The idea of life–especially intelligent life–on other planets has long captured the contemporary imagination. Despite the fact that there is no solid scientific evidence suggesting the existence of alien life forms, speculation about extraterrestrial activity inspires movies, television, novels, and popular music.
But is there a particular Catholic view on aliens? Does the church have an official teaching about extraterrestrial beings? And, if alien life is out there, what does this mean for Catholic theology about life on Earth, original sin, and salvation?
In this episode of Glad You Asked, hosts Emily Sanna and Rebecca Bratten Weiss speak with Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, about the scientific and theological issues surrounding the question of intelligent life on other planets and the likelihood of ever making contact with alien beings. Brother Guy has written extensively on science and religion for both peer-reviewed publications and for popular audiences, including his 2014 book, Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? …and Other Questions from the Astronomers’ In-box at the Vatican Observatory (Image).
You can find out more about the church’s views on extraterrestrials and read more of Brother Guy’s writing on the topic in these links:
- “Get lost in space,” by Brother Guy Consolmagno
- “Can you find God in a black hole?” by Brother Guy Consolmagno
- “The godless delusion,” by Brother Guy Consolmagno
- “Meet the pope’s astronomer, who says he’d baptize an alien if given the chance,” by David Gibson
- “Putting faith in the universe,” a U.S. Catholic interview with Brother Guy Consolmagno
- “Guy Consolmangno, the Vatican’s Chief Astronomer, on Balancing Church With the Cosmos,” by Summer Ash
Glad You Asked is sponsored by the Claretian Missionaries.