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What does the Church teach about Origins (Creation)? March 4, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, error, General Catholic, paganism, Papa, sanctity, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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A priest the other night handed out a nice summary of some (most?) of the major magisterial statements regarding the Creation of the world and mankind, evolution, and allied topics.  The list ultimately comes from the Kolbe Center so it’s definitely strongly on the side of literal understandings of Genesis I-X and the creation history contained therein.

I am desperately short of time today, so I’ll just jump right into it.  Below in bullet point fashion is a recounting of major magisterial statements made on these subjects along with the source:

God created everything “in its whole substance” from nothing (ex nihilo) in the beginning (Lateran IV; Vatican I)

Genesis does not contain purified myths (Binding statement from Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1909)

Genesis contains real history – it gives an account of things that really happened (Pius XII)

Adam and Eve were real human beings – the first parents of all mankind (Pius XII)

Polygenism (many “first parents” generally required by evolution) contradicts Scripture and Tradition and is condemned (Pius XII; 1994 Catechism)

The “beginning” of the world included the creation of all things, the creation of Adam and Even and the Fall (Jesus Christ Mark X:6 Pope Innocent III, Blessed Pius IX Ineffabilis Deus)

The body of Eve was specially created from a portion of Adam’s body (Leo XIII). She could not have originated via evolution.

Various senses are employed in the Bible, but the literal obvious sense must be believed unless reason dictates or necessity requires (Leo XIII –Providentissimus Deus)

Adam and Eve were created upon an earthly paradise and would not have known death if they had remained obedient (Pius XII)

After their disobedience of God, Adam and Eve were banished form the Garden of Eden. But the Second Person of the Trinity would subsequently pay the ransom for fallen man (Nicene Creed)

Original Sin is a flawed condition inherited from Adam and Eve (Council of Trent)

The universe suffers in travail ever since the sin of disobedience by Adam and Eve (Romans 8, Vatican I)

We must believe any interpretation of Sacred Scripture that the Fathers taught unanimously on a matter of faith and morals (Council of Trent, Vatican I).

All the Fathers who wrote on the subject believed that the Creation days were no longer than 24 hour days (Consensus of the Fathers of the Church).

The work of Creation was finished by the close of Day Six, and nothing completely new has since been created – except for each human rational soul at conception (Vatican I).

St. Peter and Christ Himself in the New Testament confirmed the global Flood of Noah.  It covered all the then high mountains and destroyed all land dwelling creatures except eight human beings and all kinds of other creatures aboard the Ark (Unam Sanctam, 1302).

The historical existence of Noah’s Ark is regarded as most important in typology, as central to Redemption (1566 Catechism of the Council of Trent).

Evolution must not be taught as fact, but instead the pros and cons of evolution must be taught (Pius XII, Humani Generis).

Investigation into human “evolution” was allowed in 1950, but Pope Pius XII feared that an acceptance of evolutionism might adversely affect doctrinal beliefs.

———–End Quote————-

Commenting on the last bit, that has certainly seemed to have happened, with even sources of reputed orthodoxy like Fr. Robert Barron referring to Adam and Eve as “theological poetry.”  John Paul II made other statements regarding the study of evolution that were even more broad and tending towards at least the acceptance of study of that theory and allusions made to “evolution describing the manner in which God created the world.”  So, as in so many other areas, the presence stance of the Church viz a viz evolution is not as clear as one might hope.  It would seem to difficult to reconcile many of the doctrinal items above with many modern approaches in the Church to the subject.

Evolution is one of those topics, however, that I do not lose a lot of sleep over.  I basically disbelieve the claims of this theory in their entirety, as I do  the most commonly accepted views of modern cosmology (one of the major tenets of which, the Big Bang, which has been promoted as complete irrefutable fact, may have just been dealt a fatal blow, at least as it has been understood and promoted for the past 50 years).  And so I’ll do post on the subjects when I find something that might be interesting or helpful, but it’s not a huge point of emphasis for me.  I really don’t understand Catholics who just struggle mightily over the subject, trying all kinds of ways to reconcile belief in evolution with much of the Doctrine of the Faith.  And I know a number of people who do just that. But to me, is belief in evolution going to get me to Heaven?  Not at all.  If the conservative, “safe” position with respect to my salvation is to doubt or deny evolution, then that’s where I’m going to lean, and pretty strongly.  That’s not to say I disbelieve all science, how could I, I’m an engineer, it’s just that I don’t get hung up on things that aren’t that vital to my salvation, and I recommend you don’t either.

Comments

1. deaconmike51907 - March 4, 2015

Reblogged this on News With a Catholic View.

2. Kolbe Supporter - March 4, 2015

Your link to the Kolbe Center does not work. This should be fixed. Thanks so much for giving them credit!

Here’s the correct link: http://kolbecenter.org/creation-doctrine-2/

3. Observer - March 4, 2015

The literal belief in the existence of a Adam and Eve presents considerable problems, the most obvious one being the necessity of brother/sister incestuous unions. Farmers have throughout history used matings between closely related farm stock as a way to stabilize desirable characteristics within a herd and eliminate unwanted variation. For example the average dairy cow within a herd, say Jerseys, is very closely related to other individuals within that specific breed. The wide variation we witness today in human populations strongly indicates polygenic origin, otherwise the human race would display far greater uniformity than we currently observe.

J Rebecca - March 5, 2015

And yet, with God all things are possible.

4. Don - March 5, 2015
5. Joe - March 5, 2015

“So, as in so many other areas, the presence stance of the Church viz a viz evolution is not as clear as one might hope.”

I really don’t think the church needs to clarify anything about evolution and hope it chooses not to.

I see nothing but problems coming when the church tries to clarify scientific issues.

I agree most with your sentiments at the end that this is not really something that should concern us. Engaging on this ground tends to pervert the Christian message.

6. Margaret Costello - March 5, 2015

I think the god of “scientism” is at play here. Evolution has great power to destroy the faith b/c it directly denies not only the Genesis account but Our Lord’s own words confirming it. Thankfully people of reason and courage are finally taking the time to unpack the theory of evolution and discovering it’s all a hill of beans:+) God bless the Kolbe Center:+)

7. Gerard McKeegan - March 6, 2015

As a traditional Catholic, a pharmacist trained in the sciences and father of eight I have personally seen the effects of evolution and the teaching of “theological poetry” in our Catholic schools. This came to a head in the early 1990’s when one of my son’s stood up in class and questioned if creation, Noah and the other stories are just myths and not to be believed literately than why are the 10 Commandments not a myth and have to be believed. He was promptly kicked out of his Religion class.
Shortly after that we removed our children from Catholic schools and moved to Ohio to home school them. Even today in the traditional Catholic home school community we live in, “young earth” 6-day creationists are looked down upon and my children in University have been mocked for holding that position.
The problem for many is intellectual pride and a loss of faith in the powers of God. If one truly believes that God is all-powerful as the Catechism and Church teaches, then we must believe He can accomplish anything. , He created Adam and Eve not as babies but as adults of a certain age, he created all kinds of living creatures also on that 6th day with age already built into them. And on day 5, he created the living creatures in the water and birds flying above the water and they certainly were of a certain age. And most important of all, looking back on that 4th day, God set the Sun and the Moon and the stars in the sky and on that day if there were scientists present at creation with all their scientific measurements, they would place the age of those celestial bodies at more than one day old because God created them also with a certain age an maturity built into them as well. Even on day 3, when God created trees and plants and every kind of vegetation they were created with a built in age and maturity.
Creationist scientists every year are producing more and more evidence supporting the reality of a young earth while all around us we see the fulfillment of a prophecy I first heard back in the 1980’s. Destroy the believer’s faith in Genesis as the inspired word of God and there will be a massive loss of faith in the generations to come of Christian believers.
We truly have seen that prophecy fulfilled in our time and in our churches.

Margaret Costello - March 6, 2015

Spot on Gerard:+) God bless you for speaking the truth and protecting your children from the lie of evolution. God bless~

Tantumblogo - March 6, 2015

I do hope folks aren’t misconstruing my comments at the end. I was not saying evolution is not a grave error, I was saying I don’t understand why people feel a compulsion to accept it. I guess its some desire to conform to the dominant cultural narrative. But I do know people who just really, really struggle with it. My disbelief in evolution, however, has at least as much to do with the great fallacies in the theory itself, as it does with its effect on Catholic Doctrine. However, I think the very fact of posting should make my position clear.

8. Genesis – Story of creation 2 Genesis 1:26-31 Creation of man – Messiah For All - March 7, 2015

[…] What does the Church teach about Origins (Creation)? (veneremurcernui.wordpress.com) A priest the other night handed out a nice summary of some (most?) of the major magisterial statements regarding the Creation of the world and mankind, evolution, and allied topics.  The list ultimately comes from the Kolbe Center so it’s definitely strongly on the side of literal understandings of Genesis I-X and the creation history contained therein. + God created everything “in its whole substance” from nothing (ex nihilo) in the beginning (Lateran IV; Vatican I) […]


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