Protestant author Ray Comfort recently said that “the Vatican has chosen to officially believe Darwin rather than Jesus.” He accuses the Catholic Church of failing to exercise “common sense” and of failing to think “too deeply” about evolution.
The best-selling author doesn’t mince words: “The Vatican, in essence, is saying ‘Don’t believe Jesus or Genesis. Believe Darwin instead.’” He even goes so far as to say that “In the name of diversity, the Vatican is encouraging atheism, and that’s a terrible betrayal of Christianity.”
Comfort is wrong. The fact is that in the 1950s, Pope Pius XII said there was no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of faith, as long as God was not excluded. Pope John Paul II affirmed this teaching in the mid-1990s.
In other words, the Catholic Church teaches that God is the author of all creation. How stages of human development have unfolded is a legitimate area of scientific inquiry, and it has nothing to do with rejecting God as the Creator. Moreover, to say that one must believe in either Jesus or Darwin smacks of an inability to “think deeply” about the subject. Even more preposterous is the assertion that the Vatican is encouraging atheism. What’s next? The pope is the Anti-Christ?
William Donahue is the president of the Catholic League.