Friday, July 08, 2005

Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward

Last Thursday Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the lead editor of the official 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, and certainly a man with the pope's ear, wrote an op-ed piece for the NY Times. While I think he was attempting to clarify Catholic dogma on evolution, I once again found myself disagreeing with just about everything a church official had to say. Some quotations:

"Scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of "chance and necessity" are not scientific at all, but, as John Paul put it, an abdication of human intelligence."

and my favorite:

"Throughout history the church has defended the truths of faith given by Jesus Christ. But in the modern era, the Catholic Church is in the odd position of standing in firm defense of reason as well. In the 19th century, the First Vatican Council taught a world newly enthralled by the "death of God" that by the use of reason alone mankind could come to know the reality of the Uncaused Cause, the First Mover, the God of the philosophers."

So the Crusades, the Inquisition, the excommunication of Galileo, and the horrible treatment of women were all in defense of the "truths of fatih given by Jesus"?!? Perhaps I am a self-hating Catholic, but gee whiz, can't we just accept that evolution took place on a round earth which is quite a bit older than 6000 years which spins and rotates around a sun in a sun-centered solar system and then get on with our lives?

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