Amidst last week’s progressive announcement that evolution and the Big Bang Theory are compatible with intelligent design, Pope Francis held firm in his conservative pro-life position.

Known as a reformer of traditional religious ideology, Francis previously challenged views on poverty, interfaith relations, and church formality. Nonetheless, he voiced his strong pro-life viewpoint last week.

The pope told the International Association of Penal Law that “all Christians and people of goodwill” should advocate for “the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms.”

This statement came days after Pope Francis declared that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are not incompatible with Christianity. In fact, according to Francis, the scientific theory of evolution necessitates divine intervention.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

“The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origins to something else, but it derives directly from a supreme principle that creates out of love,” he said. “The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary it requires it. Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of divine creation.”

Francis’s comments build on the progressive views of his predecessors, Pope Pius XII and John Paul II.

When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.