In a page on the Geocentric appeal to the unanimous consent of the Fathers* David Palm does a sleight of hand in saying "magisterium has not defined that geocentrism is unanimously taught by the fathers". According to the Magisterium the unanimous teaching of the fathers is by itself binding even before the Magisterium tells us it is there and binding. He does a further sleight of hand in bypassing the teaching of St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas ON THE QUESTION in order to get only at their exegetic principles. And he concludes that these exegetic principles, adopted by the Magisterium, give us full freedom to cave down to the supposedly overwhelming evidence for an earth rotating on its axis and orbitting the sun (as long as the sun itself is not immobile centre of universe), as was shown by the parallel of Pius X supposedly allowing us the Old Earth exegesis of Genesis 1. The day-age exegesis.
Let us take St Pius X first. And about Yôm in Genesis 1.
Here is the English translation:
Question VIII: Whether in that designation and distinction of six days, with which the account of the first chapter of Genesis deals, the word (dies) can be assumed either in its proper sense as a natural day, or in the improper sense of a certain space of time; and whether with regard to such a question there can be free disagreement among exegetes? -- Reply: In the affirmative.
Here is the Latin original:
Dubium VIII.: Utrum in illa sex dierum denominatione atque distinctione, de quibus in Geneseos capite primo, sumi possit vox Yôm (dies) sive sensu proprio pro die naturali, sive sensu improprio pro quodam temporis spatio, deque huiusmodi quaestione libere inter exegetas disceptare liceat? Resp.: Affirmative.
Both are side by side in this link:
Catholic Dogma and Teaching on Creation
and the 1909 Pontifical Biblical Commission on Genesis
a linea: question VIII
Note very well that question 1 is answered in the negative. A universal negative covering all the various systems for exclusively non-historical exegesis then extant. Note also that they are even in the question itself considered as having been defended "by a pretense of science" or "fuco scientiae", i e they have been attacked as non-literal, they have been defended by saying non-literal or non-historical exegesis is necessary and this as science contradicts the literal exegesis. And the questioner calls this a defense "by the pretense of science" so to speak even before asking whether the systems in question, those then available, have a solid foundation.** The negative obviously refers to these systems having a solid foundation, not to the scientific defense of them being a kind of "rouge". Anyone saying we can now make a non-historic exegesis of the first three chapters must either pretend his system of doing so did not yet exist back then or that the foundation has become more solid as they would suppose that "sham science" has in the meanwhile become "real science" with better proofs. That is not the case. But let us return to question 8.
Now, obviously the translator of those words is either incompetent or dishonest, as I will come to, but so is David Palm by using that translation. Not for me to judge which of these is the case with either.
The Latin does not mean "free disagreement", it means "free debate". That means that St Pius X was not defining this as not a matter of faith, but as a thing not yet to be settled before a more thorough debate had taken place.
How do I know this?
Disceptare does not mean "disagree" it means "debate" or even "negotiate".**
St Basil*** said about the form of the earth that it was a question of free disagreement whether it was flat or round. Since Holy Writ had given no exact information thereon.
But St Pius X - or his Bible commission - did not say it was a case for free disagreement whether Yôm meant a day approximately or exactly the same as ours in length or whether it meant long ages. He only stated there was still room for debate. Even more, the "sensus improprius" allowed is "pro quodam temporis spatio". Does not state anything about "quodam temporis spatium" being far longer than all of history between Adam and Christ. Or about it being "even comparable".
If the one side has taken a cue from a Liberal non-beliving Jew with Non-Overlapping Magisteria, the other side of this free debate (or so far) is of course free to take a cue from an Independent Baptist with his apposite involvement of Marc 10:6. If the earth was little more than 5200 years when Christ spoke, the difference of six days does not mean Adam and Eve were not created "in the beginning" since six days is a close to infinitesimal and certainly negligible part of the time span. If it was more like five billion years, Christ would have been closer to the truth by saying "recently in creation" or by saying "since the beginning of man". But not by saying "since the beginning of the creation".
But let us even see whether the page with that incompetent translation does not give a real warning against "old earth creationism"°, though indirectly?
- God was moved by His Goodness to create the world. (De Fide)
- The world was created for the Glorification of God. (De Fide)
- The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation. (De Fide)
- God created the world free from exterior compulsion and inner necessity. (De Fide)
- God has created a good world. (De Fide)
- The world had a beginning in time. (De Fide)
- God alone created the world. (De Fide)
- God keeps all created things in existence. (De Fide)
- God, through His Providence, protects and guides all that He has created. (De Fide)
- The first man was created by God. (De Fide)
- Man consists of two essential parts -- a material body and a spiritual soul. (De Fide)
- Every human being possesses an individual soul. (De Fide)
- Our first parents, before the Fall, were endowed with sanctifying grace. (De Fide)
- The donum immortalitatis, i.e. the divine gift of bodily immortality of our first parents. (De Fide)
- Our first parents in paradise sinned grievously through transgression of the Divine probationary commandment. (De Fide)
- Through the original sin our first parents lost sanctifying grace and provoked the anger and the indignation of God. (De Fide)
- Our first parents became subject to death and to the dominion of the Devil. (De Fide)
Note that man as image of God pertains to all men since our first parents. Note also that our first parents were without death and suffering and dominion of the devil until they sinned.
How can they then have evolved from anything that died and suffered?
And Adam and Eve can obviously NOT have been descending from MEN (created in image of God) that suffered. Because if they descended from other MEN, they would simply not have been our first parents.
This means that any evolutionist scheme for making them descend from other hominids must involve making either their physical supposed ancestry immortal and unsuffering and superhuman or making it bestial. Subhuman.
And this means evolutionist interpretations are in trouble if fossil evidence about purported pre-Adamites conflicts with them being bestial. Now a French rightwing newspaper, by Catholics (or people purporting to be such) published just recently a find in which a Neanderthal old man without teeth had been elaborately buried.
The fact that he was elaborately buried means his kin respected the dead - which beasts do not. Elephants leave their dead and dying alone, they do not bury them. The fact that he was toothless means his kin had also shown the humanity to keep someone alive who could not keep himself alive. In part of the year he could possibly have lived off fruit even without teeth, but he could hardly chew meat for other parts of the year. If they made hamburgers or soups and porridges or stored fruit for him to eat or got provisions from Nodians living a less robinson crusoe like life or whatever be the case, they had taken pains to keep him alive. Undoubtedly he was created in the image of God. So, he could have been Adam (or rather not, since Adam was buried beneath Calvary) or he could have descended from Adam. Or he could have been a sinless and undying ancestor of Adam. Of course that poses the question why he died and why before dying he lost his teeth.
Meaning this leaves us with him being descended from Adam. Meaning the dating of "50.000 years ago" must be a phoney dating.
During the time of Pius XII some seminaries promoted the view that it was at least possible that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon, dated "by science" as having lived "before Adam" were physically human but really beasts (they had no agriculture!) ... I think the decent and human burial of a toothless old Neanderthal man rules this possibility quite out of the range of the philosophically possible.
And of course, if the narrative of the first three chapters if Genesis is strictly historical that puts certain limits on what kind of "improper sense" of yôm as "certain lapse of time" can be imagined. The Day-Age exegesis has no leg to stand on in the light of this.
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Genevieve of Nanterre and Paris
* Geocentrism and the Unanimous Consent of the Fathers
by David Palm
a linea: Catholic Principles of Faith and Science: Sts. Augustine, St. Thomas and the Magisterium or Reading the Fathers With the Mind of the Church
scroll down to: Action upon these principles by Pope St. Pius X
** "disceptare" = "erörtern, debattieren, verhandeln [ de iure ]" according to:
Latein » Deutsch > D > disc > disceptare
Übersetzungen für disceptare im Deutsch » Latein-Wörterbuch
"fucus" = "Orseille" (zur dauerhaften Purpurfärbung von Wolle verwendet), = "rote Farbe, Purpurfarbe", = "rote Schminke", = "Bienenharz", = "Schein, Falschheit, Verstellung"
*** As we mention Church Fathers, both questioner and answering Bible commission admit that NEARLY ALL Church Fathers think the first three chapters are historical. Here is the quote of Dubium II in its English translation:
Question II: Whether, when the nature and historical form of the Book of Genesis does not oppose, because of the peculiar connections of the three first chapters with each other and with the following chapters, because of the manifold testimony of the Old and New Testaments; because of the almost unanimous opinion of the Holy Fathers, and because of the traditional sense which, transmitted from the Israelite people, the Church always held, it can be taught that the three aforesaid chapters of Genesis do not contain the stories of events which really happened, that is, which correspond with objective reality and historical truth; but are either accounts celebrated in fable drawn from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and adapted by a holy writer to monotheistic doctrine, after expurgating any error of polytheism; or allegories and symbols, devoid of a basis of objective reality, set forth under the guise of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or, finally, legends, historical in part and fictitious in part, composed freely for the instruction and edification of souls? -- Reply: In the negative to both parts.
My emphasis on the part "because of the almost unanimous opinion of the Holy Fathers". The matters on which all the Fathers agree may be few, but historical narrative in first three chapters clearly at least nearly makes it.
°"Old earth" as in "milllllllllions of years", obviously, but otherwise 7200 years and into the 73:rd century Anno Mundi is pretty old too.