Tuesday, 4 November 2014



The Big Bang, which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.8billion years ago, was all part of God's plan, Pope Francis has declared.
The Pope said the scientific account of the beginning of the universe and the development of life through evolution are compatible with the Catholic Church's vision of creation.
He told a meeting of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Sciences: ‘The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.’
But he said Christians should reject the idea that world came into being by chance. Likewise, evolution was all part of God’s plan, he explained.
The development of each creature’s characteristics over millennia ‘does not contrast with the notion of creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve,’ he said.
Reading Genesis we imagine that God is ‘a wizard with a magic wand’ capable of doing all things, he said.
‘But it is not so. He created life and let each creature develop according to the natural laws which he had given each one.’
Francis praised his predecessor, Benedict, who initiated attempts to shed the Catholic Church’s image of being anti-science, a label that stuck when it condemned the astronomer Galileo to death for teaching that the earth revolves around the sun.

The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism - the belief that God created the world in six days - and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world.

Right Wing Catholic (first on left)

During the meeting, bishops failed to reach consensus on two emotive issues - concerning gays and divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. The failure to reach an agreement leaves those two open sores festering for a whole year before another meeting next October.

Conservative bishops and commentators have been highly critical of the synod, saying it sowed confusion for the faithful about what the church really teaches about homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage.
Progressives have hailed it as evidence that the church is responding to the signs of the times, allowing issues that were previously taboo under Benedict to be open for discussion.
The Vatican has dismissed reports that a group of conservative bishops visited Benedict during the synod asking for his intervention after it appeared a much more progressive approach was being advanced.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the reports were 'hardly credible.


  1. Genesis and Evolution do not contradict each other and never did. Genesis is a particular genre of writing and has to be treated as such. God created the universe and all that is in it. The universe has its own internal dynamic as do all species. Common sense should rule the day. God is somebody with amazing common sense. Sean

  2. Christian beliefs seem largely based on the Thomistic logistical premise of cause and effect. At its simplest, these dictate that there must have been a "god" to kickstart the big bang and consequent evolution.
    Traditionally. much christian, and especially RC theological "explanations" when confronted with incomprehensibly contradictory facts devolve to the 'get out' clause of "it's a mystery".
    I have to say that's simply not good enough for me, and many others. I am however, quite happy to use that catchphrase in relation to the origins of our universe, while recognising "our" universe is but one of the countless millions or other universes now known by science to be "up there".
    Yes, it's a mystery, and I'm happy to to recognise the futility and limitations or humankinds' limited intelligence attempting to construct a comprehensive explanation for the nature of this earth, its place in our small universe, and the reality of the countless other universes now known to exist.
    The RC church's blind adherence to cause and effect perspectives having to "tie in" monotheistic explanations of reality will continue in a "catch-up" attempt to combine previous theological mythology with evolving incontrovertible scientific revelations. But they will never have credibility for anyone who really explores and thinks through the total illogicality of its foundation and belief systems.

  3. Public disavowal of creationism and public espousal of evolution? I guess the American Bishops will find their détente with the Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals somewhat rough-going now. Of course, politics make strange bedfellows, as they say, so they can still commingle over abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage.

    I was not aware that the "Six Days" story was a part of RCC doctrine ever. I rather presumed the Church's Magisterium trumped biblical literalism, and inerrancy existed solely where necessary for salvation.

  4. Open Minded Parishioner5 November 2014 at 23:16

    I remember asking my Grandmother when I was very little, who came first - Adam and Eve or the cavemen (having just learnt about them both at school) and she responded with a very firm "Adam and Eve!". I remember feeling very confused. I tell my children that when the Bible was written they did not have the answers to many of the questions and that science and discovery have come such a long way since. I tell them that the stories in the bible were the best guesses at explaining how we came to be for the people who lived at that time. For me the stories in the bible have an unequalled charm because it unites us today with those people thousands of years ago who had the same curiosity as we do about their origins and they proposed ideas not so far off the big bang theory (in terms of the speed with which it all happened) but their stories are not my reality. God does exist for me but maybe not by taking the Bible literally. For me the Bible is more like an ancient code of conduct. The human race has moved on however and so I see the Bible as a starting point with still much to offer but outdated. I always remember reading an excellent contribution on this blog from someone who was challenging the teachings of the Bible on homosexuality wherein he was saying if we were to follow it literally today we would still be going around "smoting" people. Like all things that want to survive, they must evolve. If the authors of the Old Testament had the knowledge we have today the Bible would look and sound very different.

  5. Indeed it would. The Bible is not written in the style of a modern newspaper. Common sense would tell me that Adam-first man and Eve-first woman came after the stereotype cave people. (Does anyone remember Ugg & Mugg from the old Britvic Orange advert?) Adam and Eve represent humanities arrival at a point where we can reflect on and take responsibility for our actions. Sean

    1. Open Minded Parishioner9 November 2014 at 22:32

      That's a really good way of putting it Sean.