Amazing! It looks like the SSPX is really going into overdrive in doubling down in its defense of Fr. Paul Robinson's book including its acceptance of BB. When (and why) in the world did traditional Catholic laymen, let alone TradCat clergy, start defending Big Bang which runs contra to the traditional Catholic interpretation of Sacred Scripture? One more valid reason for the existence of the TradCat Resistance!
Most useful book to avoid "catholic fundamentalism", and be faithful to the Fathers of the Church
Fr François Laisney, Apr 2019
I read the whole book, and truly consider its contribution to the defense of the Faith very important in our modern world.
St Augustine very explicitly says that the "DAYS" in Gen. I are NOT as the days of which we are used to ("non tamen talem [diem] qualem hic novimus"), marked by sunset and sunrise... for the very simple reason that the sun was created on the 4th day. Read "de Genesis ad litteram", 5:2.4
In the Scriptures, the word "day" is often used for periods of time (see Heb. 4:7). There is nothing against Faith to consider that the six days of creation are six periods of time, put in parallel with the week for many spiritual reasons. Anyone knowing Scriptures would know the parallel between the seven days in Gen. I and the chapters 1-2 of St John's Gospel; also the parallel between the waters vivified by the Spirit of life in Gen. 1:2 and the waters of baptism.
Note that Father Robinson does not support evolution. The big-bang theory, which Father shows as compatible with the faith, should rather be put in parallel with the growth of a baby in the womb: it starts very small (the primeval atom / the first cell) and unfolds in a most marvellous way, yet perfectly PLANNED by the Divine Intelligence. Both unfolding manifest in a beautiful way the Wisdom and the omnipotence of God as the Author of Nature. And that is much better than the notion of God as a fairy with a wand making all things on the spot as we see it today: this is imagination, and not theology.
I am going to presume Fr. Laisney is merely ignorant of the subject matter of which he speaks, since the only other option would be that he is deliberately deceiving his readers:
He creates the impression that "the Fathers" (plural) back Fr. Robinson's modernist exegesis, when in truth it is ONLY St. Augustine who offers an alternative (and an alternative to the other Fathers which, moreover, he acknowledged was merely a possibility).
ALL the other Fathers agree with a 6 day creation, and if it so happens that the Prots agree with the Catholics in this regard, shall I reject the truth because they accept it?
Shall I reject baptism because Prots accept it as well?
Here is Sungenis with regard to St. Augustine:"Augustine’s view of the light of Genesis 1:3 as possibly referring to the angels, as well as his idea that the whole creation was made instantaneously rather than six days, is the only major break with the rest of the Fathers on Genesis 1. Even then, Augustine was not dogmatic about his views. In The Literal Meaning of Genesis he concedes:“Whoever, then, does not accept the meaning that my limited powers have been able to discover of conjecture but seeks in the enumeration of the days of creation a different meaning, which might be understood not in a prophetical or figurative sense, but literally and more aptly, in interpreting the works of creation, let him search and find a solution with God’s help. I myself may possibly discover some other meaning more in harmony with the words of Scripture. I certainly do not advance the interpretation given above in such a way as to imply that no better one can ever be found, although I do maintain that Sacred Scripture does not tell us that God rested after feeling weariness and fatigue” (Bk 4, Ch 28, No 45). Other than that, there was a consensus among all the Fathers who spoke on Genesis 1. Opponents of a literal six-day creation account have readily admitted that simple fact. They just don’t think it holds any weight in the discussion, since they raise the objection that the Fathers did not have the same scientific acumen as we today."http://kolbecenter.org/the-case-against-theistic-evolution/
OK, well, can Sungenis back up his contention that all the other Fathers (which would suffice for moral unanimity on the subject) backed a literal 6-day creation? Does he have the evidence?
Yes, and a veritable mountain of it:
"But of significant importance is the following: Of the Fathers who commented on Genesis 1, the majority specify that they understand the “day” as a 24-hour period, many even using the very phrase “twenty-four hours.” Those who do not use “twenty-four hours” refer to the Creation days as a fraction of a week, or some other literal designation which cannot be misconstrued as a long or indefinite period of time.In fact, one contemporary researcher, noting his exasperation in not finding anything but a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 in the Fathers, stated: “It was too speculative and difficult to appeal to the majority, who preferred to believe that the six days were really periods of time” (F. E. Robbins. The Hexaemeral Literature. University of Chicago, 1911, p. 22). Similarly, even theistic evolutionist, Fr. Stanley Jaki, admits: “As I reviewed one after another the great commentaries on Genesis 1, I could not help feeling how close their authors were, time and again, to an interpretation which is strictly literal…” (Genesis 1 Through the Ages, p. xii).Let’s see what Jaki was talking about. Observe how close and specific the interpretation of the Fathers is on Genesis 1:Basil (329-379): “Thus were created the evening and the morning. Scripture means the space of a day and a night…If it therefore says ‘one day,’ it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain. Now twenty-four hours fills up the space of one day – we mean of a day and of a night” (Hexameron 2, 8.)Gregory of Nyssa (335-394): Gregory confirms the views of Basil on the details of the Creation in the following passage: “Before I begin, let me testify that there is nothing contradictory in what the saintly Basil wrote about the creation of the world since no further explanation is needed. They should suffice and alone take second place to the divinely inspired Testament. Let anyone who hearkens to our attempts through a leisurely reading be not dismayed if they agree with our words. We do not propose a dogma which gives occasion for calumny; rather, we wish to express only our own insights so that what we offer does not detract from the following instruction. Thus let no one demand from me questions which seem to fall in line with common opinion, either from holy Scripture or explained by our teacher. My task is not to fathom those matters before us which appear contradictory; rather, permit me to employ my own resources to understand the text’s objective. With God’s help we can fathom what the text means which follows a certain defined order regarding creation. ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ [Gen 1.1], and the rest which pertains to the cosmogenesis which the six days encompass.” (Hexaemeron, PG 44:68-69, translated by Richard McCambly).Eustathius (270-337), Bishop of Antioch, called Basil’s commentary on Genesis 1 an “overall great commentary” (PG 18, 705-707).Ambrose (340-397): “But Scripture established a law of twenty-four hours, including both day and night, should be given the name of day only, as if one were to say the length of one day is twenty-four hours in extent.” (Hexameron 1:37, FC 42:42).“In the beginning of time, therefore God created heaven and earth. Time proceeds from this world, not before the world. And the day is a division of time, not its beginning.” (Hexameron 1:20, FC 42:19).“But now we seem to have reached the end of our discourse, since the 6th day is completed and the sum total of the work has been concluded.” (Hexameron 6:75, FC 42:282).Victorinus (c 355-361): “The Creation of the World: In the beginning God made the light, and divided it in the exact measure of twelve hours by day and by night, for this reason, doubtless, that day might bring over the night as an occasion of rest for men’s labours; that, again, day might overcome, and thus that labour might be refreshed with this alternate change of rest, and that repose again might be tempered by the exercise of day. “On the fourth day He made two lights in the heaven, the greater and the lesser, that the one might rule over the day, the other over the night… (cf. (NPNF1, vol. 7, pp. 341-343).”Ephrem the Syrian (306-373): “‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,’ that is, the substance of the heavens and the substance of the earth. So let no one think that there is anything allegorical in the works of the six days. No one can rightly say that the things that pertain to these days were symbolic.” (Commentary on Genesis,1:1, FC 91:74)Theophilus (c 185): “Of this six days’ work no man can give a worthy explanation and description of all its parts…on account of the exceeding greatness and riches of the wisdom of God which there is in the six days’ work above narrated” (Autolycus 2,12).Irenaeus, (140-202): “For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded…For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year” (Against Heresies 5, 28, 3).Among the Fathers, several of them show the same chronology in their eschatological view: that, prophetically speaking, a day equates to one thousand years. Regardless whether the Fathers’ view of a six-millennium span for the world is correct, the only important fact for our purposes is that the ‘day = 1000 years’ schema confirms the Fathers’ belief that a day in Genesis 1 is less than one thousand years, and more specifically, that the day is precisely 24-hours. In other words, these Fathers did not believe that a day of Genesis was 1000 years. Their formula is certainly not 1000 years in Genesis 1 = 1000 years of the earth’s longevity; rather, a single day of 24 hours in Genesis = 1000 years of the earth’s longevity.Lactantius (250-317): “God completed the world and this admirable work of nature in the space of six days, as is contained in the secrets of Holy Scripture, and consecrated the seventh day…For there are seven days, by the revolutions of which in order the circles of years are made up…Therefore, since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years…For the great day of God is limited by a circle of a thousand years, as the prophet shows, who says, ‘In Thy sight, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day.” …And as God labored during those six days in creating such great works, so His religion and truth must labor during these six thousand years… (Institutes 7, 14).Here we notice how Lactantius, as other Fathers, believes in a six thousand year time-span for the existence of the present heaven and earth. In order to arrive at this calculation, Lactantius must first understand the days of Genesis as twenty-four hour periods, which can then, by application of the “prophets” words, be an analogical prediction to the time of the demise of the Creation.Methodius (c 311): For you seem to me, O Theophila, to have discussed those words of the Scripture amply and clearly, and to have set them forth as they are without mistake. For it is a dangerous thing wholly to despise the literal meaning, as has been said, and especially of Genesis, where the unchangeable decrees of God for the constitution of the universe are set forth, in agreement with which, even until now, the world is perfectly ordered, most beautifully in accordance with a perfect rule, until the Lawgiver Himself having re-arranged it, wishing to order it anew, shall break up the first laws of nature by a fresh disposition. But, since it is not fitting to leave the demonstration of the argument unexamined – and, so to speak, half-lame – come let us, as it were completing our pair, bring forth the analogical sense, looking more deeply into the Scripture; for Paul is not to be despised when he passed over the literal meaning, and showed that the word extended to Christ and the Church. (Banquet of the Ten Virgins, Discourse III, Ch 2).Clement of Alexandria (150-216): One can get a clearer picture of how literally Clement interprets Scriptural numbers in Book 1, Ch. 21 of the Stromata. There he enumerates a long series of chronological data. For our purposes, Clement specifies the length of time from Adam to Noah’s Flood to the very day: “From Adam to the deluge are comprised two thousand one hundred and forty-eight years, four days” (ANF, Vol. 2, p. 332).This would necessarily mean that Clement would have considered the first day of the above enumeration as beginning on the sixth day of creation, which would mean that the seventh day would be the second day, and so on.Epiphanius (315-403): “Adam, who was fashioned from the earth on the sixth day and received breath, became a living being (for he was not, as some suppose, begun on the fifth day, and completed on the sixth; those who say have the wrong idea), and was simple and innocent, without any other name.” (Panarion 1:1, translated by Phillip R. Amidon).Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386): “In six days God made the world…The sun, however resplendent with bright beams, yet was made to give light to man, yea, all living creatures were formed to serve us: herbs and trees were created for our enjoyment…The sun was formed by a mere command, but man by God’s hands” (Catechetical Lectures 12, 5).“…but the earth is from the waters: and before the whole six days’ formation of the things that were made, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water. The water was the beginning of the world…” (Catechetical Lectures, 3, 5).Hippolytus (160-235): “But it was right to speak not of the ‘first day,’ but of ‘one day,’ in order that by saying ‘one,’ he might show that it returns on its orbit, and, while it remains one, makes up the week….On the first day God made what He made out of nothing.” (Genesis 1:5, 1:6; ANF, vol. 5, p. 163).Hippolytus also critiques the Greek philosophers for allegorizing the days of Genesis. He writes:“When, therefore, Moses has spoken of ‘the six days in which God made heaven and earth’…Simon, in a manner already specified, giving these and other passages of Scripture a different application from the one intended by the holy writers, deifies himself. When, therefore, the followers of Simon affirm that there are three days begotten before sun and moon, they speak enigmatically…”(Refutation of All Heresies, Book VI, Ch IX).Hippolytus, as did some of the other Fathers who believed that the world would end in 6,000 years, shows his belief in a literal six days of creation by equating them with the 6,000 years. He writes: “Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled.”Chrysostom (344-407): “Acknowledging that God could have created the world ‘in a single day, nay in a single moment,’ he chose ‘a sort of succession and established things by parts’…so that, accurately interpreted by that blessed prophet Moses, we do not fall in with those who are guided by human reasonings” (PG, Homily 3, col 35).Athanasius (295-373): “For as to the separate stars or the great lights, not this appeared first, and that second, but in one day and by the same command, they were all called into being. And such was the original formation of the quadrupeds, and of birds, and fishes, and cattle, and plants; thus too has the race made after God’s Image come to be, namely men; for though Adam was formed out of earth, yet in him was involved the succession of the whole race” (Discourse Against the Arians, Discourse II, 48; NPNF2, vol. 4, pp. 374-375).Notice that Athanasius specifies that on the day the stars were made they were not made separately; rather, “in one day and by the same command, they were all called into being…” The same, of course, would be true on the fifth day when, as Athanasius says, “the quadrupeds, and of birds, and fishes, and cattle…” were made. By the words, “same command” Athanasius is not saying that the stars and animals were created together, but that each category of creation was made in one day by a specific command on that day. This is confirmed also in II, 49 as he says, “for it was not first one and then another, but all at once were constituted after their kinds.” “Kinds” refers to the specific creatures being made, as Athanasius goes on to say in the remainder of the context. “We begin the holy fast on the fifth day…and adding to it according to the number of those six holy and great days, which are the symbol of the creation of the world, let us rest and cease from fasting on the tenth day of the same…on the holy sabbath of the week” (Easter Letter, 10). ENDhttp://kolbecenter.org/the-case-against-theistic-evolution/