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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Does the Vatican Accept Exobiology?

Vatican chief astronomer Father Jose Gabriel Funes, in a Washington Post story today, reports on an interview last year [video] in which the preist noted the possibility of "brother extraterrestrials" and that such poses no problem for Catholic theology. "As a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God," Funes explained. "This does not conflict with our faith because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God."

The statements by Funes are the latest in a string of comments in recent years by Vatican astronomers confirming a belief that discovery may be made in the near future of alien life, including intelligent life, and that this discovery would not unhinge the doctrine of Christ.

Approximately 9 years ago the late Monsignor Corrado Balducci made similar news [video] when he said extraterrestrials [ETs] were actually already interacting with earth and that some of the Vatican's leaders were aware of it.

In 2005, Guy Consolmagno published a short book with the Catholic Truth Society on "Intelligent Life in the Universe - Catholic belief and the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life" to provide the faithful reassurance to the modern day questions being posed by the science of astrobiology.


Michael Turner said...

This is news? Giordano Bruno was not burned at the stake for suggesting the possibility of sentient beings elsewhere in the universe. Rather, it was that he insisted on the theological necessity of it. Now, I think capital punishment was a bit stiff for this heresy, but the fact is, the more scientific position is to assert the high likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence, but deny the certainty, and to do it on scientific (not theological) grounds. So the Church has been admitting the possibility of "brother extraterrestrials" for quite a while. It's just not dogmatically wedded to the idea.

proto Post said...

I kind of wonder how Catholic theology deals with the idea that there is a giant universe filled with stars and planets, and that Earth is a very, very small part of that.

If there is intelligent life elsewhere on the universe, does it have a soul, and is it relevant to Christianity?

And if there isn't, and the Earth is at least the center of the theological universe, what's the point of all the other stuff out there?