The article I chose to write my post on was on an article, by USA Today, on the recent statements by Pope Francis concerning the compatibility of evolutionary theory with the Catholic Church and its teachings. The article covers the address of the Pope to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, on the topic of changing concepts within nature, where the Pope stated that “[e]volution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
The article pointed out the history of the Church’s compatibility with evolution in recent times, in contrast to the concept’s common-held opposition found in Evangelical America. Referencing Pope Pius XII and St. Pope John Paul II’s statements on the lack of opposition between evolution and Catholicism, in 1950 and 1996 respectively. The Pope’s statements come as a continuation of St. Pope John Paul II’s ministry, after the 7 year tenure of Pope Benedict XVI, a supporter of Intelligent Design.
While the statements are seen as a part of recent reforms spearheaded by Pope Francis and his ministry, such as the recent reconciliatory statements on homosexuals in the Church, some have stated, in articles like the one below from The Blaze, that the news is being hyped for no reason, as Pope Francis is merely affirming positions taken by the Church for more than 60 years, officially starting with the publication of Pope Pius XII’s Humani Generis, a papal encyclical “concerning some false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic Doctrine”.
Whether the statements should be receiving as much attention as they are is regardless, rather the impact of getting a general image of the union of the scientific theory with the world’s largest denomination of faith in the public eye is of huge importance, with the seeming battle between science and religion in the United States. How do the Pope’s statements change the playing field in the ongoing creationist/ID-evolution “battle” in the United States? Could this acceptance of scientific theory into a major Christian faith lead to a shift in thought among American Christians? How might reform of an ‘old’ faith to ‘new’ ideas affect the future relationship between religion and science? Do you think it is possible for a religion to be completely compatible with scientific thought and is this union the future for American devotees of faith?