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Genesis debate

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 Contents - Oct 2011AD2000 October 2011 - Buy a copy now
Angelus Message: Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7) - Pope Benedict XVI
Episcopacy: Cardinal Pell: the responsibilities of Church leadership - Cardinal George Pell
World Youth Day 2011, Madrid: Australia's participation - Br Barry Coldrey
News: The Church Around the World
Pastoral care: One of the Catholic Church's best kept secrets - Marie Mason
Pro-life: Signs of hope from the United States - Babette Francis
Planetary spirituality: what next! - Frank Mobbs
History: Lepanto, history's most decisive naval battle - Bob Denahy
Catholic Schools: Saint Mary MacKillop Colleges, Wagga Wagga: progress report - Sr Mary Augustine OP
Letters: Anglican Ordinariate - Bishop Harry Entwhistle
Letters: World Youth Day - Arnold Jago
Letters: Bishop Morris - Michael Smith
Letters: One-sided - Charles M. Shann
Letters: Old or young earth? - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Letters: Cart before horse - John Young
Letters: Genesis debate - Anne Lastman
Letters: Pre-Vatican II - Kevin McManus
Letters: Same sex 'marriage' - Richard Congram
Letters: Invalid concept - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Sermons - Rev. Fr. J. Conway
Books: BENEDICT XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Tracey Rowland - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: ROME AND THE EASTERN CHURCHES: A Study in Schism (2nd ed), Aidan Nichols OP - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: MEDJUGORJE REVISITED: 30 Years of Visions or Religious Fraud? - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Donations: 2011 Fighting Fund contributions
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Benedict XVI's Final Mass homily for World Youth Day - Pope Benedict XVI

I always read the debates between John Young and Dr Mobbs and usually either nod or like a pendulum swing. This time though I would like to weigh in on comments made by Dr Frank Mobbs in his letter to the editor regarding the first three chapters of Genesis, following John Young's own comments on the same chapters.

I would start with Dr Mobbs suggesting it would be a bit silly being a Christian and never having heard about the Book of Genesis wouldn't it? Without the book of Genesis, especially Genesis 1-3, why on earth would Jesus have allowed himself to be treated as he was? And who was Jesus anyway without these chapters?

Further, I must admit that (this time) I agree fully with John Young and his ideas on Genesis 1-3 and whilst admitting to not being a theologian I nevertheless have a Masters in Theology so have read a bit on the subject. In my view Genesis chapters 1-3 are fundamental to our Catholic faith and its doctrines. Indeed I would venture to say that these three chapters (whether one accepts them or not) are vital to all our deliberations about the foundations of Judeo-Christian belief.

Within these three chapters are found the seeds of the doctrines of the Catholic Church we understand today. These three chapters are the complete story of God and his doings with creation and our very slow understanding of these.

There is an inkling of all created life and its reason, of human life and the way it was meant to be, life as it would become after sin, a life "covered" by skins where before it wasn't and of course the why of suffering as a result of that word "sin", but with a deeper meaning than that. Sin is the word we use and attribute to rupture, but it is much more of a loss than we understand. Then there is the promise of someone to come who would reverse "the sin."

In actual fact there is so much information in these three chapters that it could take years writing a catechesis and exegesis on each of the words individually.

I would suggest that Genesis 1-3 has all the story compacted; and then, beginning from chapter 4, not chapter 12 as usually thought, begins the unpacking of these hidden mysteries.

I am looking forward to retirement and pondering more on these mysteries, so majestic if only we knew how to penetrate them.

Vermont South, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 9 (October 2011), p. 14

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