by Michael Salla, Ph.D.
Honolulu Exopolitics Examiner
November 12, 2009
from Examiner Website
In May 2008, Funes gave an interview to the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper saying that the existence of intelligent extraterrestrials posed no problems to Catholic theology. The conference itself was officially convened by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, chaired by its religious leader Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, and was held on private Vatican grounds from November 6-10.
Together with Funes’ 2008 interview and subsequent public comments by him, the conference demonstrates a welcome openness by the Vatican on the possibility and implications of extraterrestrial life. The Vatican’s openness to discussion of extraterrestrial life is no accident. It is part of an openness policy secretly adopted by the United Nations in February 2008.
In fact, the Vatican is playing a
leading role in preparing the world for extraterrestrial
Marc Kaufman from the Washington Post reports:
Discussion of the implications of intelligent extraterrestrial life, both scientific and theological, did not appear prominently in the conference agenda.
One of the presenters, however, Prof Paul Davies commented on the religious implications of discovering intelligent extraterrestrial life:
The Vatican, through Funes, is supporting the idea that the incarnation of Christ is a unique event in Earth’s history tied in to humanity’s ‘fall’ and ‘original sin’.
This idea was a major focus in Father Funes’ May 2008 interview which was titled "The extraterrestrial is my brother."
Funes said that intelligent extraterrestrial life may not have experienced a ‘fall’, and may be,
This makes it possible to regard them as ‘our brothers’ as Funes explained:
Most importantly, Funes’ statement makes
possible the idea that Christianity can be exported to
extraterrestrial worlds that have not experienced a ‘fall’ and are
free from original sin.
Significantly, Migliore's position
requires that he maintains close relations with the Vatican's
Pontifical Academy of Sciences. At the time of the secret UN
discussions, Migliore made a presentation on moral issues associated
with scientific problems such as climate change. Most importantly,
the UN discussions reportedly led to a
new policy of openness being
adopted by approximately 30 nations that would begin in 2009.
The appointment of a diplomat to head an intelligence service was highly unusual.
According to a BBC report:
Seen in the context of the February UN
meetings, perhaps MI6 was acknowledging the need for greater
diplomacy in dealing with problems posed by a new openness policy on
UFOs, and eventual disclosure of extraterrestrial life.
The Vatican’s astrobiology conference is
yet one more sign that major global institutions are preparing for
some kind of formal disclosure concerning
extraterrestrial life. This is a
direct outcome of a series of landmark meetings at the UN beginning
in February 2008 that led to the adoption of a new openness policy.
The Vatican is also positioning itself to play a major role in such an announcement and in a post-disclosure world.
Its emerging theological position that extraterrestrials “are our brothers” is a welcome departure from more hostile depictions of extraterrestrial life found in some religious denominations and in Hollywood movies. On the other hand, the idea that the Vatican could justify sending missionaries to convert 'extraterrestrials born without original sin,' does raise major concerns.
The Vatican, nevertheless, is currently playing a constructive role in preparing the public for the imminent disclosure of extraterrestrial life.