Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic World News News Feature

Extra-terrestrial life is possible, Vatican astronomer says May 14, 2008

In an interview for L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's astronomer has offered his opinion that it is possible for Christians to believe in the existence of extra-terrestrial life.

Father José Gabriel Funes, an Argentine Jesuit, told the Vatican newspaper: "Just there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth there could be other beings, intelligent ones, created by God."

The astronomer's remarks appeared under the headline: "The extra-terrestrial is my brother." The interview in L'Osservatore Romano spawned dozens of headline stories in the secular press, many of them suggesting-- inaccurately-- that the Vatican had given official approval to belief in life on other planets.

Father Funes offered a more limited view, saying that the possibility of extra-terrestrial life cannot be disproved, and "does not contradict our faith." He argued that Christians should not attempt to place arbitrary limits on what God might have done in creating the universe.

However the Jesuit astronomer went on to speculate that if intelligent beings exist in another solar system, "they might have remained in full friendship with the Creator," and thus might not require salvation as the human race does.

Citing the perspective of St. Francis of Assisi, Father Funes said: "If we view earthly creatures as our brothers and sisters, why can't we speak of a brother from another planet?"

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 8 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 8 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 13 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17