It seems the big evolution confab in Rome has ended. The verdict? No change:
A participant at the Pope’s closed door symposium on creation and evolution, Jesuit Fr Joseph Fessio, has denied speculation about a change in the Church’s teaching on evolution, saying nothing presented at the meeting broke new ground and that American debates on Intelligent Design did not feature in discussions.
Catholic News Service reports that the annual gathering of former doctoral students of Pope Benedict, which was hosted in part by the Pontiff at his summer villa in Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome, discussed the relationship among faith, reason and science.
This year’s topic was “Creation and Evolution,” and one of the presenters was Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, who has argued against what he called “ideological Darwinism.”
This prompted media speculation that the Pope was considering a shift in the church’s general acceptance of the theory of evolution.
But Fr Fessio, who attended the symposium, said nothing was presented at the meeting that “would break new ground or that lays the foundation for a new position.”
As I discussed in Monday’s entry, the Church’s position is standard issue theistic evolution: Explaining the physical forms of organisms via natural processes unfolding over long periods of time is acceptable. Using that as a foundation for atheism, or for denying the spiritual nature of humanity is not.