The Faith Movement and Evolution

An anonymous commenter has asked about the Faith Movement and its position on evolution. The first thing to say is that in teaching theology, the Faith Movement is known for remaining fully in accord with the Church's Magisterium, and explicitly subject to the judgement of the same Magisterium. Partly because of this, the Tablet, for example, always refers to Faith as a "traditionalist" movement.

At the same time, the Faith Movement tries to promote an understanding of science and religion that will help with our apologetics. We are happy to accept a description of the world in which matter evolved. We use the scientific description of the world as a way of demonstrating the existence of God (see the Faith Pamphlet Can we be sure that God exists?)

With regard to the human person, we teach (in accord with the Magisterium, cf. Humani Generis n.36) that there is a real distinction between matter and spirit and that the soul is directly created by God at the conception of every human person. (See the Faith Pamphlet What makes man unique?)

We try to give a coherent overall vision of Catholic theology in which the one eternal wisdom of God is shown in creation, revelation, the incarnation, the Church and the sacraments.

Thus, we are very interested indeed in the references to evolution made by Pope John Paul II at various times and in the recent Summer School held by Pope Benedict on the subject.

From time to time, Faith comes under fire for these positions. Sometimes this opposition has the character of odium theologicum while at other times it is more light-hearted. I visit Simon and Margaret Mary Fitzgerald occasionally to celebrate the Classical Rite Mass. At dinner afterwards on one occasion, the wine was donated by a creationist friend in my honour - the label was Evolution Merlot :-)

As a Catholic, faithful to the magisterium, I readily accept that the question of evolution is not something that is defined by the Church. Catholics are free to reject the idea, or to accept it within the limits of the teaching of the Church. I hope that in such a matter, it is possible to "agree to differ" politely where necessary.

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