The Church teaches we must believe we all descended from Adam and Eve, because that is the teaching the apostles learned from Jesus and handed down through the Church.
The Church teaches we can believe in a God-directed evolution, that happened in a few seconds or in thousands of years.
The Church teaches we cannot believe in an evolution of blind chance that occurs totally without God.
I think the Church teaches that God could set things up so that, with the understanding that God keeps all things in existence, evolution could flow by chance from what He created in the beginning and from the laws of nature He established in the beginning. Then God would have had to infuse a human soul into Adam and Eve as the first humans .
That is what I used to believe. But the more I study and learn, the more I agree with others. Evolution from chance is a fairy tale for adults who want to try to explain the universe without God. There is really no basis in genetics or physics behind it. The only reason such a foolish thing is pushed is because it is the only way for those who reject God to explain the universe.
Those who push this evolution from pure chance seem very similar to me to those Muslims who think by yelling and shouting and by using force whether by rhetoric, legal, political or ad-hominem attacks, they can make some belief be true. It turns me off totally. The more they simply assert, “evolution is a fact” without any reasonable way to explain the numerous difficulties in the theory the more I reject it.
What the Pope accepts is or believes is NOT Church teaching. All Popes believe all kinds of errors. It is only when they teach for the whole Church, in their many, many encyclicals, or talks, that they are infallible or when they authorize teachings such as in the Catechism or Vatican I and Vatican II that the teachings are infallible.
I think Pope JPII believed in a God-directed evolution from a common ancestor, as does Michael Behe, who believes in Intelligent Design.
Michael Behe, who introduced irreducable complexity, certainly does not believe in an evolution by chance, in which God set up laws so that life just naturally evolved. All the genetics and structure of living things is totally against that theory. He believes in an active God directed evolution from a common ancestor.
Pope JP II may believe in an evolution by chance in which God set up things and laws so that life naturally evolved by chance. I don’t think he was ever clear on this. But again, his personal beliefs on this would only be personal beliefs. Science seems to indicate intelligent design everywhere.
I don’t even necessarily believe in a common ancestor. There is no reason that God had to start with simply life and from that develop more complex life, simply because all life has common molecular structures.
There is no reason that, with the understanding that much of Genesis is symbolic, that God could not have created life just as described in Genesis. And the Church does teach that scripture is to be taken literally unless there is a good reason not to do so.