Check out this excerpt from an NBC News article appearing yesterday:
Big Bang theory and evolution in nature “do not contradict” the idea of creation, Pope Francis has told an audience at the Vatican, saying God was not “a magician with a magic wand.” The Pope’s remarks on Monday to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences appeared to be a theological break from his predecessor Benedict XVI, a strong exponent of creationism.
“The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to something else, but it derives directly from a supreme principle that creates out of love,” Pope Francis said. “The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary, it requires it. Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of [divine] creation because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve.”
A “theological break from his predecessor Benedict XVI”? Hmmm… But it was only back in 2007 when the same NBC News published this story about Pope Benedict XVI and evolution.
LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy — Pope Benedict XVI said the debate raging in some countries — particularly the United States and his native Germany — between creationism and evolution was an “absurdity,” saying that evolution can coexist with faith.
The pontiff, speaking as he was concluding his holiday in northern Italy, also said that while there is much scientific proof to support evolution, the theory could not exclude a role by God.
“They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the pope said. “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”
Even if we accept evolution, God is still required to get the ball rolling. Evolution does not disprove the existence of God at all. Sounds to me like the two popes are saying the same thing.