Cardinal William Levada, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the Catholic Church doesn't stand in the way of scientific realities like evolution, saying there was a "wide spectrum of room" for belief in both the scientific basis for evolution and faith in God the creator.
"We believe that however creation has come about and evolved, ultimately God is the creator of all things..."
"The false contraposition between Darwinism and the Church," is how the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, headlined its story on the conference...
Pope John Paul II articulated the church's position most clearly in a 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, in which he said the theory of evolution was "more than a hypothesis."
But the Vatican's position became somewhat confused in recent years, in part because of a 2005 New York Times op-ed piece signed by a close Benedict collaborator, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn [who] seemed to reject traditional church teaching and backed instead intelligent design...
Vatican officials later made clear they did not believe intelligent design was science and that teaching it alongside evolutionary theory in school science classes only created confusion.
Francisco Ayala, a former priest and professor of biological sciences and philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, called intelligent design and creationism "blasphemous" not only to science but to the Christian faith.Reposted from 2009 in recognition of Darwin Day.