Dr. Wiker says Catholic cant hold to tradiotional view of Genesis

Recently Dr. Wiker appeared on CA radio and stated Catholics cannot believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis.

Here is Bob Sungenis’ write up and a link to the show.


I agree with Dr. Sungenis and hope that Catholic Answers will reply to his challenge that he posted in his article:

“In conclusion, I hereby submit an open invitation to Dr. Wiker to have a
formal and public debate on these issues. Perhaps Catholic Answers
would be willing to sponsor the debate on its radio program. This
debate would give the Catholic faithful the opportunity to hear both
sides of the story. I’m sure that if Dr. Wiker feels that his position is
unassailable (which is the impression he left his radio audience on July
28) he would be more than willing to demonstrate its merits through a
public debate.”
Robert Sungenis, Ph.D.
August 3, 2010

go sungenis. great defender of the Faith. may our Lord be with you always.

I personally believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis… I think it’s how the early Church Fathers believed too

I agree with Dr. Sungenis…

Unfortunately, I do not have sound so I am hoping the write up is accurate.

I got as far as this paragraph which refers to the two most popular errors found in the public’s perception of Catholicism.

[LEFT][FONT=Calibri]“During the program, Dr. Wiker made one of the more astounding[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri]statements I’ve ever heard from the mouth of a conservative Catholic.[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri]In answer to a question from the host concerning whether a Catholic [/FONT][/LEFT]
[FONT=Calibri]could hold to a young earth and a six 24 [/FONT][FONT=Calibri]‐[/FONT][FONT=Calibri]hour day creation as one option[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri]among many, Dr. Wiker answered: “I’m pretty sure the answer has got to be this: NO.” According to Dr. Wiker, then, a Catholic is not permitted [/FONT][FONT=Calibri]to believe in the traditional view of Genesis.”

[LEFT]Clarification regarding the realm of Catholicism and the use or misuse of the term traditional:[/LEFT]

[LEFT]1.Catholic teachings are in the realm of faith and morals and not in the realm of natural science. Therefore, a Catholic can hold to a young earth, old earth, middle earth, whatever. [/LEFT]

[LEFT]2. The Catholic traditional view of the first three chapters of Genesis is not an either/or situation,
literal vs. figurative. Therefore, a Catholic must believe in the doctrines which flow from these first three chapters.[/LEFT]


[LEFT]Our first parent Adam was the apple of God’s eye.[/LEFT]

[LEFT](example of reality and figurative language) [/LEFT]

I’m not the most schooled person ever, but didn’t Jesus Himself seem to believe in a literal interpretation of the Old Testament?

If it’s good enough for Him, its good enough for me. :shrug:

I was listening to that show, and I think his answer was more in response to young Earth. He did say he certainly doesn’t speak officially for the church, but he doesn’t see how someone could believe in young earth and literal interpretation without making God into a God of confussion. Since we know based on the speed of light it would take longer tha 6000 years for stars light to get here. In addition, the scientific advancements on age of bones, etc would make it appear that God has tried to confuse us if we hold to this theory.

What is important is to get the message of creation and all the Bible to live a life in communion with Christ and his body of believers.

“Let me mention another very important matter. Dr. Wiker’s
premise during the entire *Catholic Answers *program was that
science and theology cannot be in conflict. In turn, Dr. Wiker
implied by this premise that a Catholic could not believe in six
24‐hour days for creation since such a belief would “conflict”
with science. What Dr. Wiker should have said is that true
science will not conflict with true theology, for the difference
between the popular, atheistic, agenda‐driven science of our
modern age and true science is like night and day.”

The above is from the link in Post 1.

Catholic Apologetics needs to recognize that there is a third alternative to the two approaches above. In fact, this third alternative (proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas) was presented in This Rock magazine, catholic.com/thisrock/2008/0811fea4.asp


“The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?”
from the poem “Christmas” by George Herbert

Well I’m an evolutionist so I’m really going to get tomatoes thrown at me in here! LOL :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I looked through the article, which was quite well written. Personally, I am in the camp of Dr. Wiker. I believe that overall scientific evidence points to an old Earth and some sort of theistic evolution. However, this is not an infallible teaching, of course.

Apparently Dr. Wiker didn’t do a very good job of presenting his views though. :shrug:

You raise a good point. The article presents a false dichotomy, by disallowing any alternatives other than the ones presented, the article is little more than a disingenuous attempt to smear Catholic Answers and Dr. Wiker

I completely disagree with this quote from the article:

“Although I must give credit to Wiker and Hahn for
attempting to refute Dawkins’ atheism, what they don’t seem to
realize is that they have played right into Dawkins’ hands by
accepting his evolutionary theory, for evolution, whether it is
the atheistic or theistic variety, denies the consensus of the
Church Fathers, denies the traditional teaching of the Catholic
Church, and denies the straightforward reading of Scripture that
the Catholic Church has taught for centuries and upon which its
major dogmas have been formed. The expression: “people in
glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” is quite apropos here.
How can Dr. Wiker and Dr. Hahn expect us to take them
seriously when it is quite apparent that they have rejected the
Catholic Church’s traditional teaching and have accepted
Dawkins’ scientific claims without prejudice, the very claims
that led him and many other secularists to atheism? Wiker and
Hahn’s attempt to pacify Dawkins by injecting God as the
driving force for evolution is a convenient rhetorical device, but
in reality it is merely a theological conjecture that is
unsupported by Scripture, the Church Fathers, tradition, or any
official teaching of the Catholic magisterium, and even modern
science, at least if we consider the alternative interpretations of
the scientific evidence presented to us from people such as
Jonathan Sarfati and the host of creation scientists that have
supplied us with decades of scientific evidence to refute
evolution. Unfortunately, whereas Catholics of the past were
not afraid to take Scripture at face value – which thus led them
to interpret passages such as Matthew 26:26 (“This is my body”)
quite literally in the face of the rest of the scientific and
philosophical world which rejected such a primitive view of
Scripture – today’s Catholics cower before the tendentious
claims of popular science and are afraid to maintain the Catholic
tradition of reading Scripture for what it actually says and not
for what we would like it to say.”

To the absolute contrary, if many people are convinced by Dawkins’ and other scientists’ teachings on evolution, than providing a way to reconcile theology and science is a worthy cause.

The writer of the article also implies, heavily, the very opposite of what Dr. Wiker is supposedly implying-he mentions that the Church rejected evolution, and that it’s more worthy for a Catholic to REJECT evolution. I completely disagree. If the Church says we’re allowed to believe in theistic evolution, and they do, then it is no better or worse than believing in traditional creationism.

I agree. I’m not sure if Dr. Wiker is being accurately represented, but simply swinging to the opposite pole is no better. Sungenis frequently portrays those who don’t agree with him on these matters as cowards, people too cowed by modern viewpoints to stand up for the truth. The fact is, however, that many are simply not convinced by his arguments and find merit in other arguments and observations. The Church gives us this freedom and no Catholic’s integrity should be attacked if they are working within the permitted boundaries laid out by the Church.

As for debating Sungenis, no Catholic should do so until he has publicly reconciled with his bishop. Otherwise, it’s a scandal.

No Dave it is “not a fact others are not convinced of his arguments.” That is your opinion. it is also not a fact that they are cowards. That is Sungenis’ opinion.

Thank you for letting me know that there are Catholics that believe in a literal acceptance of Creation. I went through the RICA program 3 times before I joined the CC. The RICA classes taught that Genesis was a made up story based on superstition! I feel I can now openly say I believe in a 24-hour 6-day creation! Thank you all!

I had an issue with the very first thing that was said in the article.

Since so many Catholics have not bothered to study the complete
picture of the scientific facts concerning the origins of life, they have
accepted with almost god‐like devotion the claims of the loudest voices
in modern science, namely, those who claim the earth is very old and
that man evolved from apes

Evolution does not claim that man evolved from apes. Just in the same way, the chicken did not evolve from the T Rex, but rather from a common ancestor. For those of you who don’t know, the chicken is the T Rex’s closest relative, in the same way monkeys are our closest relatives. Based upon the enviroment where the chicken and the T Rex lived, their common ancestors would have developed different traits to help each survive. But they did not eveolve from one another.

Look at monkeys and humans, yes, we are closely related, and evolved from a common ancestor. We did NOT evolve from monkeys, but rather beside monkeys. If God had not intervened and guided us into his own image, gave us an immortal soul, and the ability to reason, we would be no different than animals, but God intervened.

Also, so many people like to read Genisis literally. I thought God was outside of time? If were talking about God creating the world, why do we limit him to our 24 hour day?

So in other words, we evolved from something less than apes - how does that in any way change the thrust of his contention. Which is that we tend to put too much trust in the self appointed scientific authorities. I’m not taking a stance on evolution here - but taking issue with colorful and possibly inexact language on a peripheral issue seems strange. I think its difficult to argue with the statement - most people haven’t studied the issue for themselves.

In simple terms, yes. Is that a problem? God had to intervene did he not? I still believe we are made in the image and likeness of God.

I don’t think I put too much trust in scientific authorities. I follow what makes the most sense. Thomas Aquinas said truth cannot contradict truth. Evolution (theistic), makes sense to me. I don’t see why God would make the world in 7, 24 hour days, and then make it appear that the universe is billions of years old. Why would he do that? To coufuse us? It doesn’t make sense. Evidence supports we have been here for billions of years, it does not support creation only 10,000 years ago. By making it only 24 hours periods, that is also limiting God to our times. God has infinite time to do what he wants, since he exists outside of time. Why force our views of what makes a day, onto God?

God gave us the gift of reasoning, my reasoning tells me that the literal 7 days of creation is false. Do we know if Im right? No, I won’t know until I can ask God himself. But until then, I follow the saying “truth can’t contradict truth”.

In addition to this, the structure of Genesis 1 is clearly a poetic account culminating with worship.

Whoa, this guy thinks the sun revolves around Earth Because that’s what the early fathers taught. That really appears to be trying too hard. I’m sure he’s sincere, but that seems odd.

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