The Vatican is making great contributions to the world of astronomy, not least of which is their plan to incorporate “extraterrestrial brothers” into the Catholic fold.
A bit of history before I pass along the news: The Inquisition condemned Galileo for suggesting the outlandish idea that the Earth orbited the sun (and not vice versa.) Galileo wisely recanted this scientifically sound idea, mostly because he did not like having hot pokers exploring his Black Hole. You’ll be happy to know that the Vatican now accepts the validity of the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun. (In 1992, the Church agreed that he was correct, and the Inquisition was wrong — with the stipulation that the Inquisition acted in good faith, super-heated probes notwithstanding.)
Since this momentous change in policy, a new Pope has taken office. Pope Benedict he has installed Reverend Jose Gabriel Funes as head of the Vatican Observatory and as his scientific advisor. The 45-year-old Jesuit priest is enthusiastic about the possibility of intelligent aliens existing:
“Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom,” he said. “Why can’t we speak of a ‘brother extraterrestrial’? It would still be part of creation,” he said.
And when we find these ET brother? Interstellar missionaries of course! What a fabulous chance to increase the membership in the Church. Let’s just hope the aliens aren’t the kind with acid for blood, enjoy hunting humans for sport, or are Scientologists [pictured right]. Oh, and Reverend Funes may want to read The Sparrow before he goes. (Unless he enjoys Uranus play.)
I highly recommend The Sparrow [Wiki], by the way. New Scientist stories: ET poses no problem for Vatican. Vatican admits Galileo was right. The Vatican does have issues with Humor-blogs.com and Alltop.