Feeds

Vatican star watcher says aliens may be out there

ET spiritus sancti

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Catholic Church’s top astronomer has said there is no contradiction between the one true faith and believing in aliens.

The statement will surely spark speculation that the Church knows more than it’s letting on and is preparing the world for some pretty big revelations, or at least laying the groundwork for mass conversions of extra-terrestrials once we’ve tracked them down.

José Gabriel Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory, admitted the possibility of extra-terrestrial life in an interview with the Papacy’s inhouse daily L'Osservatore Romano, titled “The Alien is my Brother”.

The paper quoted him saying: "It is possible, even if until now, we have no proof. But certainly in such a big universe this hypothesis cannot be excluded."

“This is not in contradiction with our faith, because we cannot establish limits to God's creative freedom,” Funes continued. “To say it with St Francis, if we can consider some earthly creatures as 'brothers' or 'sisters', why could we not speak of a 'brother alien'? He would also belong to the creation."

Funes even suggested that alien beings might be free of some of the earthly burdens that drag down we poor benighted humans. Not gravity, carnal pleasures or mortgages, of course, but good old original sin. “In that way, assuming that there would be other intelligent beings, we could not say that they need redemption. They could have remained in full friendship with the Creator."

But if aliens were sinners – and let’s face it, supposed visitors to this planet have pulled some pretty heinous stunts on earthly beings, from humans to cattle – Funes said they “in some way, would have the chance to enjoy God's mercy, just as it has happened with us human beings".

Thought-provoking stuff. Just as interesting will be the reaction of the Vatican proper to Funes’ comments. Popes have had a turbulent relationship with astronomers in the past. While John Paul II had a pretty indulgent attitude towards the Vatican observatory and science in general, the current incumbent on the throne of St Peter is thought to have a more reactionary attitude towards science and the like, to the extent of voicing support for intelligent design.

Whatever the current regime’s attitude towards astronomy, Funes mounted a solid defence of his discipline, telling the paper: "Astronomy has a profound human value. It is a science that opens the heart and the mind. It helps us to put our lives, our hopes, our problems in the right perspective.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.