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Vatican Accepts Evolution As Fact

by Christopher A. Ferrara

In what appears to be its latest capitulation to worldly wisdom, the Vatican apparatus now assumes (contrary to the teaching of Pius XII in Humanae Generis) that the evolution of men from animals is a proven fact.

On June 24, 2004 Zenit.org reported that "Vatican Observatory has convoked a range of experts to reflect on a question that at times seems to be forgotten in scientific research: Is there purpose in evolution?" That is, evolution is now assumed to have occurred, and the only debate is over whether it has a purpose. The Vatican called a symposium of experts to meet on June 24-26 to discuss whether evolution has a "purpose."

The Vatican Observatory’s announcement of the symposium states that "in scientific circles, there is a very deep-seated distrust of teleological language, even though researchers may occasionally use the word ‘design’ in an attempt to grapple with the often astonishing adaptive complexes they study … Put crudely, the widely accepted scientific worldview is that human beings or any other product of evolutionary diversification is accidental and, by implication, incidental."

Well, that’s right, of course. And what is the Vatican’s response to this worldview? Read it for yourself, if you can believe it: "The purpose of this symposium is not to dispute this worldview, but to inquire whether it is sufficient and, if it is not, to consider what we need to know and ultimately how we might discover the requisite information with one or more research programs." So, the Vatican does not dispute the view that the emergence of human life is merely incidental to the process of "evolution," whose truth is now apparently assumed.

The symposium (whose results have not yet been published) was asked to address five questions:

-- Can we speak of a universal biochemistry?

-- How do levels of complexity emerge, and are they inevitable?

-- Can we properly define evolutionary constraints?

-- What does convergence [different species displaying the same traits] tell us about evolution?

-- What do we mean by intelligence? Is intelligence an inevitable product of evolution?

Notice that every question presumes that evolution has, in fact, occurred, even though there is abundant evidence showing no gradual transition from one form of life to another (as evolution supposes), but rather the sudden appearance of every basic form in the fossil record, which is precisely what one would expect to see if God directly and specially created each kind, as the Book of Genesis recounts.

In Humani Generis Pope Pius XII warned that "the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own."

Moreover, Pope Leo XIII taught in his encyclical letter Arcane Divinae Sapientiae (Christian Marriage) that Adam and Eve, and they only, are our first parents and that Eve was created from Adam's body:

    We record what is to all known, and cannot be doubted by any, that God, on the sixth day of creation, having made man from the slime of the earth, and having breathed into his face the breath of life, gave him a companion, whom He miraculously took from the side of Adam when he was locked in sleep. God thus, in His most far-reaching foresight, decreed that this husband and wife should be the natural beginning of the human race, from whom it might be propagated, and preserved by an unfailing fruitfulness throughout all futurity of time.

The Church says that no one may doubt these things. Yet how can these things be reconciled with the view that Adam and Eve (and who knows how many other humans) "evolved" from apes and that Eve was not formed from the body of Adam, as the Vatican now seems to suppose, in calling for a symposium to discuss the "purpose" of evolution.

So the question must be asked: Do those who are in charge of the Vatican’s approach to "modern science" still believe in what the Church teaches concerning the origin of the human race? Or are we witnessing yet another sign of the great apostasy in the Catholic Church beginning at the top, which was predicted by the Third Secret of Fatima?