Why do Catholics say that the creation stories are symbolic?

I constantly hear Catholics try to explain away Genesis accounts of the creation of the earth as a metaphor. If this is true, then Catholics will have to say that the Bible lies at that point.

While the Catholic Church has not excluded a literalist reading of the accounts of creation in the book of Genesis, it is true that the Church has been open to interpretations that include some symbolism in the accounts. This does not mean that the Church believes that the Bible is “lying,” only that the sacred author of Genesis may have chosen to tell his story in a poetic fashion by, for example, using days to symbolize the stages of creation. The Church teaches that the Bible is true in all that it intends to teach as true. In the case of the creation accounts, the sacred author was not interested in creating a scientific treatise but in composing an account of creation that attributed it to God and his omnipotence.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.