Many Roman Catholic leaders take the possible existence of aliens seriously, and they tend to agree that ET is sinful. Yet they disagree on why ET is sinful and whether he should attend Roman Catholic Mass if he lands on Earth.
In the first half of the 20th century, Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin suggested that original sin didn’t arise from the errors of two humans on Earth, but instead permeates the entire universe. He also suggested that Christ on Earth offers no redemptive value for any other beings anywhere else in the cosmos, and so aliens visiting Earth would not benefit from embracing Christianity. But Teilhard believed that Christ could become incarnate on different worlds, in forms appropriate for those places and beings. These other saviors could establish Christian-like local belief systems that provide opportunities for the redemption and salvation of those alien populations.
Teilhard’s writings have never become mainstream and have been suppressed since 1962. In contrast, the ideas of Brother Guy Consolmagno, a professional astronomer and a Jesuit who works for the Vatican Observatory, better reflect current Roman Catholic views on ET. Consolmagno believes that finding ET would not pose a problem for Roman Catholicism. He argues that there is only one Christ—the one who lived and died and was resurrected on Earth 2,000 years ago. If other beings in the universe suffer from original sin, then they will benefit from the life and resurrection of Christ on Earth. This theological approach also makes Roman Catholicism a universal religion and Earth the most important place in the universe.
If Consolmagno’s views continue to be popular, Roman Catholic leaders might be compelled to convert ET at the first opportunity. This may also cause the minority members who agree with Teilhard to separate from the church.
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