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.


  1. #1 Dave S.
    September 7, 2006

    I give this verdict two ‘meh’s and a shrug.

  2. #2 John Farrell
    September 7, 2006

    (and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the Discovery Institute…)


  3. #3 Fred
    September 7, 2006

    (and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the Discovery Institute…)

    Why? Denial is far less exhausting. Or covering your eyes and ears so you can remain unaware of the news. And they’re quite good at that. In fact, if denial was research, they’d be the world’s greatest scientists.

    It’s easy to be a member of the DI: If someone agrees with you, shout it from the rooftops. If someone doesn’t agree with you, he’s wrong or just plain doesn’t matter.

    They’ll ignore this news from Rome, but if there was even the slightest indication that the Pope acknowledged ID in a positive way it would be raining press releases from the DI right now.

  4. #4 Sandra Porter
    September 7, 2006

    Darn!! I thought this was an entry about…. well, you know …. about … the Catholic position, in well, let’s just say another context.

  5. #5 Unit699173
    September 8, 2006

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