The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared.
Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”.
“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,” Francis said. (source)
Some people are not so enamoured with his speech:
Maybe critics like Jerry Coyne are asking too much. They can hardly expect the Pope to say there is no God?
Paranormal media will have you entertaining everything from Big Foot to Aliens stealing embryos.
What form a paranormal media has given us all of these contradicting religions that are mutually exclusive of each other.
Of course they don't make sense: he's still shoehorning God into them.
If god doesn't wave a magical wand, all claims of miracles are on shaky ground. I knew god couldn't create a rock he couldn't lift.
So Pope Cuddles has spoken with Papal Infallibility that Genesis is not literal. Does this mean he is asserting that Adam and Eve did not exist? If so the entire premise of Christianity is rejected. If there was no first man and no first woman (which is correct) then there was no Temptation story and no Fall from Grace and therefore no need for a saviour.
I think I will start calling him “Our man on the inside”. That is the first chapter of the Bible debunked. Keep going!!
When the Pope can raise the dead, cleanse lepers then we shall listen to him.
("These signs shall follow them that believe..." - Christ)
Something tells me your brand of woo is not Catholicism.
I think Pope Francis would be perfectly comfortable with Adam and Eve not existing in a literal sense (mitochondrial Eve notwithstanding). From a Catholic perspective, that doesn't reject the entire premise of Christianity at all. Humanity can fall from grace without a literal Adam or a literal snake.
We are not fundamentalists or literalists.
As an aside, Pope Francis also was not speaking with Papal Infallibility. That's a very specific sort of thing; it doesn't apply to every word or utterance.
Hi Bob…I had been wondering……anyway am I incorrect to suggest that the Pope is in fact speaking “ex cathedra” when he makes such pronouncements on matters of Faith…..as he is in discharge of his office as teacher of all Christians and therefore is speaking with his supreme Apostolic Authority (of papal infallibility)? It is not a case of it being an “obiter dicta” remark.
When a Pope made the Assumption of Mary an article of Catholic faith was that not also a case of Papal Infallibility? That means that Catholics must believe as a matter of literal fact that the mother of Jesus did indeed ascend into Heaven (wherever that is).
Whatever it is, it is a positive step as it will get more people to think critically and leave the Church behind and move away from medieval thinking. I await his next pronouncement that “No, humans are not going to become immortal after this life is over.”
Ex Cathedra statements are decidedly rare. I think there's been one... the Assumption of Mary that you mention.
Aside from that, there are a wide range of teachings, with various degrees of correctness, just like any discipline. The pope is just a teacher, he is as infallible as any professor (which undoubtedly means that he thinks himself a lot less fallible than he is!). Something like an Encyclical is roughly the equivalent of a peer-reviewed paper. It can be wrong, but it should have elements of truth in it. Something like a conciliar document would be similar to a consensus statement like the IPCC climate reports. It can still be wrong in individual elements, and it can become dated, but if you just deny it to be belligerent for political reasons you are really no longer being Catholic, just as in denying the evidence for climate change you are really no longer being scientific.
Within Catholicism the notion of "infallibility" is very highly nuanced, and nothing like what you portray. It is a form of belief in God's mercy... that ultimately, over time, He cares enough about humanity to keep the People of God (what we call "the Church") engaged in terms of their relationship with Him.
For us Catholics, science is one of the forms of "revelation" to be engaged in and celebrated. As the fellow with the upside down name says later in this thread, Big Bang theory (and Copernican Theory for that matter) were created by Catholic clerics. I find it ironic that an atheist here chooses to deny the science for that reason alone, even as the Pope with the Masters' Degree in Chemistry celebrates it.
I am impressed with Pope Cuddles' humanity. As far as Catholics not being fundamentalists or taking the scriptures literally...I gotta ask: Is the bible the word of god or not?
If it is; how can it not be fundamental? If it is not; then why believe in any of it, especially if you get to decide what is literal and what is not?
As our understanding of the universe chips away at the less than true assertions contained in the "holy" texts of the world, and as religious ritual and symbolism fades into history, there is a value in all religions that should be retained. The new Pope is a realist.
We get to decide what is literal and what is not because we wrote and edited the Bible. It's a selected compilation of just some of our many texts.
The notion that the Deity came down with his magic pen and wrote the English King James Version we just shake our head at. That is a hangup of a small subset of our Protestant brothers and sisters, who have to resort to such notions because they rejected all other forms of authority - like the authority that comes from study, and learning, and observation of the world, and inspiration/insight, and collaboration/peer review/input from others.
That sort of authority is uncomfortable for them, and for all of us at some level, because it comes with uncertainty, and subtlety, and a demand for both humility and firmness. Quoting the Bible (or the freshman physics text) is easier and more comfortable than recognizing that God (or the universe) is a complicated thing that cannot be reduced to a single text. Quoting definitive writ takes less effort and demands less commitment than actually studying, and learning, and engaging with others.