VATICAN CITY - A professor at a Vatican-sponsored university expressed dismay Tuesday that some Christian groups reject the theory of evolution - implicitly criticizing the literal interpretation of the Bible.
Further emphasizing the official Catholic stance, a Vatican official restated the Church position that evolution is not incompatible with faith.
Popes going back to the mid-20th century have "recognized the scientific value of the theory of biological evolution," Gennaro Auletta, who teaches philosophy of science at the Gregorian, told reporters. "Greater understanding and assimilation of such subject matter by clergy and faithful has been hoped for."
Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi told reporters that: "One thing is sure. Evolution is not incompatible with faith." Creationism from a strictly theological view makes sense, but when it is used in scientific fields it becomes useless," Ravasi said.
Quoting the late Pope John Paul II, Ravasi said that "evolution can no longer be considered a hypothesis."
Pope Benedict XVI warned last week against fundamentalists' literal interpretations of the Bible. The pontiff told a gathering of intellectuals and academics in Paris that the structure of the Bible "excludes by its nature everything that today is known as fundamentalism. In effect, the word of God can never simply be equated with the letter of the text," Benedict said.