Pope Frank breaks with former Pope Benny in embracing scientific concepts of the origin of the universe and the process of evolution as being not inconsistent with faith. Meh. Nothing new. Catholicism is in desperate need to look relevant in the modern world and to distance themselves from clearly wrong and ridiculous ideas about how Fundamentalists think nature works. Now if they can only come to terms with that birth control issue…
Pope Francis has waded into the controversial debate over the origins of human life, saying the big bang theory did not contradict the role of a divine creator, but even required it.
“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,” Francis said.
“He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.”
Francis said the beginning of the world was not “a work of chaos” but created from a principle of love. He said sometimes competing beliefs in creation and evolution could co-exist.
Unlike much of evangelical Protestantism in the U.S., Catholic teaching traditionally has not been at odds with evolution. In 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed there was no opposition between evolution and Catholic doctrine. In 1996, St. John Paul II endorsed Pius’ statement.
Giovanni Bignami, a professor and president of Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics, welcomed Francis’ comments, saying he had buried the “pseudo theories” of creationists.
“The pope’s statement is significant,” Bignami told Italian news agency Adnkronos. “We are the direct descendants from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation.”
The headline of the USA Today article is misleading, as Pope Francis is not saying these things are true in the scientific sense. He’s saying the Big Bang and evolution came about because God decided to create the universe which is NOT the scientific consensus. He still wants the watchmaker God, someone to push the button – still supernatural. But science has no need for that hypothesis.
However, any step towards pulling people more towards the actual processes of the universe (not the world as the Pope notes), is a positive. It’s just not impressive. It’s the ultra-conservatives that are on the extreme edge and take the word of the Bible way too literally and fail to grasp biology and cosmology.
Watch video of Francis’ statement here: