Question from Peter Barnett on 4/2/2008:
Is the story of Adam and Eve true? Is the Book of Genesis just a myth or is does it have any historical accuracy? What is the church's teaching on this subject? Thank you.
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 4/4/2008:
While Pope Pius XII acknowledged the possibility that some elements of the first eleven chapters of Genesis may use "mythical language" he would not allow that we can reduce it to myth. I personally have found over the years that accepting the accounts as recorded is much easier to reconcile with Church doctrine and better for ones faith. For instance, the Church teaches that we are all born into the original sin of Adam and that the world was radically changed thereafter (suffering and sin entered the world). It is hard to imagine how, for instance, a theory of evolution could account for the fact that by a single act of disobedience, done at the suggestion of Satan, could have changed the world and brought death upon humanity. So I opt to read the Word of God as is, and cannot imagine that we would be held accountable, should we discover that some elements are otherwise.