Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Frankly, My Dear...

The Big News is that the Pope has an opinion on evolution, and that Cardinal Burke was misquoted in the story about him criticizing the Pope. Both of these are stories.

Cardinal Burke Quote

What he said: "I can't speak for the pope and I can't say what his position is on this, but the lack of clarity about the matter has certainly done a lot of harm."

What Buzzfeed said he said: "According to my understanding of the church's teaching and discipline, no, it wouldn't be correct," Burke said, saying the pope had "done a lot of harm" by not stating "openly what his position is."

The Bear reads these two, and, while the original Buzzfeed text is a bit punchier, and made for a more dramatic opening to the piece Michael Voris did and later apologized for, it is hard to say Cardinal Burke was flat-out misquoted. Both convey that the Pope's failure to stake out a position has either "certainly done a lot of harm," or "done a lot of harm."

The Bear's Vaticanometer must be not be calibrated finely enough to get excited about this.

The Pope on Evolution

The Pope has an opinion on cosmology and evolution, so, of course, he shared it with the world. First of all, do we even need to talk about this? Do we need to gather 'round the table every time Pope Francis opens his mouth and have a family discussion?

The Bear submits that his opinion on cosmology and evolution is at least as good as Pope Francis'. What does it mean that God is "not a magician" who can wave his wand and do whatever he wants? What does it mean for dogmas like original sin, like the immaculate conception, for Paul's arguments in the Bible contrasting Christ with Adam if there is no Adam, or Eve? Is there reason to think God did not, or was unable, to create Adam and Eve by direct and miraculous means? As for waving his wand like a magician, what does that mean? Like instantly turning water into wine at Cana? Is this now also too unscientific for the Franciscan Church?

Ironically, the HMS Darwin is more than happy to be lashed to the side of the Barque of Peter because many informed and independent thinkers are moving away from the old Selfish Gene / Survival of the Fittest Darwinian paradigm. The Bear wonders if the Pope is up on his epigenetics, and intelligent design theory? One doubts. As with so much else, Pope Francis is simply reciting conventional wisdom as held by an elderly man of apparently average intellect ("evolution;" "who am I to judge?") that is news solely because he happens to be Pope.

Like so much Pope Francis says, its purpose seems to be to assure Modern Man that it is respectable to be Catholic.

Gays? Hrumph, certainly, well, don't you know, indeed, good show there. Evolution? We're all evolutionists! No 'magicians in the sky' here, no sir, don't get us confused with the fundies, not that there's anything wrong with that.

With all due respect, the Pope would really be much happier as a blogger. Then he could tip-type away with all his fingers every day about What Jorge Thinks About Everything, and it would mean nothing. (Trust the Bear, he knows.) This papacy has the lowest signal to noise ratio of any papacy in history.

Oh, what does the Pope think about cosmology and evolution? Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

1 comment:

  1. "conventional wisdom as held by an elderly man of apparently average intellect."


    I daresay I agree that the intellect of the Holy Father is noticeably below the bar set by Benedict XVI. JP2 was no intellectual slouch either. I can't imagine the prior men were intellectually lacking. Francis seems to be a sign of the times....Holy Spirit pray for your people and the Holy Father!


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