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Evolution conference

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 Contents - Dec 2008AD2000 December 2008 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Another Christmas and New Year edition - Michael Gilchrist
Novus Ordo: Vatican approves new Missal translation - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Pub life: Young adult Catholic ministry: ingredients for success - Br Barry Coldrey
Bishops' Synod on Bible concludes: Pope working on Apostolic Exhortation - AD2000 Report
The decline of British Catholicism: the future? - John Haldane
Missions: Samoa's Don Bosco School gives students a 'second chance' - Br Michael Lynch SDB
FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH: Which Church did Jesus establish with his authority? - Frank Mobbs
'Catholic literature': what does this mean? - David Birch
Letters: Strange 'bedfellows' - J. Loring
Letters: Pro-Life - Chris Hilder
Letters: Evolution conference - Grahame Fallon
Letters: The Leonine Prayers - Kevin McManus
Books: The Life of Saint Joseph, by Maria Cecilia Baij, OSB - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: Down in Adoration Falling, by Gareth Grainger - Br Christian Moe, FSC
Poetry: Genealogy - Bruce Dawe
Books: The Scope of Philosophy, by John Young - John Whitty (reviewer)
Schools: Blessed Mary MacKillop Colleges: 2009 enrolments (Jindera, Wagga Wagga)
Books: Books available now from AD2000 Books
Reflection: Benedict XVI's Christmas homily: how God became a child for us - Pope Benedict XVI

It is good news that Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University and America's University of Notre Dame propose to convene a conference next March titled 'Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical Appraisal 150 Years after the Origin of Species' (November AD2000).

As I have said in letters to AD2000 and elsewhere over the last 40 years, it dawned on French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard (1881-1955) that an evolving universe does not have to be 'godless' or 'atheistic'!

On the contrary, the basic stuff or substance of the cosmos as a whole was made by God the Father first and foremost for the incarnation of God the Son - through Him, in Him and for Him (Col 1:16; Eph 1:9- 10; John 1:1-18). That is what Blessed Franciscan John Duns Scotus called the primacy of Christ.

It means that Jesus was not only the first to be born from the dead (Col 1:18). He was also the first- born of all creation (1:15).

In due course - having been chosen in Christ before the world was made (Eph 1:4) - we are each given an ever-changing part of the total cosmic body of Christ for our own incarnation. And therein lies our hope for the 'resurrection of the body'!

Following Copernicus and Galileo, Darwin has commonly been accused of displacing man (homo sapiens) from the centre of the universe. Certainly, said Theodosius Dobzhansky, we are not at the geometric centre, but 'intellectual and spiritual centrality are far more important' (The Teilhard Review, 1971, Vol 5, No 2, p. 66).

Indeed, 90 years have passed since Teilhard identified 'information' as the key word in cosmic evolution. 'The whole history of the universe,' he said, 'is that of its progressive information by Christ.' Conversely, 'the word that comes nearest to describing the universal influx of Christ - the centre of the world - is information.'

Likewise, in the first words of his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis (1979), Pope John Paul II affirmed that the Redeemer of Man - Jesus Christ - is also the centre of the universe and of its history, which extends from the beginning to the end of time.

Woody Point, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 11 (December 2008 - January 2009), p. 14

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