Dear Mr. Owen,
I want to thank you for all your great work with the Kolbe Center and for your clear and helpful writings regarding the Catholic Church and evolution.
My wife and I (and our seven children) entered full communion with the Catholic Church last fall. Lifelong Christians, we were first drawn to the Church when we discovered the beautiful teachings underpinning Her stand against contraception. God had brought us to a firm personal conviction against contraception early in our marriage. Years later, when we learned what the Catholic Church taught about marital sexuality, we knew we needed to keep reading and to begin to evaluate these claims we never knew She’d made. Did Jesus really leave behind a hierarchical Church to guide and teach us? Is the Church really protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching error?
I can say without hesitation that the single biggest hurdle for me in coming to believe these claims was the appearance, from the outside, that the Church accepts evolution. I’ve known for a long time that the theory of evolution is incompatible with not only Scripture, but with science itself, so it was very unsettling to read so many Catholics making accommodations for it. I wondered how and why these Catholics could write so eloquently and with such brilliance on so many important topics, taking stands on so many unpopular and controversial topics (e.g. the Real Presence, the Immaculate Conception, contraception, divorce), yet seem to capitulate to the entrenched modern evolutionary worldviews. It made no sense to me. All other things being equal, I certainly understand the desire not to place unnecessary stumbling blocks in the way of people coming to the faith. However, the only people they were capitulating to were the same people who thought ridiculous all the rest of their Catholic beliefs. In addition to this, I saw (and see) a pervasive bias against “Fundamentalists” and an unmitigated desire to not be associated with those who actually believe the Genesis account is historical. And I understand, to a point, the nuances involved: it is useful to explain that, as Catholics, we look to the Church for the proper way to interpret the Scriptures, that we reject Sola Scriptura, etc. But since discovering all the hard-hitting gems in the Magisterial witness (thanks to websites like the Kolbe Center’s), it is simply baffling to me that so many Catholics are willing to throw away large parts of the perennial teachings of the Church (on creation, on sin, on the reliability of Scripture) in the face of unsubstantiated (and in large part, previously proscribed) philosophical claims.
In learning what the Church has taught through the centuries, the same truth taught by Jesus and His apostles, I was able to believe the Church is indeed Christ’s Church, built on Peter, and guided and protected by the Holy Spirit. Ironically, it is precisely that Traditional witness that so many Catholics are embarrassed about today, mistakenly thinking they need to explain it away. For me, that witness alleviated my concerns allowing me to enter the Church where I now have the incomprehensible privilege of regularly receiving my Lord in the Eucharist.