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Catholic Church has evolving answer on reality of Adam and Eve

 

This is a detail of a painting of Adam and Eve by Peter Wenzel that is displayed in the Pinacoteca at the Vatican Museums. A national debate among evangelicals on the reality of Adam and Eve has prompted a look at what the Catholic Church says about the “first couple.”

Adam and Eve recently made an appearance on National Public Radio – not as guests, but as the topic of a discussion about their existence.

“Morning Edition,” a regular NPR series, examined the current debate among evangelical Christians over whether the first couple actually lived or are characters in a Bible story that makes a point about God and his creatures.

In simplified form, the fundamentalist view is that Adam was a real person and the first human created by God, while science argues that human beings evolved as a group. Some Christians hold that they must follow scientific findings and adapt their faith’s teachings to that information.

Similar debates between science and religion have gone on for a long time, and the Catholic Church has worked through those disputes for centuries, according to Franciscan Father Michael D. Guinan, professor of Old Testament, Semitic languages and biblical spirituality at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif.

“Since the 1600s,” he said, “the traditional views of Genesis have suffered three challenges: Galileo on the movement of the earth around the sun and not vice versa; the growth of geology in the 18-19th centuries and discoveries about the age of the earth”; and Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“The church has negotiated these challenges, but not without struggles. Today, no reasonable person in or out of the church doubts any of these three,” Father Guinan said in an interview with Catholic News Service.

The controversy – the one over Adam and Eve – involves the competing theories of polygenism and monogenism, that is, the question of whether humans descended from many progenitors, as science argues, or from one couple, as Genesis seems to posit.

“In the past, the church’s statements regarding original sin have presumed that Adam and Eve were historical people,” the priest explained. “The question of monogenism and polygenism never occurred to” those writing the documents. [more]

SOURCE

Catholic News Service

 

 
 
 
 

7 Comments

  1. zuma says:

    Was the earth formed through several destructions that were brought forth by volcanoes, meteorites and etc.? Does it differ from scriptural point of view?

    Scriptural verses about the creation of the earth:

    Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

    Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    The phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, in Genesis 1:2, implies that the scripture supports that the earth was initially covered with water. As the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together…and let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies the appearance of land lately. Thus, the scripture supports that the land was not visible on the surface of the earth since it was covered with water.

    As the scripture mentions that the earth was covered with water, it is unlikely that volcanoes could be visible at that time since they should be under the sea water. As all the mountains were in the sea as mentioned in Genesis 1:2, how could the earth be under-attacked by volcanoes? As all the lands were in the sea water as mentioned in the scripture, how could the earth be under-attacked by meteorites? This is by virtue of meteorites would simply drop into the sea without any strong impact upon the land of the earth.

    The following is the extract from the website, http://www.universetoday.com/76509/how-was-the-earth-formed/ , in which contradiction has been found against the scripture:

    ‘This first eon in which the Earth existed is what is known as the Hadean period, named after the Greek word “Hades” (underworld) which refers to the condition of the planet at the time. During this time, the Earth’s surface was under a continuous bombardment by meteorites, and volcanism is believed to be severe due to the large heat flow and geothermal gradient. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. Condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered by comets, accumulated in the atmosphere and cooled the molten exterior of the planet to form a solid crust and produced the oceans. This period ended roughly 3.8 years ago with the onset of the Archean age, by which time, the Earth had cooled significantly and primordial life began to evolve.’

  2. zuma says:

    The discrepancies between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth:

    The scriptural verses about the beginning of the earth:

    Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

    Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    As the phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies that the earth was initially covered with water.

    As the phrase, let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies that land should appear lately. If the land should appear first, there should not be any reason for the scripture to mention with the phrase, let the dry land appear. Besides, it would not be possible for the scripture to mention with the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered unto one place, if the land should have appeared before the existence of sea. Even if one might assume that land and sea water would coexist in the beginning in the creation of the earth, why should the scripture mention with the phrase, Let the dry land appear, as if that there was no land initially on earth?

    The following is the extract from the website address, http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/timeline/timeline.html , pertaining to the evolution of the earth:

    4650 mya: Formation of chondrules in the Solar Nebula
    - 4567 mya: Formation of the Solar System
    Sun was only 70% as bright as today.
    - 4500 mya: Formation of the Earth.
    - 4450 mya: The Moon accretes from fragments
    of a collision between the Earth and a planetoid;
    Moon’s orbit is beyond 64,000 km from the Earth.[33]
    EARTH DAY IS 7 HOUR’S LONG[34]
    - Earth’s original hydrogen and helium atmosphere
    escapes Earth’s gravity.
    - 4455 mya: Tidal locking causes one side
    of the Moon to face the Earth permanently.[30]
    - 3900 mya: Cataclysmic meteorite bombardment.
    The Moon is 282,000 km from Earth.[34]
    EARTH DAY IS 14.4 HOURS LONG[34]
    - Earth’s atmosphere becomes mostly
    carbon dioxide, water vapor,
    methane, and ammonia.
    - Formation of carbonate minerals starts
    reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    - There is no geologic record for the Hadean Eon.

    My comment: As listed above, the earth day was 7 hour’s long in 4450 mya and yet in 3000 mya, its speed reduced to 14.4 hour’s long per earth day. Thus, the spinning speed of the earth was super fast prior to 4450 mya since it took 7 hour’s long to finish its full day. In such a high speed, all the substances, such as, sea water, would fly out of the sky. Or in other words, sea water should not be in existence in beginning of the evolution of the earth.

    As listed above also, earth’s orginal hydrogen and helium atmosphere would escape from the earth’s gravity in 4450 mya. Considering the environmental condition if the whole earth was filled with water, it is impossible for the earth to emit hydrogen and helium when the land was covered fully with water.

    Besides, the rapid spinning of the earth in 7 hour’s long prior to 4450 mya would cause sea water to fly out of the earth.

    The above show the contradiction between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth.

  3. zuma says:

    What did Pope Pius IX want Christians to do towards those fellow Christians that support all things were the divine work from God through evolution?
    The following is the extract from Catholics and Evolution, wiki:
    On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, during the papacy of Pope Pius IX, who defined dogmatically papal infallibility during the First Vatican Council in 1869–70…..
    ………………..
    ……………….
    ………………..
    On God the Creator, the Vatican Council was very clear. The definitions preceding the “anathema” (as a technical term of Catholic theology, let him be “cut off” or excommunicated, cf. Galatians 1:6–9; Titus 3:10–11; Matthew 18:15–17) signify an infallible doctrine of the Catholic Faith (De Fide):
    1. On God the creator of all things
    1. …..
    2. …..
    3. …..
    4. IF ANYONE SAYS THAT that finite things, both corporal and spiritual, or at any rate, spiritual, emanated from THE DIVINE SUBSTANCE; or that the divine essence, BY the manifestation and EVOLUTION of itself BECOMES ALL THINGS or, finally, that God is a universal or indefinite being which by self-determination establishes the totality of things distinct in genera, species and individuals: LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.
    5. …..

    Comment upon the speech from Pope Pius IX as listed above and observe carefully those letters that are in capital letters.

    As the phrase, If anyone says that…the divine substance (could be God)…by…evolution of itself becomes all things…let him be anathema, is mentioned in his speech above, it seems to be that he discouraged Christians to have faith in evolution. The phrase, finite things…spiritual…the divine substance, as mentioned in his speech, could refer to God in which Christians support the divine work of God in evolution. Thus, the phrase, the divine substance…by…evolution…becomes all things, could be interpreted as these Christians should have supported that God by evolution that becomes all things. What did he mention about these people? Let him be anathema. Excommunicate!

  4. zuma says:

    Did Pope John Paul II really support evolutionary theory when he delivered his message to the general audience on 29th January 1986 that the theory of natural evolution was not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world as presented in the Book of Genesis?

    The following is the extract from the third paragraph of his dialogue:

    The first account, later in time of composition, is more systematic and theological. It uses the term Elohim to designate God. IT DISTRIBUTES THE WORK OF CREATION OVER A SERIES OF SIX DAYS. Scholars have concluded that this text had its origin in the priestly and cultic circles, since THE SEVENTH DAY IS PRESENTED AS THE DAY ON WHICH GOD RESTS. It proposes to man the worker the example of God the Creator. The author of the first chapter of GENESIS wished to CONFIRM the teaching contained in the Decalogue by inculcating the obligation TO KEEP HOLY THE SEVENTH DAY.

    Comment upon the speech of Pope John Paul II as listed above and observe those letters that are placed in capital letters. As the phrase, it distributes the work of creation over a series of six days, it gives an undisputable truth that he supported that God’s creation fell within six days. Did he refer a day of the creation as mentioned in Genesis 1 to be a thousand years? No, he did not refer it to more than a day. As the phrase, seventh day is presented as the day on which God rests, is mentioned in his speech above with the phrase, to keep holy the seventh day, it implies that he referred a day to be literally a day instead of more than that. Unless he did not relate the Sabbath day in which the Jews have to keep holy to the seventh day as God rested, a day could represent a thousand years or more. This is by virtue of Sabbath day that the Jews have to observe falls exactly a day instead of more. As he relates Sabbath day to be the seventh day in which God rested, it implies that he did not support that a day in Genesis could be interpreted as a thousand years or more.

    The following is the extract from the 8th paragraph of the speech of Pope John Paul II:
    ‘Together with all that Sacred Scripture says in different places about the work of creation and about God the Creator, this description enables us to set out certain elements in relief:
    1) GOD CREATED THE WORLD BY HIMSELF. The creative power is not transmissible—incommunicabilis.
    2) GOD FREELY CREATED THE WORLD, WITHOUT ANY EXTERIOR COMPULSION or compulsion or interior obligation. He could create or not create; he could create this world or another one.
    3) THE WORLD WAS CREATED IN TIME, therefore, IT IS NOT ETERNAL. It has a beginning in time.
    4) THE WORLD CREATED BY GOD is CONSTANTLY MAINTAINED IN EXISTENCE by the Creator. This “maintenance” is, in a certain sense, a continual creation (conservatio est continua creatio).’

    Comment upon the speech of Pope John Paul II as listed above. As the phrase, God created the world by himself, is mentioned in his speech above, he absolutely supported that this world was God’s creation undoubtedly. As the phrase, God created the world by himself, is mentioned above, it gives also a significant truth that he did not support that God did not create the world directly but to stand aside to assist the evolution of the world. Instead, the creation of the world was the master piece of direct construction from God.

    As the phrase, the world was created in time, is mentioned in his speech above, he supported that the world was created in time or immediately. Or in other words, he did not support that this world would take many years to be formed.

    As the phrase, it is not eternal, is mentioned in his speech above in the same line with the phrase, the world was created in time, it implies that he did not support God’s creation was eternal and yet evolutionary theory supports eternal evolution.

    The phrase, the world created by God is constantly maintained in existence by the Creator, as mentioned in his speech above implies that God maintain the existence of His creation. It could be by means of protecting the world and to prevent it to be worse off or whatever as a result of natural disaster or whatever.

    Pope John Paul II had mentioned the same in his following speech to emphasize that God was undoubtedly to be the One that directly created the world. He did not stand aside to assist the world to form but to involve personally so as to create it by Himself:

    ‘For almost two thousand years the Church has consistently professed and proclaimed the truth that THE CREATION OF THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLD IS THE WORK OF GOD. It has done this in continuity with the faith professed and proclaimed by Israel, the People of God of the old covenant. The Church explains and thoroughly examines this truth by making use of the philosophy of being, and she defends it from the distortions that arise from time to time in the history of human thought. In the First Vatican Council, in reply to the trends of the pantheistic and materialistic thought of the time, THE CHURCH’S MAGISTERIUM HAS CONFIRMED with particular solemnity AND FORCE THE TRUTH THAT THE CREATION OF THE WORLD IS THE WORK OF GOD. Those same tendencies are present also in our century in certain developments of the exact sciences and of the atheistic ideologies.’

    The same is also mentioned below that God was the One that created the world:
    ‘According to the “canons” added to this doctrinal text, the First Vatican Council confirmed the following truths:
    1) The one, true GOD IS CREATOR AND LORD”OF VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE THINGS” (DS 3021).
    2) It is contrary to faith to affirm that only matter exists (materialism) (DS 3022).
    3) It is contrary to faith to assert that God is essentially identified with the world (pantheism) (DS 3023).
    4) IT IS CONTRARY TO FAITH to maintain that creatures, even spiritual ones, are an emanation of the divine substance, or TO AFFIRM THAT THE DIVINE BEING BY its manifestation or EVOLUTION BECOMES EVERYTHING (DS 3024).
    5) ALSO CONTRARY TO FAITH is the idea THAT GOD IS the universal or INDEFINITE BEING which in BECOMING DETERMINATE constitutes universe divided into genera, species and individuals (DS 3024).
    6) It is likewise contrary to faith to deny that the world and all things contained in it, whether spiritual or material, in their entire substance have been created by God out of nothing (DS 3025).’
    Comment upon the speech of Pope Paul II as listed above. As the phrase, It is contrary to faith…to affirm that the divine being by…evolution becomes everything, is mentioned above, it implies that he opposed the faith that God (the divine being) would use evolution as a source to cause everything to be in existence.

    As the phrase, God is the universal or indefinite being, is mentioned in his speech above with the phrase, becoming determinate, it implies that God was not created from something else.

    Nevertheless, Pope Paul II did not support that God used evolution to be the source that caused everything into existence.

    If he did not support that evolution was the source that caused everything into existence, why should he mention that the theory of natural evolution was not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world as presented in the Book of Genesis?

    It could be that:

    When he mentioned that evolutionary theory was not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world as presented in the Book of Genesis, it could mean that he supported that evolutionary theory and Genesis have the principle and that is to find out how this universe was formed; or to find out how animals were created; or to find out how plants were created; or etc. However, he did not support that the formation of everything was not the direct work of God but through evolution.

    Or

    He could have made a mistake in his statement.

    Or

    He spoke it ignorantly.

  5. zuma says:

    Did Pope Benedict XVI provide any view of his support of evolutionary theory?

    The following is the extract of the speech from Pope Benedict XVI when he had his dialogue with Fr Alberto at the church of St Justin Martyr on 24th July 2007:

    I think you have just given us a precise description of a life in which God does not figure. At first sight, it seems as if we do not need God or indeed, that without God we would be freer and the world would be grander. But after a certain time, we see in our young people what happens when God disappears. As Nietzsche said: “The great light has been extinguished, the sun has been put out”. Life is then a chance event. It becomes a thing that I must seek to do the best I can with and use life as though it were a thing that serves my own immediate, tangible and achievable happiness. But the big problem is that were God not to exist and were he not also the Creator of my life, life would actually be a mere cog in evolution, nothing more; it would have no meaning in itself. Instead, I must seek to give meaning to this component of being. Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called “creationism” and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CONCEIVE OF EVOLUTION, and THOSE WHO INSTEAD SUPPORT EVOLUTION WOULD HAVE TO EXCLUDE GOD. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other, THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION DOES NOT ANSWER EVERY QUERY, especially the great philosophical question: WHERE DOES EVERYTHING COME FROM? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man? I believe this is of the utmost importance. This is what I wanted to say in my lecture at Regensburg: that reason should be more open, that it should indeed perceive these facts but also realize that THEY ARE NOT ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN ALL OF REALITY. THEY ARE INSUFFICIENT. Our reason is broader and can also see that our reason is not basically something irrational, a product of irrationality, but that reason, creative reason, precedes everything and we are truly the reflection of creative reason. We were thought of and desired; thus, there is an idea that preceded me, a feeling that preceded me, that I must discover, that I must follow, because it will at last give meaning to my life. This seems to me to be the first point: to discover that my being is truly reasonable, it was thought of, it has meaning. And my important mission is to discover this meaning, to live it and thereby contribute a new element to the great cosmic harmony conceived of by the Creator. If this is true, then difficulties also become moments of growth, of the process and progress of my very being, which has meaning from conception until the very last moment of life. We can get to know this reality of meaning that precedes all of us, we can also rediscover the meaning of pain and suffering; there is of course one form of suffering that we must avoid and must distance from the world: all the pointless suffering caused by dictatorships and erroneous systems, by hatred and by violence. However, in suffering there is also a profound meaning, and only if we can give meaning to pain and suffering can our life mature. I would say, above all, that there can be no love without suffering, because love always implies renouncement of myself, letting myself go and accepting the other in his otherness; it implies a gift of myself and therefore, emerging from myself. All this is pain and suffering, but precisely in this suffering caused by the losing of myself for the sake of the other, for the loved one and hence, for God, I become great and my life finds love, and in love finds its meaning. The inseparability of love and suffering, of love and God, are elements that must enter into the modern conscience to help us live. In this regard, I would say that it is important to help the young discover God, to help them discover the true love that precisely in renunciation becomes great and so also enables them to discover the inner benefit of suffering, which makes me freer and greater. Of course, to help young people find these elements, companionship and guidance are always essential, whether through the parish, Catholic Action or a Movement. It is only in the company of others that we can also reveal this great dimension of our being to the new generations.

    Comments upon the speech of Pope Benedict XVI as listed above and observe carefully those words that are placed in capital letters:

    Despite Pope Benedict XVI did mention above that there are too many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality, he did not state clearly of his stand towards evolutionary theory since nothing is mentioned whether he had found favourably towards this theory.

    As the phrase, those who believe in the creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, is mentioned in his speech above, it implies that those people that uphold the truth that God should be the Creator of this world could not be able to identify whether there could be any link between the doctrine of evolution and Creator. This is by virtue of those people that support creationism would perceive that God was the One that directly created everything instead of being treated as everything would be the work of evolution and that He just stood aside just to assist without directly creating it.

    As the phrase, those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God, is mentioned above, it implies that those people that support evolutionary theory would turn up to exclude God in their process of formation of everything. This is certainly true in the sense that those people that support evolutionary theory would turn up to support that God has to be excluded to be direct creation of this world since their belief is based on the assumption that He only stood aside and to assist in the formation of the world without directly creating it. If God would turn up not to be directly creating everything, how could he then call Him to be the Creator as mentioned in his speech above? As Benedict XVI called God to be the Creator, He should have supported that God was the One that had created everything directly.

    Despite Pope Benedict XIV mentioned that there are many scientific proofs for evolution, he did not mention that all these evidences could be useful to prove the creation of this world. As the phrase, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, is mentioned in his speech above, it implies that he did not support evolutionary theory could be a useful source to answer every query that would bring towards it. As the phrase, where does everything come from?, is mentioned in his speech above with the phrase, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, it implies that the doctrine of evolution could not provide a suitable reason how everything would come about, such as, Was God the One that directly created this world? How would God create this world? As the phrase, they are not enough to explain all of reality they are insufficient, is mentioned in his speech above, it gives an absolute conclusion that the doctrine of evolution should not be treated as reliable and sufficient source to prove how everything would come about. As the phrase, they are insufficient, is mentioned in his speech above pertaining to the doctrine of evolution, it implies that Paul Benedict XIV did not intend Christians to treat evolutionary theory to be useful source to tackle answer as where everything comes about or how everything could be formed in the beginning.

    Nevertheless, Pope Benedict XIV did not mention that evolutionary theory could be useful to support how everything could be formed in the beginning, such as, How could human beings be formed? Was God directly created them? This is by virtue of evolutionary theory could not provide sufficient source to prove it.

  6. zuma says:

    Despite Pope Pius XII did not forbid evolutionary theory, he treated it to be the new erroneous philosophy.

    The following are the extracts from the speech of Pope Pius XII at St. Peter’s (Rome) on 12th August 1950:

    Pope Pius XII: “5. If anyone examines the state of affairs outside the Christian fold, he will easily discover the principle trends that not a few learned men are following. Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that EVOLUTION, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.”
    6. SUCH fictitious tenets of EVOLUTION which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, HAVE PAVED THE WAY FOR THE NEW ERRONEOUS PHILOSOPHY which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences.

    Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above and observe those letters that are placed in capital letters. As the phrase, evolution…have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy, is mentioned above, it implies that he treated evolutionary doctrine to be misleading and erroneous. As evolution was treated by Pope Pius XII to be the new erroneous philosophy, he did not treat it to be the truth of God.

    Pope Pius XII followed his speech: “8. IN ALL THIS CONFUSION OF OPINION it is some consolation to Us to see former adherents of rationalism today frequently desiring to return to the fountain of divinely communicated truth, and to acknowledge and profess the word of God as contained in Sacred Scripture as the foundation of religious teaching. But at the same time it is a matter of regret that not a few of these, the more firmly they accept the word of God, so much the more do they diminish the value of human reason, and the more they exalt the authority of God the Revealer, the more severely do they spurn the teaching office of the Church, which has been instituted by Christ, Our Lord, to preserve and interpret divine revelation. This attitude is not only plainly at variance with Holy Scripture, but is shown to be false by experience also. For often those who disagree with the true Church complain openly of their disagreement in matters of dogma and thus unwillingly bear witness to the necessity of a living Teaching Authority.”

    Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above. The phrase, In all this confusion of opinion, as mentioned above should refer to his speech as mentioned earlier pertaining to his thought of evolution. The phrase, In all this confusion of opinion, as mentioned above, gives us the impression that he treated evolution to be full of confusion.

    Pope Pius XII followed his speech: “9. Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE OR NEGLECT THESE MORE OR LESS ERRONEOUS OPINIONS. Rather they must come to understand THESE SAME THEORIES well, both because DISEASES ARE NOT PROPERLY TREATED unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in THESE FALSE THEORIES a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths.”

    Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above. As the phrase, cannot afford to ignore…these…erroneous opinions, is mentioned above, it implies that he demanded Christians to be alert and beware of these erroneous opinions instead of ignoring them to let it has the influence upon the Church. The phrase, these false theories, gives the implication that he treated evolutionary theory to be a false theory and should not be treated as part of the truth of God.

    Pope Pius XII followed his speech: “10. If philosophers and theologians strive only to derive such profit from the careful examination of these doctrines, there would be no reason for any intervention by the Teaching Authority of the Church. However, although We know that CATHOLIC TEACHERS generally AVOID THESE ERRORS, it is apparent, however, that SOME TODAY, as in apostolic times, desirous of novelty, and FEARING TO BE CONSIDERED IGNORANT OF RECENT SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS, TRY TO WITHDRAW THEM FROM THE SACRED TEACHING AUTHORITY and are accordingly in danger of gradually DEPARTING FROM REVEALED TRUTH and of drawing others along with them into error.”

    Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above. As the phrase, Catholic teachers…avoid these errors, is mentioned above, it implies that Catholic teachers should avoid these errors especially evolution had been treated by him as the new erroneous philosophy. As the phrase, some today…fearing to be considered ignorant of recent scientific findings, is mentioned before the phrase, departing from…truth, it implies that he treated some people that involved in evolution (recent findings) to be those people that depart from the truth of God.

    Pope Pius XII followed his speech by: “36. For these reasons THE TEACHING AUTHORITY OF CHURCH DOES NOT FORBID that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the CATHOLIC FATIH obliges us to HOLD that SOULS ARE IMMEDIATELY CREATED BY GOD. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.”

    As the phrase, the teaching authority of church does not forbid…the doctrine of evolution, is mentioned above, it implies that Paul Pius XII did not interfere the doctrine of evolution despite he treated it as new erroneous philosophy.

    As the phrase, souls are immediately created by God, is mentioned above, it implies that he supported that Catholic faith should be based on the concept that all souls are immediately created by God. This teaching certainly contradicts evolutionary theory that teaches that all souls could not be created immediately by God but it would take many years to evolve so as to come into being. Besides, evolutionary theory supports that God do not create directly all souls but have assisted in the process of evolution. This concept is certainly wrong since it implies that God do not involve in the creation of souls but to stand aside just to assist them to be formed. A question has to be raised. Did God create the souls personally or He just stood aside to assist their formation?

    Nevertheless, Paul Pius XII did not support that evolutionary theory is the truth of God despite he did not forbid its teaching.

  7. zuma says:

    Did Pope Pius XII support evolutionary theory?

    The following is the extract from Catholic Church and evolution, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    “In the 1950 encyclical humani generis, Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces.”

    Let’s analyze the above paragraph as below:

    The phrase, Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God, as mentioned above gives us the truth of God’s direct involvement in creation of individual soul. As the phrase, there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, is mentioned before the phrase, PROVIDED that Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation of God, it gives us the conclusion that Paul Pius XII only supported evolutionary theory provided that it supports individual soul was a direct creation of God. However, evolutionary theory does not support individual soul was the direct creation of God. Instead, it supports that God only assisted in the evolution instead of He created individual soul by Himself directly. Indeed, evolution assumes material force, i.e. natural selection, that causes one animal to be transformed into another.

    As the phrase, provided that, has been stressed before the phrase, Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces (natural selection), it gives us a conclusion that Paul only encourages Christians to believe in evolution on the condition if it supports that God was a direct creator of individual soul, and that each of the creation was not the result of the product or the end-result of purely material force, such as, natural selection that drove the animals to be transformed.

    As evolutionary theory does not support a direct creation from God and that it supports that it was the end-result of purely material force, such as, natural selection that drove animals to transform, Paul Pius XII did not call Christians to support evolutionary theory.

    Paul Pius XII only called Christians to support evolutionary theory only if the teaching supports that it was God that created individual soul. Besides, they have to support that the existence of individual soul was not the product of material force but God’s direct creation.

    Nevertheless, Paul Pius XII did not support evolutionary theory since this teaching does not support God’s direct creation. Besides, this teaching supports the end-result of evolution was the product of material force, such as, natural selection, that drove animals to transform.

 
 

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