Kolbe Report 4/27/24

Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Christ is risen!  Alleluia!

Our good friend Steve Cunningham at Sensus Fidelium has announced a new publication of Fr. Victor Warkulwiz’s book Humani Generis On Evolution: Reading It Completely and Consistently which is now available on the Sensus Fidelium Press website. Steve asked me to write a foreword for the new edition, and I would like to share it with you in this newsletter because it serves as a reminder of several important points that are often overlooked by Catholic apologists who comment on Humani generis.

Most Catholic academics today agree with evolutionary biologist Kenneth Miller of Brown university who claims that:

Great theologians of the early centuries of the Christian era, like Saint Augustine, did not read Genesis as history.

In reality, anyone who reads what the Fathers and Doctors of the Church actually wrote knows that all of them, including St. Augustine, would have shed their last drop of blood for the literal historical truth of every word in the sacred history of Genesis.  As St. Augustine himself wrote in The Literal Interpretation of Genesis:

The narrative [in Genesis] is not written in a style proper to allegory, as in the Canticle of Canticles, but from beginning to end in a style proper to history as in the Books of Chronicles.

Tragically, Dr. Miller’s misrepresentation of the Tradition of the Church on the sacred history of Genesis goes hand in hand with a second widespread belief within Catholic academia.  As Dr. Ken Miller claimed during a debate on origins at Samford University, it is often alleged that, with the encyclical Humani generis in 1950, the Pope declared that Catholics are free to believe and teach that the human body originated through a natural process of evolution from a one-celled organism. In reality, this second widespread belief is just as false as the first—and perhaps even more harmful.

In Humani Generis On Evolution, theologian and physicist Fr. Victor Warkulwiz demonstrates that a careful reading of the encyclical upholds the constant teaching of the Church that all of Genesis, from beginning to end, is true history; and that every word in the Bible is true, whether it speaks of faith or morals, history, natural science or anything else. In reality, as Fr. Warkulwiz explains, the only permission that Pope Pius XII gave in regard to human evolution was for Catholic scholars to examine the evidence for and against the evolutionary hypothesis, within the parameters laid down by the Deposit of Faith.  Thus, Humani generis, rightly interpreted, leaves the entire burden of proof where it is has always been—on anyone who challenges the literal historical truth of the sacred history of Genesis in regard to the origins of man and the universe.

Forty-three years before Humani generis, Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi had warned that the Church was already faced with the worst heresy in the entire history of Christianity—modernism; and he identified “the principal doctrine of the modernists” as “evolution.”  St. Pius X saw that all previous heresies had added, subtracted, or distorted some of the doctrines of the Church, but had left most of the Faith intact.  Modernism, however, was different—because modernism was based on the premise that everything evolves.  Thus, the Pope saw that if the modernists gained the upper hand, they would destroy everything, because they would claim that the liturgy, the marriage law, and the moral doctrines of the Church would have to be adapted to the new stage of evolution represented by the modern world.

Humani generis has been used to justify modernism, under the false pretense that it allows Catholics to believe and teach microbe-to-man evolution, and that therefore the evolutionary basis of modernism is true.  Fr. Victor’s straightforward reading of the document demonstrates that the modernist interpretation of the encyclical is false, and that Catholics are obliged to hold fast to the traditional doctrine of creation as set forth in the sacred history of Genesis, even as scholars examine the evidence for and against the evolutionary hypothesis. When Fr. Victor’s sane reading of Humani generis prevails, we can be sure that the examination of the evidence requested by Pope Pius XII will thoroughly vindicate the Word of God as understood in the Church from the beginning, including the first eleven chapters of the sacred history of Genesis.

Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,

Hugh Owen

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