Pontiff: Evolution Does Not Exclude a Creator
Says Acknowledging God Will Help Youth Find Meaning
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AURONZO DI CADORE, Italy, JULY 27, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says youth will find meaning in their lives if they acknowledge the existence of their Creator. And, he affirms, the theory of evolution does not require denying God.
The Pope said this Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with 400 priests of the dioceses of Belluno-Feltre and Treviso, in the Church of St. Justina Martyr in Auronzo di Cadore, near Lorenzago di Cadore, where he spent his vacation, which ends today.
The Holy Father spoke about young people's search for meaning, acknowledging that many youth act as if they do not need God, "even thinking that without God, we would be freer and the world would be broader. But after a while, in our new generations, we see what happens when God disappears."
He explained: "The major problem is that if God is not there and the Creator of my life is not there, in reality life is a simple part of evolution, nothing more, it does not have meaning in itself. But I must try to give meaning to this life."
The Pontiff said that today in Germany, and also in the United States, there is a "fervent debate between so-called creationism and evolutionism, presented as if one of these alternatives excluded the other: Whoever believes in the Creator cannot think about evolution and whoever affirms evolution must exclude God."
However, Benedict XVI called this apparent conflict an absurdity.
"Because on one hand," he explained, "there is a great deal of scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and that enriches our knowledge of life and of being as such. But the doctrine of evolution does not answer everything and does not answer the great philosophical question: Where does everything come from? And how does everything take a path that ultimately leads to the person?
"It seems to me that it is very important that reason opens up even more, that it sees this information, but that it also sees that this information is not enough to explain all of reality. It is not enough."
The Pope urged a broader understanding of reason and the recognition of its vastness: "Our reason is not something irrational at heart, a product of irrationality. And reason precedes everything, creative reason, and we are truly the reflection of this reason.
"We are planned and wanted and, therefore, there is an idea that precedes me, a meaning that precedes me, which I must discover, follow and which, in the end, gives meaning to my life."
This vision, the Holy Father continued, is necessary to understand the meaning of suffering as well.
"I would say that it is important to help youth discover God," he concluded, "discover true love that becomes great through renunciation, and therefore to help them discover the interior goodness of suffering, that renders me freer and greater."