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Cardinal Sees Red Over Media Misstatement

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria discomfited Darwinists last July when he published an article in the New York Times taking them to task for claims the Church backs Darwin’s theory of evolution. Now on his website, his staff points out that some in “the English-speaking press” misreported a lecture two weeks ago in Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral as “somehow drawing back from his essay in the New York Times.”

Annotation: It has come to our attention that the content of Cardinal Schönborn‘s first catechesis has been mis-reported in the English-speaking press as somehow drawing back from his essay in The New York Times. This is inaccurate, as will be apparent from the full text. In order to clear up this misunderstanding, we are posting here an initial draft of an English translation. (Official and final German and English versions will follow when the lectures are compiled into book form.)

His Eminence doesn’t point fingers, but the mainstream media did misreport it–badly. Whether the correspondents simply didn’t understand German well enough is unclear. In any event, Cardinal Schönborn’s staff have now placed an English version of the lecture on the website here.

Much of the speech traces the foundational significance of creation to Judeo-Christian thinking and the way in which this tradition uniquely served to encourage the rise of modern science.

Darwin’s work, says the cardinal, is “a great oeuvre in the history of ideas”, but flawed. Further, as he shows, Darwin’s followers have taken repeated pains to denounce religion in no uncertain terms.
The Cardinal’s website is a bit hard to negotiate if you don’t speak German, but when you find the right page, it turns out that the good Cardinal–a former theology student of Pope Benedict XVI and senior editor of the Roman Catholic Catechism–is planning a series of nine lectures on Creation and Evolution during the rest of the fall and winter. The lectures are meant to become a book, and they undoubtedly will be widely read.

As early as 1987 Cardinal Schönborn apparently wrote a major paper on the subject of Darwinian evolution as a chapter for a book on the topic, published in German but available in English. He clearly has taken up the case again and intends to pursue it. His website mentions numerous events where he has spoken on the subject lately.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.