If evolution is true (directed by God or not) then why do modernist Catholics speak so much of “human dignity”? Human dignity shouldn’t be “a thing” if we’re descended from apes. Yet most of the modern Popes and Cardinals and bishops for the past 50 years have promoted a directed evolution (an evolution directed by God) while paradoxically pushing “human dignity” with barely any references to Divine Revelation.
I think modernists truly believe both in evolution and “human-dignity,” but they also seem to think this is a strategic approach to evangelization: If we talk about science and humans, we’ll win the smart, young people. Unfortunately, the stats show the opposite: Countless scientists (including David Gelernter, a Jewish professor of computer science at Yale University) mathematically disproved Darwinian evolution here. Furthermore, I recently saw a Catholic website explaining how many young people leave the Catholic faith due to evolution.
In other words “meeting people where they’re at” is ironically not winning many people. People want God, not “human dignity.”
I put into Gaudium et Spes a word search on “human” and/or “humanity” and combined it came to 269 times. I put “Jesus” into the same word-search on that same document and “Jesus” came up 10 times. Pope John Paul II also sadly believed in a directed evolution as he wrote that “the theory of natural evolution, understood in a sense that does not preclude divine causality, is not in principle opposed to the truth of the visible world, as presented in the book of Genesis.”—General Audience, 28 Jan 1986. That same year, in 1986, he invited Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists to pray at Assisi and John Paul II and said at that prayer meeting, “Religions are many and varied, and they reflect the desire of men and women down through the ages to enter into a relationship with the Absolute Being.”
What does evolution have to do with ecumenism? Firstly, evolution implies that not only must humans evolve from lower to higher, but so also must doctrine. Secondly, if all religions can get you to heaven, then we don’t need grace. Man has apparently “evolved” after Vatican II into a kind enough and progressive enough man that any religion can get him to heaven. Isn’t that the implied message of Assisi ’86? Put it all together and the modernist Catholic message is: You’re a dignified advanced-monkey, headed to a very boring heaven—no matter your religion. Thank god—whoever that is for you.
In seminary, I would defend certain parts of this theological shift. I would say something like, “After two World Wars, Pope John Paul II had to talk so much about human dignity in order to re-emphasize the obvious goodness of humanity to a culture that had forgotten not only God but even what it means to be human.” Not bad, eh? The problem is that this devolves quickly into Karl Rahner’s “anonymous Christian” (the notion that everyone of good will is secretly a Christian needing no grace.) Even some priests who reject the liberal-modernist Rahnerian view of salvation choose instead the conservative-modernist middle road, exemplified in Von Balthasar, Congar and De Lubac. This Communio school (aka nouvelle theologie) essentially holds that non-Catholics may obtain grace in mysterious ways outside of the sacraments. (Of course, they can never define what these “mysterious ways” are, but it seems to collapse grace into nature every time.)
By the way, I’m not saying that I believe that everyone who hasn’t been water-baptized in history has gone to hell. I discuss the Church’s traditional teaching baptism by blood and baptism by desire here. So, this isn’t a blog post on “Who is saved?” Rather, the point of this blog post is to show that any honest young “seeker” of world-religions is going to have no interest in modern Catholicism with bishops telling them that we believe in evolution and—oh by the way—all world religions are basically as good as ours. The problem with such nouvelle theologie is that their catchword “human dignity” puts man at the center of the spiritual universe instead of God. Nobody seeking God today wants that. Not scientists. Not young people. They can hear from the academy ad nauseam that they are the centers of their own individualist world.
Young people want to hear from the Church how Jesus crucified is the center of the world. Young people need the Catholic Church that rejected evolution until 1950. (And because Darwinian evolution is scientifically impossible, as the first link in this blog post proves.)
Yes, non-traditional Catholic-evangelists today seem to forget that Catholics for 1900 years before them had something much more true and much more exciting in their vocabulary than “human dignity:” Catholic missionaries for the longest time put God at the center of their lives and knew that God created us (with no need for squaring creation with that mathematically-irresponsible model of evolution.) Today, even blue-collar evangelicals in the USA know what most US bishops don’t seem to know: That Jesus is the only way to the Father.
Modernists are still obsessed with “meeting the modern world where it is at” by promoting “human dignity” and “evolution” 60 years into their failed experiment of a man-centered NuChurch. But most blue-collar Catholics and young people today (and even high level scientists) are too tired with Catholic Churchmen’s ponderings on “ecumenism” (aka the heresy of indifferentism) to listen to more loopholes on salvation. Real people today want what Jesse Romero calls the “straight dope on Catholicism.” People today suspect (rightly!) that if evolution be true, we’re just walking meat-sacks.
So, let’s just speak the truth clearly: We were created by God. We need grace from God to be saved. Every single one of us. And that grace only comes from Christ and the Church. We Catholics need to stop with these modernist ideas of evolution, human dignity and religious indifferentism if we want to win any new converts in the future. We must return to Apostolic Catholicism’s assertions of creation without evolution and supernatural grace and the theological reality that Jesus is the only way to the Father.