New Washington Archbishop favours Intelligent Design in schools

An Austrian-based Catholic news service has reported that the Archbishop-designate of Washington DC, Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh, "threw his support behind the teaching of Intelligent Design as an alternative theory of creation to materialist Darwinism".

According to Kath.net, Bishop Wuerl who will replace Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as archbishop in Washington DC, spoke last year of the theory's "reasonableness" and the need to offer students more than one theory of the origins of life.

The Archdiocese of Washington is one of the "red hat" dioceses of the US whose archbishop is customarily made a cardinal, and Archbishop Wuerl, at 65, is likely to be of voting age at the next papal election.

In an article for the Pittsburgh diocesan newspaper, Archbishop Wuerl said that "Intelligent Design" presented a middle ground between the ardent secularists who deny the origins of life in God and the so-called creationists who refute any development of life.

With Intelligent Design, he wrote, "We recognise both God's free creation of all that is and the possibility, or even probability, that creation carried within it the plan of development which we can call evolution."

"Intellectual design in the world is a rational conclusion based on thousands of years of observation and reflection. It is not an 'a priori' religious tenant superimposed on the facts. Rather it is the light of reason illuminating the universe."

Also in 2005, Wuerl issued a formal pastoral letter condemning the use of living human embryos for research that ends their lives. "According to the most recent research," he wrote, "adult stem cells have produced 140 successful treatments for 56 diseases."

"Morally, ethically and humanly speaking," he said, "one cannot justify taking innocent human life for any alleged good that might come from it."

"We are not free to stand by and watch as others formulate a whole new culture in which human life is viewed basically as a commodity that can be created for parts that are bought and sold," he wrote.

New Washington DC Archbishop favours Intelligent Design in Schools (Kath.net 17/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Washington | Archbishop-Designate Donald W. Wuerl
Bishop Donald Wuerl: Intelligent Design or Mindless Evolution (Diocese of Pittsburgh 16/9/05)

Vatican newspaper says intelligent design not science (CathNews 19/1/06)
Pell 'agnostic' on intelligent design (CathNews 5/9/05)
'Intelligent design' theory threatens evolution in US schools (CathNews 24/11/04)

Bishop Wuerl Succeeding Cardinal McCarrick in D.C. (Zenit 16/5/06)
Boston novena seeks to promote healing in wake of abuse crisis (Catholic News Service 15/5/06)
Cardinal McCarrick, Bishop Imesch resign; successors named (Catholic News Service 16/5/06)
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Pope Names New Washington Bishop (The Guardian/Associated Press 16/5/06)
Bishops' Aide Says "Holly's Law" Still Needed (Zenit 14/5/06)
Toledo priest convicted of 1980 ritual killing of nun (National Catholic Reporter 11/5/06)
Ohio priest convicted, sentenced to life in 1980 murder of nun (Catholic News Service 11/5/06)
Catholic priest convicted over satanic ritual murder of nun (The Advertiser 13/5/06)

19 May 2006