Actually, this is my 2nd, toned-down attempt to reply. Unfortunately, I didn't save the 1st attempt. (In that attempt I pointed out that Hitler was never on the Index.)
Below, the stuff in italics was put online by HP, the 2nd, apparently unsuccessful attempt to reply is in bold italics:
COMMENTER A: I'd just like to point out that the Catholics have never taught in the literalism of the creation story, and have never been against evolution!
COMMENTER B: Correct, except where it comes to what the soul, which Catholics are taught is created separately by god and that the Adam and Eve story is about this creation of the soul and the division this created between animal and human.
Second, is that Catholicism still teaches that man is god's pinnacle, ie the end game of evolution, which evolution clearly states is hogwash.
But, at least theistic evolution is better than creationism and ID.
ME: Hold on a minute, B -- A said Catholics were NEVER "against evolution." Are you going along with that? Has the Church actually been on the scientific cutting edge here -- since Darwin? since Lamarck? I think A is the victim of a Catholic PR campaign. I could be wrong, but I think Catholicism's official embrace of evolution actually goes all the way back to 2009, and still contains a few thoroughly unscientific if's and but's. But you covered some of that by pointing out "that Catholicism still teaches that man is god's pinnacle."
COMMENTER B: Actually it goes back to 1950 which is a surprisingly long time and an encyclical entitled Humani generis. And, let's not forget that Mendel was an Augustinian monk and Lamark was Jesuit educated.
While the RCC didn't exactly accept evolutionary theory until 1950, they never placed On the Origin of Species on their list of prohibited books list, so while there was no official acceptance, there was also no official denial. So, technically A is correct with the caveats I mentioned previously.
ME: The moderation doesn't seem to have liked my first attempt to reply to this, let me try again:
1950, not 2009, I stand corrected. But 1950 still isn't anywhere near the scientific cutting edge. It's more than 20 years after a large segment of the population was dismayed by the result of the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee. And it seems that as late as 2009 the position taken in 1950 was still unclear enough to the average Catholic that another official Vatican statement on the matter was necessary. And as you point out, the Catholic characterization of man as the pinnacle of creation is unscientific and in complete disharmony with evolutionary theory. And finally, it is absurd to claim that the Church was never in opposition to an author merely because that author was never on the Index. There are many famous authors who never made it to the Index whom the Church in no way embraces: Schopenhauer, Marx, Nietzsche, to name just three.