BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – At Canisius High School, senior Anthony Taboni loves discussing religious teachings.
“I think it’s great that I have the opportunity to discuss with people who don’t have the exact same opinion I do,” Taboni said.
This week, in class and among friends, a topic of discussion has been recent comments made by Pope Francis.
Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope said, “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so.”
He went on to say, “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.”
Those comments rang true to Taboni.
“I don’t think there is any conflict between evolution and the Big Bang theory and religion, because at the core there is still the fact that God created the universe,” he said.
Father Joseph Costantino at Canisius says the comments shouldn’t be such a surprise. He says for many years the Catholic Church has held the belief that evolution and intelligent design don’t conflict with Catholic beliefs. And he believes parts of the Bible, such as God creating the world in seven days, shouldn’t be taken literally.
“It’s never literal. The church, with the second Vatican council talked about that – that the scriptures need to be interpreted,” Costantino said.
Costantino believes Pope Francis’ comments tend to stick and stir debate, because he is so plain spoken. And Taboni says that’s what makes him so fun to follow and learn from.
“I love it. It brings it down to Earth. The fact that this is not some person on a pedestal. It’s an average person who is trying to spread what he believes and what he thinks the message is about,” Taboni said.