Update again: On Evolution.
The following letter from the February 1997 Catholic World Report appeared in the February 15, 1997 Remnant:
In the interest of accuracy, please be kind enough to inform your readership that the discrepancy between the originally distributed translation of the Pope's remarks on evolution and the significantly different translation appearing in the English language L'Osservatore Romano (which formed the basis of my article in Catholic World Report) has been settled in favor of the original translation.
Catholic News Service put a story on its wire November 19 which quoted the editor of the English-language L'Osservatore Romano as saying that the translation appearing in his October 30 edition -- 'more than one hypothesis on the theory of evolution' -- is 'overly literal' and 'obscured the real meaning of the text.' Subsequently, Italian language L'Osservatore Romano published an official translation which settled the question once and for all, officially: the Pope said evolution is 'more than a hypothesis.'
Having had recourse to several native French speakers, each of whom independently translated the official French text of the disputed paragraph as 'more than a hypothesis,' and each of whom -- while admitting the potential for ambiguity in a literal translation of the text, nonetheless assured me that they as native French speakers could take no other meaning from the sentence than 'more than a hypothesis' -- I am satisfied that Catholic News Service has conclusively addressed the issue of the Pope's actual meaning raised in my Catholic World Report article, and has provided an accurate translation of the Pope's remarks.
Those who consider the assertion that evolution is 'more than a hypothesis' problematic should be honest enough to admit that their problem is not with Catholic News Service, but with Pope John Paul II.
Rich De Lano
[And, once again, the competence of the Church or the Pope is in matters of faith and morals -- not science. -- Editor]