Monday, August 17, 2009

Points of Contact

There are points of contact between science and the Catholic faith, as Pope John Paul II's encyclical Fides et Ratio and these condemned propositions from Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors show:
  1. There exists no Supreme, all-wise, all-provident Divine Being, distinct from the universe, and God is identical with the nature of things, and is, therefore, subject to changes. In effect, God is produced in man and in the world, and all things are God and have the very substance of God, and God is one and the same thing with the world, and, therefore, spirit with matter, necessity with liberty, good with evil, justice with injustice. —Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.
  2. All action of God upon man and the world is to be denied. —Ibid.
  3. Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil; it is law to itself, and suffices, by its natural force, to secure the welfare of men and of nations. —Ibid.
  4. All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive at the knowledge of all truths of every kind. —Ibid. and Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846, etc.
  5. Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to a continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the advancement of human reason. —Ibid.
  6. The faith of Christ is in opposition to human reason and divine revelation not only is not useful, but is even hurtful to the perfection of man. —Ibid.
  7. The prophecies and miracles set forth and recorded in the Sacred Scriptures are the fiction of poets, and the mysteries of the Christian faith the result of philosophical investigations. In the books of the Old and the New Testament there are contained mythical inventions, and Jesus Christ is Himself a myth.
  1. As human reason is placed on a level with religion itself, so theological must be treated in the same manner as philosophical sciences. —Allocution "Singulari quadam," Dec. 9, 1854.
  2. All the dogmas of the Christian religion are indiscriminately the object of natural science or philosophy, and human reason, enlightened solely in an historical way, is able, by its own natural strength and principles, to attain to the true science of even the most abstruse dogmas; provided only that such dogmas be proposed to reason itself as its object. —Letters to the Archbishop of Munich, "Gravissimas inter," Dec. 11, 1862, and "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.
  3. As the philosopher is one thing, and philosophy another, so it is the right and duty of the philosopher to subject himself to the authority which he shall have proved to be true; but philosophy neither can nor ought to submit to any such authority. —Ibid., Dec. 11, 1862.
  4. The Church not only ought never to pass judgment on philosophy, but ought to tolerate the errors of philosophy, leaving it to correct itself. —Ibid., Dec. 21, 1863.
  5. The decrees of the Apostolic See and of the Roman congregations impede the true progress of science. —Ibid.
  6. The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences. —Ibid.
  7. Philosophy is to be treated without taking any account of supernatural revelation. —Ibid.

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