News Commentary from a Biblical Perspective
by James T. Bartsch
Recently USA Today online published a piece entitled, "Pope Francis agitates conservative U.S. Catholics." The article mentions hot-button issues upon which the Pope's immediate predecessors had taken a conservative stance. But Pope Francis is consistently moving away from their stance. Instead he is advocating leniency toward homosexuals and lesbians. He appears to be more open toward at least discussing contraception and divorce. He is more willing to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage and cohabitation.Some conservative Catholics feel that they are sailing aboard a rudderless vessel.
Recently, Pope Francis espoused another non-conservative position. (See the initial video.) He appeared at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. There, unfortunately, he merely articulated what has been the flawed position of the Church since Pope Pius XII - that the Big Bang and evolution are compatible with creation. Here are the Pope's own words, translated from Latin into English:
The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to something else, but it derives directly from a supreme principle that creates out of love. The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God. On the contrary, it requires it. Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve.
The Pope can say whatever he wishes, but the Big Bang does, in fact, contradict the creative intervention of God. Evolution in nature is diametrically opposed to creation. Only creation in six days fits the Biblical account of the origin of the earth (Gen. 1:1-2:3; Exod. 20:8-11). And only creation and a global flood (Gen. 6:1-8:22) can adequately explain the facts of science. The Pope is entitled to his own opinion. But he is not entitled to his own facts.
The Catholic Church's acquiescence toward evolution is nothing new. Nevertheless, the fact remains that those on the "right wing" of the Catholic Church have not been particularly happy about the election of Pope Francis. Pope Francis, though wildly popular among Catholics in general, is not endearing himself to the right wing of the Catholic Church.
See also US Bishops Struggling under Francis' Pontificate November 8, 2014