Monday, October 3, 2022

Contending For The Faith---Part 8

In St. Jude 1:3, we read, "Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." [Emphasis mine]. Contending For The Faith is a series of posts dedicated to apologetics (i.e.,  the intellectual defense of the truth of the Traditional Catholic Faith) to be published the first Monday of each month.  This is the next installment.

Sadly, in this time of Great Apostasy, the faith is under attack like never before, and many Traditionalists don't know their faith well enough to defend it. Remember the words of our first pope, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." (1Peter 3:16). There are five (5) categories of attacks that will be dealt with in these posts. Attacks against:
  • The existence and attributes of God
  • The truth of the One True Church established by Christ for the salvation of all 
  • The truth of a particular dogma or doctrine of the Church
  • The truth of Catholic moral teaching
  • The truth of the sedevacantist position as the only Catholic solution to what has happened since Vatican II 
In addition, controversial topics touching on the Faith will sometimes be featured, so that the problem and possible solutions may be better understood. If anyone had suggestions for topics that would fall into any of these categories, you may post them in the comments. I cannot guarantee a post on each one, but each will be carefully considered.

A Matter of Time
In last month's "Contending For The Faith" post, I heard from more than one commenter about the so-called Kolbe Center, and how they assert the literal interpretation of "day" in the Biblical Hexameron (i.e., the six days of Creation as described in the first chapter of Genesis) as being of 24 hours in duration is the only correct one. (See kolbecenter.org). 

Please feel free to acquaint yourself with their writings and videos. There is also some material from them posted in the comments section of last month's post. The Kolbe Center's basic contention is that the literal interpretation of Genesis was consistently taught by the Church. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Traditionalist Catholic holding the literal view, it is not the exclusive view allowed by the Church, as the Kolbe Center erroneously teaches. (They claim the view that the "days" in Genesis could be a "certain period of time" longer than 24 hours is "scarcely tenable"). 

In this post, I will set forth the teaching of the Church and, by implication, the errors of the Kolbe Center. I can't help but wonder why any Traditionalist would get information from a Vatican II sect organization of laymen. You know their theology is going to be way off, and interestingly, they almost never cite to anything post-Vatican II, while they acknowledge the Robber Council and its "popes." Nevertheless, even a broken clock is right twice every 24 hours, and I won't commit the Genetic fallacy, i.e., something is wrong simply because of its source. The Center bases its argument almost exclusively on theology, so my reply will be theological not scientific. The writings of the Center, both theological and scientific, are so poor as to make me shake my head in disbelief. The theology is almost entirely the private musings of laymen on cherry-picked quotes of papal documents, decrees of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and the Fathers of the Church. In this way, they remind me of Feeneyites. 

The science espoused by the Center is equally bad. It made the former science teacher in me wince. Luckily, I need not go there. Ironically, while we have more technology than ever, scientific illiteracy is at an all-time high. I wish I had a dime for every time someone told me a  "scientific theory" is a hunch and not to be believed until it becomes a "scientific law." In science, a theory is the current best explanation of something, while a law is what always happens in our experience and we can make predictions based upon it (e.g., the law of gravity). While not arguing with them on a scientific level, I will have something to say about science at the end. 

What follows below is an exposition of the Church's teaching on the Hexameron.

The Decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission
The problematic of Biblical hermeneutics and scientific advances came to the forefront when certain Catholic clerics began to question how to interpret the "days" of Genesis given the findings that indicate a universe billions of years old. Must the Hebrew word yom be interpreted as a literal 24 hour day, or can it be a certain "period of time" (as the word itself indicates) which can be much longer than 24 hours? The Pontifical Biblical Commission ("PBC"), the decisions of which are binding in conscience, investigated that question (and others relating to Genesis) during the pontificate of Pope St. Pius X. 

On June 30, 1909, the PBC issued responses to eight questions posed. All were solemnly approved by Pope St. Pius X and ordered to be published. The responses to questions 1, 4, 6, 7, and 8 are on point:

Question I: Whether the various exegetical systems which have been proposed to exclude the literal historical sense of the three first chapters of the Book of Genesis, and have been defended by the pretense of science, are sustained by a solid foundation? -- Reply: IN THE NEGATIVE.

Question IV: Whether in interpreting those passages of these chapters, which the Fathers and Doctors have understood differently, but concerning which they have not taught anything certain and definite, it is permitted, while preserving the judgment of the Church and keeping the analogy of faith, to follow and defend that opinion which everyone has wisely approved? -- Reply: IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

Question VI: Whether, presupposing the literal and historical sense, the allegorical and prophetical interpretation of some passages of the same chapters, with the example of the Holy Fathers and the Church herself showing the way, can be wisely and profitably applied? -- Reply: IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

Question VII: Whether, since in writing the first chapter of Genesis it was not the mind of the sacred author to teach in a scientific manner the detailed constitution of visible things and the complete order of creation, but rather to give his people a popular notion, according as the common speech of the times went, accommodated to the understanding and capacity of men, the propriety of scientific language is to be investigated exactly and always in the interpretation of these? -- Reply: IN THE NEGATIVE.

Question VIII: Whether in that designation and distinction of six days, with which the account of the first chapter of Genesis deals, the word (dies) can be assumed either in its proper sense as a natural day, or in the improper sense of a certain space of time; and whether with regard to such a question there can be free disagreement among exegetes? -- Reply: IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.  
(Emphasis mine). 

Now, there are all kinds of assertions by modern laymen as to how these decisions are to be understood, with no amount of mental gymnastics. However, what any layman (including myself) has to say on this matter is irrelevant. Let's see what the approved theologians taught. According to theologian Tanquerey:

Thesis: In the first chapter of Genesis the intimate constitution of things and the complete order of creation are not described in a scientific manner; instead there is a popular-historical representation which was adapted and accommodated to the understanding of man at that time. This thesis is certain according to the reply of the Pontifical Biblical Commission...

The Pontifical Biblical Commission, June 30, 1909, taught that "in the first chapter of Genesis it was not the mind of the sacred author..to teach the complete order of creation in a scientific way, but rather to give to his people a popular knowledge...which was suited to the understanding and discernment of man." (See Manual of Dogmatic Theology, [1959], pgs. 364-366; Emphasis in original). 

Therefore, the depiction of the six days of Creation is not scientific, but a popular-historical representation accommodated to the understanding of humanity at that time. This was not some Modernist novelty (as if Pope St. Pius X, Foe of Modernism, would allow such to be propagated!), but was taught by the eminent theologians of the 19th century also. 

Theologian Wilhelm teaches: Again, the writer's intention of making the Creation week the model of the human week may have led him to give to the periods of the former the same number and name as those borne by the periods of the latter...[Theologians] Pianciani, Hettinger, Holzammer, and Reusch, place the catastrophes within the six days of Creation, but take the "days" to be long periods.
(See A Manual of Catholic Theology, [1890], pg. 310; Emphasis mine).

Theologian Hunter writes: The Church has given us no declaration on the meaning of the Mosaic account of the Six Days of Creation; we are therefore left to make out the meaning for ourselves, if we care to investigate the matter. This inquiry is the work of criticism, and at the outset we cannot but express our surprise at the rashness of those who think that they can see at a glance and with certainty the full meaning of a record of this kind written thousands of years ago for the use of a people, concerning whose habits of thought and familiar turns of language so little is known. (See Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, [1896], pg. 377; Emphasis mine). 

Therefore, the Church teaches that the first chapter of Genesis is not teaching science or making a scientific account of what transpired. Numerous approved theologians taught that the "days" of Genesis to be long periods of time. On January 16, 1948, the Secretary of the PBC sent a reaffirmation regrding the 1909 decrees to Cardinal Suhard. In pertinent part it reads:

 The question of the literary forms of the first eleven chapters of Genesis is far more obscure and complex. These literary forms do not correspond to any of our classical categories and cannot be judged in the light of the Greco-Latin or modern literary types. It is therefore impossible to deny or to affirm their historicity as a whole without unduly applying to them norms of a literary type under which they cannot be classed. If it is agreed not to see in these chapters history in the classical and modern sense, it must be admitted also that known scientific facts do not allow a positive solution of all the problems which they present. The first duty in this matter incumbent on scientific exegesis consists in the careful study of all the problems literary, scientific, historical, cultural, and religious connected with these chapters; in the next place is required a close examination of the literary methods of the ancient oriental peoples, their psychology, their manner of expressing themselves and even their notion of historical truth the requisite, in a word, is to assemble without preformed judgements all the material of the paleontological and historical, epigraphical and literary sciences. It is only in this way that there is hope of attaining a clearer view of the true nature of certain narratives in the first chapters of Genesis. To declare a priori that these narratives do not contain history in the modern sense of the word might easily be understood to mean that they do not contain history in any sense, whereas they relate in simple and figurative language, adapted to the understanding of mankind at a lower stage of development, the fundamental truths underlying the divine scheme of salvation, as well as a popular description of the origins of the human race and of the chosen people. In the meantime it is necessary to practice patience which is part of prudence and the wisdom of life. This also is inculcated by the Holy Father in the Encyclical already quoted: "No one", he says, "should be surprised that all the difficulties have not yet been clarified or solved. But that is no reason for losing courage or forgetting that in the branches of human study it cannot be otherwise than in nature, where beginnings grow little by little, where the produce of the soil is not gathered except after prolonged labor. There is ground, therefore, for hoping that (these difficulties) which today appear most complicated and arduous, will eventually, thanks to constant effort, admit of complete clarification." (See (AAS [1943] 318; Emphasis mine). 

Praise for Fr. Georges Lemaitre 
Fr. Lemaitre (1894-1966) was the scientist who proposed the hypothesis--now theory--of the Big Bang. It speaks of a universe billions of years old. Father had an earned PhD in mathematics and a second doctorate in physics. In 1927, his proposal of the Big Bang rocked the world. The scientific brilliance of the good Father brought praise from Albert Einstein himself in 1933. The great Fr. Hubert Vecchierello, had this to say about Fr. Lemaitre:

It is a point of great interest nowadays, when there is so much loose thinking and still looser writing and talking about the non-existence of God, of the immortal soul, and of a host of eternal verities, to see a man who is both a priest and a scientist fraternizing on the most intimate terms with the world's most illustrious scientific geniuses. He not only associates with them, but he is their peer; and in that is the lie given to the old and empty charge that the study of science means the loss of belief in religion. Lemaitre, of course, is usually an object of great curiosity — not so much to his coreligionists as to many not of the faith who marvel at the "phenomenon" of a Catholic priest being a scientist, yes, not only a scientist of the regular run, but a genius whose theories are most daring. (See Fr. Hubert Vecchierello, Einstein and Relativity; Lemaitre and the Expanding Universe, [1934], pg. 23).

At the time, the "Steady State Theory" prevailed, claiming that the universe always existed from eternity. When Fr. Lemaitre's Big Bang hypothesis replaced the Steady State Theory, Communists refused to allow the state-run schools to teach it, due to its theistic implications. Under the Steady State, when someone claimed God created the universe, the atheistic Communists could say, "No, the universe was always there." Now, the Big Bang Theory showed a universe that began from a singularity 13.8 billion years ago. All matter, energy, and even space-time itself began at the Big Bang singularity. ("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1). 

On October 28, 1936, Pope Pius XI appointed Fr. Lemaitre to the newly reorganized Pontifical Academy of Sciences. By his motu proprio In Multis Solaciis, the pope announced that the Church intended to be well informed on the current scientific revolution. Clearly, this was an implementation of the 1870 Vatican Council's decree that faith and reason are complementary. On November 22, 1951, Pope Pius XII publicly praised such advances in science as the Big Bang Theory: “…you who examine and reveal the secrets of nature and, at the same time, teach with the language of figures, formulas and discoveries, ineffaceable harmonies of  the God of infinite wisdom. True science, the more it progresses, the more it discovers God." 

Many times, Father's work, both as a scientist and a priest, was praised by Pope Pius XII. Obviously, two popes had no problem with the days of Genesis being long periods of time. When critics of Father complained his theory was somehow flawed because he wanted to prove creation, the quick witted priest claimed that science need not be supported by the Bible:

Should a priest reject relativity because it contains no authoritative exposition on the doctrine of the Trinity? Once you realize that the Bible does not purport to be a textbook of science, the old controversy between religion and science vanishes . . . The doctrine of the Trinity is much more abstruse than anything in relativity or quantum mechanics; but, being necessary for salvation, the doctrine is stated in the Bible. If the theory of relativity had also been necessary for salvation, it would have been revealed to Saint Paul or to Moses . . . As a matter of fact neither Saint Paul nor Moses had the slightest idea of relativity. (See Ibid, pg. 24).

The Hexameron and Its Relation to Science and Exegesis

Theologian Pohle teaches:
All true scientists are after a fashion exegetes, and therefore friends, not enemies, of the theologians. Those among them who antagonize revealed religion, have deserted the solid ground of science for moors and fens in which they gleefully chase deceptive will-o-the-wisps. Of course, science has a perfect right to follow her own methods, and the fact that her representatives conduct their researches without constantly trying to square themselves with the Bible does not argue that they mistrust religion or despise Christianity...

Since the true interpretation of the Hexameron with regard to the origin of the universe is uncertain, theologians and scientists are free to adopt whatever theory they prefer, provided only it be reasonable and moderate, and not evidently opposed to Scripture...

We have already averted to the fact that the eminent Bishop of Hippo [St. Augustine] regarded the whole week of the Hexameron as one single moment, and that St. Thomas approved of this interpretation. As the Church has never disowned the teaching of St. Augustine, it cannot fairly be claimed that ecclesiastical Tradition compels us to take the Hebrew yom in the sense of an ordinary day of twenty-four hours. Origen and St. Athanasius anticipated the teaching of St. Augustine. While the Fathers and Scholastics generally preferred to adhere to a literal sense, they never condemned the Augustinian interpretation...Under these circumstances the all but universal consensus of the Fathers and Scholastics in favor of the literal interpretation of the Mosaic narrative has no binding force.  
(See Dogmatic Theology, [1912], pgs. 98-119; Emphasis mine). 

Therefore, those who argue that the Fathers were morally unanimous in this matter, and have binding force of interpretation, are wrong. St. Augustine considered the "days" of Creation to be a single moment, not 24 hours, and the great Aquinas approved of that teaching. Hence, the amount of time covered by "yom" is not decided by the consensus of the Fathers which binds the faithful. The fact that approved theologians also taught a non-literal "day" is proof that the Fathers had not decided the issue. 

Finally, the basic gist of Church teaching in this area is set forth by the eminent theologian Van Noort:

Furthermore, even in those truths which the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium unmistakably inculcates, there is sometimes room for questioning whether all the elements of that teaching are meant to be inculcated with equal force. For example, the following doctrines have always been unmistakably proposed by the Ordinary Magisterium: that God created our first parents by forming their bodies from the slime of the Earth and from the rib of the man; that Adam sinned in tasting the forbidden fruit at the urging of the serpent; that God in punishment for mankind's sins caused a deluge over the entire Earth; that Christ will come one day as the Judge upon the clouds of Heaven, etc.

Do you think that the definitive intention of the Magisterium bears with equal force upon the mode of the bodily formation and on the very fact of creation? With equal force upon upon the external description of the sin of our first parents and upon the sin itself? With equal force upon the universality of the flood and upon the manifestation of Divine Justice? With equal force upon the circumstances of the heavenly spectacle and upon the actual return of the Judge? Even upon a priori grounds an affirmative answer would have little probability to it, seeing that the circumstances described contribute either nothing at all or very little to religion. Actually, if one checks history, he will find at least a number of the circumstances enumerated have been called into doubt by one or another of the Fathers of the Church, or by excellent theologians, without their teaching ever being considered in the slightest heretical. (See Dogmatic Theology, 3:223-224; Emphasis in original).

Genesis is concerned with the fact of God as Creator, not the scientific amount of time it took to create.

Is There Scientific Evidence for a Billions of Years Old Universe?
Those who hold to a literal interpretation of the Hexameron argue the Earth/universe is about six thousand (6,000) years old. There is ample evidence of an old Earth/universe. My basic data comes from multiple sources including M. J. Reid, et al. The trigonometric parallax of Cygnus X-1. The Astrophysical Journal, 742:83, 2011. As I always tried to make things as easy to understand as possible for my middle school science students when I taught, I will condense one line of argumentation into terse bullet points:
  • The distance to some astronomical objects has been found to be greater than six thousand light years by a very simple method of measurement. (One light year is the distance that light covers in one year at the velocity it goes now.) 
  • If light has always been traveling at the same speed, it means it had to leave these objects more than six thousand years ago in order to reach us now. The universe is therefore older than this. Could it be that light went faster in the past? 
  • The speed of light is part of the known laws of nature. The laws we know don’t change with time. Still, we could have missed something. Would a given experiment confirming these laws now give the same result if performed six thousand years ago? Indeed, it is possible to check.
  •  Every atom or molecule emits a very special kind of light, a kind of signature called “spectral lines.” Theory predicts spectral lines observed now with extreme precision. 
  • The spectral lines we observe from remote objects in the universe are exactly the same as those we observe now in the laboratory, which means that atoms and molecules behaved in the same way in space, when they sent light to us. Hydrogen, oxygen, water, and so on had exactly the same properties when they sent their spectral lines to us as they do now. 
  • Observations confirm that the laws of nature were the same six thousand years ago (and more) as they are now. The speed of light was therefore the same then, when light left these objects. This is not an assumption; it is an observation. 
  • Unless light was miraculously created in transit, it had to be up there more than six thousand years ago in order to reach us now.
Therefore, the world/universe is much older than 6,000 years.

Conclusion
The manifest weight of the credible evidence makes a very strong case for an old universe created by God 13.8 billion years ago. The Church has never made a definitive decision in the matter, so if anyone wants to believe the "days" of creation are 24 hours each and the Earth/universe is 6,000 years old, they may do so. I only object when those, like the Kolbe Center, use disingenuous theological arguments (based on private interpretation) to make the literal interpretation seem binding, when such is not the case.

56 comments:

  1. So, if I understood correctly, the author of Genesis wrote the first chapters in a language adapted to the people of the time and one can not take them in the literal sense ?

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    1. No, you can take them literal if you want but you do not have to. That’s the whole point of this article. No one is bound to interpret the creation timeline in a literal manner. But no one is forbidden either. I do not know why this issue is so poorly understood by Catholics. There are many issues that remain a mystery and we will never know this side of the veil. Same with Baptism of Desire. It is a mystery, let it go.

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    2. Simon,
      Tom is correct. My post is exactly as he wrote. Believe the "yom" of Genesis to be 24 hour days or a time that is much longer. Just don't make it "wrong" and "contrary to Church teaching" for someone to take a view opposite of yours--- like the Kolbe Center does

      God Bless you both,

      ---Introibo


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    3. The point being, as i understand it, is that genesis is very clear: they are 'days'. NOw, given that the time of creation is over, and absolutely unknowable from this side of it, it may be that day was used for our understanding. There is no way in a million years what was meant was millions and millionof days, indeed years, in whihc we evolved. Genesis could have said this but didn;t. so one is wrong. this is really too obvious i think for some people to really grasp.

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  2. Thank you Introibo.Another excellent writing.God bless

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    1. @anon12:22
      Thank you, my friend!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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  3. Hi Introibo from London,England.Keep up the fine writing.We love your website.

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    1. @anon2:35
      Comments like yours keep me writing, my friend!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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  4. Introibo, fine article friend. Been awhile since I've commented. I thoroughly enjoy this one, having use to rigidly hold to a literal young earth interpretation. Now I tend to believe in an old earth and being more open to the new scientific literature that comes out.

    Side note, did you hear about Bobby Dimonds debate with a Mr. Cassman on Matt Fradds(Pints with Aquinas) YouTube channel? It's making quite a buzz in NO circles. Just wish they had a actual Catholic on to debate the sedevacantist position.

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    1. David,
      In my opinion, this was done by the Vatican II sect members on purpose. They could have asked Mario Derksen of Novus Ordo Watch or Steve Speray to debate--both of whom are true Traditionalist Catholics.

      Instead they drag in Bobby and his Feeneyite errors from MHFM. Anyone thinking of converting will go to their website and find (along with Feeneyism), attacks on NFP, declaring the title "Coredemptrix " for Our Lady to be "heresy," false prophesy, and an unhealthy obsession with UFOs. That will scare most away, and those who join them jump from one false sect to another. The Vatican II sect will allow ANYTHING EXCEPT THE TRUTH!!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. Actually, per Mario Derksen, he and Cassman did discuss having a debate. According to Mario , they could not agree upon a resolution

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    3. Brother Peter Dimond was very charitable kind and thoughtful in his most recent debate.
      -God bless Andrew

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  5. Greetings from DownUnder Australia.Yes our dear friend in Christ and the Blessed Mother a fine article.Keep it up,you are doing so much good.

    Benedict
    Sydney

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    1. Benedict,
      I am humbled and uplifted to see comments from "DownUnder" and England and others telling me they profit from my writings. Many days, bogged down with my job, family, and other obligations, I wonder why I'm doing this with what little time I have left.

      Then I read comments like yours and I remember! Whatever good God makes of me is worth it.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. Astonishing how, when you are praised, you are "humbled and uplifted", but when arguments are simply put before you which disagree with your own, those responisble are called "dolts" and "dishonest" (no exaples offered to prove this). May I suggest that the praise may be puffing you up, and the...well mannered arguments which disagree with yours...wounding your misplaced pride? Or how else are we to explain these two reactions , almost from different people!?

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    3. GreenR,
      I have offered examples to prove the dishonest disception of the Kolbe Center to you comment below. As my conclusion to my post above states:
      The manifest weight of the credible evidence makes a very strong case for an old universe created by God 13.8 billion years ago. The Church has never made a definitive decision in the matter, so if anyone wants to believe the "days" of creation are 24 hours each and the Earth/universe is 6,000 years old, they may do so. I only object when those, like the Kolbe Center, use disingenuous theological arguments (based on private interpretation) to make the literal interpretation seem binding, when such is not the case.

      ---Introibo

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  6. Introibo, thank you for your post. May God bless you in your personal and professional obligations with efficiency and energy. I enjoyed reading about Fr. Lamaitre, as well as the saints and theologians mentioned. I don’t think I was ever very concerned about the Hexameron. I thought that God is above time, and needs no time whatsoever to do anything, including creating the universe, and that the six days were meant as a lesson to us, to work and be productive for six days, and to honor the Sabbath and rest. Finally, I enjoyed your cliff notes from the Astrophysical Journal. Take care.

    -Seeking Truth

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    1. Seeking Truth,
      Thank you for your great comments! I'm glad you get something out of reading my posts. It's for people like you I continue to write.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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  7. Introbio,
    Very good post regarding Genesis. It's very important to properly understand especially in this day and age the Catholic doctrine of creation.
    I encountered a situation where the Novus Ordo Dominicans were teaching polygenism in the sense that there were many first Adams in Africa who were one community. They explained that Pius XII's encyclical "Humani generis" does not teach monogenism as a dogma, but only condemns polygenism understood as that the first humans lived independently in different parts of the world. On the other hand, the Kolbe Center (nota bene Fr. Maximilian Kolbe is a great Polish clergyman and hero - I hope the real Pope canonizes him) teaches that yom can only mean 24 hours - this is their dogma.
    The doctrinal mess in this organization is appalling....

    God Bless,
    PaweĊ‚

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    1. Pawel,
      The Vatican II sect is indeed a hodgepodge of error. I agree that if we had a true pope, Fr. Kolbe would be canonized as a martyr for the Faith.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. Pavel, did you read the chapter in the other thread? it is not a their "dogma" they simply say that the burden is absolutely with those who wish to depart from the natural meaning of the words. It says this clearly there. If you take issue with this, the charitibale thing would be to explain why. cheers

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    3. Green R,
      That is the private interpretation of V2 sect members. The approved theologians put no such burden of proof in their Magisterial interpretation.

      ---Introibo

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    4. So Pavel unfairly calls it their "dogma", and you come in and say it's a "private interpretation" of the usual ad hominem. ie that is their postion, yes. You just say they are wrong, but do not argue the case. They made detailed arguments for this, whihc you have not rebutted, but ignored.One should not avoid inconvenient arguments but take them on. As I say ,the catholic church has nothing to fear. But the way you behave (rather defensively) one could infer that it does.

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  8. From the Traditional Roman Breviary, Divine Office of Prime, December 24

    In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, in the year 2957th from the flood, in the year 2015th from the birth of Abraham, in the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses, in the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King, in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the 194th Olympiad, in the 752nd from the foundation of the city of Rome, in the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, in the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ was born according to the flesh.

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    1. @anon11:48
      The Breviary is expressing one of the ways the Bible may be understood chronologically. It is not defining anything. It is also not in error, just as much as when St. Thomas Aquinas rejected the Immaculate Conception before its definition and when it was open to debate.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. An interesting quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia (article "Biblical Chronology"):

      "The question which this subject suggests is: Can we confine the time that man has existed on earth within the limits usually assigned, i.e. within about 4000 years of the birth of Christ? — The Church does not interfere with the freedom of scientists to examine into this subject and form the best judgment they can with the aid of science. She evidently does not attach decisive influence to the chronology of the Vulgate, the official version of the Western Church, since in the Martyrology for Christmas Day, the creation of Adam is put down in the year 5199 B.C., which is the reading of the Septuagint."

      For context, the Hebrew, Septuagint, and Samaritan Old Testament texts each give a different chronology. The proclamation text in the Martyrology for Christmas Day quoted above by anon11:48 uses the Septuagint chronology, which is different from the chronology used by the Latin Vulgate, which is the official Bible translation of the Latin Church and the one used at the Latin Mass.

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    3. @anon4:52
      Very interesting! Thank you for the information!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNmU-yAD9A4

    Great job Introibo.

    Lee

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  10. With respect, you talk of their "cherry picking" theologians and then proceed to...do what could be (uncharitably) said about yourself here. Kolbe centre do not restrict themselves to the last 200 years.
    You say however that a non literal teaching of genesis was "taught by the eminent theologians of the 18th century", though i did not see any mentioned. Perhaps i missed it?- early in morning here.
    The problem with much of modern theology and much of the R n R church is to try to discover what can be just about "permitted" within the church- what may i believe (without going to hell at least). Our diabloic society is very happy to see those that oppose it make themselves comfortable in these little mouseholes.
    But what has the church taught through its 2000 years? I have full confidence in this and think we can look very comfortably into this question without fear of what the world says. I do believe the protestants- who everybody laughed/laughs at these days-,will be found to have been quite right on this issue- simply becasue they trusted the word of God!

    You do not address *at all* one of their fundamental theses. The days of creation are over. Therefore it is utterly futile to try to understand those days from a study of these.

    God bless!

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    1. Green R,
      There is no cherry-picking here. The Kolbe Center cites themselves to justify a position never taught by the Church. THEY interpret the PBC . Most Fathers did accept a literal reading of the Hexameron, but St. Augustine taught it was "an instant." No other Father pushed back against him, and there was a lack of moral unanimity.

      All approved theologians teach: (a) that "yom" is not settled as to the time-period it signifies, and (b) even the Fathers were not morally unanimous.

      As to the eminent theologians of the 1800s, I cited Theologian Wilhelm (1890) and theologian Hunter (1896).

      If Protestants truly "trusted the Word of God" they wouldn't be Protestant.

      As to there "fundamental thesis" that the days of creation are over, we can still study them (a)theologically and (b) scientifically. From theology, the Church tells us that yom can mean any period of time, so you can believe 24 hours but are not required to do so. You can believe it to be an instant (St. Augustine) or billions of years (Fr. Lemaitre).

      Scientifically, we can find out what to place in the past with forensic science. Think of a murder scene. We can't go back in time to find out who the killer is, because the murder is over. However, using DNA, fingerprints, etc. we can find out who committed the murder and convict him. Likewise, the evidence for a Big Bang (supported by Pope Pius XII) is immense.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. Then you should correct that to "19th century"- that is what i thought. I was searching for 18th century sources, as that would have been surprising.

      I think you are making a category error (perhaps, this may not be the right expression). Scientifically you CANNOT look into the days of creation. Becasue science can only study the created world. This is the argument. That it is entirely futile. It is nothing like the case of murder- this is to misunderstand the argument i believe. It is not saying you cannot go back in time (a banality, really).

      In JMJ

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    3. Green R,
      As I explained, just as you can't go back in time to witness a murder, but science can give a good explanation as to the culprit, ditto for the Creation. It is facts from the observable world that confirm the Big Bang Theory.

      ---Introibo

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    4. yes, this is what is denied. You ahve to take on their argument. Not simply repeat the argument that is ebing denied, as if i haven't understood. Yes, that is what is denied. Because creation week is not just a part of historical time. it is something completely different, and thus inaccessible from a study of created nature. A murder is just another happening in time.

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    5. GreenR
      Their argument is not supported either by the approved theologians or science as I have amply demonstrated above.

      ---Introibo

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    6. I ahve said elsehwhere that i believe that is precisely the meaning of st Augstine and st Thomas Aquinas, whihc you have cited (but not understood). I wish someone better qualified than me would take over. This is what i believe and have said anyway (i may be wrong). You make no objection to this. You simply ignore it. So, who knows?

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    7. GreenR,
      If you agree that you are free to hold yom as any amount of time, there is no disagreement. Otherwise, I have no clue what "argument" I supposedly ignore.

      ---Introibo

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  11. Would Mr introibo care to tell us whihc parts of genesis he accepts as historical? thankyou

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    1. Green R,
      I accept all of Genesis as historical. You seem to be using the word to mean that only a literal reading is historical, which is not true. As the letter of the PBC to Card. Suhard states:
      "To declare a priori that these narratives do not contain history in the modern sense of the word might easily be understood to mean that they do not contain history in any sense, whereas they relate in simple and figurative language, adapted to the understanding of mankind at a lower stage of development, the fundamental truths underlying the divine scheme of salvation, as well as a popular description of the origins of the human race and of the chosen people."

      Traditionalist Catholics don't look to V2 sect layman or Protestant heretics to "interpret" the Bible or PBC decrees. THE CHURCH requires belief in the following:

      *the Creation of the world ex nihil (out of nothing) by God at the beginning of space-time

      *the special creation of the First Man

      *the special creation of the First Woman from the First Man

      *the souls of human beings are created immediately ex nihil by God

      *the entire human race descends from a single man and a single woman; our First Parents

      *our First Parents were in a state of Original Justice and by disobedience brought us Original Sin

      *Original Sin is passed down by being a descendant of the First Man (Adam)

      *Original Sin came about at the instigation of Satan

      *God promised to send a Redeemer Who is the Lord Jesus Christ

      In all these things I believe wholeheartedly and without any doubt or reservations.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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    2. I believe in it too ! Modern "science" is misleading the world and this is one of the causes of the current apostasy.

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    3. "adapted to the understanding of mankind at a lower stage of development"

      Was Adam at a lower stage of development? Abel? was Noah? Abraham? I rather think the opposite ,but there we are.

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    4. GreenR,
      Once more, you don't understand. "Lower stage of development" does not refer to evolution, but rather to knowledge about the world via science. Ancient people were not as scientifically developed as those in the middle ages, and the middle ages were not as developed as modern times.

      ---Introibo

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    5. "whereas they relate in simple and figurative language, adapted to the understanding of mankind at a lower stage of development, the fundamental truths underlying the divine scheme of salvation"

      here is the fuller quote. Youare telling me he means *scientific* development? Come now! then why didn't he say what he means? that is not the natural interpretation of the sentence, as surely anyone can see. So they did not have modern science, therfore they could not have understood "much more than a day" what about "many days"? too much for them? becuase they didn't have computers? "40 days"? too difficult for these cave people?

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    6. GreenR,
      Yes, that's what I'm saying. The natural interpretation is a "period of time" rendered "day" in translations. I don't think a Big Bang evidenced by the Red Shift would have meant much to ancient people.

      ---Introibo

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    7. "Big bang evidenced by the red shift"

      I have to say i think the vatican 2 church is less heretical than youre imagined one, whihc is saying somethign!

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    8. Dante Aligheiri, St Thomas Aquinas, etc lived in a time of very rudimentary "scientific development" in the sense you intend. Now could you answer this question for me. Would we need to speak to these two men in "simple and figurative language" because evolution and big bang theory would be much too much for them?
      I mean- i know nothing about the big bang theory in any kind of scientific or technical sense, yet something of what it means seems to have gotten through to me. Perhaps i am yet another example of the wonderful new progressive modern mind!

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    9. GreenR,
      You write:
      "Would we need to speak to these two men {Aquinas and Dante) in "simple and figurative language" because evolution and big bang theory would be much too much for them?"
      Reply: No, because they were geniuses. If you think these were "typical" men from the middle ages, you are seriously mistaken. Historians estimate that over 90% of people during the 13th century were illiterate. It would be too much for THEM. Don't make the exception to the rule the Rule of Exceptions.

      Also, as Fr. Lemaitre made clear: "Once you realize that the Bible does not purport to be a textbook of science, the old controversy between religion and science vanishes . . ."

      ---Introibo


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  12. I think st Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas are referring to the part of the argument you do not address at all: that creation week cannot be known by a study of created nature. Though they are laymen and goodness knows what else, the Kolbe centre are much better briefed on these issues than i think, with respect, you are, which is to be expected since it is all they have been doing for 30 odd years or something

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    1. GreenR,
      The Kolbe Center --there is no polite way to say this--are dishonest pseudo-educated dolts. Doing something a long time and doing something correctly are two different things.

      The Flat Earth Society has been studying the shape of the Earth since the 1950s. Do you believe the Earth is flat? Teresa Benns has been studying Vatican II since the 1970s. Are you a Home Aloner? Fred and Bobby Dimond have been studying Baptism of desire and Baptism of Blood since the 1990s. Are you a Feeneyite?

      Here I will repeat myself: The Big Bang Theory has strong confirmation evidence from the created world.

      There are FOUR lines of evidence. (credit to Dr. Vilenkin for this explanation in simple terms)
      1. Redshift of Galaxies
      The light we observe from galaxies has been stretched by the time it reaches us. It looks redder than it should. This redshift is the result of galaxies moving away from us. Observations show that pretty much everything in the Universe is moving apart. The redshift of distant galaxies tells us the Universe is expanding.

      If you could wind time backwards, you would see galaxies getting closer together. If you could go back far enough, everything in the Universe would have been in one place.

      2.. Microwave Background
      A long, long time ago, the whole Universe was very hot. As it grew in the size, the heat left a "glow" which fills the entire Universe. The Big Bang theory predicts this glow should still exist. It also predicts that we should be able to detect this glow as microwave light.

      Scientist have found this Cosmic Microwave Background. They have accurately measured it using orbiting detectors. It is very good evidence that the Big Bang theory is correct.

      3. Mixture of Elements
      Some chemical elements were created soon after the Big Bang. Elements like hydrogen and helium. The Big Bang theory predicts how much of each element was made in the early universe. When astronomers look at very old galaxies and stars, the amount of each chemical they see agrees with the Big Bang theory.

      You cannot look for this evidence in new stars, like the Sun. This is because newer stars contain chemical elements made by older stars. So the chemical make-up of new stars is very different from stars which existed soon after the Big Bang.

      4. Looking back in time
      There is an alternative to the Big Bang theory. It is called the Steady State theory. In this theory, the Universe does not change much over time.

      Remember - light takes a long time to travel across the Universe. So when we look at galaxies which are very far away, we are also looking back in time.
      This means we can see that very old galaxies are very different from newer galaxies. This shows the Universe has changed. This evidence fits better with the Big Bang theory than the Steady State theory which is now discredited.

      ---Introibo

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    2. But, as you say elsewhere their position is one that catholics can legitimately hold. Doltish catholcis perhaps?

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    3. GreenR,
      Yes, they can hold the position because of the Great Apostasy. Without a pope to pass judgement, no one can stand in the place of the Magisterium. What was permitted in 1958 continues to be permitted today. If we had a true pope, I believe it would be decided that yom represents billions of years. Likewise, smoking tobacco would have been condemned as a sin against the Fifth Commandment.

      ---Introibo

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    4. can we have an example of their dishonesty? otherwise i think you should withdraw the remark.

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    5. This is, if you are still interested, where you compeltely misunderstand the arguement. Yet nothing i say gets through. I am thinking of addressing you in "simple and figurative language" instead. so here goes.
      you cannot make a ham and egg sandwich from the contents of a hardware store.
      You can make lots of other stuff though- great and wonderful things. But not an egg and ham sandwich. [apologies for sarcasm!]

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    6. GreenR,
      Dishonesty of the Kolbe Center:
      As you admit, they have studied this issue for years YET:

      *they do not cite to any approved theologians

      *they strain to make the PBC letter of 1948 favor a 24 hr day, but omit that Pope Pius XII himself praised both the Big Bang Theory and Fr. Fr. Lemaitre who proposed it. Obviously, Pope Pius XII did not see the letter as they do.

      *they don't even cite any V2 sect theologians in support of their position. They only cite themselves which is hardly how theology works.

      Query: Are they culpably ignorant after decades of research or did they omit what goes against their position? I find the former to be incredulous, so it must be the latter--which is dishonest.

      As to your figurative language--well, just let's say that a bad analogy is like a leaky screwdriver from the hardware store.

      ---Introibo

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    7. You ahve not shown that you are in a position to judge whether its a bad analogy or not since you admit you do not understand the argument, and show no sign of understanding it! So a little humilty please! Once you understand the argument, you may comment on it, and then my analogy.

      They cite theologians non stop. There is a whole section on the website "theology". What on earth are you talking about?

      They have argued fairly about the PBC letter and you have not responded to their arguments.

      Nota bene. They insult absolutely nobody at any time during their long long history of controversy. I think you should be ashamed of your behaviour here, which i believe really stems from weakness.

      They only cite themselves?
      You call them dishonest then unashamedly repeat it baselessly!

      I am afraid this is not a serious place. No serious people i note ,have commented here. You talk about pseudo-educated people. Your efforts here would not last very long in any serious forum. Insults, tricks, bullying- very very weak stuff. I shall go elsewhere- as one does learn much in this environment!



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    8. GreenR,
      You Write: They cite theologians non stop. There is a whole section on the website "theology". What on earth are you talking about?

      Reply: I'm glad you put "theology" in quotation marks. I looked through the section and it consists of cherry-picked quotes of the Fathers, and only one discernable theologian: Fr. Peter D. Fehlner, who was ordained in 1957, and has a Doctorate in Theology, the year of which is not stated. Assuming he was approved pre-Vatican II, he's an apostate to the V2 sect, and his book they cite is from 1987, making it meaningless.

      Ironically, even HE states:
      "The issue is a purely secular one, because the issue of origins is a purely scientific one and hence should be resolved on purely secular grounds without reference to Catholic belief and religious practice." which strictly speaking is not true.

      You write: They have argued fairly about the PBC letter and you have not responded to their arguments.

      Reply: Yes, I cited the teaching of approved theologians on the PBC decision, and pointed out that Pope Pius XII himself believed in the Big Bang.

      You write: Nota bene. They insult absolutely nobody at any time during their long long history of controversy. I think you should be ashamed of your behaviour here, which i believe really stems from weakness.

      Reply: I did not insult them in my post, only pointed out their errors. When you continuously seek to protect a V2 sect apostolate, I became blunt--they are dishonest and only cite themselves for these interpretations of the PBC.

      You write: I am afraid this is not a serious place. No serious people i note ,have commented here. You talk about pseudo-educated people. Your efforts here would not last very long in any serious forum. Insults, tricks, bullying- very very weak stuff. I shall go elsewhere- as one does learn much in this environment!

      Reply: I don't think I am guilty of "insults and tricks" or "bullying." I take what I write seriously indeed. If this is how you feel, I wish you well elsewhere.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

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