On Thursday, January 6, 2010 before 10,000 patrons at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI declared God was the creator of the universe in a sermon during a feast day celebrating the Epiphany. The Pope stated: "The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe. Contemplating it [the universe] we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God."
The Pope's sermon was based on the Big Bang theory scientists suspect is behind the creation of the universe over 13.7 billion years ago. The Pope also offered: "In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality...we can only let ourselves be guided towards God, creator of heaven and earth." In this rare statement, the Pope declared that scientific theories regarding the birth of the universe leave far too many questions unanswered.
Pope Benedict and his predecessor, John Paul II, have worked carefully to transform the Church's acceptance of evolution and scientific theory while stepping away from theories of creationism.