Vatican Astronomer Says There Is No Conflict Between Believing in God and the Possibility of “EXTRATERRESTRIAL BROTHERS” Maybe More Evolved Than Humans

The Vatican’s top astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and the possibility of “extraterrestrial brothers” perhaps more evolved than humans.

“In my opinion, this possibility (of life on other planets) exists,” said Reverend José Gabriel Funes, a Jesuit priest former head of the Vatican Observatory and scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI.

“How can we exclude that life developed elsewhere,” he told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in an interview in its Tuesday-Wednesday edition, explaining that the large number of galaxies with their own planets made this possible.

Asked whether he was referring to beings similar to humans or even more evolved than humans, he said: “Certainly in a universe of this size, this hypothesis cannot be excluded.”

In the interview entitled “The extraterrestrial is my brother” he said that he saw no conflict between belief in such beings and faith in God.

“Just as there are a multitude of creatures on earth, there may be other beings, even intelligent ones created by God. This is not in contrast to our faith, because we cannot put limits on God’s creative freedom,” he said.

“Why can’t we talk about an ‘extraterrestrial brother’? It would still be part of creation,” he said.

Funes was the director of the Vatican Observatory from August 19, 2006 until September 18, 2015 when he raised the possibility that the human race might actually be the “lost sheep” of the universe.

“There may be (other beings) who remained in full friendship with their creator,” he said.


Christians sometimes disagree with scientists about whether the Bible should be read literally, and issues like creationism versus evolution have been hotly debated for decades.

The Inquisition condemned the astronomer Galileo in the 17th century for insisting that the Earth revolved around the Sun. The Catholic Church did not rehabilitate him until 1992.

Funes said the dialogue between faith and science could be improved if scientists learned more about the Bible and the church kept up to date with scientific progress.

Funes, an Argentine, said he believes as an astronomer that the most likely explanation for the beginning of the universe is “the big bang”, the theory that it arose from dense matter billions of years ago.

But he said this was not in conflict with faith in God as creator. “God is the creator. There is a meaning to creation. We are not the children of an accident … ”, he said.

“As an astronomer I continue to believe that God is the creator of the universe and that we are not the product of something haphazard, but children of a good father who has a loving project in mind for us,” he said.

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