What are the Catholic Church's official teachings on Origins

"Unity in necessary things, Freedom in doubtful matters, and Charity in all things."

Some teachings on origins that the church has definitively taught

Teachings that the church has not definitively taught

God created everything.

God is almighty.

Man is unique.

There really was an historic first man: Adam.

All human beings now on Earth have Adam as their ancestor.

Because of this descent from him, we are born in Original Sin.

There was an Original Sin, through the Devil's temptation, in actual historical fact.

It was committed by our first parents: Adam and Eve (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II, 1997).

Eve was formed from Adam's body (D 2123 PBC; & Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae, Pope Leo XIII, 1880).

Creation in SIX 24hr days

The world only 6,000 " 10,000 years old (as could be concluded from a literal reading of the Bible).

Have there been other statements by the Church on origins?

Evolution has not been proved, it should not be taught as fact, and points for and against should be given. (Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, 1950)

The literal sense of Scripture must hold ground until shown to be disproven. (Pope Leo XIII in Providentissimus Deus, 1893)

What about the views of Pope John Paul regarding evolution?

Pope John Paul II has issued various private, non ex-cathedra comments about evolution which must be seen in light of more authoritative Magisterial encyclicals on Origins issued by Leo XIII and Pius XII. When speaking of evolution in a general audience (15 Apr, 1986) he said that "… this hypothesis [evolution] proposes only a probability, not a scientific certainty." However, some controversy followed an article in L'Osservatore Romano in which Pope John Paul was reported by the secular media to have said that evolution is "more than a hypothesis" during an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (22 Oct, 1996). But, the original article was written in French and was translated by the Vatican as "more than one hypothesis" thus suggesting uncertainty and not the enthusiastic endorsement of evolution that was portrayed in the media. Furthermore, this address was made to a non-Catholic scientific body and was not directed to Catholics worldwide as a binding statement of belief. Two years later, writing in the encyclical Fides et Ratio (Sep, 1998), John Paul praised Pius XII who, "in Humani Generis, warned against mistaken interpretations linked to evolutionism …"

So what is Fundamentalism?

The term 'fundamentalism' has come to have various meanings but it is now used mostly as an insulting dismissal of others. It is properly defined as a literal interpretation of the Bible without regard to Sacred Tradition, or the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and also without regard to historical or literary context. The non-Catholic scholars who wrote the original 'Fundamentals' did not have a Magisterium to defer to. Their attempt to find doctrinal authority solely within Scripture was inherently flawed as it lacked an authority outside of Scripture such as that divinely instituted in the Catholic Church. The tag 'Fundamentalist' is not applicable to Catholics loyal to the Magisterium.

Keane, G, Creation Rediscovered, Special Creation Rediscovered, Is Evolution An Open Question For Catholics?; Holschuh, J, 2003, Wallace Johnson on Evolution CD; ewtn library #33 on evolution 1996

* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.