Concerning human evolution, the Church has a more definite teaching. It allows for the possibility that man’s body developed from previous biological forms, under God’s guidance, but it insists on the special creation of his soul. Pope Pius XII declared that ‘the teaching authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions . . . take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter—[but] the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God’ [Pius XII, Humani Generis 36]. (From Catholic Answers Website, “Adam and Eve, and Evolution”}
The Catholic Church teaches that these things really did happen. All the truths of the faith are rooted in real people and real events. However, when and where and how it happened is another matter. It is perfectly possible for Catholics to believe, for example, that there were other humanoid type creatures on earth and that Adam and Eve were the first to be given a soul by God. They were the first to be in a direct relationship as rational beings with God. We don’t know where it was or when it was, but we affirm that it was. (Blog of Father Dwight Longenecker, “Is the Story of Adam and Eve a Myth?”)
I do not intend, nor have I the time, to refute, in a scholarly way, the absurdity that Adam and Eve “may” have received their bodies from non-rational “humanoid types.”
What I have to say will be simple and concise, albeit impassioned. “No,” I cannot call the above opinion heresy, but I can call such a viewpoint offensive to the clear teaching of Holy Scripture, the fittingness of divine Wisdom, and the dignity of our first parents, who were made in the image and likeness of God.
Let me state at the start that I despise the lie of macro-evolution, as introduced by the atheist Charles Darwin. Communists loved The Origin of the Species as a prelude to Marxist indoctrination. They issued Darwin’s book to their students before they gave them Das Kapital. They loved evolutionist mythology because it reduced man to an animal, a product of chaos, a being that has no eternal destiny, just a here and now phenomenon doomed to annihilation after death. To make man subservient to the interests of the atheistic state, the powers that be must suck out of man such affinities as human personal dignity and family. Man is a “thinking machine” whose capabilities must be harnessed by the dictates of the higher evolved rulers.
Evolution serves their purpose well.
I cannot understand how any Catholic writer can compromise on this issue without weakening the Faith and forfeiting his reason.
Here is the scenario for evolution of the human species with the spurious “Catholic” take on it:
“From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19).
Sorry, so they say, but Adam’s body may not have been formed from the dust of the earth. He may have received it from a “humanoid” female impregnated by a “humanoid” male. What is a “humanoid” exactly? Who knows. An ape? I mean, what kind of animal, what species, is a “humanoid”?
Adam, so they say, could have been conceived in the womb of this non-rational animal If so, he was born and weaned by a “humanoid” mother.
But, as “Catholic” defenders (or enablers, at the least) of Darwinism would have it, when Adam was conceived he was given by God a rational soul. That soul exercised its rationality after some years from birth. Meanwhile another “humanoid” conceived and gave birth to Eve. Or, maybe it was the same female mother who bore Eve. It doesn’t matter for the evolution facilitators and excusers.
Lo and behold, under divine guidance, Adam and Eve found each other. (Good thing for us all that they did!) Otherwise they’d have no one to talk to. They couldn’t talk to their “humanoid” parents because non-rational animals cannot speak. Language requires intelligence, the formation of idea or concepts into vocal sounds. Parrots can do this by mimicry, but they cannot think. A “speaking” parrot is not significantly different than a barking dog.
So Adam and Eve discover each other. They find a way to communicate their ideas into a vocabulary. Or, maybe (giving some leeway to the “Catholic” evolutionists here), God infused a language into their rational intellects.
Adam is presented with each animal by God and he gives them each a name. I am assuming here that “Catholic” evolutionists are picking up the literal sense of Genesis by this point. What does Adam call the “humanoids”? “Apes”? in whatever language it was that he spoke (I believe it was Hebrew). Does he recognize that one of them is his mother and another Eve’s mother?
If so, it must have been quite wrenching for him and Eve not to be able to speak to their parents. After all, we speak to our pet dogs, and they respond. Did the “parents” of our first parents give some kind of grunting salutation? Scratch their latissimus dorsi?
The Literal Sense of Holy Scripture
According to the defenders (or abettors) of “Catholic” evolution, in the case of the creation of Adam and Eve, there is no literal sense. It’s all poetry, allegory, myth, or some such symbolic fiction. “And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth” (Genesis 2:7). And, again, “dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return (Genesis 3:19). All that is the poetic inspiration of Moses. No slime, no dust for Adam. And, certainly, no Adam’s rib for Eve. They came from the flesh of “humanoids.”
One often sees the quote from Galileo, “the Bible teaches us how to go to heaven not how the heavens go” (which he attributed to Cardinal Baronius) to justify the denial of the literal sense of Genesis and creation. Genesis, however, does not teach how the heavens go, but it does teach how the heavens were created. And that is what must be understood in the context in which the good Oratorian cardinal spoke to his friend Galileo.
[Note See comment below from” Quicumque Vult” which offers a relevant quote on the literal truth of all of Scripture by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus.]
The Fittingness of Divine Wisdom
Let us make man to our image and likeness (Genesis 1:26).
There is no need to quote the fathers and Doctors of the Church here. All of them teach that Adam was created, body and soul, in the image and likeness of God. Man is not just a soul, but a body and soul in one substance. Some saints, such as Blessed Duns Scotus, whom I am now reading, emphasize that this “image” was in anticipation of the Incarnation of the Son of God — that is, His Sacred Humanity, and the “likeness” was sanctifying grace, which makes us “partakers in the divine nature” (1 Peter 2:4).
Where is the divine Wisdom in infusing a rational soul in the baby in the womb of an irrational animal who has conceived a man? Where is the “fittingness” of a Creator, who does all His works in Wisdom, in this bizarre scenario? Far better for man to be formed from plain matter, “slime”, “dust,” than to be formed in the body of an animal. That “slime,” [I had heard once in a sermon by Father Thomas Feeney, that the “slime” was paradisal soil, like gold. Maybe? He was a poet and poets exaggerate. I am myself hyperbolating] In any event, it is more fitting for God’s Wisdom that the first man be formed directly, fully matured, in the image of God, from this dust, than that he be formed and weaned by an animal.
It is unfortunate that Pope Pius XII gave this concession to the evolutionists. Darwin’s theory is not science. It has never been proven. It opens the door to all kinds of errors regarding Biblical historicity and inerrancy. The pope was expressing his opinion. He was not binding the faithful’s consciences to a new openness regarding the origin of the bodies of our first parents. And, concerning this opinion, he had not one saint on his side and there were many saints who graced the Church after Darwin hit the dust. However, Pope Pius had all the saints on his side when, in this same encyclical, Humani Generis, he lamented that “some are reducing to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church for salvation.”
I promised I would be concise. I rest my case.
[Nota bene: I resurrect my case. I stated at the start that I cannot call evolution heresy. Only the Church can do that. However, has the Church not done that? I think it has, at least implicitly, that is as a theological conclusion based on a defined dogma. That dogma is the Immaculate Conception. I thank Brother Paul Mary, M.I.C.M., for bringing this to my attention. I have used the Immaculate Conception and, of course, the Incarnation of Christ, as an argument refuting the absurdity of speculation, from Catholics, on the possibility of intelligent life on other planets. But, I did not use this dogma in any of my writings against evolution. Briefly, Our Lady identified herself to Saint Bernadette thusly: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” And, in the ex cathedra definition of the same by Pope Pius IX, it is stated that Our Lady was granted this exemption from original sin by a “singular grace and privilege.” Singular!
There you have it. If Adam were “conceived,” which he was not, he would have been conceived without stain of sin (immaculately, i.e., “without stain.”). Our Lady would then not be THE Immaculate Conception. She would share that with Adam (and Eve, too, if she were conceived and not formed from the rib of Adam.) Needless to say, I am prescinding from Our Lord Himself, who was conceived miraculously and virginally by the Holy Ghost. On this subject, you can read an excellent article by Paul Kelly for The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation here. http://kolbecenter.org/our-lady-and-evolution/
Now I rest my case.