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Vatican astronomer sees possibility-- in theory-- of intelligent life elsewhere

September 17, 2010

Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, drew media coverage in England when he said that he would not dismiss the possibility that intelligent life exists on other planets.

Brother Consolmagno—who is not the chief astronomer of the Vatican, but the curator of the Vatican’s meteorite collection—made it clear that he was speaking only about a theoretical possibility. Life might exist elsewhere in the universe, he said. “But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it: when you add them up it’s probably not a practical question.”

The Jesuit astronomer said that if intelligent beings did exist in other parts of the universe, they could be welcomed into the Catholic Church. He explained that God is sovereign over all creatures, not only over mankind.


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