Sunday, September 5, 2010

God made pre-humans into people, Vatican newspaper says

By Carol Glatz
L'Osservatore Romano, May 5-6, 2008
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While apes evolved naturally into pre-human creatures, it was the will and desire of God that turned them into humans, an article in the Vatican newspaper said.

"The formation of human beings necessitated a particular contribution by God, though it remains that their emergence was brought about by natural causes" of evolution, it said.

The article, published in the May 5-6 edition of L'Osservatore Romano, was written by Italian evolutionary biologist Fiorenzo Facchini.

The article said that, "when the biological conditions necessary for supporting a being capable of reflective thought were attained, the will of God, the creator, freely desired it, and man came to be."

The article posed the question: Does this mean that humans evolved from chimpanzees?

"No, it might be better to say that at some point God willed a spark of intelligence to light up in the mind of a nonhuman hominid and thus came into existence the human as a being, as a subject capable of thought and the ability to decide freely," it said.

So rather than picturing it as humans descending from the apes, it said, humans ascended or rose up from the animal kingdom to a higher level, thanks to the hand of God.

As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in 1968 when he was Father Joseph Ratzinger, God wanted to create a being that could know him and be able to turn to him, the article said.

The emergence of the human is neither a casual or accidental event, nor is it something that was "strictly necessary," demanded by God or the evolutionary process, it said.

Evolution could have ended at the pre-human stage, it said, but thanks to "the free choice of God," humans emerged from their pre-human ancestors.

This divine intervention "does not represent an unwarranted intrusion (of theology) in the field of science -- as is the case with intelligent design -- but is called for in order to explain the presence of man's spirit" which cannot come from or evolve out of the material world, the article said.

The movement from being a creature of the animal and physical world to also the spiritual was a gift from God "even if it came at the end of a natural process of evolution," it said.


Evolution and First Humans: A rebuttal

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

The article which appeared in L'Osservatore Romano May 5-6, 2008 edition is yet another example of the post-Conciliar confusion which is now apparent in contradistinction to perennial pre-Vatican II Catholic teaching on the special creation of Human Beings.  If only the situation was as simple as alleged by evolutionary biologist Fiorenzo Facchini. There are multiple theological problems--primarily the constant teaching of Sacred Tradition re: the special creation of the first human couple--with his assertions not simply biological ones.

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 of Pope Pius XII, 1950 no.’s 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 for example:

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] (my emphasis added)

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, 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 even of the bi-pedal primate variety. 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.”

Thus the 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 “Creation, Fall, Redemption” is abandoned the entire Creed upon which the Traditional Roman Catholic Faith is based likewise falls of its own weight. Therein we have a completely different religion—another Gospel!

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 is a very profound problem for the so-called New-Theology which eminated from Vatican II. To date it has not been adequately adressed by the current Magisterium.

No comments:

What/Where is the Roman Catholic Church?

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?

What explains the tremendous amount of "bad fruit" which has been forthcoming since the close of the Council in 1965? “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16)

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