Pope Francis announced on Monday that evolution is compatible with religion.
According to ReligionNews.com, Pope Francis made his comments during a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican. Pope Francis was dedicating a bust in honor of his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
“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,” stated Pope Francis. “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,” added Pope Francis. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
Pope Francis' statements seemed to contradict Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna, who wrote in The New York Times in 2005:
Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.
NCRegister.com reports that Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences “to pursue scientific progress and to improve the living conditions of the peoples, especially the poorest... God and Christ walk with us and are also present in nature.”
“When, on the sixth day of the account in Genesis, man is created, God gives the human being another autonomy, an autonomy that is different from that of nature, which is freedom,” stated Pope Francis.
Sources: The New York Times, NCRegister.com, ReligionNews.com (Image Credit: Pete Souza - White House)