Writing for the Grey Lady, Ian Fisher and Cornelia Dean note an article published in L'Osservatore, the official Vatican newspaper which defends the recent ruling in Dover, PA. Response on both sides was pretty much immediate:
Advocates for teaching evolution hailed the article. "He is emphasizing that there is no need to see a contradiction between Catholic teachings and evolution," said Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, professor of biology at the University of California, Irvine, and a former Dominican priest. "Good for him."
But Robert L. Crowther, spokesman for the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle organization where researchers study and advocate intelligent design, dismissed the article and other recent statements from leading Catholics defending evolution. Drawing attention to them was little more than trying "to put words in the Vatican's mouth," he said.
Because it IS the NYT, the authors took a pot-shot at the church, remarking:
But in the subtle and purposely ambiguous world of the Vatican, the comments seemed notable, given their strength on a delicate question much debated under the new pope, Benedict XVI.
It is, nonetheless, a notable stand. Hat Tip to R.L. Macklin.