Vatican astronomer says it's okay to believe in extra-terrestrials
Belief in the existence of aliens from outer space is not necessarily at odds with being a Christian, according to the Vatican's top astronomy official, dpa reported.
"It is possible to believe in God and in extra-terrestrials," Father Jose Gabriel Funes was quoted as saying in an interview published Tueday in the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
For Christians it is also possible "to admit the existence of other worlds and other forms of life, even those more evolved than ours, without necessarily questioning faith in the Creation, in the incarnation (of God as man through Jesus) and redemption" of mankind, said Funes.
Funes who directs the Vatican's Specola, or space Observatory, also said that despite most astronomers who "publicly profess atheism," astronomy does not favour the view of a God-less world.
"In fact, I think it is those who work at the Specola who bear witness to the fact that it is possible to believe in God and work with science in a serious way," Funes who is also a Jesuit priest, said.
Funes also said that the Vatican's Observatory aims to open its new headquarters in a monastery near Albano, a town south of Rome in around a year's time.
Earlier this year the Vatican announced it was moving the Observatory headquarters from Castel Gandolfo which is also the traditional summer residence of the Pope and is located a few kilometres from Albano.
The Observatory also operates in the United States a 1.8 metre telescope atop Mount Graham near Safford, Arizona.