Noting that both God and Christ are commonplace in nature, Pope Francis says the "Big Bang" theory behind evolution is not contrary to the religious theory of creation.
"Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve," Francis told a Vatican gathering on Monday, weighing in thoughtfully on a position that has divided the scientific and faith communities, Breitbart reports.
God, noted Francis during a visit and speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, "created beings and let them develop in accordance with the internal laws that He has given to each one, so that they could arrive at their fulfillment."
By turn, the Pope added, "God gives human beings a different sort of autonomy from that of nature, which is freedom."
The Pope honored his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, by unveiling a bust of the pontiff.
His talk continued on the merger of science and faith where he noted that evolution "does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it," the Catholic World News reported.
He told scientists
that their work should focus on mankind, but by ignoring God's "creation," he added, they become destructive — a "grave sin against God the Creator."
Pope Francis' remarks follow in his path of bringing the historical teachings of the church into modern-day focus in some that view as his progressive agenda. He has called for the church to be more open to people who are gay, noting that "hostile inflexibility" to new positions is wrong, The Jerusalem Post reported.
He has also focused on changing the church's approach to marriage and families.
"God is not afraid of new things," Pope Francis said during a Rome Synod meeting earlier this month, the Post noted. "That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways."
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