Let us quote:
Moses*, who wrote the Book of Genesis, used the Hebrew word "yom"--which means a time period of unspecified length as it was used at the time. It was translated as "day."
It means day. Like day it can in some contexts mean sth other than 12 hours that are light or 24 consecutive hours shared outside polar regions between light and dark. If Pius XII - whom "Introibo" you later bring on - thought anything else, he was misled. He can have chosen to be misled.
"Whether in the designation and distinction of six days with which the account of the first chapter of Genesis deals, the word 'DAY' can be assumed either in its proper sense of a natural day, or in the improper sense of a certain space of time; and whether with regard to such a question there can be free disagreement among the exegetes?"
On June 30, 1909, the Commission (with full approval from His Holiness Pope St. Pius X) responded:
"IN THE AFFIRMATIVE"
So far, fine.
Are you quoting the rest?
This also comports with the Commission's decision of June 23, 1905 (also approved by Pope St. Pius X) that Scripture gives historical accounts except "...where without opposing the sense of the Church and preserving its judgement, it is proved with strong arguments that the sacred writer did not wish to put down true history, and history properly so-called, but to set forth, under the appearance and form of history a parable, an allegory, or some meaning removed from the properly literal or historical significance of the words."
Yes, and as there are really and truly no such indications of Moses meaning sth else than giving history, the decision of 1905 clearly means that Genesis 1 to 11 is history, not fable, history, not allegorical fable (I am not saying there is no allegory in history!).
Key word PROVEN.
"In my opinion (and consistent with the decrees of the Pontifical Biblical Commission approved by Pope St. Pius X), Moses meant to convey that man was God's special creation, so the Earth (our planet) takes place of pride over the other celestial bodies."
You stated it as your OPINION that Moses meant to convey sth other than a strictly historical account of not only what God did but how God did it.
Your OPINION is not PROVEN fact.
Therefore you are violating the decision of 1905 by deviating from Genesis 1 to 11 as history.
Oh, yes, Humani Generis by the maybe Pope Pius XII.
"For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that ..."
Taste these words a little.
Catholics are allowed to remarry if they become widows or widowers, unless the widowers have first been ordained and unless widows or widowers have after loss of conjoint entered a monastery and made eternal vows.
No Pope could ever formulate this as "the pastoral authority of the church does not at present forbid widows and widowers to remarry, pending future modifications from research by psychiologists" or anything like that.
And the words corresponding to "at present" and "pending future" etc. while not in the line I just quoted are paralleled definitely all along the rest of the quote from Humani Generis. In other words, Humani Generis does not mean we can believe Evolution if we feel like it (the wording does not discuss what we are at liberty to believe in our hearts even) like definitions immemorable mean we are free to eat meat (unless it is a day when the Church forbids that).
You are also missing that you may not be an expert of both Biblical exegesis and natural sciences, I am probably more so than you on both accounts.
You proceed to complain of any Catholic disagreeing with you on holding Old Earth to be licit like a widower remarrying is definitely licit in a way totally disagreeing with the conditions posed by Pius XII, your darling:
"However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith."
Note, you are socially treating those differing from your way to a traditional way like heretics disputing the freedoms of Catholics. That is definitely incompatible with the condition here given.
Note also, Pacelli was a lawyer before he maybe became a Pope. He does not specify the decision of the Church has to be a future one. He is hiding, but not daring to deny it could well be that the decision is already given.
Church Fathers. Trent. 1905. 1909.
Here is a theologian from 1955, Sagues:
"It is assumed that the hypothesis is not certainly directly or indirectly opposed to revelation, since otherwise it would be totally rejected; it is assumed it can, since the Church does not forbid it, be freely discussed in the present-day context of theology and natural science (this does not include everyone), but only by experts in both camps"
I am in the anti-Evolution camp and after 15 years of debate, sorry, 16, an amateur expert (note, the Latin expertes does not involve the connotation of University accredited expertise that the translation has!) of both Biblical and Scientifical evidence relevant to the matter. I can therefore on these terms discuss it. Even assuming Pius XII was a true Pope, even assuming he was giving a charitable rather than an iniquitous judgement (being careful not to taint his infallibility by any direct favouring of the theory he seems by then to have favoured, to the detriment of his faith), even assuming I am schismatic for not recognising his authority, even assuming all this, I am not violating in fact his conditions.**
You are. Repeating his words to shut down the debate by those who have more definite reasons against Evolution than you have and even by those who would like to favour Evolution by argument more direct than merely "canonic", that is the very opposite of even his ruling. You are violating it.
Learn to read before you start to write.
Learn justice before you start judging.
The exact age of the earth in terms of how many centuries more or less, is not and probably cannot be infallibly defined.
We have Vulgate which can be read as 6000 years (which is why Haydock commentary on its translation Douay Rheims gives Ussher years for OT events).
We have LXX, the standard text of which can easily be read as the 7500 years of Syncellus or its near equivalent Byzantine martyrology (September 1 in their case, perhaps?).
We have the calculation of St Jerome, based on what seems to be a non-standard LXX version, perhaps a LXX tradition without the Second Cainan. In this sense, we were 7199 in 2000 AD. It is used in the Roman Martyrology for December 25.
There is an excellent reason why the Church is not deciding between these and defining one of these at the cost of the other ones. No one of these can claim exclusive rights to defending Biblical literal inerrantism on Genesis early history.
All of them do.
None of the at least first and last can be seen as violating Trent, or both do.
You define 6000 years, you ditch Roman Martyrology and therefore violate Trentine defense of Traditional Mass Liturgy.
You define 7200 years, you ditch the Vulgate reading and thereofore violate a rigorist at least reading of the "as contained in the Vulgate" clause of canonic books. Also a requirement of Trent.
But not deciding between 6000 and 7200 years is very far from not deciding between 6000 and 4.5 billion years. You are off by orders of magnitude between the latitude Catholicism actually allows.
Perhaps the days before creation of the Sun were not 24 hours long, but only 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds? The first light God created could have been rotating (see book I of De Genesis ad Litteram, read it through in a Loeb edition, not just the quote you love quotemining) at same speed as the aether which is presumably rotating around earth at full circle that time. Creation of Sun slowed the day down a bit.
Or, the Church has not condemned the Augustinian position which Palmar de Troya dared to dogmatise : "in one moment" (taken from a discussion from same work, but books 5 and 6*** - a discussion St Augustine ends by noting a one moment creation is not a compulsory feat of mental gymnastics, it is fine for beginners at least to stick with the actual six days).
In other words, the question has its shades - and evades certain nuances like directly asking on long ages - and the answer is as rough and ready as I was asked to yesterday by a believer in OSAS.°
This does not directly make the answer applicable as an affirmative to a specific version of the "not 24 hours".
The question was not posed as involving long ages as one such alternative to strictly 24 hours. There may have been an attempt to do so, and it may have been sent back unpublished with comments (not from Pope St Pius X, certainly) "on these terms I can give no wiggle room : you want wiggle room, be less specific". Presumably more direct wiggle room could have been given with Rampolla as Pope - and Pacelli was, I seem to recall, close to Rampolla at this or some close time.
In sum, you have done a nice work of quotemining and discussing glibly documents of Church Authority which you seem incapable of totally grasping the implications of, you have shown yourself as an ass (donkey) in the process of being the other kind of ass towards the kind of Traditional Catholics you don't happen to like. Because they take social risks you don't feel prepared to take and you feel implied even in their taking this.
Meanwhile, since the actual terms of Pius XII involved a weighing of evidence, it is noteworthy that the evidence which has come up since then on the Creationist side is being ignored and also purposefully ignored, but it is there.
And it is momentous, since a Creationist timeline of Göbekli Tepe would probably make it Babel, and that means wheat is post-Flood, and that means Cain when sacrificing "fruits of the earth" was not sacrificing wheat.
And non-Catholics - both Protestant and Jews - are contributing to showing it. Are we seeing the children of the kingdom (that is, of the Catholic Church) about to be thrown out and strangers about to be invited?
Hans Georg Lundahl
Pope St Marcellus I°°
PS The addition in the title refers to the possibility that the laymen called "Introibo" on the web, since anonymously or pseudonymously writing the blog "Introibo ad altare Dei" could be handing on what he had from a priest who, in this fashion, is not attacked himself by those responding to it./HGL
PPS, here are references to fuller text of Bible commission 1909 and 1905: 1905 & 1909 - when I accuse someone of quotemining, I had better not ask everyone else to just take my word for it, let alone himself.
PPPS, spotted a "psychiologists" which should obviously be shorter by an i.
* "Introibo" : Monkey Business About Creation
** Note : when I started, or a little after that, I was Palmarian. I was therefore believing the Church had already given a definition subsequent to Humani Generis, since that is what Gregorio XVII did (he went for 6000 years, not 7200, see below for details). But more importantly, I already knew that the Church had really defined the question by its being there in all Church Fathers treating on it as per Trent.
*** I think St Augustine may also have discussed his one moment creation briefly in Confessiones, since the six days had prevented his conversion from Gnostic or Manichaean as in "why would God need so much time".
° Catholic magisterium has some in common with Evangelical street preachers (though this one was over internet) and I am not writing magisterially. The commission of St Pius X was.
°° Romae, via Salaria, natalis sancti Marcelli Primi, Papae et Martyris; qui, ob catholicae fidei confessionem, jubente Maxentio tyranno, primo caesus est fustibus, deinde ad servitium animalium cum custodia publica deputatus, et ibidem, serviendo indutus amictu cilicino, defunctus est.