Pierre Duhem: How the Catholic Church Destroyed Astrology and Prepared the Way for Modern Science

In the system which Maimonides sets forth we see, so to speak, the culmination of all the ideas whose development has been traced in this chapter.

We find there, first of all, the affirmation of the principle that Aristotle had already formulated with such clarity: The various parts of the universe is interconnected by a rigorous determinism and this determinism subjects the entire world of generation and corruption to the rule of celestial circulations.

We find there the corollary of that principle, namely, the definition of an astrological science which ties all changes accomplished here below to the motion of a specific planet.

We see there the preponderant role which that astrology attributes to the Moon as a rule of water and humid matter.  The moon forces them to grow and decrease with her.  The theory of tides clearly proves the reality of this lunar action and, through it, of all influence emanating from the celestial bodies.

Finally, we hear stated that the very slow changes on earth are tied to the almost imperceptibly slow motion of the fixed stars whose revolution measures the Great Year.

To that system all the disciples of Greek philosophy—Peripatetics, Stoics, Neoplatonists—have contributed.  To that system Abu Masar offered the homage of the Arabs.  The most illustrious rabbis, from Philo of Alexandria to Maimonides accepted that system.

Christianity was needed to condemn that system as a monstruous supersitition and to throw it overboard….

Hardly anxious to explore in detail the works of Greek astronomers, the bishop of Hippo and with him, undoubtedly, the great majority of the Church Fathers, did not know how to separate, in a precise manner, the hypotheses of the astronomers from the astrologer’s superstitions.  The former were confusedly included in the disapprovals accorded to the latter….

Let us not therefore search in the writings of the Church Fathers for the traces of a meticulously and sophisticatedly treated science.  We assuredly cannot find them there at all.

Let us not, however, neglect the little they said about physics and astronomy.

First of all, their teachings on this topic are the first seeds from which the cosmology of the Christian Middle Ages would slowly and gradually develop.

Also, and above all, the Church Fathers hit, and did so in the name of the Christian Creed, the pagan philosophers on points which, today, we consider more metaphysical than physical but where actually lie the cornerstones of the physics of Antiquity: such are the theory of an eternal prime matter, the belief in the stars’ domination over sublunary things and in the periodic life of a cosmos subject to the rhythm of the Great Year.  By destroying through these attacks the cosmologies of peripatetism, of Stoicism, and of Neoplatonism, the Fathers of the Church clearly prepare the way for modern science.

Source: Pierre Duhem, Le systeme du monde… Tome II.  La cosmologie hellenique (1914), pp. 390, 4087-408 (1914-1).  In Scientist and Catholic: An Essay on Pierre Duhem by  Stanley L. Jaki (Christendom, Front Royal, VA, 1991), pp. 256-257.

The Sign of the Cross: A Biblical Iconography

Let us look at three signs: the cross itself, the vertical bar, and the horizontal bar.

1. The Cross: the Sign of Salvation.

The sign of the cross (the letter Thau) marks the persons that will be spared when God destroys the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a sword:

And the glory of the Lord of Israel went up from the cherub, upon which he was, to the threshold of the house: and he called to the man that was clothed with linen, and had a writer’s inkhorn at his loins. 4 And the Lord said to him: Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem: and mark Thau upon the foreheads of the men that sigh, and mourn for all the abominations that are committed in the midst thereof. 5 And to the others he said in my hearing: Go ye after him through the city, and strike: let not your eyes spare, nor be ye moved with pity.

Utterly destroy old and young, maidens, children and women: but upon whomsoever you shall see Thau, kill him not, and begin ye at my sanctuary.  (Ez 9:3-6)

According to a footnote in the Douay-Rheims Bible,

“Mark Thau”… Thau, or Tau, is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and signifies a sign, or a mark; which is the reason why some translators render this place set a mark, or mark a mark without specifying what this mark was. But St. Jerome, and other interpreters, conclude it was the form of the letter Thau, which in the ancient Hebrew character, was the form of a cross.

2.  The Vertical Bar: Immanuel, Eliakim, and Stump of Jesse.

The vertical bar is the sign for up and down:

Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (Immanuel).

Or a peg fixed on a sure spot:

On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open. I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family; On him shall hang all the glory of his family: descendants and offspring, all the little dishes, from bowls to jugs. (Is 22:20-24)

Or the stump of Jesse:

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. (Is 11:1-5)

3.  The Horizontal Bar: Wood of Holocaust, Yoke of Jeremiah, and East to West

The horizontal bar is the wood of Holocaust brought by Isaac:

And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son: and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword. And as they two went on together, 7 Isaac said to his father: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim for the holocaust? 8 And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son. So they went on together. 9 And they came to the place which God had shown him, where he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it: and when he had bound Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the pile of wood. 10 And he put forth his hand and took the sword, to sacrifice his son. (Gen 22:6-10)

Or the yoke of Jeremiah:

Thereupon the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, broke it, and said in the presence of all the people: “Thus says the LORD: ‘Even so, within two years I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, from off the neck of all the nations.'” At that, the prophet Jeremiah went away. Some time after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: Go tell Hananiah this: Thus says the LORD: By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke! For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: A yoke of iron I will place on the necks of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him. (Jer 28:10-14)

Or East to West:

As far as the east is from the west, so far have our sins been removed from us. (Ps 103:12)

Pope Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi: Basic Ecclesial Communities

58. The last Synod devoted considerable attention to these “small communities,” or communautes de base, because they are often talked about in the Church today. What are they, and why should they be the special beneficiaries of evangelization and at the same time evangelizers themselves?

According to the various statements heard in the Synod, such communities flourish more or less throughout the Church. They differ greatly among themselves both within the same region and even more so from one region to another.

In some regions they appear and develop, almost without exception, within the Church, having solidarity with her life, being nourished by her teaching and united with her pastors. In these cases, they spring from the need to live the Church’s life more intensely, or from the desire and quest for a more human dimension such as larger ecclesial communities can only offer with difficulty, especially in the big modern cities which lend themselves both to life in the mass and to anonymity. Such communities call quite simply be in their own way an extension on the spiritual and religious level- worship, deepening of faith, fraternal charity, prayer, contact with pastors-  of the small sociological community such as the village, etc. Or again their aim may be to bring together, for the purpose of listening to and meditating on the Word, for the sacraments and the bond of the agape, groups of people who are linked by age, culture, civil state or social situation: married couples, young people, professional people, etc.; people who already happen to be united in the struggle for justice, brotherly aid to the poor, human advancement. In still other cases they bring Christians together in places where the shortage of priests does not favor the normal life of a parish community. This is all presupposed within communities constituted by the Church, especially individual Churches and parishes.

In other regions, on the other hand, communautes de base come together in a spirit of bitter criticism of the Church, which they are quick to stigmatize as “institutional” and to which they set themselves Up in opposition as charismatic communities, free from structures and inspired only by the Gospel. Thus their obvious characteristic is an attitude of fault-finding and of rejection with regard to the Church’s outward manifestations: her hierarchy, her signs. They are radically opposed to the Church. By following these lines their main inspiration very quickly becomes ideological, and it rarely happens that they do not quickly fall victim to some political option or current of thought, and then to a system, even a party, with all the attendant risks of becoming its instrument.

The difference is already notable: the communities which by their spirit of opposition cut themselves off from the Church, and whose unity they wound, can well be called communautes de base, but in this case it is a strictly sociological name. They could not, without a misuse of terms, be called ecclesial communautes de base, even if while being hostile to the hierarchy, they claim to remain within the unity of the Church. This name belongs to the other groups, those which come together within the Church in order to unite themselves to the Church and to cause the Church to grow.

These latter communities will be a place of evangelization, for the benefit of the bigger communities, especially the individual Churches. And, as we said at the end of the last Synod, they will be a hope for the universal Church to the extent:

  • that they seek their nourishment in the Word of God and do not allow themselves to be ensnared by political polarization or fashionable ideologies, which are ready to exploit their immense human potential;
  • that they avoid the ever present temptation of systematic protest and a hypercritical attitude, under the pretext of authenticity and a spirit of collaboration;
  • that they remain firmly attached to the local Church in which they are inserted, and to the universal Church, thus avoiding the very real danger of becoming isolated within themselves, then of believing themselves to be the only authentic Church of Christ, and hence of condemning the other ecclesial communities;
  • that they maintain a sincere communion with the pastors whom the Lord gives to His Church, and with the magisterium which the Spirit of Christ has entrusted to these pastors;
  • that they never look on themselves as the sole beneficiaries or sole agents of evangelization- or even the only depositaries of the Gospel- but, being aware that the Church is much more vast and diversified, accept the fact that this Church becomes incarnate in other ways than through themselves;
  • that they constantly grow in missionary consciousness, fervor, commitment and zeal;
  • that they show themselves to be universal in all things and never sectarian.

On these conditions, which are certainly demanding but also uplifting, the ecclesial communautes de base will correspond to their most fundamental vocation: as hearers of the Gospel which is proclaimed to them and privileged beneficiaries of evangelization, they will soon become proclaimers of the Gospel themselves.
Source: Evangelii Nuntiandi: Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness Pope Paul VI on Evangelization in the Modern World

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Book Review: “The Rizal-Pastells Correspondence” by Fr. Raul J. Bonoan, S.J.

The Hitherto Unpublished Letters of Jose Rizal and Portions of Fr. Pablo Pastell’s Fourth Letter and Translation of the Correspondence, together with a Historical Background and Theological Critique (Ateneo de Manila University Press, Bellarmine Hall, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, P.O. Box 154, 1099 Manila, Philippines)

This book tells the story of two brilliant men.

The first is the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.  He was the distinguished poet in the Spanish tongue, the master of Philippine dialects and European languages, the humble devotee of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who later became a leader of the Propaganda Movement, the writer of the subversive novels Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, and a member of Freemasonry in London.  In short, Jose Rizal was the Spanish poet who became anti-Spain,  the Catholic who became anti-Catholic, the student of the Jesuits who made a “shipwreck of Faith.”  In 1896 in Bagumbayan in Manila, Jose Rizal was executed for treason against Spain by firing squad.  He was thirty-five.

The second is Fr. Pablo Pastells, S.J.  He was  the student in the Jesuit-run Seminario Conciliar in Barcelona, a refugee in France after the fourth suppression of Jesuits in Spain in 1868, a man in lay clothes running from anticlerical elements after the defeat of Napoleon in the Franco-Prussian war, the priest who organized circulos or worker groups in Europe to the anger of Anarchists.  Pastells arrived in the Philippines in 1875.  In the middle of the following year he was sent to Ateneo de Manila and became the director of the Sodality of Our Lady.  In this capacity and as a prefect of the boarders, he came to know the fourteen year old Rizal.  He travelled as a missionary in the Visayan and Mindanao Islands to study the language of the natives.  He was  appointed Superior of the of the Philippine Mission in 1888, and it was at the end of his term of office that his correspondence with Rizal began.  Pastells was sent back again to Spain in 1893 to write about the Spanish Jesuit’s overseas work, resulting to a three-volume history book (1916-1917), and another nine-volume work on the History of the Philippines (1925-1934).  In 1932, he died at the age of eighty-six.

* * *

The book is divided into two parts.  The first part is an Introduction by Fr. Raul J. Bonoan, S.J., which consists of a historical background and a theological critique.

The historical background is well written and researched, with long footnotes.  When Rizal was exiled in Dapitan in Mindanao, Rizal told Fr. Sanchez who tried to bring him back to the Catholic Faith:

It is useless, Father, you do not convince me.  I do not believe in the Eucharist or in the rites of the Catholic religion.

But to his mother Rizal wrote (which Fr. Sanchez confirmed):

We heard mass at midnight, for you ought to know that here I hear Mass every Sunday.  (Underlining by Rizal.)

I expected these things.  But for a physicist, here is a surprising trivia: From Rizal’s friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt, Fr. Federico Faura, S.J., the founder of the Manila Observatory, learned of Blumentritt’s fear that Rizal became a Mason.  And Fr. Bonoan continues:

When Fr. Ramon, the rector, and Faura in conversation with their guest raised the question of his religious beliefs, Rizal made protestations of loyalty to Spain but said it was useless to discuss religious matters inasmuch as he had long lost the faith.  Whereupon, Faura sternly warned him never again to step into the corridors of the Ateneo if he should persist in his erroneous beliefs, for the Jesuit fathers were breaking all contact with him, and advised him to leave the Philippines for good lest he end up on the scaffold.  Rizal remained unmoved.

Fr. Faura correctly predicted the last storm: Rizal was executed, and his death ushered the Philippine Revolution.

Fr. Bonoan’s theological critique of Rizal and Fr. Pastells is also well-written.  But reading through his critique, Fr. Bonoan showed more sympathy for Rizal than for Pastells:  He upheld Rizal’s primacy of conscience and contrasted Pastell’s Vatican I mindset with the teachings of Vatican II.  If you want to know the details, read the book.

But my sympathies are for Pastells.  And to him we can quote Fr. Horacio de la Costa’s words:

But look at it another way.   Look at it through the eyes of a Spanish friar who found himself a prisoner of the Army of the Revolution.  He was the last of a long line of missionaries, stretching back to that great defender of Rights, Fray Domingo de Salazar.  They had brought this whole people from primitive tribalism to civilization.  They had raised from stones children of Abraham.  And in the end, the children had turned on their fathers.

It was not only tragic; it was the very essence of tragedy

–Fr. Horacio de la Costa, “The Priest in the Philippine Life and Society: An Historical View,” in Church and Sacraments, ed. by Ma. Victoria B. Parco (Office of Research and Publications, Ateneo de Manila University, 1990), pp. 192-200.


References to the Correspondence

Part 1. Introduction

Preliminary Notes

Two Separate Paths: Historical Background

  1. The Young Rizal and the Jesuits
  2. The European Experiment
  3. The Shipwreck of Faith
  4. Pastells and the Spanish Jesuits
  5. Arrest and Exile

The Clash of Cultures: Theological Critique

  1. The Enlightenment and the Catholic Response
  2. Private Judgment
  3. The Problem of God
  4. Revelation
  5. Conclusion

Part 2.  The Spanish Text of Rizal’s Letters and the Missing Portions of Pastell’s Fourth Letter

The First Letter of Rizal
The Second Letter of Rizal
The Third Letter of Rizal
The Fourth Letter of Rizal
The Fifth Letter of Rizal
Portions of the Pastell’s Fourth Letter Missing in the Epislorio Rizalino

Part 3.  Translations of the Correspondence

The First Letter of Rizal
The First Letter of Pastells
The Second Letter of Rizal
The Second Letter of Pastells
The Third Letter of Rizal
The Third Letter of Pastells
The Fourth Letter of Rizal
The Fourth Letter of Pastells
The Fifth Letter of Rizal


Vatican Lifts Excommunications on SSPX Bishops: Full Text

Decree of the Congregation for Bishops


By way of a letter of December 15, 2008 addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Mons. Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally declared with the Decree of the Prefect of this Congregation on July 1, 1988. In the aforementioned letter, Mons. Fellay affirms, among other things: “We are always firmly determined in our will to remain Catholic and to place all our efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We accept its teachings with filial disposition. We believe firmly in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much.

His Holiness Benedict XVI – paternally sensitive to the spiritual unease manifested by the interested party due to the sanction of excommunication and trusting in the effort expressed by them in the aforementioned letter of not sparing any effort to deepen the necessary discussions with the Authority of the Holy See in the still open matters, so as to achieve shortly a full and satisfactory solution of the problem posed in the origin – decided to reconsider the canonical situation of Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, arisen with their episcopal consecration.

With this act, it is desired to consolidate the reciprocal relations of confidence and to intensify and grant stability to the relationship of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X with this Apostolic See. This gift of peace, at the end of the Christmas celebrations, is also intended to be a sign to promote unity in the charity of the universal Church and to try to vanquish the scandal of division.

It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.

Based on the faculties expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in virtue of the present Decree, I remit from Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta the censure of latae sententiae excommunication declared by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, while I declare deprived of any juridical effect, from the present date, the Decree emanated at that time.

Rome, from the Congregation for Bishops, January 21, 2009.

Card. Giovanni Battista Re
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops


This document was copied from Rorate Caeli, which for years has followed the relationship of SSPX and the Vatican.

Samurai X: Shogo Amakusa the Anti-Christ

In 1542, the first Christian missionaries arrived from Portugal in Japan.  The only religious orders that were allowed were the Jesuits, primarily because of the esteem by the Japanese barons (daimyos)  for St. Francis Xavier, who reached Japan in 1549.  When the Franciscans came, 26 of them were executed in 1597 (Japan Guide).  From 1603 to 1867, the Edo Era under the Tokugawa dynasty, the Christians were persecuted.  One of these is our first Filipino saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, who died in 1637 by hanging in the pit (after his water-filled belly was rolled by a barrel and his fingernails were replaced with needles).  His last words were: “Even if I have a thousand lives, I will give them all to God.”  Because of failing economy due to protectionism, the Edo Era ended.  In the succeeding Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), a constitutional government was made with the emperor as the head.  One of the reforms in this restoration is the freedom of religion.  At last, Christianity can once again be practiced without fear of persecution.

The Samurai X anime series is situated at the end of the Tokugawa Era and the beginning of the Meiji Restoration.  Kenshin Himura, the Battousai or the Slasher, was once an assassin for hire.  He mastered the sword style called Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu (Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style) taught by his teacher,  Seijuro.  This technique is only handed down from one teacher to one student only, and the final test is for the student to defeat the master using the technique called Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki.  One student who failed in this test is Hyoue.   He nearly died.  But he lived and taught it to a child prodigy named Shogo Amakusa.

Shogo is a Christian and he saw how his parents died in Shimabara during the Tokugawa persecution.  And as he sailed away to escape, looking at the rows of crucified men along the cliff, he vowed to return and defend Christianity.  On his return to Shimabara at the age of 24, he styled  himself as the “Son of God”, and coincided his coming with the eclipse of the sun.  As his boat passed through the waters to Shimabara, the waters burst into flames, forming not the sign of the cross † but the sign of a C and its reflection connected by a horizontal bar: ⊃-⊂.

Shogo and his followers have ceased to be Christians, but their practices have vestiges of Christianity.  In the cave they prayed something similar to the Beatitudes: “Blessed are those who love God; He will lead them to God’s country.”  This is similar to “Blessed are the meek; they shall inherit the earth.”  They have a Mary figure, Shogo’s sister, the Lady Magdalia, the ever-virgin.  They also have a church—probably underground—with a single circular stained glass window.  The altar is attached to the wall with six candlesticks burning—perfect setting for the traditional latin mass.  But they have no priests.  This is the law of entropy and devolution: “Leave a village without a priest for fifty years and the people shall worship rocks and trees” (said by the Cure d’Ars, if I am not mistaken).  This is what happenned to the Israelites when Moses went to Mt. Sinai to get the Ten Commandments: they made a golden calf and worshiped it as their god and savior.  And this is what happened to villagers of Shimabara:  they worshiped Shogo as god.  (See the trailer here.  Note the Christian elements.)

Shogo is an Anti-Christ.  Shogo aims to establish a kingdom on earth; Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom does not belong in this world.  Shogo blinds a man using his Rai-Ryu Sen;  Jesus cures a man born blind.  Shogo displays his divinity by his unbelievable swordsmanship; Jesus told Peter to put his sword back.  And as a twist of fate, it was the Pagan Kenshin Himura who acted more Christ-like: he read Shogo’s heart and he refused to use his ultimate sword technique of Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki to defend himself against Shogo, in order that by this deed Shogo will realize that “a sword is not for killing but for protecting people”—Kenshin’s motto (c.f. “to protect what is valuable” as Yeon Soha said in the Shadowless Sword).  In his dismay and anger, Shogo punished Kenshin with “a punishment much worse than death: eternal darkness!”  And the blinded Kenshin fell from the cliff into the sea.  (See the battle between Kenshin and Shogo in here.)

Humani Generis of Pius XII Regarding Darwinian Evolution

The encylical Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII discussed the various errors propagated in ecclesiastical institutions by teachers using historical and natural (evolution) sciences in their exegesis.  I will extract his words regarding evolution and evolutionism:

Humani Generis on Evolution

5.  Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.

6.  Such fictitious tenets of evolution which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences.

36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12]