Damien F. Mackey
“Paul II never delivered this speech. He did not even meet with the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences because the planned meeting was canceled”.
Prof. Dr. Benno Alexander Zuiddam
Many believers were horrified back in 1996 when the media proclaimed that Pope John Paul II had pronounced evolution to be correct science.
I, having as I did (and still do) a great respect for the pope and his philosophical expertise, found it very hard to accept that he had said that, as translated: “Evolution was more than a hypothesis”. Checking the French original of the speech, I wondered if it could actually be translated as “more than one hypothesis” (of evolution). According to a French academic I asked at the Geology Department of the University of Sydney, the French phrase could thus be translated into English. Though a Jesuit priest afterwards told me otherwise, that the French phrase would need – to convey my hopeful meaning – something additional like «plus seule qu’une hypothèse »
Whatever about all that – far more significant than my amateurish attempts to master the French language – it is extremely worrying if what professor Benno Zuiddam tells here is correct: http://www.bennozuiddam.com/Pope%20John%20Paul%20cancelled%20meeting%20Pontifical%20Academy%20of%20Science.pdf
Did Modernist Lobby pressure Pope JP2 into Pro-Evolution Speech that he never gave or signed?
On October 22, 1996, the scientific community and the popular press gave an account of the message delivered by Blessed Pope John-Paul II to the general meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences gathered in Rome to discuss evolutionary theories. The main part of this message, the one little sentence making headlines in the papers4, is as follows:
“Today (…) better knowledge leads us to see in the evolution theory more than a hypothesis.”
This sentence was immediately interpreted as acquiescence by the Holy Father in the principle of the evolution of all living things, in spite of the conflict between this mode of explaining creation and the very foundations of the Catholic religion. But we know that John-
Paul II never delivered this speech. He did not even meet with the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences because the planned meeting was canceled.
This is what really happened, according to the unpublished testimony of a priest who was present:
“I was a member of this symposium on evolution. Blessed John-Paul II NEVER delivered the speech attributed to him on October 22, 1996. The text, without signature, was handed over to the members and outside of any Pontifical audience. After the event, I questioned Father Cottier, now a cardinal. He told me he had himself written a part of the document but that a second writer intervened, inserting his own additions into the text without showing it to him. Now, Fr. Cottier, theologian of the Pontifical House, has precisely the task to read all the texts to be signed by the Pope.
The reviewer could not therefore carry out his mission, he was bypassed. As to John-Paul II, confident of his reviewer, he never read nor reviewed the text!
Thus we are confronted with a text attributed to the Pope John-Paul II and published under his signature in L’Osservatore Romano, but what is its merit?5 It deals however with an essential topic, which is to tell whether man is only the product of some “evolution” or if man, just like all that exists on earth, is actually the fruit of God’s will (betrayed by man’s rebellion
with the Original Sin). This explains perhaps why Pope Benedict XVI thought it right to assert the Church’s stance in his enthronement homily at the inaugural Mass of his pontificate, on Sunday April 24, 2005, on St Peter’s Square:
“We are not the accidental and senseless product of evolution. Each of us is the fruit of a God’s thought. Each of us is willed, each is loved, each is necessary.”
That’s not all. Here is what the Holy Father added a few months later, on November 9,2005: ” I find that this Father’s words [St Basil, a bishop in the IVth century] are of astonishing relevance when he says:” Some, deceived by their innate atheism, imagined a universe deprived of pilot and order, as if ruled by chance.” How many are those “some” today? Deceived by atheism, they believe that it is scientific to think that all is deprived of order and purpose, as if ruled by chance. Throughout Scripture, the Lord wakes up the languid reason and tells us: “In the beginning was the Creative Word.”
Humani generis (1950), lorsqu’il évoquait avec des réserves « l’hypothèse » de l’évolution. Mais « plus qu’une hypothèse » n’a guère de sens intelligible, si ce n’est celui d’une théorie. Or l’évolution était déjà largement connue sous le nom de « théorie » de l’évolution. De plus, la lettre en question (du moins la partie rédigée par le
- Cottier) évoque une multiplicité de théories évolutionnistes, ce qui était une manière de les relativiser toutes. Une seconde remarque concerne le fonctionnement inquiétant de la bureaucratie vaticane, dès lors que la propre Secrétairerie d’État, dont le rôle est d’écrire et de parler au nom du pape, se permet d’y ajouter le petit grain de sel dont, comme par hasard, les ennemis d’en face attendaient la sortie pour l’exploiter le jour même !
3 Translation courtesy of Kolbe Centre: http://kolbecenter.org/
4 Editor’s note: One shall measure the importance of this “little sentence” in remarking that as soon as the next day, October 24, the conservative daily Il Giornale proclaimed in its headline:” The Pope says that we may be descended from the apes.” For La Reppublica, the Pope had “made his peace with Darwin“. The following day, Le Monde entitled an anonymous editorial: “Darwin rehabilitated by the Church“.