Vatican does not accept evolution (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Friday, May 20, 2016, 15:22 (607 days ago)

A very long article which explains the Vatican's current position:

https://aeon.co/essays/why-does-the-vatican-accept-the-big-bang-but-not-evolution?utm_s...

"Sunday 10 April was the 60th anniversary of the death of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), the priest-paleontologist who struggled to reconcile his beloved Catholic faith with evolution, but failed. Though born and educated in France, Teilhard was exiled for most of his adult life from his native country, and neither his Jesuit superiors nor the officials at the Vatican ever allowed him to publish a single word of his theological reflections on the challenge of Darwinian evolution and what it meant for Christian beliefs.

***

"The inability to adapt to basic knowledge is a monumental failure on the part of Rome and its theologians, one that, in the prophetic words of the late Pope John Paul II, can only lead to the continuing fragmentation of human culture - not to mention the fragmentation of the Church itself. In fact, refusal to accept the findings of science threatens the Church and its membership not just in Europe and the US (where one in 10 of every Americans is already an ex-Catholic), but in Latin America, Asia and Africa, in almost every populated part of the Earth.

***

"Today, popular attitudes toward evolution and religion take three forms, and the Vatican sits uneasily between two of them. The first, and most widely touted in recent years by prominent atheists, is that science in general and evolution in particular have completely debunked the claims of the major monotheistic religions.

"The second, what might be called the deist alternative, acknowledges that Darwinian evolution undermines key beliefs of Christianity but is completely compatible with a generally theistic view of the cosmos, one that owes its creation to a God who is content to wind up the clock, as it were, launch the Big Bang, and let the Universe run by itself. This view does not embrace the traditional understanding of a benevolent deity who takes a personal interest in human history and answers people's prayers. But it's a middle ground between atheism and theism - and it tends to annoy atheists as much as it does religious traditionalists.

"The third position, one embraced by many fundamentalist Christians and more conservative adherents of both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, is the frank rejection of science where and when it directly contradicts Christian doctrine or scripture, such as the belief that God created the world in six days, the story of Noah and the flood, or that Adam and Eve were the first parents of the entire human race.

***

"The Church has accepted the Big Bang, the start of the world's evolutionary journey - but this isn't enough. It must follow in Teilhard's footsteps. Unless it embraces not just the evolution of the Universe, but the evolution of all life, including humans, and reclaims a truly cosmic view in which the faith makes sense, the Church is pulling the wool over its own eyes as its people continue to file out the door."

Comment: Essay needs to be read in full. I believe the authior is a Catholic pleading with his church

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