Pope Francis: Evolution Is Consistent With Being Catholic

300px-god2-sistine_chapelI have previously discussed my admiration for Pope Francis, who strikes me as a truly holy man in every true sense of that term. Francis has pulled the Church into the Twenty-First Century with massive reforms and new approaches. This week saw one of the most remarkable such changes: Pope Francis announced that it is perfectly consistent to be a Catholic and an evolutionist. For many Catholics who cannot deny the evidence that the Earth is billions rather than thousands of years old, the announcement shows that it is possible to believe in both God and evolution.

170px-Francisco_(20-03-2013)Pope Francis declared that the Big Bang theory “doesn’t contradict the intervention of a divine Creator, but demands it.” The comment came at the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, gathered in the Vatican to discuss “Evolving Concepts of Nature.” Francis said that the creator “brought all things into being . . . from a supreme Principle of creative love.” He added that “[e]volution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

On my recent visit to the Vatican, I was told by multiple people that there has been a massive increase in visitors due to the unprecedented popularity of this Pope. Indeed, churches are reporting rising congregations after years of decline due to the draw of Pope Francis. Ironically, he is the greatest evidence that institutions like humans can evolve into better and higher forms.

168 thoughts on “Pope Francis: Evolution Is Consistent With Being Catholic”

  1. Hey, thanks for the quote from Andrew Sullivan. I think he’s a deep-thinker as a theologian. Good thing he could spare the time from writing about Trig’s baby!

  2. Darn that Pope, I thought all those Fundies believed the earth was 6, 000 years old. Oh, well they’re still anti-science, cause Galileo!

    1. rcocean wrote: “Oh, well they’re still anti-science, cause Galileo!”

      How does Galileo make them anti-science? Galileo was a creationist and a professor of mathematics who engaged in theology and science at the same time. Galileo was educated and employed by the church all his life. The church banned some of his views that later proved to be correct, but modern courts do the same thing with certain creationist views. It only goes to show that those in power and authority, the place that science presently holds, are not always right.

  3. I’m the second category, but am very curious, and have plenty of courage. This macho Catholic mindset is part of what this Pope is trying to change.

  4. I was once told by a very humble, learned and powerful man of ‘The Church’ that all religion should take you to the place where you no longer need it.

  5. Fauxtholics. I just created that word. It describes two types of people: Social secular progressives who think they should dictate a Catholic theology that best fits their belief of government as Supreme Being. And sorta Catholics who get to Mass sometimes, to confession never, have no curiosity about the faith into which they were born, and lack the courage to commit to living their lives as observant Catholics.

  6. Brilliant.

    “…there are people who believe that dinosaurs and men lived together, that they roamed the earth at the same time. There are museums that children go to in which they build dioramas to show them this and what this is, purely and simply, is a clinical psychotic reaction. They are crazy. They are stone-cold ****-nuts. I can’t be kind about this because these people are watching the Flintstone’s as if it were a documentary…”

  7. JIll:

    it’s not ideological for the Dems as it is with the Repubs. It’s more in line with the Rules For The Successful Application of Power I talked about in a prior thread on CJ Roberts vote to approve the individual mandate of the ACA:

    “He understands — keenly — the rules of successful application of power:

    1. Power begets other power.
    2. Power is always pragmatic.
    3. Power avoids exhaustive hypotheses.
    4. Power protects other power.”

    Dems are protecting government power (#4) wrested away from folks by the Repubs and Geo. Bush.

  8. The Pope has evolved quite a bit since his days of dealing with the Argentine junta. Three priests were said to have been left to rot in jail for political crimes under the now-Pope’s cardinalship there. One complained about it upon his release and the other two remained largely silent. The Pope’s evolution away from that type of reactionary mindset says something about the value of experience and education as one moves across the continuum from radical conservatism to moderate views on things to a progressive outlook for the Church. The dinosaurs clinging to the past “holiness” always die and are forgotten.

    Here’s hoping to a long life for this vicar and for more progressive thinking in all institutions. Bravo!

  9. rafflaw, Actually the facts do support this claim. Check over at Glenn Greenwald’s site and you will see the numbers there. There is almost an exact reversal between Republicans and Democrats on support for war surveillance and torture, from under Bush to under Obama. It is truly a shame and shameful.

  10. “I would love to have the faith that it took place in seven days … but … I have thoughts … and that can really **** up the faith thing … ” – Saint Loowie

  11. “If you want to really understand the Old Testament … if there is something you don’t understand … there are Jews who walk among you … and they … I promise you this … take time out of their very Jewy Jewy day … and interpret for you anything …” – Saint Lewis

  12. Dredd

    “You never see a Rabbi on television interpreting the New Testament … doooo youuuu?” – Saint Lewis
    Paul C. Schulte

    Could we get a cite on that quote?

    Watch the video so … maybe … for once you know what someone else is talking about and as and extension of that perhaps you will know what you are talking about too.

    Long shot, but worth a try.
    Paul C. Schulte

    I always watch Lewis Black …
    Your form of always which you have not “always” done yet or you would have known I quoted him in the video.

    Do you have a cite to your “always?”

  13. Paul C. Schulte

    I always watch Lewis Black to see if he is going to have a stroke on stage.
    That is why he watches Torah interpreters who are not Levitical Priests.

    Both sides of the ignorance think God will stroke “them.”

  14. Paul C. Schulte

    Could we get a cite on that quote?
    Watch the video so … maybe … for once you know what someone else is talking about and as and extension of that perhaps you will know what you are talking about too.

    Long shot, but worth a try.

    1. Without question I always watch Lewis Black to see if he is going to have a stoke on stage. The quote I am talking about is the the Reagan quote. Personally, I could care less about Lewis Black as the theologian.

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