Friday, May 9, 2008

Evolution and First Humans: A Violation of Sacred Tradition

The preceding article which appeared in L'Osservatore Romano, May 5-6 edition, is yet another example of the post-Conciliar confusion which is now apparent in contradistinction to the concise perennial pre-Vatican II Catholic teaching on the special creation of Human Beings.

Prior to Vatican II, Catholic teaching--as documented in Sacred Tradition for almost 2 millennia--was that God specially created (formed) the first human being (Adam) body and soul from the "slime of the earth" meaning from non-living but pre-existent matter. See Humani generis full text HERE...of Pope Pius XII, 1950 no.’s 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 for example as follows:

35. It remains for Us now to speak about those questions which, although they pertain to the positive sciences, are nevertheless more or less connected with the truths of the Christian faith. In fact, not a few insistently demand that the Catholic religion take these sciences into account as much as possible. This certainly would be praiseworthy in the case of clearly proved facts; but caution must be used when there is rather question of hypotheses, having some sort of scientific foundation, in which the doctrine contained in Sacred Scripture or in Tradition is involved. If such conjectural opinions are directly or indirectly opposed to the doctrine revealed by God, then the demand that they be recognized can in no way be admitted.

36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is no no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12]

38. Just as in the biological and anthropological sciences, so also in the historical sciences there are those who boldly transgress the limits and safeguards established by the Church. In a particular way must be deplored a certain too free interpretation of the historical books of the Old Testament. Those who favor this system, in order to defend their cause, wrongly refer to the Letter which was sent not long ago to the Archbishop of Paris by the Pontifical Commission on Biblical Studies.[13] This letter, in fact, clearly points out that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, although properly speaking not conforming to the historical method used by the best Greek and Latin writers or by competent authors of our time, do nevertheless pertain to history in a true sense, (my emphasis throughout) which however must be further studied and determined by exegetes; the same chapters, (the Letter points out), in simple and metaphorical language adapted to the mentality of a people but little cultured, both state the principal truths which are fundamental for our salvation, and also give a popular description of the origin of the human race and the chosen people. If, however, the ancient sacred writers have taken anything from popular narrations (and this may be conceded), it must never be forgotten that they did so with the help of divine inspiration, through which they were rendered immune from any error in selecting and evaluating those documents.

39. Therefore, whatever of the popular narrations have been inserted into the Sacred Scriptures must in no way be considered on a par with myths or other such things, which are more the product of an extravagant imagination than of that striving for truth and simplicity which in the Sacred Books, also of the Old Testament, is so apparent that our ancient sacred writers must be admitted to be clearly superior to the ancient profane writers.

Thus, it should be readily apparent that Adam would have had no parents human or animal. Moreover, the first woman Eve appeared through an act of God's special creation in which physical material was taken from Adam in some way and formed into the first female. The salient point here is that the first woman was directly formed by God from part of the first man. Wo-man means “out of man.”

This first sexually complimentary human couple (Adam and Eve) was created by God with preternatural gifts including a direct relationship with God and both physical and spiritual eternal life.

After failing the test of obedience which God imposed upon them, Adam and Eve lost their direct relationship with God and physical death became a permanent reality for the human race thereafter.

Perennial Catholic teaching demands that all human beings who have ever lived emanate from Adam and Eve by direct physical propagation. There is no way to accept polygenism (multiple first parents or groups of first humans) of any kind and remain faithful to Sacred Tradition (Humani generis no. 37). The sin of disobedience that Adam and Eve committed must be personally attributable to them and them alone in order for original sin to be "passable" to all other human beings except Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. If Adam and Eve were not literally the first human parents specially created by God, the “creation” tenet of Christianity no longer exists. Once that is destroyed, the second tenet (fall from grace) can no longer be imputed to the entire human race and the third tenet (redemption through Christ’s salvific work on the Cross) becomes unnecessary and likewise falls. If the tripartite Catholic formula “Creation, Fall, Redemption” is abandoned the entire Creed upon which the Roman Catholic Faith is based likewise falls of its own weight. Therein we have a completely different religion—another Gospel!

Another Gospel e.g. (Gal. 1: 8-9) is strictly warned against by St. Paul in the strongest terms. That is precisely what is at risk if it is true that Vatican II adopted the New Theology of Teilhard de Chardin as Atilla Sinke Guimaraes, Wolfgang Smith and others maintain. This issue must be faced and addressed by the Holy See if thoughtful and concerned Roman Catholics of good will are to be properly served by the Church of Christ.

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In light of Traditional Catholic dogma/doctrine, how should the Second Vatican Council be viewed ? Is it consistent with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and prior Magisterial teaching?

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This site explores these questions and more in an attempt to place the Second Vatican Council in proper perspective.