May 14, 2008

Vatican Approves Belief in Aliens

Ezekiel saw de wheel
Way in de middle o' de air
Ezekiel saw de wheel
In de middle o' de air

-- Traditional "Negro Spiritual"

The Vatican has weighed in on the debate over the existence of life on other planets and pronounced it plausible and consistent with a belief in God.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?" Funes said. "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation."

. . .

The interview, headlined "The extraterrestrial is my brother," covered a variety of topics including the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and science, and the theological implications of the existence of alien life.

Fumes also tried to salve the wounds of barbaric persecutions of its past.

Funes urged the church and the scientific community to leave behind divisions caused by Galileo's persecution 400 years ago, saying the incident has "caused wounds."

In 1633 the astronomer was tried as a heretic and forced to recant his theory that the Earth revolved around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.

No indication, at this time, of similar advancement on gay tolerance or abortion rights.

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