Yesterday Pope Francis spoke to the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences and made some rather startling statement regarding evolution, the big bang theory and how mankind came into being. To put a little perspective on things, Venerable Pope Pius XII stated that the Catholic faith was not necessarily incompatible with the big bang theory and evolution as far as the human body originated. (See Humani Generis, paragraph 36).
Please note the emphasis on "body", recalling that we are constituted both body and soul. I'm not a theologian, but I think it stands to reason that there were two parents, endowed by God with immortal souls, from which we all descended, called Adam and Eve. It is through them that we, their descendants, bear the image and likeness of God and the scars of original sin. Many who hold to an exaggerated adherence to evolution do so to minimize original sin and even make a mockery regarding our need for the redemption promised in Genesis.
Leaving that aside for the moment, let's look at other disconcerting words uttered by the Holy Father. He said, "when we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything — but that is not so." It is not so that God is able to do everything? Yes He is! He's omnipotent!
What I also find troubling is that the Holy Father seems to touting evolution in an almost doctrinaire fashion as opposed to any belief in a literal interpretation of Genesis. This does appear to run counter with Pope Pius' encyclical cited above. There also seem to be strong undercurrents of deism in the Pope's address (whether or not he realized it), with the picture of God holding Himself aloof after the initial work of creation. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many of those touting evolution today do so with the intention of shoving God to the sidelines of our lives, and eventually out of our lives altogether. I pray we're not going to see these ends furthered by this address.
Pope Francis's First Angelus
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