Cardinal Schonborn clarifies Church’s stance on evolution: intelligent design is clear in nature

.- In a New York Times piece published yesterday, Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christof Schonborn called “neo-Darwinian”, evolution, or the idea that there is no intelligent design behind creation, incompatible with the Catholic Church and in conflict with nature itself.

While noting that the late John Paul II accepted evolution as “more than just a hypothesis”, he clarified that, “the Catholic Church, while leaving to science many details about the history of life on earth, proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.”

Many, he said, mistakenly use John Paul’s undefined openness to evolution as an open door to align the Christian faith with the neo-Darwinian dogma, as he calls it, this can never be true.

Evolution, in the sense of common ancestry may be true, the Cardinal wrote, but he sees neo-Darwinism, what he describes as “an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection” as completely false in the eyes of the Church.

“Any system of thought”, he clarifies, “that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”

The Cardinal added that while many quote John Paul II’s “rather vague and unimportant” 1996 statement, referenced above, few truly explore what the pontiff really said about design in nature.

He cited a 1985 general audience in which John Paul said, "All the observations concerning the development of life lead to a similar conclusion. The evolution of living beings, of which science seeks to determine the stages and to discern the mechanism, presents an internal finality which arouses admiration.”

“This finality which directs beings in a direction for which they are not responsible or in charge,” he continued, “obliges one to suppose a Mind which is its inventor, its creator."

New Pope, new confusion

The Austrian prelate further lamented that the new Pope Benedict XVI now finds himself falsely aligned with an incorrect idea of evolution as well.

He said that many often quote “a sentence about common ancestry from a 2004 document of the International Theological Commission, [and point] out that Benedict was at the time head of the commission…”

He adds that they use this to conclude “that the Catholic Church has no problem with the notion of "evolution" as used by mainstream biologists - that is, synonymous with neo-Darwinism.”

In actuality, the cardinal points out, “The commission's document…reaffirms the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of design in nature.”

“Commenting on the widespread abuse of John Paul's 1996 letter on evolution,” he wrote, “the commission cautions that ‘the letter cannot be read as a blanket approbation of all theories of evolution, including those of a neo-Darwinian provenance which explicitly deny to divine providence any truly causal role in the development of life in the universe.’”

In his conclusion, Cardinal Schonborn, almost exhaustedly pointed out that, as it has for years, the Church would not fail to “defend the truths of faith given by Jesus Christ.”

He calls scientific claims like that of the neo-Darwinists simply a way to “avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science”, and, quoting John Paul said that these theories are not science, but in fact, an “abdication of human intelligence.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: