The Vatican may be a little closer to deciding how it deals with the tricky problem of Extra-Terrestrials, 400 years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe.
“The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration,” said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.
Funes is a Jesuit priest, attended the five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the field of astrobiology, which is defined as the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.
Thirty scientists, including non-Catholics, from the U.S., France, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Chile attended the conference, called to explore among other issues “whether sentient life forms exist on other worlds.”
The truth is, scientists have discovered hundreds of planets outside our solar system — including 32 new ones announced recently by the European Space Agency. Realistically, the discovery of alien life may be only a few years away.
The Vatican’s official statement has been, “Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God’s creative freedom.”