Again, thanks so much @beaglelady for the two links! How do you find the time to read so widely??
As a young Catholic, leaving the protected environment of a parochial school and entering the 'secular/science-dominated world of high school and college, I was lucky enough to read (and be greatly influenced by) the works of Teilhard de Chardin. From your links I am happy to learn that his philosophy is now being given serious attention among Vatican circles. But, like the Titanic headed for the iceberg, the momentum of the Vatican makes such a course change so time consuming.
As Farrell says: “Perhaps in the end, the Vatican cannot integrate evolutionary science because it really is too threatening. It would require a thoughtful reinterpretation of the Church’s understanding of the doctrine of original sin – the fundamental idea that Adam and Eve’s epic act of disobedience wounded human nature for all who came after.” There are powerful Fundamentalists in the Vatican (e.g. Cardinal Schonberg et.al., authors of the current Catechism) who will fight tooth & nail to retain Original Sin as essential dogma. I can only pray that the views I have posted on replacing O.S. with Original Blessing could encourage the progressive voices in the Vatican to persist in their efforts to bring about this change.
I was especially pleased to learn of Ilia Delio’s views: ‘Instead of evolving, it (the Church) is devolving,’ Delio writes, ‘its very presence is thinning out to the extent that in some areas of the world, such as parts of western Europe, it is dissolving’. I have seen this first hand from attending many science conferences in Europe where so many of my friends, who were raised in Christian homes, no longer believe religion is relevant.
Farrell again: “The Church has accepted the Big Bang, the start of the world’s evolutionary journey – but this isn’t enough. It must follow in Teilhard’s footsteps. Unless it embraces not just the evolution of the Universe, but the evolution of all life, including humans, and reclaims a truly cosmic view in which the faith makes sense, the Church is pulling the wool over its own eyes as its people continue to file out the door.”
All humans, whether a scientist in a laboratory or an Aka pygmy in central Africa, have a ‘gut feeling’ that they are fundamentally different than other animal life. For Homo sapiens the road to becoming THE dominant force on this planet began when some (a couple? a few?) Homo sapiens rather suddenly discovered art, music, and a language that could knit larger a larger society together–a society that could, eventually, send messengers out to far off planets to look for other life forms there. Richard Dawkins, an atheist and ardent Darwinian evolutionist, and thus who ridicules the idea of 'saltation’ but is unable to explain this Great Leap Forward that propelled Homo sapiens from animal kind to humankind–except that it must have been epigenetic. He was simply in agreement with Pope John Paul II who stated that, although all other life forms arose through a process called Darwinian evolution, we modern humans are fundamentally different. Neither science nor theology can currently explain it. Someday we probably will. But that will not eliminate the belief that God had a hand in it.