Posted: May 02, 2017 12:57 pm
by John Platko
proudfootz wrote:
John Platko wrote:
proudfootz wrote:Yes, that is a problem when people take myths to be literal truths and then base their doctrines on those 'facts'.

OTOH theology is endlessly fungible, and no doubt some new justification for the Catholic church will come cropping up.

We don't need any new justification. Evolution has been dialed into Catholicism for a long time.

“The 1993 instruction of the Pontifical Biblical Commission on ‘The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church’ calls the historical-critical method ‘essential’ and rejects explicitly a fundamentalist reading of Scripture.” When such an approach is applied to the Bible, he said, “Catholic scholars, along with mainstream Protestant scholars, see in the primal stories of Genesis not literal history but symbolic, metaphoric stories which express basic truths about the human condition and humans. The unity of the human race (and all of creation for that matter) derives theologically from the fact that all things and people are created in Christ and for Christ. Christology is at the center, not biology.” He added that “the question of biological origins is a scientific one; and, if science shows that there is no evidence of monogenism and there is lots of evidence for polygenism, then a Catholic need have no problem accepting that.” When such an approach is followed, he said, Adam and Eve are not seen as historical people, but as important figures in stories that contain key lessons about the relationships of humans and their Creator. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “the account of the fall in Genesis … uses figurative language, but
affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents

In that language, Father Guinan detects a straddling of the issue. “It recognizes that Genesis is figurative language,” he pointed out, “but it also wants to hold to historicity. Unfortunately, you can’t really have both. The catechism is clearly not the place to argue theological discussions, so whoever wrote it decided, as it were, to have it both ways.”

In an article about the first couple, Father Guinan wrote that Catholics who ask, “Were there an Adam and Eve?” would be better off asking another question: “Are there an Adam and Eve?” The answer, he said, “is a definite ‘yes.’ We find them when we look in the mirror. We are Adam, and we are Eve. … The man and woman of Genesis … are intended to represent an Everyman and Everywoman. They are paradigms, figurative equivalents, of human conduct in the face of temptation, not lessons in biology or history. The Bible is teaching religion, not science or literalistic history.” - See more at: ... Wd5Ff.dpuf

Certainly people who are determined can try to square the circle and believe two mutually exclusive things. That certainly appears to be what the quoted catechism is trying to do.

I think it's just a case of different people interpreting things in different ways - not unlike how different Supreme Court Justices interpret the Constitution in very different ways. But in US Catechism classes the Adam and Eve story is being taught as an allegory. :scratch: One would think that the talking snake would be a pretty good clue on whether or not this was meant as literal history ... :sigh: