Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mark Shea posts this Zenit article: Scholars Aim to Disprove Darwin. Abstracts of the presentations. In the comments to Mr. Shea's post there is this message from Hugh Owen of the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation:

Pax Christi!

As we reach the end of the Church year, I would like to thank you for your prayers and gestures of support which have opened so many doors for our apostolate during the past twelve months. In this letter, I would like to summarize some of the highlights of the past year, and introduce you to some new books that would make ideal Christmas presents for your friends and loved ones.

Thanks to your prayers and support, Pope Pius XII’s plea to Catholic scholars in his encyclical Humani generis (in 1950) to examine the evidence for and against the evolutionary hypothesis was finally answered when Catholic scholars gathered at four major academic centers in Europe during the “year of Darwin” to present the evidence against the evolutionary hypothesis. During the past 59 years, there has been no shortage of conferences in support of evolution, but now, for the first time, Catholic experts in natural science and philosophy have presented what a recent conference at Villanova University called “the untold story”—the fatal weaknesses of the evolutionary hypothesis. Perhaps more important than the actual conferences has been the publication of the conference proceedings. In the spring, the proceedings of the conference “A Scientific Critique of Evolution” were published by Sapienza University in Rome and, two weeks ago, the proceedings of a conference on evolution at the National Research Council in Rome were published by a major Italian publishing house, Cantagalli, under the title Evolution: The Decline of an Hypothesis.

In September, natural scientists and philosophers gathered at Gustav Siewerth Akademie, a Catholic university in Germany founded with the help of then-Bishop Josef Ratzinger, to present arguments from natural science and philosophy against evolutionary theory. In a letter to the Rector of the Akademie, through the Vatican Secretariat of State, Pope Benedict XVI gave his blessing to the conference. In the words of the correspondent:

Pope Benedict XVI has attentively taken note of the program and of the publication. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may your scientific discussions during your event lead you to a deeper knowledge of Creation and of its divine plan.

In the near future, the proceedings of the Akademie conference will also be published in English. Finally, on November 9, 2009. the conference “The Scientific Impossibility of Evolution” was held at St. Pius V University in Rome to an audience including quite a few priests and seminarians studying at various Pontifical universities.

As Christmas approaches, I would like to draw your attention to several important new publications that will greatly enrich the holiday season for your friends and loved ones. For those interested in the scientific evidence against the evolutionary hypothesis, the proceedings of the Sapienza University conference “A Scientific Critique of Evolution” are now available in English for a suggested donation of only $10.00.
Thanks to the generosity of several benefactors, we have also been able to publish a second edition of Fr. Victor Warkulwiz’s masterpiece The Doctrines of Genesis 1-11. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for a priest or educated layman, this is a reference book that changes lives—now reduced from $32.95 to a suggested donation of $19.95, and available on a special website of its own

For those who would like a clear, readable introduction to the origins controversy from a Catholic perspective, an experienced director of religious education from the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, Olivia McFadden, has written just such a book. Entitled A Bird in Hand, Mrs. McFadden’s little book provides an excellent summary of the case for the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation—available for a suggested donation of $15.00.

Finally, thanks to the hard work of Fr. Victor Warkulwiz and the excellent scholarship of translator Craig Toth, the Kolbe Center is pleased to announce the publication of the first ever English translation of St. Lawrence of Brindisi’s Commentary on the first three chapters of Genesis. Named a Doctor of the Church by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1959, St. Lawrence was perhaps the most eminent commentator on the Bible of the past 500 years. A master of all of the Biblical languages, St. Lawrence is said to have known the entire text of the Bible by heart. His commentary on Genesis 1-3 firmly upholds the traditional, Catholic doctrine of creation, and answers many of the principal objections to that doctrine which had already been raised before his time. With the help of Fr. Victor’s footnotes, you will find this work by a great Doctor of the Church a rich source of wisdom and spiritual insight—available this Advent for the first time, for a suggested donation of $20.00
Many of you have noted that our recent conference “The Scientific Impossibility of Evolution” received favorable coverage from secular and Catholic news outlets and blogs all over the world, including Zenit News and EWTN news. With the help of your prayers and sacrifices, we are determined not to slacken our efforts, but to seize every opportunity to further expose the scientific bankruptcy of the evolutionary hypothesis and to defend the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation, which is the foundation of the Gospel. As a major new initiative, several Kolbe advisors have spent countless hours designing a new website for our apostolate, one which will undoubtedly attract many new visitors and greatly extend our influence throughout the world. Please keep their sacrificial labors in your prayers.

In the final analysis, the primary purpose of our apostolate is the salvation and sanctification of souls, and the protection of souls from evolutionary errors that weaken and often extinguish the Faith. On my recent trip to Estonia on the western border of Russia, one of my hosts told me of a young Catholic boy at a local school who had just announced to his mother that he was not going to go to church any longer—he had studied enough evolutionary “science” to know that the Christian account of creation and the Fall was a “fairy tale”! How sad it is that all over the world, millions of young people renounce the “sacred history” of Genesis, for what the great philosopher and critic of evolution Larry Azar rightly called “a fairy tale for adults.” But how beautiful it is to see the faith renewed in souls who rediscover the truth of the traditional doctrine of creation and who regain an unshakable confidence in the perfect goodness of God!

If you have contact with any contemplative communities in your area, please ask them to pray for our apostolate, and please unite your prayers with theirs for the success of our mission. If you are in a position to become a regular financial contributor, please do that, too. By the grace of God, our little apostolate has accomplished a great many things with modest financial resources. But we could accomplish much more, if we had more monthly contributors.

As we enter the holy season of Advent, let us keep our eyes fixed on Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word and the Lord of history, who is faithful and true.

Yours in Christ, through the Holy Theotokos,

Hugh Owen

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