A Christian Eye on Politics

Pope Francis' Strange Support for Evolution; What Does it Mean?...

In Fact, Jesuit Support For Evolution is Not New

The Vatican has quietly supported macro-evolution for many years despite the Scriptures showing that men and women are a specific creation of God. Recently Pope Francis has shown even more friendliness towards evolutionary teaching.

Recently pope Francis has made comments showing support for evolution and much of modern science. This has caused some shock. In fact, the pope's support should not surprise us. The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church (if not every single member) has often shown support for evolution for many years past. In the Smithsonian Smart News report of October 28th, 2014, Colin Schultz wrote,

"The Pope Would Like You to Accept Evolution And the Big Bang,"

in fact, that is his article title. He then writes,

"The new Pope's quasi-heretical claim isn't anywhere near the first of its kind. The church first brought evolution into the fold in 1950 with the work of Pope Pius XII, writes io9. At the same time, Catholics take no issue with the Big Bang theory, along with cosmological, geological, and biological axioms touted by science."

In fact, the Roman Catholic Church has recognized Darwinian evolution for the past 60 years. It also - somewhat amazingly - quite openly rejects Intelligent Design and Young Earth Creationism saying that such things 'pretend to be science.' Catholic leaders much prefer to support a thing called "theistic evolution" (God used evolution to create all life), even though this teaching seriously compromises many Scriptures. So, according to this teaching, God used evolution to create men and women, the divine creation of the first man and first woman - which Genesis specifically and clearly describes - is thus rendered redundant.

So it is now official Roman Catholic teaching (and actually has been for many years) that macro-evolution is indeed a fact, though they believe that God directed it, but in fact the evolution which they support does not allow for God to have directed it, it is according to natural, random, undirected processes only. Is this not a serious lack of understanding by Catholic teachers? Scientists are often quite sarcastic about the Roman Catholic support for a theory which they plainly do not correctly understand, since it (macro-evolution) leaves no room for any supernatural being. And should they not have rectified this incorrect understanding by now? Pope Francis' more friendly attitude to evolution also comes at a time when many scientists are beginning to question the holy mantra of evolution, and many noted scientists, including world renowned physiologist Denis Noble, are seriously questioning Neo-Darwinism (the latest 'brand' of evolution on offer, and the 'brand' always enthusiastically supported by Richard Dawkins).

So the truth is that Catholic theologians have not been shy about addressing the questions that evolution raises for doctrines like original sin and the immortality of the soul. Back in the 1960s, Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner was already re-interpreting Genesis in the light of evolution, arguing that the story of Adam and Eve needed to be read metaphorically - but not literally. This stunned many people back then including numerous devout Catholics. Nevertheless, most Catholic teachers have said little about evolution for fear of offending lay members but pope Francis is now being more vocal in his support. One Roman Catholic emailer who occasionally contacts UK Apologetics said, "...I am exasperated and feel betrayed by my own Church; in supporting macro-evolution they are denying God. What is happening?" The question is a fair one: is there some reason that Roman Catholicism is apparently cosying up to modern science? It will be interesting to see where this might lead.

The Christian Hawk, June 4th, 2017.