Re: Vatican

From: janice matchett <>
Date: Tue Nov 08 2005 - 22:33:27 EST

At 10:18 PM 11/8/2005, George Murphy wrote:
>It's not surprising that Janice & her obscurantist sources are trying to
>minimize the significance of such statements. Of course "the Vatican"
>hasn't endorsed evolution in the sense of an ex cathedra definition making
>acceptance of it de fide for RCs, but a statement by the head of the
>Pontifical Council for Culture, when seen in the context of earlier
>statements by JP II, certainly carries some weight. It shows a clear
>desire on the part of the RCC to distance itself from creationism and the
>ID movement, at least in its popular manifestion.

### The horse's mouth, excerpted::

" tell the truth, rather than the theory of evolution, we should
speak of several theories of evolution. On the one hand, this plurality has
to do with the different explanations advanced for the mechanism of
evolution, and on the other, with the various philosophies on which it is
based. Hence the existence of materialist, reduc tionist and spiritualist
interpretations. What is to be decided here is the true role of philosophy
and, beyond it, of theology.

5. The Church's Magisterium is directly concerned with the question of
evolution, for it involves the conception of man: Revelation teaches us
that he was created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gn 1:27-29). The
conciliar Constitution Gaudium et spes has magnificently explained this
doctrine, which is pivotal to Christian thought. It recalled that man is
:the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake" (n. 24).
In other terms, the human individual cannot be subordinated as a pure means
or a pure instrument, either to the species or to society, he has value per
se. He is a person. With his intellect and his will, he is capable of
forming a relationship of communion, solidarity and self-giving with his
peers. St Thomas observes that man's likeness to God resides especially in
his speculative intellect for his relationship with the object of his
knowledge resembles God's relationship with what he has created (Summa
Theologica, I-II, q. 3, a. 5, ad 1). But even more, man is called to enter
into a relationship of knowledge and love with God himself, a relationship
which will find its complete fulfilment beyond time, in eternity. All the
depth and grandeur of this vocation are revealed to us in the mystery of
the risen Christ (cf. Gaudium et spes, n. 22). It is by virtue of his
spiritual soul that the whole person possesses such a dignity even in his
body. Pius XII stressed this essential point: if the human body takes its
origin from pre-existent living matter the spiritual soul is immediately
created by God ("animal enim a Deo immediate creari catholica fides nos
retinere inhet"; Encyclical Humani generic, AAS 42 [1950], p. 575).

Consequently, theories of evolution which, in accordance with the
philosophies inspiring them, consider the mind as emerging from the forces
of living matter, or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are
incompatible with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the
dignity of the person.

6. With man, then, we find ourselves in the presence of an ontological
difference, an ontological leap, one could say. However, does not the
posing of such ontological discontinuity run counter to that physical
continuity which seems to be the main thread of research into evolution in
the field of physics and chemistry? Consideration of the method used in the
various branches of knowledge makes it possible to reconcile two points of
view which would seem irreconcilable. The sciences of observation describe
and measure the multiple manifestations of life with increasing precision
and correlate them with the time line. The moment of transition into the
spiritual cannot be the object of this kind of observation, which
nevertheless can discover at the experimental level a series of very
valuable signs indicating what is specific to the human being. But the
experience of metaphysical knowledge, of self-awareness and
self-reflection, of moral conscience, freedom, or again, of aesthetic and
religious experience, falls within the competence of philosophical analysis
and reflection while theology brings out its ultimate meaning according to
the Creator's plans.

~ Janice :)

>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>janice matchett
>To: <>Randy Isaac ;
>Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 9:58 PM
>Subject: Re: Vatican
>At 09:31 PM 11/8/2005, Randy Isaac wrote:
>>Someone sent me this clip from Australia. Did anyone see the full text
>>of the Vatican statement?
>>Evolution in the bible, says Vatican By Martin Penner November 07, 2005
>>THE Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong
>>criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution
>>and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.
>>Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said
>>the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's
>>theory of evolution were "perfectly compatible" if the Bible were read
>>His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners in the US,
>>who see evolution and the Genesis account as mutually exclusive.
>>"The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had
>>no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the
>>real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had
>>a creator".
>>This idea was part of theology, Cardinal Poupard emphasised, while the
>>precise details of how creation and the development of the species came
>>about belonged to a different realm - science. Cardinal Poupard said that
>>it was important for Catholic believers to know how science saw things so
>>as to "understand things better".
>>His statements were interpreted in Italy as a rejection of the
>>"intelligent design" view, which says the universe is so complex that
>>some higher being must have designed every detail.
>### Here's all I have ~ Janice
><>The "Vatican"
>Endorses "Darwin"? ["Vatican" has done no such thing
>Press Blog - Ignatius Insight Scoop ^ | 11/08/05 | Mark Brumley
>Posted on 11/08/2005 4:12:49 PM EST by AHerald
>News reports from a variety of sources are claiming that the Vatican has
>endorsed evolution and condemned Intelligent Design. For example, at
>Science and Theology news the headline declares,
><>"Vatican sides with
>Darwin." The subheader for the piece states, "There is no more confusion
>swirling around the Vatican over its stance on ID. Darwin has won out, and
>scientists are breathing a collective sigh of relief." Glad to know that
>scientists care so much what the Vatican says about things like this.
>Then there is The Australian, which states,
>Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong
>criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution
>and interpret the biblical account of creation literally."
>Not as direct about the issue of evolution, ABC News declared,
><>"Vatican: Faithful
>Should Listen to Science."
>Lots of online media have picked up on the story and repeated it. The
>problem is, so many are getting it wrong. "The Vatican" has said nothing
>on the subject. No statements have been issued by the Vatican. Cardinal
>Paul Poupard, who heads the Pontifical Council for Culture, made some
>remarks pertaining to the subject of evolution at a religion and science
>conference being held at the Vatican. Some other churchmen at the same
>conference made some remarks. But "the Vatican" has issued no
>declarations, nor has it "endorsed Darwin."
>When Pope John Paul II declared evolution to be more than a hypothesis in
>his <>1996 Address to the
>Pontifical Academy of Sciences, he didn't "endorse Darwin," as I pointed
>out at the
>To say that versions of the theory of evolution are compatible with
>Christianity is not to "endorse Darwin." It is to say that versions of the
>theory of evolution are compatible with Christianity. That much was
>implied by Pius XII half a century ago.
>Whether the theory of evolution can account for the diversity and present
>forms of biological species is primarily a scientific question, not a
>theological one, even if, indirectly, it has theological
>implications. Perhaps evolution can account for these things; perhaps it
>can't. But whether it can or not, the Vatican hasn't weighed in. It has,
>however, maintained what we should expect it to maintain--that whatever we
>say about evolution or biology as a matter of natural science, God is the
>Creator of all life and his creative activity can be rationally discerned
>from the world around us.
Received on Tue Nov 8 22:36:07 2005

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