4. The three orders of created beings are necessary, according to the declaration of the Church, to the harmony of the universe; to suppress any one of them would be to render the work of the Creator incomplete, and to contravene the plan of the eternal wisdom. Nevertheless, one of the fundamental dogmas of the Church declares that the Earth, the animals, the plants, the sun, moon, and stars, and light itself, were created, drawn forth out of nothing, six thousand years ago. Consequently, before that epoch, there existed neither human beings nor any purely physical beings; so that, throughout the whole of the eternity of the past, the work of the Divinity had remained incomplete. The creation of the universe six thousand years ago is so strictly an article of faith among orthodox believers that, only a few years ago, science was anathematized because it had upset the chronology of the Bible by demonstrating the immense antiquity of the Earth and of its inhabitants.
Again; the Lateran Council – an Ecumenical Council whose decisions are accepted as law by the orthodox – says expressly: – “We firmly believe that there is but one sole true God, eternal and infinite, who, in the beginning of time, drew forward together, out of nothing, both orders of creatures, viz., the spiritual and the corporeal.” “The beginning of time” can only be understood, as referring to some epoch in the past, for time is infinite, like space; and “the beginning of time” is therefore merely a figure of speech implying some undefined anteriority. The Lateran Council, then, “firmly believes” that the spiritual and corporeal beings were created simultaneously, and that they “were drawn forth together, out of nothing,” at some undetermined epoch in the past. But, in that case, what becomes of the text of the Bible, which fixes the date of this creation at six thousand (of our) years ago? Even if we admit that date as the beginning of the visible universe, it certainly could not be “the beginning of time.” Which of these two statements are we to believe, that of the Council, or that of the Bible?