Presented today in the Vatican, the conference is organised by the Pontifical Gregorian University and the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA) and sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture, as part of the Vatican-sponsored 'Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest' (STOQ) project. The organising committee includes representatives of Vatican academic institutions as well as lay people from different backgrounds and origins, believers and non-believers.
In reality from a theological perspective, illustrated by Fr Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti, professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, there is "a well established" tradition "that reconciles the notion of creation with the idea that the world evolves in time and history, a world where events which we consider causal are possible," and "where catastrophes, extinctions and a certain opposition among species exists."
"From the perspective of Christian theology, biological evolution and creation are by no means mutually exclusive. We can, if we consider the term evolution more broadly without any reference to any one specific evolutionary mechanism, that evolution is ultimately God's tool of creation, insofar as evolution is understood as a progressive [process of] diversification, organisation and complexification of the morphology of living beings."