Re: Pope and Evolution...

Grandma T. (
4 Nov 1996 06:08:09 GMT

Emir Mohammed <> wrote in article
> What is this I hear about the Pope (and the church) accepting
> evolution as being real??????????????? (This should be interesting...
> as we see how these "staunch" fundamentalist creationists worm their
> way out of this one - assuming, of course, that this story about the
> Pope and Evolution is true)...

The story as you heard it is more or less true. In 1936, the then Pope
opened the Vatican Academy of Science - in part to study the theories of
evolution. At no time have any of the popes denied the possibility of
evolution being factual. The present Pope has confirmed to the faithful
that the findings of the Academy are consistent with the findings of other
scientific institutions. He reminds the faithful that the phrase "the
image of God" has to do with our non-physical existence - not with our
bodies. Because Catholics do not now and never have believed that God has
arms, legs, a digestive system, etc., creationism has never really been an
issue among them. God created the human soul in His image - not the human
body. He created the human body out of the dust of the earth. Or so most
of the Catholics I know sincerely believe. Not one of the Catholics I know
was surprised by the announcement - in fact, they were surprised that the
Pope found it necessary to make such an announcement.

However, the "staunch" fundamentalist creationists of whom you speak are
not Catholic Christians. They follow their own particular interpretation
of the Bible, which has little or nothing to do with the two thousand years
of traditional interpretation guarded and promulgated by the Pope.

I doubt you will find any Catholic "Creationists." Most, but not all,
Catholics do not believe their lifetimes are enough time in which to study
and interpret the Bible as thoroughly as 2000 years of erudite scholars
have, so they tend to accept the interpretation taught by the Catholic

Many fundamentalists refuse to accept Catholics as Christians. In fact,
they refuse to accept anyone as Christian who has too little hubris to
believe s/he can interpret the Bible correctly all by him/herself.


Grandma T