I’m beginning to think that Pope Francis has a lot in common with Norville Barnes, the main character in the Coen Brothers’ 1994 comedy The Hudsucker Proxy. You get the impression that the powers that be saw him as a rube they could elevate to a figurehead position then push around, but what they wound up with was somebody who by accident or through sheer force of goodwill stumbled into completely revolutionizing the company.
Up until now Francis’s acts as pope could have been written off as being either ineffectual or simply personal quirks: he extended a hand to gays and atheists while not actually changing church policy on the inherent sinfulness of the gay and atheist lifestyle; he spoke out against priest sex abuse and met with victims but there are those who are still suspicious, calling it PR stagecraft; he regularly sneaks out of the Vatican to feed the homeless and he seems to truly care about people. But something he just said during an address at the Museum of Unbelievable Irony, otherwise known as the “Pontifical Academy of Sciences,” is truly worth raising an eyebrow or two over.
When talking about how the Big Bang and evolution square within the circle of Christian dogma, he made the remarkable statement that not only are these concepts consistent with bible teachings, they’re actually critical to understanding God. “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything — but that is not so,” the pope said, no doubt to a room full of carnage created by all those exploding heads. He essentially was — and is — claiming that creationists are wrong and those who espouse evolution may very well be right. “God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life,” the pope said to the few remaining heads left. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
While I’m sure he would argue with me on the outcome, let’s run his statements through the religion-to-reason translator and see what we get: “It’s entirely possible that there is no God, at least not the God described in the Bible.”
Think about the Bible as the very source of Christianity, the supposed word of almighty God. Now think about what it says about God, how he is in fact a “divine being” and what we would by all accounts describe as an omnipotent magician able to simply stretch out his ethereal arms and create the cosmos in a single breath. Think about what the Bible says about creation, how the world was spun out of nothingness in six days and man evolved not from a lesser creature over time but instantly from the dust and clay because that’s what God decreed. Now think about what Pope Francis — the head of the Catholic church and an allegedly infallible presence who also speaks for God here on earth — just said with regard to all of that. He contradicted it all. He rewrote the Bible.
The point here is one that atheists have argued for centuries: If the word of the Bible can be interpreted to fit personal religious biases then how can it be the word of God, and if it can be manipulated on a whim or to account for the march of human progress then what good is it? Why is it necessary at all? (This, by the way, is the backbone of my colleague Mike Luciano’s issues with Islam: there’s simply no need to acknowledge or pay deference to a belief system that at its core espouses illiberal values and is immune to criticism or progress when that belief system is ludicrous by modern standards and therefore unnecessary.) Pope Francis is basically arguing that an ancient, fantastical text whose sole reason for existence is to act as the Christian rule book can accommodate proven realities that are diametrically opposed to its teachings. And if that’s the case, then why is there any need for a belief in the ancient, fantastical text at all?
The answer: there isn’t.
I'm appalled that Rorate-Caeli posted this as a kudos to the inventor of the phony anti-Thomistic 'big-bang' lie, Mgr. Georges Lamaitre. Pope St. Pius X warned Catholics to be vigilant and guard against false science or they would lose their faith.
The first thing to note about this article (after the obvious anti-Christian bias) is that it has been written from within a Protestant culture. Therefore, the author thinks that, by undermining the Bible, Christianity can be completely written off and consigned to history. What the author is ignorant of is that Catholic Christianity is not based (solely) on the Bible but on the person of Jesus Christ. For that reason almost all of the criticisms that the author presents are irrelevant to his argument and simply demonstrate his ignorance.
From Big Bang Theory
Big Bang Theory - The Only Plausible Theory?
Is the standard Big Bang theory the only model consistent with these evidences? No, it's just the most popular one. Internationally renown Astrophysicist George F. R. Ellis explains: "People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations….For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations….You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that."4 Wayt Gibbs, "Profile: George F. R. Ellis," Scientific American,October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55.
Thanks, but I'll stick with the Church Father St. Basil the Great Hexaemeron and St Robert Bellarmine's condemnation of Galileo. The Church Scholastics all refuted the materialist atomic 'theory' through philosophy. The modernists ascribe God to their materialis theories.
Thanks also to Robert Sungenis.
Thanks, Sue. I think the Big bang theory (as well as evolution) provide us with good ways to engage atheists and scientists. Even if the philosophical outlook is wrong the logical conclusion of these theories is a creator God (and by extension the One True Church).
However, I will look at the references you provided. The question of philosophy sounds interesting and i must admit that it is an area that i need to learn more about. I've never thought that my framework of beliefs is set within a philosophy of modernism but what i know of the Church and the world it wouldn't surprise me at all. As a convert i am aware that most of my life has been spent within another culture so this does make sense.
Hi, Mark, I'm sorry I don't really have time to follow up your remarks; I'm getting ready for a 7 week trip.
I know a little about all this through my husband, who is, truly, a scholar; his expertise is philosophy, theology and the natural sciences. He wanted to be able to refute modern errors of science (most of which actually have their beginnings in the Greek 'philosophers') to defend the faith.
Robert Sungenis does a great job refuting heliocentric 'theory'. You can find him on the web. Solange Hertz has a good paper on that topic, also.
The Catechism on Modernism is a super little book explaining Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Here is an example of the errors of modernist theologians:
A. Around this primitive formula secondary formulas, as We have already indicated, gradually come to be formed, and these subsequently grouped into one body, or one doctrinal construction, and further sanctioned by the public magisterium as responding to the common consciousness, are called dogma. Q. Do the Modernists distinguish dogma from theo logical speculations ? A. Dogma is to be carefully distinguished from the speculations of theologians.
Q. Of what use are these theological speculations ? A. Although not alive with the life of dogma, these are not without their utility as serving both to harmonize religion with science and to remove opposition between them, and to illumine and defend religion from without, and it may be even to prepare the matter for future dogma.
Where would the devil have been in the context of human history if man wasn't created for thousands of years after he the devil's fall? Adam gave names to all the animals, but evolutionists say they weren't what they are today at the moment they were created. As St. Paul said, Faith is acknowledging the Flood and Noe, etc. Science ain't gonna help anyone with that, or the Resurrection, or the Immaculate Conception, Transubstantiation, Original Sin,or even the existence of the soul. Etc.
And, ask the so-called christian evolutionist, who were Adam and Eve's parents? Very weird.
Congratulations on your conversion! God bless you with lots of good books and a good priest. Our priest mentioned today, the Eternal Day, perhaps that is why there is no end to the 7th day of creation. God be with you.