Creation.


#4

[quote=JSmitty2005]There is none…except that we must believe (as the First Vatican Council declared) that:

“If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been created by God from nothing, let him be anathema.”
[/quote]

So, basically it doesn’t matter how we believe the world to have come to be, so long as we acknowledge the fact that God is ultimately at the center of it, correct?

Thanks a lot :smiley:


#5

[quote=General Septem]So, basically it doesn’t matter how we believe the world to have come to be, so long as we acknowledge the fact that God is ultimately at the center of it, correct?

Thanks a lot :smiley:
[/quote]

Yup. :smiley: Well, there’s actually one more thing. We must believe that a real Adam and Eve existed. But, I don’t think that that’s a problem because a priest friend of mine told me that a couple years back it was genetically proven that all mankind can be traced back to one woman, whom they aptly named “Eve.”


#6

[quote=JSmitty2005]Yup. :smiley: Well, there’s actually one more thing. We must believe that a real Adam and Eve existed. But, I don’t think that that’s a problem because a priest friend of mine told me that a couple years back it was genetically proven that all mankind can be traced back to one woman, whom they aptly named “Eve.”
[/quote]

and we are all descended from this single set of parents.

From the Catechism:

83 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Solomon they can say: "It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me."121

284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin: is the universe governed by chance, blind fate, anonymous necessity, or by a transcendent, intelligent and good Being called “God”? And if the world does come from God’s wisdom and goodness, why is there evil? Where does it come from? Who is responsible for it? Is there any liberation from it?

285 Since the beginning the Christian faith has been challenged by responses to the question of origins that differ from its own. Ancient religions and cultures produced many myths concerning origins. Some philosophers have said that everything is God, that the world is God, or that the development of the world is the development of God (Pantheism). Others have said that the world is a necessary emanation arising from God and returning to him. Still others have affirmed the existence of two eternal principles, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, locked, in permanent conflict (Dualism, Manichaeism). According to some of these conceptions, the world (at least the physical world) is evil, the product of a fall, and is thus to be rejected or left behind (Gnosticism). Some admit that the world was made by God, but as by a watch-maker who, once he has made a watch, abandons it to itself (Deism). Finally, others reject any transcendent origin for the world, but see it as merely the interplay of matter that has always existed (Materialism). All these attempts bear witness to the permanence and universality of the question of origins. This inquiry is distinctively human.

286 Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. The existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason,122 even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth: "By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear."123



#7

cont’d

287 The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject. Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator,124 God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation. He who chose the patriarchs, who brought Israel out of Egypt, and who by choosing Israel created and formed it, this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth, and the whole earth itself; he is the One who alone “made heaven and earth”.125

288 Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People. Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant, the first and universal witness to God’s all-powerful love.126 And so, the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigor in the message of the prophets, the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy, and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People.127

289 Among all the Scriptural texts about creation, the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place. From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources. The inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation - its origin and its end in God, its order and goodness, the vocation of man, and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation. Read in the light of Christ, within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church, these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the “beginning”: creation, fall, and promise of salvation.

God creates by wisdom and love

295 We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom.141 It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God’s free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom and goodness: "For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."142 Therefore the Psalmist exclaims: “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all”; and "The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made."143


#8

cont’d

** How to read the account of the fall**

390 The account of the fall in *Genesis *3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265

and…

The senses of Scripture

115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two *senses *of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."83

117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

  1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.84

  2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.85

  3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86

118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses: The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87 119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."88

But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.89


#9

Grace and Peace Buffalo,

Whoa! Brother don’t post the ‘whole’ Catechism!!! :frowning:

BTW, how does Catholics like Peter Kreeft and others here deal with the issue of ‘death’ entering the world through Adams sin if one takes that stand that the World is Millions of years old pre-Adam?

I find the Churches position on this confusing.

Peace.


#10

As found in “Understanding the Scriptures” by Scott Hahn on page 60, The basic truths we must beliee about creation is that:

[list]
*]God created matter our of nothing
*]The creation of humans, however they arose in history, was designed by God and he breathed a human soul into Adam
*]Woman was formed from the body of man.
*]All humanity is decended from Adam and Eve.
*]Adam and Eve were created without sin.
*]Adam and Eve were commanded to be obedient to God.
*]Adam adn Eve sinned against this commandment.
*]As a result of that sin, they fell from their state of sinless innocence.
*]That even at the time of the fall, God made clear the promise of a future Redemmer.
[/list]


#11

[quote=chrisb]Grace and Peace Buffalo,

Whoa! Brother don’t post the ‘whole’ Catechism!!! :frowning:

BTW, how does Catholics like Peter Kreeft and others here deal with the issue of ‘death’ entering the world through Adams sin if one takes that stand that the World is Millions of years old pre-Adam?

I find the Churches position on this confusing.

Peace.
[/quote]

I was trying to piece together the relevant posts to help the poster understand. Sorry.


#12

[quote=chrisb]BTW, how does Catholics like Peter Kreeft and others here deal with the issue of ‘death’ entering the world through Adams sin if one takes that stand that the World is Millions of years old pre-Adam?
[/quote]

I don’t remember exactly how it went, but I think that PhilVaz said in another thread that even Fundamentalist Creationists have reconciled this. He posted a link in his response, maybe you want to PM him to ask for it.


#13

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