What Catholics Believe about Creation

In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, we have two stories about Godís creation of the world and everything that exists. These accounts are not scientific explanations of Godís exact methods of creation but rather are ancient stories to explain our existence and our origin from God. Many people wonder what it is exactly that they must believe about creation.

Here are the nine things the Church teaches that we must believe about creation (Genesis 1-11):

1. The creation of all things by God at the beginning of time.
2. The special creation of man.
3. The formation of the first woman from man.
4. The unity of the human race. [Common parents]
5. The original happiness of our first parents.
6. The divine command placed upon man to prove his obedience.
7. Manís transgression of that command at the instigation of the
devil by the serpent.
8. The fall of our first parents from the state of innocence.
9. The promise of a future redeemer.

 These are the teachings of the Magisterium (through the Pontifical Biblical Commission) in 1909.

ďDid Adam and Eve Really Exist? In a word, ĎYes.í Other biblical writers believed it (see Tb 8:6, Acts 17:26, Rom 5:12), and in 1909 the Pontifical Biblical Commission confirmed it, saying that among other things, one of the things that must be believed to be true about the Genesis account of creation is the oneness of the human race.

 Pope Pius XIIís encyclical Humani Generis states it firmly: ... the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own. (cf. Rom 5:12-19; Council of Trent, Session V, canon 1-4)Ē