Vatican astronomer ponders baptism of extra-terrestrials
A pocket-sized book published by the Catholic Truth Society in the UK addresses Catholic attitudes to extra-terrestrial life.
Independent Catholic News reports that with increasing numbers of people believing not only in the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, but even claiming encounters with aliens, it is not surprising that the Catholic Church is beginning to explore what effect the discovery of sentient ETs might have on Christian theology.
In: Intelligent Life in the Universe? Catholic belief and the search for
extraterrestrial intelligent life, author Guy Consolmagno SJ, asks:
• Would humans recognise intelligent life if we saw it?
• Could we communicate with it? Should we even try?
• Is Original Sin something that affects all intelligent beings?
• Is Jesus Christ's redemption valid for intelligent beings throughout the universe?
• or would other worlds have their own version of Jesus?
• Would the Church send missionaries to ET planets?
Guy Consolmagno SJ, a Jesuit religious brother and astronomer, divides his year between the Vatican's observatory in Arizona and its older observatory at the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, in the hills outside of Rome.
Brother Guy has advanced degrees in planetary science from MIT and the University of Arizona. He spends his time observing comets and asteroids, and does experiments with the Vatican's vast collection of meteorites one of the largest in the world. He is one of a dozen Jesuit astronomers doing this work. The order been engaged in astronomy since before Galileo.
Vatican astronomer asks: could you baptise an extra-terrestrial? (Independent Catholic News 11/10/05)
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Catholic Truth Society
12 Oct 2005