God behind Big Bang and evolution - Pope
Pope Francis told a meeting of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Sciences that the “Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.”
He added that scientific studies, which have led us to believe that some 13.8 billion years ago the Big Bang created the universe, all slotted into God’s grand plan – as did evolution. Both theories are completely compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church, according to the Pope.
This is because evolution requires that beings are actually created so that evolutionary process can proceed.
Pope Francis said that Genesis gives the impression that God is ‘a wizard with a magic wand’ and it is within his potential to do all things. However, reality somewhat contradicts this notion.
“But it is not so. He created life and let each creature develop according to the natural laws which he had given each one,” according to the Pope.
He went on to make his now-expected criticisms of corruption, which he labeled to be a “worse evil than sin,” and spoke in praise of his predecessor Benedict, terming him extremely clever.
The Church has a history of maintaining an anti-scientific stance throughout the ages – with the most notorious incident being the imprisonment of Galileo, who stated that the Earth went around the sun.
However, Benedict XVI was more open to evolutionary ideas, e.g. intelligent design. It also echoes the statements of John Paul II who said in 1996 that evolution was more than a hypothesis and rather an “effectively proven fact.”
Francis went on to praise Benedict. “Benedict XVI: a great pope, great for the strength and penetration of his intelligence, great for his contribution to theology, great for his love of the church and all humans, great for his virtues and religiosity,” he said.
Pope Francis is renowned for rocking the papal boat more than his predecessors and has attempted to reconcile divorce and gay issues.
Conservative factions have stated that the Papacy has been fomenting confusion within the Catholic Church over homosexuality and marriage issues. However, progressives maintain the church has been effectively responding to contemporary pressures and issues.