Response to ‘A 21st-century church’

Monday’s editorial cartoon implicitly suggested that the Roman Catholic Church had rejected evolution until Pope Francis’ recent words.

I would like to remark that Pope Pius XII, in “Humani Generis,” already pointed out that the arguments for and against evolution should be weighed carefully by the Catholic Church, neither being discarded a priori. Also, in a 1951 speech, he gave support to the Big Bang theory (which was proposed first by Monsignor Georges Lemaître, a Belgian cosmologist and Catholic priest).

In 1996, in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope St. John Paul II said, “The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory [of evolution].”

I hope that the lack of precision in the cartoon is just a lamentable omission and not a deliberate and unfounded attempt to set Pope Francis in opposition to his predecessors in the Papacy.