Kolbe Report 10-1-18

Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

It has been several weeks since our last Kolbe newsletter, as I have trying to get caught up on family responsibilities after almost six weeks overseas. God willing, we will get back into a regular routine from now on.

We are often reminded that on various occasions in non-authoritative venues, Pope St. John Paul II expressed his belief that there was much scientific evidence in favor of some kind of microbe-to-man evolution. There are two important points that are often overlooked in regard to these statements, however. In the first place, all of the statements by Pope St. John Paul II and other modern Popes favorable to some kind of microbe-to-man evolution have been made in regard to evolution as a hypothesis in natural science. This is significant, because the First Vatican Council purposely defined papal infallibility very narrowly and explicitly stated that the gift of infallibility was not given to the Pope to define "new doctrine" but only to define a doctrine of faith or morals as contained in the Deposit of Faith that was handed down from the Apostles. Needless to say, no modern Pope has found microbe-to-man evolution in the Deposit of Faith handed down from the Apostles!

Peter Keys

In the second place, and more importantly, when Pope St. John Paul II wrote in the realm of faith and morals he directed the Bishops and theologians of the Church to do certain things which - if they obeyed him - would lead inevitably to the complete rejection of molecules-to-man evolution in its theistic and atheistic forms. Specifically, in Fides et Ratio, Pope St. John Paul II repeated the call of Pope Pius XII in Humani generis to maintain the metaphysical principles of traditional Catholic philosophy and to bring them to bear on the examination of controversial ideas, like human evolution. Sadly, few theologians have heeded the call of these two Popes to bring the metaphysical principles of traditional Catholic philosophy to bear on the examination of the evolutionary hypothesis. However, one theologian and philosopher who has done so is Fr. Chad Ripperger, formerly professor of dogmatic theology at the Fraternity of St. Peter Seminary of North America, whose article "The Metaphysical Impossibility of Human Evolution" can be found on the Kolbe website.

Fr. Ripperger's recent book The Metaphysics of Evolution demonstrates that when the metaphysical principles of Catholic philosophy - like "No effect is greater than its cause" - are applied to microbe-to-man evolution, it cannot pass the test. And now, in a new publication, The Principle of the Integral GoodFr. Ripperger goes even further and shows how the goodness of God and of His handiwork in the first-created world are incompatible with the hypothesis of molecules-to-man evolution in its theistic and atheistic forms.   One of the most valuable and important parts of this new book is its critique of the idea of so-called "continuous creation," which holds that God continuously creates new kinds of creatures through a process of evolution. This error has become so widespread that it is even taught in the deeply-flawed YOUTCAT, or Youth Catechism (which ought more properly to be called a Youth Cataclysm!) In reply to Question 47: "Why did God rest on the seventh day?" YOUCAT answers:

God's rest from his work points toward the completion of creation, which is beyond all human efforts.

In the whole history of the Church, no Father, Doctor, Pope or Council (in an authoritative statement) has ever taught that God's rest from the work of creation "pointed towards its completeness," in the sense that the original creation was unfinished or incomplete. On the contrary, the correct explanation of the "rest of the Lord" was well articulated by the Catechism of Trent which taught that:

the seventh day was called the "Sabbath" because [God], having finished and completed the creation of the world, rested from all his work which he had done (emphasis added).[1]

God at Rest

This statement reflected the teaching of all the Church Fathers and Doctors, including St. Augustine, who wrote: "... God rested from all the works that He made in the sense that from then on He did not produce any other new nature..."[2] Similarly, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the Summa: "...the completion of the universe as to the completeness of its parts belongs to the sixth day, but its completion as regards their operation, to the seventh...Nothing entirely new was afterwards made by God, but all things subsequently made had in a sense been made before, in the work of the six days..."[3]

The essential truth that God created a world that was finished and complete has been withheld from YOUCAT's young readers who are told that "evolution takes place as God's continuous creation in natural processes."[4]  The YOUCAT view further echoes the Teilhardian vision of a monstrous god who deliberately created an incomplete world filled with physical evils like birth defects and natural catastrophes when it states:

God created the world to be good, but it is not yet complete. In violent upheavals and painful processes it is being shaped and moved toward its final perfection. That may be a better way to classify what the Church calls physical evil, for example, a birth defect, or a natural catastrophe. Moral evils, in contrast, come about through the misuse of freedom in the world.[5]

From the time of the Apostles until now, no Father, Doctor, Pope or Council in an authoritative teaching has ever taught or tolerated YOUCAT's distorted implication that God created a world with birth defects or man-harming natural catastrophes before Original Sin. On the contrary, the unanimous teaching of all of the Fathers and Doctors is that God created all of the different kinds of creatures perfect according to their natures, in a state of harmony with man and with each other, and that all deformity and disease was a consequence of the Original Sin. Fr. Ripperger's book offers a timely correction to many modern errors that flow from a denial of the goodness of God and of His handiwork in light of the traditional Catholic understanding of "the integral good" as a metaphysical principle.


Before closing this newsletter, I should mention two recent critiques of the work of the Kolbe Center that have been published in recent weeks. Dr. Stacy Trasancos at Catholic Answers recently wrote an article in defense of theistic evolution in which she criticized the Kolbe Center. We have posted a reply to her article on the Kolbe website. Fr. Paul Robinson of the FSSPX has also criticized the Kolbe Center from a different perspective in a recent posting on his website. We will post our reply to Fr. Robinson on our website in the near future. In the meantime, we are offering a 575-page critique of Fr. Robinson's recent book The Realist Guide by Robert Sungenis on the Kolbe web store as an e-book, and we encourage our readers to obtain and carefully read Robert's thorough critique of Fr. Robinson's progressive creationist account of the origins of man and the universe.

In future newsletters I will give you an update on the progress of our apostolate in Uganda where by the grace of God our mission continues to flourish.

With gratitude for your prayers and support, I am

Yours in Christ through the Immaculata,

Hugh Owen


[1]  Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. 379.

[2]  The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Vol. I, St. Augustine, John Hammond Taylor, S.J., trans., (New York: Paulist Press, 1982), p. 118.

[3]  The Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Vol. I, pp. 370-371. (Part 1, Q.73, A.1)

[4]  YOUCAT, p. 37.

[5]  YOUCAT, p. 41.

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