Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and "do not contradict" the idea of creation, Pope Francis has declared.
Addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the pope said, "God is not “a magician with a magic wand.”
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," Francis said.
"He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment."
Francis said the beginning of the world was not "a work of chaos" but created from a principle of love. He said sometimes competing beliefs in creation and evolution could co-exist.
"God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life," the pope said. "Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve."
The Catholic Church has long been at odds with the concept of evolution.
"Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense — an unguided, unplanned process … is not," Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna, a close associate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once penned down a 2005 op-ed in The New York Times.
Giovanni Bignami, a professor and president of Italy's National Institute for Astrophysics, welcomed Francis' comments, saying he had buried the "pseudo theories" of creationists.
"The pope's statement is significant," Bignami told Italian news agency Adnkronos. "We are the direct descendants from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation."