Pope Francis has revealed that he is open to scientific cornerstones such as the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution.
He says that he doesn’t think that Christians should feel that the theories contradict their religious beliefs.
The Pope said that God isn’t a magician with a magic wand, but that doesn’t mean that evolution could have happened without something being created in the first place.
He was speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and his comments marked a break from some of his predecessors.
In the 17th century, Galileo was famously forced to retract his theory that the earth revolved around the sun, following an inquisition into his ‘heresy’.
More recently, Pope Benedict XVI, encourage a belief in creationism and intelligent design. He did however, suggest that he could accept evolution – but that natural selection must have been helped along by a divine being.
However, Pope Francis has now taken that a step further.
He said: “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so.
“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
This puts him more in line with Pope John Paul, who said in 1996 that evolution was ‘effectively proven fact’.
The President of Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics, Professor Giovanni Bignami, is delighted with Pope Francis’ comments.
He said: “The Pope’s statement is significant. We are the direct descendants from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling