reaponse to pope francis "declaring" evolution true and no magic wond
my Baptist brother is wanting me to respond to this article. What should I say?

The link is a media person’s personal take. First suggestion is to get the transcript of the actual address. The quotes used in the link need to be viewed in context.

I should add that the quotes need to be viewed in the context of Catholic teaching that human nature is an unique unification of both the material world and the spiritual world. When it comes to true humans, you can’t have one without the other.

We are actually discussing something similar to this in another post. grannymh has given a rather great response. Here is the thread:

But as grannymh stated, try to find the actual quote and look at it in the correct context. Some people think it’s some huge revelation when Pope Francis is merely reaffirming what was stated way back in the 1950’s. In addition, I know for me it was hard to understand what he meant initially but grannymh cleared it up quite well in the post. Oh, and I notice the author took a stab at the Galileo Affair , this might clear that up too:

And yes, I know the author is an atheist but he clears it up sufficiently.

Hope this helps! God bless!

Thanks you guys. Also wanted to share this link to you.

This article responds to it quite nicely, send it to your bro:

This idea that Pope Benedict supported “intelligent design” would have to be nuanced against the views of folks like Michael Behe who think that God hides behind the complexity of the cell. Of course the article did nothing to substantiate Benedict’s support of ‘intelligent design’, just a bunch of assertions and no quotes.

A rejection of the neo-Darwinian, materialist take on evolution is not “intelligent design”, rather this is a conclusion that many philosophers are coming to, like the secularist philosopher Thomas Nagel in his 2012 book “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False”.

Also this Galileo myth / the Catholic Church hates science is just a tired joke at this point. Professional historians working since the 1950s have roundly rejected this “conflict thesis” between the Church and science or the idea of a “dark ages” (ideas which came from 19th century Atheist polemicists like T.H. Huxley), but I guess secularist journalists haven’t gotten the clue yet, and continue to talk about Galileo as their “one stock argument” (As Cardinal Newman put it) but remain totally ignorant of the hundreds of scientists whom the Church supported. Of course the Galileo case wasn’t even about science, it was just a political conflict between two men with big egos…

In the Pope’s words:

“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.

“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

The Pope is a great man and a clear thinker. I agree with him on these points and was taught the same by the Jesuits.

That God created beings that can evolve makes his creation even more awesome and is the mechanisms by which we share in creation itself.

Both of these points show us that Science, in search of the truth also helps us understand God. There is no conflict at all.

If someone finds a conflict between what they understand about Theology vs. Science, then perhaps they have got one of them wrong.


Very interesting and needed article from a secular news outlet calling the media out for not understanding Church teachings. Worth the read.

I was around when the Steady State Universe was in all the text books, so let’s say I have another perspective on this.

The best perspective is the media distorted the Pope’s words.


I believe that God could have created the world with evolutionary principles, but I don’t believe He did. I come from a nondenominational/Baptist background so bear with me.

First off, from what I’ve read, an extremely high percentage of early Church Fathers and doctors of the Church (up until 100-200 years ago) have believed in a young earth and that God created the world in a literal 6 days (there was morning and there was evening). Shouldn’t this have any weight in the matter?

Also, if evolution was true, wouldn’t there be millions and millions of years of death before sin enters the world? I was taught that the sin of Adam and Eve brought death (human and animal death) into the world, so how could there be millions of years of death before their sin?

What do you guys think?

It is possible that God created the material/physical world where it might be possible that material/physical evolutionary principles could operate in a material/physical manner solely within the material/physical world.

Please note that the early Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church are entitled to their personal opinions in the same manner that we are entitled to our personal opinions. Notice that some opinions of early writers dealt with solely material/physical aspects of our material world. These physical/material opinions have not been automatically transformed into Catholic doctrines found in the Catholic Deposit of Faith.

What is in the realm of Catholic doctrines is human origin (Genesis 1; 26-27), human nature (Genesis 2: 15-17), Original Sin (Genesis 3: 11), and the Divinity of Jesus Christ deduced from Genesis 3:15 as explained in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, paragraphs 410-411.

Adam is created as a true human person with a material decomposing anatomy like the rest of the material creatures in Genesis, chapter 1. With generous love, God gifted Adam with the preternatural gift of immortality. This gift was directly connected to the relationship (Original Holiness aka Sanctifying Grace) between Adam and his Creator. (CCC 376) With the free action of Original Sin, the extra gift of immortality was lost.

I believe I read somewhere that St. Augustine was troubled by the idea of a young earth, and it was in listening to another saint’s homily on Genesis, where he explained that it was not literal language used, that removed this stumbling block for Augustine. I would also be careful about reading too much into the creation stories for a scientific explanation of creation, they weren’t intended that way. The sun (which dictates morning and evening) wasn’t created until the second or third day IIRC.

As to sin and death, don’t forget, that the angels fell first.

2852 “A murderer from the beginning, . . . a liar and the father of lies,” Satan is "the deceiver of the whole world."165 **Through him sin and death entered the world **and by his definitive defeat all creation will be "freed from the corruption of sin and death."166 Now "we know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one."167

The Lord who has taken away your sin and pardoned your faults also protects you and keeps you from the wiles of your adversary the devil, so that the enemy, who is accustomed to leading into sin, may not surprise you. One who entrusts himself to God does not dread the devil. "If God is for us, who is against us?"168

So animal death could have existed for quite some time before man arrived on the scene.

It says that through him (Satan) sin and death “entered the world”. Clearly that is referring to his temptation to Eve, and thus bringing sin and death to the world, no? I don’t think that Catechism reference is saying that when Satan fell from grace that death entered the world, and then sin entered the world when he tempted Eve. What do you think?

Sin definitely entered into creation when Satan and the other 1/3 of the angels sinned against God. Sin entered into mankind at the Original Sin of Adam and Eve.

That is a wonderful perspective. Please elaborate!

You have the floor sir…

I for one (and may others I am sure) were not around for that.

This piece has a healthy perspective and is worth quoting.


“It is important to emphasize that Pope Francis was not saying anything new or ‘breaking with tradition,’ as I saw one commentator put it,” Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno told CNA Oct. 29.

Due to the explosion of headlines on the Internet saying that the Pope had officially endorsed a change in the Church’s position on these two theories, Brother Consolmagno said that it’s important to remember that both theories came as a result of the work of a Catholic priest and a Catholic monk.

The genetic basis of modern evolutionary theory is based on the work of Gregor Mendel
(:eek: the shocking truth), a Catholic monk; and the modern Big Bang theory was first proposed by Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest,” he said.

Brother Consolmagno explained that the theological basis for these theories can also be found in Scripture and cited St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians as one biblical source.

What Pope Francis said, he noted, is “completely consistent” with what numerous other popes in recent history have said, including St. John Paul II in his address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences entitled “Truth Does Not Contradict Truth” and his 1988 letter to the director of the Vatican Observatory on science and religion.
Pope Pius XII also spoke about these theories in his 1952 address to the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union.

An important thing to keep in mind surrounding these topics is that **“the Church does not take ‘positions’ on matters of science,” **the astronomer observed.

Therefore, “**science is left free to propose explanations and descriptions **of the working of the natural world, knowing that none of these descriptions are the final word and that all of them are based on the assumption of a rational universe whose very existence depends on the creative action of God.”

Confusion over Pope Francis’ words also arose when he said, “When we read in Genesis the account of creation, we risk imagining God as a magician, with a wand able to make everything.”

Catholics, he continued, “embrace the idea of natural laws to explain how nature works — science — precisely because we do not confuse the actions of those laws with the actions of God.” (unfortunately we do, as evidenced in the repeated misunderstanding of the Church’s teaching, and the proposing of a “small God” who is limited to an individual’s scientific preferences)

God is the reason why the universe exists, time and space included, and why it has laws, the religious brother observed, saying that science merely seeks to describe how these laws function.

Well, this is the reason I won’t be going to see (read evangelize) my protestant friends and relatives until this dies down. This type of thing does not help Catholic evangelization efforts, in fact, it’s the opposite.

You should probably say that evolution is both fact and theory, where “fact” is being used to refer to a body of data which does not lead to absolute certainty but does provide confirmation of a thing to the point where it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.

You could also point out how the pope- while possessing a large amount of religious expertise- is acknowledging and respecting the expertise possessed by the scientific community in a way that is healthy and appropriate. It’s hardly the sort of thing that should raise eyebrows, this is basically how these types of people are supposed to act toward one another.

That’s what I would say, anyway.

The issue does not have to do with the data, but rather with the interpretation.
The understanding of what may have happened in the past is based on what remnants exist of the past.
The context for this understanding are assumptions based on what processes we believe are at work, underlying the changes we see in nature.
A basic assumption is that events are random. This is the foundation of any experiment, that what is not random is evidence of an underlying principle.
In the case of genetics, it is assumed that changes are happening at random.
Working backwrds with this assumption, we come up with a certain picture.
If we assume that God is involved, that one’s individual and hence all human existence is miraculous, then anything goes.
Science cannot disprove that we all came from one man.
It cannot even define man in his hmanity. All it can say is Homo sapiens, which may be right or wrong.

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