BREAKING NEWS! Vatican: It’s OK to believe in aliens
- May 13, 2008
- Posted by:
- Category: Uncategorized
|Vatican: It’s OK to believe in aliens|
|May 13 12:48 PM US/Eastern||
|VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican’s chief astronomer says that believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God.
The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory,
In an interview published Tuesday by Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore
The interview was headlined "The extraterrestrial is my brother." Funes
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome
The Pope’s chief astronomer says that life on Mars cannot be ruled out.
Writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes,
said intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space.
Father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near
Rome, is a respected scientist who collaborates with universities
around the world.
The search for forms of extraterrestrial life, he says, does not contradict belief in God.
The official Vatican newspaper headlines his article ‘Aliens Are My Brother’.
‘Free from sin’
Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist
intelligent beings in outer space created by God. And some aliens could
even be free from original sin, he speculates.
Asked about the Catholic Church’s condemnation four
centuries ago of the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo, Father
Funes diplomatically says mistakes were made, but it is time to turn
the page and look towards the future.
Science and religion need each other, and many astronomers believe in God, he assures readers.
To strengthen its scientific credentials, the Vatican is organising a
conference next year to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the
author of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin.
Published: 2008/05/13 22:08:27 GMT
© BBC MMVIII
Vatican: It’s OK to believe in aliens
By ARIEL DAVID
Associated Press Writer
7:12 AM CDT, May 14, 2008
width="300" height="250" border="0" alt=""></a>
that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in
God, the Vatican’s chief astronomer said in an interview published
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
"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.
Funes said science, especially astronomy, does not contradict religion,
touching on a theme of Pope Benedict XVI, who has made exploring the
relationship between faith and reason a key aspect of his papacy.
The Bible "is not a science book," Funes said, adding that he believes
the Big Bang theory is the most "reasonable" explanation for the
creation of the universe. The theory says the universe began billions
of years ago in the explosion of a single, super-dense point that
contained all matter.
But he said he continues to believe that "God is the creator of the universe and that we are not the result of chance."
Funes urged the church and the scientific community to leave behind
divisions caused by Galileo’s persecution 400 years ago, saying the
incident has "caused wounds."
In 1633 the astronomer was tried as a heretic and forced to recant his
theory that the Earth revolved around the sun. Church teaching at the
time placed Earth at the center of the universe.
"The church has somehow recognized its mistakes," he said. "Maybe it
could have done it better, but now it’s time to heal those wounds and
this can be done through calm dialogue and collaboration."
Pope John Paul declared in 1992 that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension."
The Vatican Observatory has been at the forefront of efforts to bridge
the gap between religion and science. Its scientist-clerics have
generated top-notch research and its meteorite collection is considered
one of the world’s best.
The observatory, founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, is based in Castel
Gandolfo, a lakeside town in the hills outside Rome where the pope has
a summer residence. It also conducts research at an observatory at the
University of Arizona, in Tucson.
On the Net:
Vatican Observatory: http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo
2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.