Is it really, though? Not to go all atheisty on you here, but doesn’t this raise certain uncomfortably absurd theological questions for the Church, like, say, whether Christ’s death also redeemed the Martians, why he was created in our image instead of theirs, whether the coming of the Kingdom of God is strictly an earthly matter or interplanetary, etc etc? You don’t get to sketch out an entire complex metaphysical system for the world and then just shoehorn the rest of the universe in by saying, “Oh yeah, them too.”

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.”

In the interview by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion “doesn’t contradict our faith” because aliens would still be God’s creatures. Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like “putting limits” on God’s creative freedom, he said.

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.

Exit question: Can the extraterrestrial really be my brother if he wants to (a) probe me, (b) enslave me to work in his crystal mines, and/or (c) serve me as an entree?

Tags: religion