Vatican watchers pay close attention to the sermons a pope preaches during the historic rites that immediately follow his election.
Yet few flinched when Pope Benedict XVI made the following comment on the origin of human life during the Mass marking the inauguration of his pontificate.
"The purpose of our lives is to reveal God to men," he said, in St. Peter's Square. "And only where God is seen does life truly begin...We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."
That sounded innocent. But a direct statement about evolution later inspired howls of outrage when it appeared in the sacred pages of the New York Times. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, a member of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, said he was trying to stop what he believes are media attempts to plant Rome firmly in the Darwinist camp.
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