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It is good news that Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University and America's University of Notre Dame propose to convene a conference next March titled 'Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical Appraisal 150 Years after the Origin of Species' (November AD2000).
As I have said in letters to AD2000 and elsewhere over the last 40 years, it dawned on French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard (1881-1955) that an evolving universe does not have to be 'godless' or 'atheistic'!
On the contrary, the basic stuff or substance of the cosmos as a whole was made by God the Father first and foremost for the incarnation of God the Son - through Him, in Him and for Him (Col 1:16; Eph 1:9- 10; John 1:1-18). That is what Blessed Franciscan John Duns Scotus called the primacy of Christ.
It means that Jesus was not only the first to be born from the dead (Col 1:18). He was also the first- born of all creation (1:15).
In due course - having been chosen in Christ before the world was made (Eph 1:4) - we are each given an ever-changing part of the total cosmic body of Christ for our own incarnation. And therein lies our hope for the 'resurrection of the body'!
Following Copernicus and Galileo, Darwin has commonly been accused of displacing man (homo sapiens) from the centre of the universe. Certainly, said Theodosius Dobzhansky, we are not at the geometric centre, but 'intellectual and spiritual centrality are far more important' (The Teilhard Review, 1971, Vol 5, No 2, p. 66).
Indeed, 90 years have passed since Teilhard identified 'information' as the key word in cosmic evolution. 'The whole history of the universe,' he said, 'is that of its progressive information by Christ.' Conversely, 'the word that comes nearest to describing the universal influx of Christ - the centre of the world - is information.'
Likewise, in the first words of his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis (1979), Pope John Paul II affirmed that the Redeemer of Man - Jesus Christ - is also the centre of the universe and of its history, which extends from the beginning to the end of time.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 11 (December 2008 - January 2009), p. 14
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