Si Si No No Title

March 1998 No. 25


Charles Darwin

Evolutionism or Teilhardism?

Teihard de Chardin


Pope John Paul II’s “Message” to the Academy of Sciences of Rome



The renowned geneticist Giuseppi Sermonti wrote:

Modernist temptations are dangerous. You risk accepting modernity just at the time when it is found to be in its death throes, and, for the love of the world, becoming followers of Darwin just as Darwinism is on the wane. You risk establishing the moral law on the theory of man's evolution from monkeys, when this theory has been henceforth refuted (Il Tempo on July 10, 1987).1

The above quotation seems to have taken on the marks of a prophecy today, ten years later, when we read the commentaries on John Paul II's "Message" to the "Pontifical Academy of Sciences"2 in the journal La Nazione: "Faith and Science: Satisfaction for the Pope's words, which have served to give a facelift to Darwin's pet but still unproven theory - soul or no soul, thanks to the monkey."3

As far as Darwin's theory is concerned, La Nazione's writer exaggerates, since that theory makes no exception for the soul, which must also be considered to be a product of evolution. It is, however, quite certain that John Paul II's "Message" is indeed disconcerting for many reasons.



We read in John Paul II's "Message":

I am quite pleased with the first theme which you have chosen, that of the origin of life as well as that of evolution. […] Before giving you a few more specific thoughts on this theme, I would like you to remember the fact that the Magisterium of the Church has already pronounced itself on these themes, and in the limits of its own competence, to be sure. I will now quote two addresses (documents).

Then the Pope quotes Pius XII's encyclical Humani Generis which does mention evolutionism; as well as his own speech (Oct. 31, 1992) to that same Academy of Sciences - an address in which no mention is made of evolutionism, but of...Galileo and biblical exegesis.

We read in John Paul II's "Message":

As for me, while receiving (October 31, 1992) those taking part in the plenary assembly of your Academy, I had the opportunity, speaking of Galileo, of bringing their attention to the need for the correct interpretation of the inspired Word of God, of the strictest observation of hermeneutics. We must properly define the true meaning of Holy Scriptures while brushing aside those faulty interpretations which are wont to make them say that which they are not meant to say. In order to encompass as well as possible the field of the object of their study, the exegetes, as well as the theologians, must continually keep themselves informed of those results provided by the natural sciences (cf. AAS85, 1993, pp.761-772; Address to the Pontifical Biblical Commission, April 23, 1993, which preceded the later document on "the interpretation of the Bible in the Church" (AAS86, 1994, pp.232-243).

One preliminary observation: Since it is a question of evolutionism, it would have been more to the point to remind the scientists of the limitations of natural science rather than the exegetes' and theologians' duty of keeping themselves informed about those "findings (which are certainly not infallible) coming from the various natural sciences." This is especially true in view of the fact that, in this matter, exegetes as well as theologians have already let themselves be over-imposed upon by some presumed "findings" (simple hypotheses, in reality) of "sciences of nature," which have been strongly influenced - let us not forget - by a philosophy based on atheism.

And then Holy Scriptures, of which we would do well to "properly define the true meaning," are - to put it plainly - those first chapters of the Book of Genesis wherein are revealed the origins of mankind. The above-mentioned "reminder" of the necessity of the "strictest observance of hermeneutics" is tantamount to saying, therefore, that up to the present day, we have not yet been given "a correct interpretation" of Genesis and that the sacred texts have been twisted to say "that which they are not meant to say" regarding the creation of mankind. Besides, the passing reference to the "document on 'the interpretation of the Bible in the Church'" that toxic fruit of the new Pontifical Biblical Commission, simply boils down to saying: a) that this new "correct interpretation" of Genesis must now come to us through the new "Pontifical Biblical Commission" whose members are to distinguish themselves "by their Catholic sensitiveness,"4 but are, quite on the contrary, regularly chosen from amongst the most notorious of new-modernist exegetes;5  b) that this new and finally "correct" interpretation of the Book of Genesis should spring from that method falsely called "historico-critical method," which simply reduces Genesis to a mythological tale, a method conspicuously supported in the above-mentioned document: "The interpretation of the Bible in the Church."6

Fortunately, Card. Ratzinger, in the preface to this document, makes it clear that the "historico-critical method" (in actual fact, that same criticism corning out of the Protestant-rationalist mold) is still being hotly debated and, above all, that the new Pontifical Biblical Commission "is in no way to be considered an organ of the Magisterium" (as, on the contrary, was the previous Biblical Commission). It is, therefore, in any case, and for many reasons, quite inexact to speak of "two discourses" of the "Church's Magisterium" on the themes of evolution and the origin of life. The one and only public address of the Magisterium on this question is and remains even today, Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis, which, however, cannot be considered the final and definitive pronouncement on this theme.

On the other hand, we may well say that the Magisterium of the Church has indeed already pronounced itself "with two official discourses" on the "correct interpretation" of Genesis:

1) With the Decree (June 30, 1909) of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, which was, at that time, an "organ of the Magisterium," a decree whereby it was guaranteed that the literal-historical sense [i.e., meaning] of the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis cannot in any way be questioned (i.e., doubted) when it is a matter of facts concerning or affecting the very foundations of the Christian Faith; including...the particular creation of man and the formation of the first woman from the first man.7

2) With Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis, which upholds the historicity [i.e. the historical authenticity] of the first eleven chapters of Genesis against the neo-modernists of the "new theology," while reaffirming the value and merits of the following decree of the Pontifical Biblical Commission:

The first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis, although, properly speaking, not conforming to the historical method used by the best Greek and Latin writers or by competent authors of our time, do nevertheless pertain to history in a true sense.

Now the dastardly deed of handing over the "correct interpretation" of Genesis to the so-called "historico-critical method" which, in casting off into the trashpile the Catholic doctrine on the inspiration and absolute inerrancy [i.e., infallibility] of Sacred Scriptures, has in effect, simply buried Catholic exegesis while even denying the historicity of the Holy Gospels. All of which means establishing, in the Catholic Church itself, that mythological interpretation according to which Genesis is to be considered just a fabulous tale, and so there is really nothing to be found in Holy Scriptures on the origin of mankind.



In John Paul II's "Message," the following is said concerning Pius XII's encyclical:

In his encyclical Humani Generis" (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already declared that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of Faith concerning man and his vocation, providing that certain basic points be kept well in mind (cf. AAS42, 1950, pp.575-576)[...].

In view of the state of scientific research of those earlier days and also taking into account the particular requirements of Catholic theology, the encyclical Humani Generis considered the doctrine of evolutionism as a serious hypothesis, worthy of research and of serious thought and this, just as much as its opposing hypothesis. Pius XII added two methodological conditions: that this opinion be not adopted as though it were a certain and demonstrated doctrine and as if Revelation could be completely disregarded in questions of this nature. He also mentioned the necessary proviso that this opinion be compatible with the Catholic Faith, a point upon which I shall return.

Today, nearly 50 years after that Encyclical, new knowledge leads us to no longer consider the theory of evolution as just a simple hypothesis. […] Pius XII had underscored this essential point: if the human body takes [sic] its origin from living, pre-existent matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God (animas enim a Deo immediate creari catholica fides nos retinere iubet, Encyclical Humani Generis AAS, 42,1950, p.575).

Frankly, it seems that John Paul II's message makes Pius XII say a little too much on the one hand, and a bit too little on the other.

A little too much, because Pius XII in Humani Generis is distinctly speaking of two evolutionisms. Of the first he writes:

Whoever closely observes those outside of Christ's fold will easily and soon discover the main paths travelled by a great number of scientists. In fact, they are the very ones who make out that the so-called system of evolution can be applied to the origin of everything; now, the proofs of this system are in no way irrefutable, even in the limited field of natural science. They do, however, accept it without any prudence whatsoever, without proper judgment, and we hear them professing smugly and brashly that monist and pantheist hypothesis of some primeval and unique 'something' completely and fatally subject to a never-ending evolution. Now, this is very precisely the very same postulate adopted by the partisans of communism so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.

The above quotation constitutes in simple terms the (Church's) official condemnation of evolution, be it materialistic, atheistic or pantheistic: all of which deny the dogma of creation. In his message, John Paul II unfortunately neglects to recall the above-mentioned condemnation of Pius XII, and it is this omission which has probably prompted those screaming headlines about Darwin's unmerited rehabilitation as was done in the previously-mentioned newspaper La Nazione.


: the investigation and expounding of the true sense of the Sacred Scriptures, that is, the truth actually conveyed by them.

HERMENEUTICS: the principles governing the right interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures and associated, therefore, with the science of exegesis.

MONISM: materialist system according to which all things proceed from only one principle, viz. matter, by way of evolution.

PANTHEISM: a false philosophy, which consists in confounding God with the world.

PATRISTICS: the study of the writings of the Fathers of the Church and the science of their contents.

EPISTEMOLOGY: that branch of philosophy which is concerned with the theory of the origin, nature, grounds, method and limits of knowledge.


If atheistic and materialistic evolutionism was running rampant "outside the Christian fold" at the time of Pius XII, the so-called theistic evolutionism was, indeed, already prevailing inside the fold of Christ. Since this last type of evolutionism admits God's influence upon evolution and the direct creation of the human soul, it was supposed that it could be established in the Catholic Church itself. The theistic evolutionists, one of whom was Carlo Colombo (who later became Paul VI's theologian!) appealed to "progress" of science which they used - we know not with what good faith - to turn hypotheses into absolute certainties.8 The background to all of this is well described by Card. Ruffini:

Through several Catholic circles there has spread the impression that the question of man's origin has recently received such encouraging results from paleo-anthropological research, that we are now obliged, for the sake of truth as well as of prudence, to cast aside our previous convictions based on the Bible, the doctrine of the Fathers of the Church, as well as the constant teaching of the Church.9

Unfortunately, the doctrine [or teachings] of the Fathers, even though carrying much weight, was not able, in this case, to settle the question once and for all.

John Paul II


Card. Ruffini, himself a cardinal member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and zealous defender of the traditional and obvious meaning of Genesis chapter 2 (7-24), writes in one of his fundamental works on evolutionism10   that there is lacking in the Fathers' teachings one of the two indispensable conditions for declaring that the creation of the human body from the slime of the earth be considered as belonging to the deposit of Faith. In fact, in order for the doctrine of the Fathers to be able to vouch for the divine and apostolic Tradition and testify therefore in favor of divine Revelation, it is necessary that: 1) the Fathers show themselves unanimous (at least morally) to attest to a truth; 2) they must attest to this truth as a truth of Faith, for example, by declaring guilty of heresy anyone attacking it or else by affirming that such is indeed the teaching of the Church, or by any other equivalent way. As to the direct creation of the human body from the slime of the earth, we have the unanimous accord of the Fathers, but in their texts, there is lacking the second essential condition (with the exception of a doubtful text of St. Jerome) which explains the theologians' state of uncertainty in qualifying this doctrine (for some a "de fide truth," for others, simply a "common judgment").

This enabled theologians as well as authorized exegetes or those close to Pius XII, such as Boyer, Pirot, Ceuppens and Bea, to affirm that in the biblical narrative we must retain the fact (of God's special intervention in the creation of the human body) and leave it to science to determine the way in which it was done: that is, if God formed the human body from inorganic or organic matter (the latter being a nice way of saying: from an animal). In this case [i.e., from an animal], "slime of the earth" in the biblical text would simply be understood in its figurative meaning, and not in its literal sense, as it has always been believed. Pirot, for example, had written:

Whether God made use of the body of an animal to fashion the body of the first man (or not) remains a question to be addressed not by exegesis, but by (the science) of anthropology.11

And Ceuppens, another qualified exegete:

I think that both theories can be equally justified or defended.12

Also Bea, who at the time was the Rector of the Biblical Institute:

This question belongs, as do many others, to that category of various problems which should constitute  the  object  of  research  in  the  applied  sciences of paleontology, biology and  of  morphology.13

Finally, Boyer, who was then professor (and then rector) at the Pontifical Gregorian University:

They also exaggerate those who ...are most the idea that the founts of Revelation do not clearly exclude some kind of participation of some inferior living species in the fashioning of the first human body.14

These assertions of authorized persons gave rise to a great deal of negative reactions on the part of theologians and exegetes equally qualified in these matters.

It was at this juncture that Pope Pius XII intervened with his encyclical Humani Generis when he wrote:

It remains for Us now to speak about those questions which, although they pertain to the positive sciences, are nevertheless more or less connected with the truths of the Christian Faith. In fact, not a few insistently demand that the Catholic religion take these sciences into account as much as possible. This certainly would be praiseworthy in the case of clearly-proven facts; but caution must be used when it is rather a question of hypotheses, having some sort of scientific foundation, in which the doctrine contained in Sacred Scripture or in Tradition is involved. If such conjectural opinions are directly or indirectly opposed to the doctrine revealed by God, then the demand that they be recognized can in no way be admitted.

For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic Faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with all necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the Dogmas of Faith.

And at this point, as a note, Pius XII refers to his Allocution to the members of the Academy of Sciences (Nov. 30, 1941, AAS, vol. XXIII, 1941, p.506) wherein he had affirmed:

The numerous research works in the fields of paleontology, of biology as well as in morphology on other problems concerning the origins of man have, to date, come up with nothing positively clear and certain. It behooves us, therefore, to leave to the future the answer to this question, if, perchance, science, enlightened and guided by Divine Revelation, is able to provide certain and definitive results (answers) on such an important question.

It is, therefore, a bit of an exaggeration to say that Pius XII had "already affirmed that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the Faith." It is, on the contrary, quite accurate to declare that in Humani Generis, the Roman Pontiff makes no pronouncement, leaving to the scientists and theologians the task of bringing forth arguments both pro and con, while reserving to the "judgment of the Church" the last word once they have finally obtained (if possible) "certain and definitive results." And it is still too much to have Pius XII say that "if the human body takes [sic] its origin from living, pre-existent matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God." Pius XII never used the present indicative tense, the tense of reality and of certitude, and never would have done so. What he did say, since he was only speaking hypothetically, was that even if the human body should have had its origin in an animal (which is still light years away from being a demonstrated fact) the immediate creation of the human soul would remain firm and unaltered.

In the same vein, it is stretching the truth to pretend that Pius XII "considered the doctrine of evolutionism as a serious hypothesis, worthy of research and of serious thought and this, just as much as its opposing hypothesis."

As a matter of fact, Pius XII does not say that theistic evolution is a serious hypothesis, but that it is a hypothesis to be studied with all "necessary earnestness (or seriousness)" (which is, quite obviously, not the same thing at all); he maintains that it is a hypothesis not "worthy" but "which needs" to be weighed and judged "with all necessary seriousness, moderation and measure" and that everyone is duty-bound to be submitted to the judgment of the Church. And lastly, it is too much to say that Pius XII considers the evolutionist hypothesis "worthy of research and of serious thought and this, just as much as its opposing hypothesis." In fact, right after this, Pius XII deplores the case where…:

...some, however rashly, transgress this liberty of discussion (i.e., that liberty of discussion allowed by Humani Generis), when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of Divine Revelation which demanded the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

This last affirmation simply means that Pius XII does not at all consider theistic evolution "just as much as its opposing hypothesis" and that his obvious reservation of judgment on this question is rather more negative (non-licet) than positive.



It is true, in fact, that the argument based on Patristics is not sufficient in this case to settle this question once and for all. However, the unanimous consent or agreement of the Fathers concerning the formation of Adam's body from the slime of the earth has ever remained an argument of great weight and strength against the hypothesis pretending that the human body was derived from some animal. Another argument of the first order remains the unanimous accord of theologians as well as of all of the Christian faithful on the creation of the human body from the slime of the earth: a common doctrine, therefore, and, for many theologians, one of Divine Faith, up to the present time: "This question of the origin of the human body stemming from the animal kingdom," Ludwig Ott writes, "only arose under the influence of evolutionism."15 This above all: it is not at all easy to reconcile evolutionism, even of the theistic kind, with the sacred texts on the origins of the human body. Genesis teaches us that God created the soul of man directly and formed his body from pre-existent matter [i.e., "slime of the earth," Gen. 2: 7] Organic or inorganic matter? Organic, that is, living matter, the evolutionists argue. However, the most obvious and literal meaning given by the Bible is not that of some organic (living) matter, but that of some inorganic, inanimate (non-living) matter: " And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth" (Gen. 2:7).  And to Adam following his sin, God did say: "Thou wilt return to the earth out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return" (Gen. 3:19), without mentioning other texts supporting Genesis. Moreover, Genesis (2:7) informs us that God, after having fashioned man's body, "breathed into his face the breath of life and man (Adam) became a living soul." The question which now arises is, therefore, that which, in his day, Card. Ruffini posed in an article published in the Osservatore Romano just a little while before Humani Generis:

How are we to safeguard the unmistakably clear biblical account or testimony telling us that the body of the first man became alive through God's breathing upon it, if, as the evolutionists claim, it [that body] was already alive before this.16

In turn, the exegete Francesco Spadafora observes that in order to support the evolutionist hypothesis, even of the most limited sort, one must "twist" the sacred texts.

Those exegetes who favor a mitigated evolutionism in fact translate Genesis (2:7): "God formed man of the slime of the earth and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living person," and no longer "a living soul" (or a living being). But the Hebrew "nefesh chajjah" in Genesis is always used with the meaning of "living being" and is also applied to animals (cf. Gen. l: 21-24; 2:19; 9:10,12,15). How is it therefore possible to justify the translation "living person"? And, if the proper and precise translation is, as it indeed is "living soul" (living being), it simply means that Adam's body, before his soul was infused into it by God's breathing, was not yet alive and therefore inorganic matter, not organic; dust of the earth, not animal. Moreover, according to the evolutionist's type of exegesis, "dust of the earth" would mean: "an animal already created from the dust of the earth" and, really now, this is a bit too much! 17 Conclusion: "theistic evolutionism which would also like to be considered Christian"18 is in no way at all supported by the self-evident and natural meaning of the sacred text.

Moreover, this obvious meaning is also the meaning traditionally accepted by the Catholic Church, starting with the Fathers (of the Church); a meaning duly approved by Church Authority (Provincial Council of Cologne, 1860, approved by the Holy See, retractions demanded of Leroy, Zahn, Bonomelli, etc., by the Holy Office); a meaning which still remains, in spite of the evolutionist wave, the "most common meaning," which the exegetes, such as Galbiati himself, admitted.19  Mgr. .Spadafora writes that:

It is evident that the Biblical narrative presents some anthropomorphisms [=similitudes, not myths] (God who forms Adam from the dust of the earth); this the Fathers noted down well and yet all of them have admitted and accepted the idea of a direct and particular intervention on God's part including His fashioning of the first human body from inorganic [lifeless] matter….20

While Card. Ruffini warns:

To speak about the origin of man, while changing and modifying our beliefs of past ages, always constitutes a point which can lead, if not to blatant errors, at least to a weakening and decline of those positions of the utmost importance for the Faith.21

Common sense together with prudence, as a matter of fact, require that even in the case of a non-defined question of exegesis, traditional belief be not argued without sufficiently grave and well-grounded reasons. In any case, before evolutionism has ever rigorously proven its hypotheses and the evolutionist theologians and exegetes have come up with arguments much more firmly grounded than their presumed simple-minded "scientific progress," with which they are light-years away from proving the case for evolutionism, these (evolutionists) will have indeed shown themselves to be..:

...desirous of novelty, and fearing to be considered ignorant of recent scientific findings, they try to withdraw themselves from the sacred teaching authority (Pius XII, Humani Generis).



We can now understand why this "intervention" of the Magisterium of the Church which is Humani Generis made no final pronouncement on theistic evolutionism, preferring to postpone such a decision to a later date when both science and theology would be able to offer "certain as well as definitive indispensable proofs."

But now we have a novelty contained in John Paul II's recent "Message":

Today, nearly 50 years after the publication of that encyclical [of Pius XII] new knowledge leads us to consider no longer the theory of evolution as just a simple hypothesis.

What is this "new knowledge"? The "Message" limits itself to saying that:

...the fact is remarkable that this theory has progressively imposed itself upon the attention of research workers, in the wake of new discoveries in diverse disciplines of knowledge. The convergence, or coming together, unsought and unprovoked, of findings of independently carried out research, constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory.

However, the "convergence" of those findings has yet to be shown because for a long time already, great difficulties have arisen against evolutionism, including those fields of science which, only a short while ago seemed so favorable to it: embryology, genetics, geology, paleontology , etc...And that this convergence, if it does indeed exist anywhere, be "unsought and unprovoked" remains to be seen, since it is in the habit of evolutionary scientists to twist their findings to fit into their hypotheses: "Many evolutionary authors take into account only those elements which favor their own theoretical conceptions," admitted Professor Piero Leonardi of the University of Padua22 in his debate with Mgr. Spadafora, a renowned exegete.

In any case, a "significative argument" does not in any way constitute a decisive proof nor a rigorous demonstration such as is demanded and required in the field of science, and especially in the case of a question touching the Christian Faith in which we would find ourselves obliged to "put aside our previous convictions based on Sacred Scriptures, on the doctrine of the Fathers as well as on the traditional teaching of the Church." The "Message" of John Paul II himself says, yes, that..: knowledge leads us to no longer consider the theory of evolution as just a simple hypothesis.

But it is not at all said that this "new knowledge" leads evolution to be considered as a scientific certainty as the mass media deduced and proclaimed everywhere (a misunderstanding easily foreseen and which those responsible for it had the duty to "nip in the bud"). The rest of the text of the "Message" is as follows:

What is the importance of such a theory? Touching this question means to enter into the field of epistemology. A theory is a meta-scientific elaboration, distinct (or separate) from the results of observation but similar to them. Thanks to it [ i.e., a theory], a set of facts and data can be brought together as a whole and interpreted in an integrated and undivided explanation. Theory shows its validity insofar as it is open to verification; it is constantly evaluated on the level of facts; and where it is no longer demonstrated by facts, it manifests its limits and inadequacy. At this point it must be thought out again.

Now if all of this has been well understood, the "theory of evolution" must no longer be considered as a hypothesis, but as a...theory! And, since a theory, as the same "Message" admits, must also itself be verified "on the level of facts" and eventually "rethought," it seems that evolutionism has gained absolutely nothing from such a promotion (and that such a promotion has served only to create the above-mentioned misunderstanding).



It is all the more so since evolutionism "on the level off acts"- which the "Message" seems to ignore strangely - has already declared itself bankrupt.

We will limit ourselves to a few quotations, but which carry a lot of weight. In 1980, in a congress held in Chicago, 160 scientists from all over the globe acknowledged the shipwreck of their system against the reef of the fixedness (or stability) of species:

The complete absence of any links between men and monkeys is but the most obvious in the series of illusions: the absolute non-existence of links of one species to another is not at all an exception: this is the universal rule in nature. The more scientific researchers have tried to follow any traces of transition from one species to another, the more they have been deceived and disappointed (Newsweek, Nov.3, 1980).

Again in 1980, in Italy, Giuseppe Semonti, a world-renowned geneticist and professor at the University of Perugia, together with Roberto Fondi, professor of paleontology at the University of Sienna, published their work Dopo Darwin: Critica all'evoluzionismo - After Darwin: A Critique on Evolutionism (Rusconi, Milan) in which the "myth" of evolutionism gets its so well-deserved scientific burial. In 1985 there followed, by the same Semonti, another work: Luna nel bosco - Moon in the Woods (Rusconi, Milan), once more taking evolutionism to task. Finally, on August 25, 1992, the Corriere della Sera published an article entitled: "Scientists Meet in Congress: We Do Not Come from Monkeys; Darwin Challenged on Evolutionism." The newspaper story was all about the annual congress of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the very same association to which was presented for the first time the theory of evolutionism. The author of the article was the English scientist Richard Milton, author of The Facts of Life: The Myth of Darwinism Torn to Shreds. The Corriere della Sera wrote:

Milton is not alone in his challenge. Many indeed are the scientists who have seriously questioned Darwin's thesis.

(Which, moreover, never did convince all of the scientists). And all of this after a whole army of biologists, of paleontologists, of embryologists, of zoologists, of botanists, of geneticists, of anthropologists from all nations exhausted itself for over a century in a vain attempt to flush out from under cover the faintest trace of a supposed evolution. Together with Card. Ruffini we ask the "theistic" evolutionists, "Was it really worthwhile to wander off from the divinely revealed. path, a path so straight, so simple yet so logical and rational even in its smallest details?"23



Things being as they are, we need to ask ourselves the (pertinent) question: why did John Paul II's "Message" to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences seek to undertake the restoration of a myth henceforth completely discredited and lying in shambles before the world? The following seems to us to be probably the most likely answer: Amongst the "mythomaniacs" of evolutionism stands the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin, who, in order to try to justify his "weird and fantastic theology" (i.e., his "Christlike" evolutionism or still, his evolutionism of "holy matter" towards the Omega-point, where Christ is reduced to a zenith of the process of "humanization"!), never hesitated in having recourse to scandalous hoaxes: the "Piltdown Man," a fraud made up from a man's skull and the mandible of a monkey;24 and his "sinanthropus" of Peking (Peking Man...) fashioned with the bones of monkeys killed by ...modem hunters!25

Teilhard's "theology," despite the monitum [i.e., a solemn warning] of the Holy Office against his works, triumphed at Vatican II, especially in Gaudium et Spes, thanks to the efforts of De Lubac.

Now the Catholic hierarchy, starting with the Roman Curia, is teeming with highly-placed clergymen unfortunately infected with "acute teilharditis" - according to Gilson's formula for De Lubac26 - and the first of all, as we have already so rigorously documented, is the Prefect of the ex-Holy Office, Card. Ratzinger, for whom, exactly as with Teilhard, in Jesus Christ, it is not God Who was made flesh, but it is man becoming God.27 John Paul II himself following the example of Paul VI, does not hesitate to quote Teilhard de Chardin. Above all, take the case recently quoted in a Passionist review..:28

...a letter written in 1981 by Card. Casaroli, John Paul ll's Secretary of State, to Mgr .Poupard, on the occasion of the public celebrations of Teilhard's centennial, indicated a very favorable attitude toward him (i.e., Teilhard) on the part of the Holy See, thus dispelling all those fears propagated by great theologians of rare intelligence and of great aggressiveness.

Thus are they depicted today, by the followers of Teilhard, all those great theologians who were so opposed to that Jesuit's condemned works, in particular Fr. GarrigouLagrange, O.P., whom they will never forgive for having proved that their "new theology" proceeds unrestrained to heresy by the "path of shims and fancies."29

That Passionist publication forgets, however, the fact that, almost immediately, on July 22, 1981, a press release from the Holy See hastened to make it clear that the letter sent by Casaroli "in the Holy Father's name" was not at all meant..: constitute a revision of the previous stand taken by the Holy See vis-a-vis that author (Teilhard), and especially with reference to the Monitum of the Holy Office (of June 30, 1962) warning the faithful that that author's works were teeming with ambiguities and grave doctrinal errors.

What had happened? A group of cardinals of the Roman Curia had immediately and sharply protested against Teilhard's undeserved praise, and, consequently, this attempt at rehabilitating that heresiarch suffered a partial setback.30

We sincerely hope to be mistaken, but we do fear that John Paul lI's "Message" to the Pontifical Academy of Science was not intended to be so much a restoration of evolutionism already "in shreds," as a renewed attempt to officially approve or sanction the modernist error of Teilhardism, which is not only a form of evolutionism, but which is, in fact, much more and much worse: for it is, in truth, a dangerous and radical distortion of Christianity, wherein the fundamental dogma would no longer be the Incarnation of God, but the "ascent of man"31 with the consequent cult of Man made God instead of God made Man.


 (From Courrier de Rome, Mar. 1997)

1. Sermonti, who refers to his book La luna nel bosco (Rusconi,1985), is also the co-author with Roberto Fondo of the work Dopo Darwin-Critica all' evoluzionismo.

2. Cf. Osservatore Romano, Oct. 24, 1996.

3. La Nazione, Oct. 25, 1996.

4. Cf. Motu proprio Sedula Cura of Paul VI, art. 3.

5. Byrne, Ravasi etc. Cf. Si Si No No, Oct. 31, 1994.

6. Cf. Si Si No No, Dec. 31, 1994.

7. Enchiridion Biblicum no.338.

8.    V. C. Colombo, "Trasformismo antropologico e teologia, " La Scuola cattolica, 77 (1949), pp.17-43; on p.26 it is claimed that the theory of evolution belongs to science ''as demonstrated facts and theories."

9. E. Ruffini in his article "Responsabilita dei paleoantropologi cattolici" in Osservatore Romano,June 3, 1950.

10. E. Ruffini, La teoria dell'Evoluzione secundo la scienza e la Fede, (Rome, Orbis Catholicus,    1948).

11. L. Pirot, Adam, Dict. de la Bible, Supplement, I, 1928.

12.  P. F. Ceuppens, Le polygenisme et la Bible, Angelicum, 1947, p.27.

13.  A. Bea in Biblica XXV(1944), p.77.

14. C. Boyer, De Deo creante, 1948, p.412.

15. L. Ott, Compendio di teologia dommatica ed. Marietti, p.161.

16. E. Ruffini. op. cit.

17.  F. Spadafora Dizionario Biblico; ed. Studium, Rome, word Adam; see also in Temi di esegesi (I PA G, Rovigo, pp.154-160), Evoluzionismo e Poligenismo.

18. Parente-Piolanti-Garofelo, Dizionario di teologia dommatica, ed. Studium, Rome, 1952, p.130.

19. La Sacra Biblia, ed. Marietti, vol. I, p.21, note 7.

20   Dizionario Biblico, loco. cit.

21.   Article cit.

22. Cf. Palestra del clero,]an. 15, 1949.

23. Article cit.

24. V .A. Kohn, Falsi profeti, ed. Zanichelli; 30 Giorni, December 1991, p.66; and Grandi civiltà del passato of Hobby and Work.

25. Cf. Osservatore Romano, Dec. 2, 1948, O.Fribault's article-A.Dubois who take up Boule's plain refusal. See also Si Si No No, Oct. 1978, pA. "Un gesuita traditore di Cristo e della Chisa."

26. E.Gilson's letter to A. Del Noce, Nov. 14, 1967 ,published by Il Sabato, Dec. 29, 1990.

27. Cf. Si Si No No, March 31, 1993, pp.1 sq.

28.  La Sapienza delta Croce, April -June, 1996 p.137.

29. Cf. Si Si No No, March 31, 1994, pp.3 sq.; on the defamation of Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange cf. Si Si  No No, Jan. 31, 1993  and Feb. 15, 1993, pp.1.sq.

30. Cf. Si Si No No, June 15, 1981, pp.1 sq. and Sept. 15, 1981 pp.5 sq.

31. Cf. Cardinal Siri, Gethsemani.

Courtesy of the Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO 64109
translated from the Italian
Fr. Du Chalard
Via Madonna degli Angeli, 14
Italia 00049 Velletri (Roma)

Home | Newsletters | Library | Vocations | History | Links | Search | Contact