Nuggets from Occult Invasion—A Surprising Development? |

Dave Hunt

Most non-Catholics were surprised when Pope John Paul II, in a formal statement sent to the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Science on October 23, 1996, announced that evolution was a scientific theory acceptable to the Church. Evangelical leaders such as Charles Colson, Bill Bright, J. I. Packer, Pat Robertson et al., in joining forces with Rome, assured their critics that Catholicism accepts biblical inerrancy. Yet the Canons and Decrees of the Second Vatican Council (Roman Catholicism’s highest authority) declare: “Hence the Bible is free from error in what pertains to religious truth revealed for our salvation. It is not necessarily free from error in other matters (e.g. natural science)” [emphasis in original]. Evolution is “scientific,” and the Bible is not infallible when it comes to science.

Allegedly infallible popes have made dogmatic but embarrassingly unscientific pronouncements based upon false biblical interpretations. Choosing the blame the Bible rather than admit the folly of its leaders, Roman Catholicism denies that the Bible is “free from error” in matters of science. Here is a brief excerpt from the Pope’s statement to the Academy:

“I am pleased with the first theme you have chosen, that of the origins of life and evolution, an essential truth which deeply interests the Church…. We know, in fact, that truth cannot contradict truth…. I would remind you that the Magisterium of the Church has already made pronouncements on these matters….

“In his Encyclical Humani generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of faith about man…. Pius XII stressed this essential point: if the human body takes its origin from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God…. For my part…{I have said that] the exegete and the theologian must keep informed about the results achieved by the natural sciences….

“Today…the theory of evolution…has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence…of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favour of this theory.”

John Paul II was simply reiterating the official position of his Church. In May 1982, on the hundredth anniversary of Charles Darwin’s death, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences held a conference of scientists in honor of Darwin and issued this statement: “We are convinced that masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and other primates beyond serious dispute.” As a further example of endorsements by the roman Catholic Church, in 1967 the New Catholic Encyclopedia had declared confidently:

“Evidence…supports…the fact of organic evolution. The best judges of the matter are the specialists who, over a period of 100 years, have assembled the necessary evidence. For them the fact of evolution has been established as thoroughly as science can establish facts of the past not witnessed by human eyes.”