Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Truth Is Stranger #77: Welcome Our Extraterrestrial Brothers and Sisters In Christ!

From the Vatican (yes, really):

(AP) VATICAN CITY - Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

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.

OK, actually, I do agree with the director of the Observatory here. I can go Franciscan and welcome Brother Green Hairy Alien. But did he have to say "extraterrestrial brother"? Why not just wave a red flag in front of my blog and scream "POST ME! POST ME!"

And, uh, clearly he hasn't been watching the latest version of Doctor Who. If those aliens are our brothers and sisters, we have some serious Fall action going on outside of humanity.

Full story here.

HT: Ray at Stella Borealis.


Allen's Brain said...

Sure, but where it gets iffy is in the possible superiority of the ET bro's species. If they are higher up the ladder, so to speak, than we are then you have definite incarnational issues to deal with.

Additionally, there's the imago dei question. If Mork is made in the image of God, then evangelism is most likely an imperative. Since all authority in heaven (ouranos) and earth is given to Christ, they'd be part of the "all nations," if they're made in God's image.

Only if ETs are our equals, in creation and potential salvation, would I call them "brothers." I would never apply the term to a dog or dolphin.

Anonymous said...

Doctor Who--sweet! Now we know where those cat-nuns come from.

C.S. Lewis addresses the relationship between life on other planets and Christianity in his essay "On Science-Fiction"

and in his Space Trilogy. In the first book the main character finds himself being evangilized, since the aliens naturally know about God, not having Fallen. In the second book, an new species has the same form as humans (though a different color) since this is now part of the image of God, since God took on human form.

Chris said...

I'm willing to claim the Ood as our 'ET brothers', external brain and all!

Been watching the Sarah Jane Chronicles?

LarryD said...

Wow, a Dr Who reference!

Although the Church's directive to "go out and make disciples of all the nations" conflicts with the Time Lord policy of non-intervention (not that the Doctor ever paid attention to that). And then there's the regeneration thing too. Hmmmm - giving me much to think about.

Martin said...

Good Job! :)