Catholics on Creation: “Journey” or “Fall”?

Catholicism, having accepted evolution, also must accept the belief that death predated human sin; that the world was not created complete and perfect by God, but that it was created inherently imperfect and inclusive of what philosophers term, “natural evil.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this quite plainly

310 …[W]ith infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.

This is clearly contrary to the teaching of Scripture, which affirms that God said after each day of creation, “it was good,” and that sin and death and suffering entered the world as a result of human choice (Romans 5:12).

But if this is so, if death and suffering is just part of the natural order, part of a world in “journeying,” how could one man’s death possibly have paid the penalty for–and be the guarantee for a recovery from–a sin that didn’t produce these effects? How can we believe Christ’s promise?

And if the world is in such a state of “journeying,” is not the telos at best an evolutionary step, as Teilhard de Chardin taught?

If you undermine creation, you undermine Christian soteriology and eschatology as well.

Someone asks, “What about this?”

1008 Death is a consequence of sin. The Church’s Magisterium, as authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition, teaches that death entered the world on account of man’s sin. Even though man’s nature is mortal, God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin. “Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned” is thus “the last enemy” of man left to be conquered.

Well, that’s clearly contrary to the previous quote, isn’t it? (And this is not surprising, since the Catechism was written by a committee.) This second quote reflects the Biblical perspective, while the first reflects the evolutionary ideology that Catholicism has embraced with open arms.

But they can’t have it both ways. Either death–human and animal–was a result of human sin or else the world was created with the presence of death, and, “in God’s plan,” included a “process of becoming” that involved as part of God’s design “the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance [death] of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature.” The latter accommodation is the only option for a Christian who accepts evolution, as evolution demands the existence of death for billions of years before there was a human being–but it renders Scripture a fable and Jesus’ words a lie.

Which do they want? The evolutionary or the Biblical? The two are mutually exclusive.

One thought on “Catholics on Creation: “Journey” or “Fall”?

  1. Bill,

    I wonder what Fr Jim would have to say about this contradiction. He would probably conclude that you are propagating anti-catholic lies…

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