Every time Pope Francis says something, it seems to make worldwide news… even when his statements aren’t all that interesting. His latest speech, about the compatibility of religion and science, is no exception.
In a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis explained how he, like pretty much all Catholics, believed in God-guided evolution:
“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.
“He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.”
“God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life,” the pope said. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
To be clear, he’s still wrong. There’s just no evidence that God poofed the starting blocks for evolution into existence. But, again, this shouldn’t be a story. This isn’t at odds with modern Catholic teaching, which supports evolution.So why are we hearing about it everywhere?
Because there’s a strong desire to show how Pope Francis is different from traditional Catholics, even though this statement isn’t a contrast at all.
Because anything about Pope Francis tends to draw eyeballs and pageviews.
Because Catholics are desperate to distance themselves from evangelical Christians who are even further removed from reality on this issue.
Because any publicity for the Church that doesn’t involve a scandal is welcome.
This isn’t news. But maybe it’ll remind people that the process of evolution isn’t doubted by any thinking person. Which means the Pope’s comments will make Ken Ham mad. It’s a win-win!