Catholic teaching

Catholic teaching

John Schmid

In response to replies to my letter (August AD2000), a few points should be noted.

I have never said evolution can or cannot be compatible with Catholic teaching. I suggested that we find out what the position of the Church is and referred to some sources.

Dr Rumble's book Questions People Ask contains a selection of questions and answers given during the six years 1962-1968. As a matter of fact Radio Replies, volume one, was first published in 1934.

I mentioned Dr Rumble's comment on Darwin, not to take a stand for or against evolution, but to give justice to Darwin in the evolution debate. Dr Rumble then mentioned that atheistic materialists exaggerated his theories and used them in their efforts to discredit the Bible and undermine religion altogether.

Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis did not declare for or against evolution. He said he did not forbid research or discussion. If Leo XIII had made an official declaration against evolution, Pius XII would hardly have permitted research and discussion.

Leo XIII did not even mention evolution in his encyclical Arcanum, on Christian marriage. His comments in section five were a description of creation as in the Bible. You may as well say the Bible made an official declaration against evolution if this logic is used.

Cardinal Ratzinger in his book In the Beginning says, "We cannot say: creation or evolution. The proper way of putting it is: creation and evolution."

I mention this not to promote evolution but the fact is that belief in theistic evolution is not incompatible with Church teachings, otherwise "the guardian of orthodoxy", as Cardinal Ratzinger has been called, would scarcely have made such a comment.

Belief in evolutionism is claimed to cast doubt on Church teachings, e.g., on Adam and Eve and original sin. If the Church's teachings are referred to and adhered to, there should be no problem. Faith is determined by the Church, not science. The way to keep the faith is to pray for it and practise it.

It is this point more than any other which prompted my letter of August 2001.

Evolution should not be taught as fact; it should be made clear to students that it is merely a theory.

The "Catholic Answers" website ( has a very good, objective article on Adam, Eve and evolution. I agree with all its comments.

Boronia, Vic

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.