The Big Bang “doesn’t contradict the intervention of a divine Creator, but demands it,” Pope Francis said Monday morning, because the beginning of the world “is not the work of chaos.”
The Pope was addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, gathered in the Vatican to discuss “Evolving Concepts of Nature.”
God is not some sort of wizard, said Francis, but rather “the Creator who brought all things into being.” The origin of the world derives directly “from a supreme Principle of creative love,” he added.
“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
God and Christ who walk with us, the Pope said, “are also found in nature.” God “created beings and let them develop in accordance with the internal laws that He has given to each one, so that they could arrive at their fulfillment.”
In the case of human beings, however, things are different. “God gives human beings a different sort of autonomy from that of nature, which is freedom,” the Pope said.
“No matter how limited, man’s activity partakes of the power of God and is able to build a world fit for his dual life of body and spirit, to build a humane world for all human beings,” the Pope said.
Francis also took the occasion to honor his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, and to preside over the unveiling of a bust of the emeritus pope.
“Benedict XVI was a great Pope,” said Francis, adding:
[He was] great for the force and penetration of his intellect, great for his important contribution to theology, great for his love for the Church and human beings, great for his virtue and religious spirit. As you well know, his love for the truth wasn’t limited to philosophy and theology, but took in science, as well.