Vatican preparing statement on extraterrestrial life
Examiner.com | July 23, 2014
Pope Francis is reportedly preparing a major world statement about extraterrestrial life and its theological implications. Rosana Ubanell from Voxxi News today reported that due to advances in scientific detection methods for the discovery of extraterrestrial life, Pope Francis wants to be ready with a statement about “First Contact”.
Ubanell reports that details have yet to be officially announced but that the Vatican’s interest in extraterrestrial life is well documented through recent astrobiology conferences the Vatican Observatory has sponsored or participated in. Father Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit astronomer and one of the leading Catholic proponents for preparing for the scientific discovery of extraterrestrial life, on July 18, won the Carl Sagan science medal from the American Astronomical Society. Pope Francis, a fellow Jesuit, regularly consults with Consolmagno and other leading Vatican astronomers about scientific issues. It is likely that Pope Francis is preparing an “Urbi et Orbi” speech – Latin for “to the city [of Rome] and the world” – about First Contact with extraterrestrial life.
The Vatican’s scientific interest in extraterrestrial life was publicly revealed for the first time in May 2008 when the head of the Vatican Observatory, Fr Gabriel Funes, also a Jesuit, gave an interview to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. Funes made a series of startling statements about how extraterrestrial life is likely to be more ethically evolved than humans, and can be welcomed as brothers. In his interview, which was titled "The extraterrestrial is my brother," Funes said that intelligent extraterrestrial life may not have experienced a ‘fall’, and may be “free from Original Sin … [remaining] in full friendship with their creator.”