Aliens?

By now you will have all seen the story that in L’Osservatore Romano Father Jose Gabriel Funes was quoted  that it is 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"

This is, of course, what the secular press will run with, from a nearly 2000 word article, with that same penetrating analysis they used when they stumbled around burbling that the Vatican had created a new list of seven deadly sins.

On the other hand, given this….

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSbiL3XduvY]

… perhaps I believe that our alien puppet masters are already among us!

They are certainly running Call To Action.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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41 Responses to Aliens?

  1. RichR says:

    Notice all the gray hair in the audience. The only thing that disturbs me more than the giant swaying around is the fact that everyone is taking it so seriously.

    Seriously, Father, don’t you know liturgical abuses existed in the old days? I’m sure they had this type of stuff back then, too ;-) These types of shenanigans are on the way out, aka the “Biological Solution”.

  2. Maureen says:

    I’ve never understood the whole “proof of aliens will destroy religion” idea. It’s like saying, “If rabbits exist, God can’t!”

  3. Ann Koch says:

    I love to think about when human beings are finally able to get out there and begin to seek out new worlds to colonize. Sort of the race to the Americas on a galactic scale. I sure hope I have descendants who go and take the faith with them! Imagine, what would a Catholic colonization effort LOOK like? Fallen humans+really primitive place+The Faith= exciting?

    If there are aliens, think of the opportunities to share the Faith! What if we meet aliens and they already KNOW and turn out more loyal to the Pope than we are?

    Oh I DO love “what ifs” such food for thought. :-)

    Now, is the REST of the article available in English so I can see what other fun stuff was said?

  4. Geoffrey says:

    NOW that video makes total sense!

  5. The late Cardinal O’Boyle of Washington DC wanted the Second Vatican Council to consider the question of extraterrestrial life. I kid you not… he included it as one of the doctrinal points he wanted covered in his initial submission to the preparatory commission.

  6. Melchior Cano says:

    The problem with this sort of thing is that it removes itself from a Thomistic way of thinking. Yes, we can endlessly speculate on whether or not other forms of life exist on distant planets, whether or not they are rational, if they have fallen, etc. However, if we are, in fact, speaking of rational life “out there”, as St. Thomas would say, I answer that it is not fitting. Thomism bases many arguments, even if they may not be De Fide, on fittingness. It is not fitting that God created rational life on a distant planet and we know nothing of it from Sacred Scripture or Tradition. After all, rational creatures would be part of the economy of salvation. Surely we would have had some glimmer of proof, since we would be affected via the Communion of Saints.

    However, leaving that aside for a moment, if this were merely a hypothetical discussion amongst academics or theologians concerning the absolute possibility, it would not be as big a deal. The issue is that it makes the Church look silly and childish. There is some level of scandal done to the world by saying things like, we can call the aliens, “our extraterrestrial brothers.” Adults just don’t speak like that. Fr. Funes, I presume, was acting in good faith. However, he should have been aware that his statements would be interpreted in the most foolish possible light and run under headlines such as “Vatican: Ok to Believe in Aliens.”

  7. Tom says:

    http://www.catholictreasures.com/cartdescrip/20181.html

    I had heard that Pius XII pondered this topic and said we would have to determine whether or not such creatures were fallen.
    It was also on the mind of Mr. Culligan (the water guy)

  8. Willebrord says:

    I believe it is useless to speculate on aliens.

    However, I remember my Baltimore Catechism, which suggested that, due to the fact that God is omnipotent, that he could easily have created life on other planets, without telling us.

  9. Publius says:

    Belief in God ‘childish,’ Jews not chosen people: Einstein letter
    Tue May 13, 9:02 AM ET

    LONDON (AFP) – Albert Einstein described belief in God as “childish superstition” and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London this week, an auctioneer said Tuesday.

    The father of relativity, whose previously known views on religion have been more ambivalent and fuelled much discussion, made the comments in response to a philosopher in 1954.

    As a Jew himself, Einstein said he had a great affinity with Jewish people but said they “have no different quality for me than all other people”.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

    “No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this,” he wrote in the letter written on January 3, 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, cited by The Guardian newspaper.

    The German-language letter is being sold Thursday by Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, said the auction house’s managing director Rupert Powell.

    In it, the renowned scientist, who declined an invitation to become Israel’s second president, rejected the idea that the Jews are God’s chosen people.

    “For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions,” he said.

    “And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people.”

    And he added: “As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”

    Previously the great scientist’s comments on religion — such as “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” — have been the subject of much debate, used notably to back up arguments in favour of faith.

    Powell said the letter being sold this week gave a clear reflection of Einstein’s real thoughts on the subject. “He’s fairly unequivocal as to what he’s saying. There’s no beating about the bush,” he told AFP.

  10. AnnaTrad says:

    Sounds like arguing how many angels can sit on the head of a pin.

  11. Le Renard says:

    I vaguely remember a low-budget sci-fi film that was premised on Christ having been an alien.

    Needless to say, a terrible film for obvious reasons.

  12. paw prints says:

    Father, maybe those puppets are actually cylons! :)

  13. paw: … Cylons?

    Nah… remember, cylons look like us and they have a plan.

    None of these things … or the people there for that matter look they they have a clue, much less a plan!

  14. Christa says:

    All I have to say is that if I had stumbled upon that Mass, I would still be a Methodist.

  15. Paolo Quiesa says:

    Dear Father Z:

    I have a small question. Can someone force you not to receive Holy Communion kneeling?.
    Thanks in advance for clarifying and congratulations for your great work.

    Paolo
    Mexico

  16. Peg says:

    In our town, Harvard University has had for many years an observatory set up on the highest hill to listen (24/7) for any signs of intelligent communication coming from outer space. So far it has been an exercise in futility (funded somehow I’m sure by taxpayers). I over heard two men that “work” there, at a party agreeing on how silly and superstitious the Catholic Church was.(?)

  17. EJ says:

    I truly thought that this was one of the Fatima childrens’ visions of Hell. It’s too bad the black man swinging that “thurible” couldn’t inflict more damage and at least taken out some of the aliens, thereby speeding up the “biological solution.” I read on another blog that the celebrant was a retired bishop.

  18. paw prints says:

    Good point, Father. Cylons would be far too clever to go out dressed like muppets. :)

  19. paw prints says:

    Yeah, good point Father. Cylons would be far too clever for Call To Action. :)

  20. Malta says:

    Is that a Roman Catholic Priest presiding over this barf-fest? Those puppets are frightening in form–I’m going to have nightmares for weeks now; thanks Fr. Z!!

  21. JML says:

    Peg

    If they aimed the antennae @ Beacon Hill would they conclude that no intelligent life is possible? :)

    Joe

  22. Malta says:

    I’d like to add that the idea of aliens is absurd on its face: Christ’s Sacrifice is minimized and made conditional to one group. No, Christ’s Sacrifice was singular in its efficacy and propitiatory value in the entire universe. God wouldn’t re-Sacrifice Himself again and again for every fallen race (and every intelligent race WOULD be fallen,) no the Sacrifice was once and for all. The idea that Christ’s Sacrifice was just for earth, but that there could be a plethora of races out there, is nonsensical theologically. Again, Christ’s Sacrifice becomes relative. I can’t imagine Christ’s Sacrifice being relative, but perhaps the high theologian, eminent scholar, and important personage [sic, sic] who flounders his day at the Vatican’s telescope can “pontificate” on such things…

  23. Antiquarian says:

    Has no one read C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy, in which a Trinitarian theology is presented as widespead across the solar system? Earth, the “silent planet” is the only place where the Son was incarnated since it was the only planet that fell. When John Ransom describes the Incarnation and Resurrection on Earth to the Oyarsa of Mars, this angelic figure says “you have told me wonders of which I could not have dreamed.” Ransom later intervenes to stop the fall of the Adam and Eve figures of Venus, and in doing so suffers a wound from which he is never healed– thus folding the Arthurian legend of the Fisher King into the Christian symbolism of the books.

  24. RBrown says:

    1. Enrico Fermi said: If there is extraterrestrial life, why is it not here now?

    2. The argument in favor of other worlds is that is basically there are a infinite number of possibilities in the universe–and one of those possibilities is that there are other worlds.

    Here St Thomas’ philosophy provides the best answer:

    Things come into and go out of existence. Therefore, among the infinite it is possible all things at one time will not exist.

    Further, among the infinite is the possibility that all things which at one time will not exist do not exist NOW. But this is plainly not true.

    Therefore, it cannot be said that in the universe there are infinite possibilities.

    3. Once when I taught the above, I used the concrete example of spacemen. Among the infinite possibilities is the possibility of aliens. Still among them is the possibility that aliens are here now. Further, among them is the possibility that one of those aliens is now entering the classroom. Then I pointed out that Klattu is not coming through that door.

    Deo Gratias. One of the students actually knew who Klattu was.

    NB: For movie buffs: Gort, Klattu barada nikto!

  25. Martha says:

    Paolo,

    Obviously, I am not Father Z. But since I have had problems with priests wanting to deny me Communion because of my kneeling posture,
    I can direct you to this site for an answer to your question:

    http://www.adoremus.org/Notitiae-kneeling.html

    God bless you. Don’t let anyone intimidate you for kneeling to receive Our Lord.

  26. Antiquarian says:

    Whoops, in my references to Lewis’ trilogy above, I refrred to John Ransom– his first name is Elwin. According to Wikipedia, he is, at least in part, a portrait of J.R.R. Tolkien.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransom_Trilogy

  27. Melchior Cano says:

    Antiquarian,

    Was your first response concerning the Space Trilogy said by way of an argument or merely an interesting aside?

  28. Jordanes says:

    RBrown said: Enrico Fermi said: If there is extraterrestrial life, why is it not here now?

    Somewhere I’d read something that was kind of (well, maybe not really) along those same lines. The argument is that if there is intelligent life on other planets, in other galaxies, and if intelligent life is common throughout the material universe, then one would have expected to find visible evidence in the stars of at least one highly-evolved race that had acquired the ability to “renovate” their corner of the universe. We shouldn’t have to strain to listen for radio signals, we should be able to turn our super telescopes in the right direction and see their advanced technology at work. But we don’t, which suggests that if there is any intelligent life out there, it is much less advanced than we are, or maybe man is really alone in the universe.

    Now, I enjoy science fiction fables and I like the Chronicles of Narnia, but sorry, no, I’ll believe God created other intelligent races out there when I see evidence for their existence. Further, Malta brings up some pretty good theological objections to the existence of alien life. All over the universe we see signs that the cosmos is groaning and yearning in anticipation of the birth of the sons of God — if sin and evil have affected the whole of creation, then the fact that the Word was made flesh, a human, to redeem creation would indicate that, in terms of intelligent life within the material universe, we’re it. So I just don’t see any point in arrant speculations about alien life. It’s nice for idle conversation at parties, but it’s nothing to trouble ourselves seriously about.

  29. Peter Kwasniewski says:

    For those of you who are interesting in the ET debate, please buy yourself a copy of the definitive work on the subject from a Thomistic point of view:

    Marie I. George, “Christianity and Extraterrestrials? A Catholic Perspective”

    http://www.amazon.com/Christianity-Extraterrestrials-Perspective-Marie-George/dp/0595358276/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210743429&sr=1-2

    An altogether fascinating book, with lucid argumentation.

  30. Raphaela says:

    Against my better judgement, I just watched that video.

    Pater, dimitte illis, non enim sciunt quid faciunt.

  31. LPD says:

    The celebrant in the video is Bishop Remi De Roo. Please pray for him.

  32. Pierpaolo FInaldi says:

    There’s an interesting booklet available about this from the UK Catholic Truth Society written by Guy COnsolmagno SJ one of the Astronomers at the Vatican Observatory. http://www.cts-online.org.uk/acatalog/info_EX17.html

  33. Gio says:

    Seeing that male “liturgical dancer” perform makes me conclude that wearing lace albs or surplice is more manly. No wonder too many male catholics, specially ones brought up in macho hispanic culture are turned off with modern happy clappy masses.

    On the other hand, the priest by his actions doesn’t seem to “preside” at all nor does he seem to lead the congregation. His role is completely drowned by the alien puppets, the dances and the musicians. He is relegated to the role of a color commentator offering side commentary after every performance but oftentimes he is just lost among the crowd of spectators.

  34. Fr D says:

    Do you think Matron had let them all out for the day?

  35. Oscar says:

    But the so-called liturgy really does go with the carpet!

  36. Jamie says:

    Why has this Bishop not been removed from his office? That video shows a great insult to God and the Church – it is utterly disgusting. It certainly gives one pause to consider whether much of the horror described by Father Malachi Martin in his books really DID occur. Who else could be behind this but Satan?

  37. Jamie: Calm down. It could very well be that the fellow is just soft in the head. Let’s stick to the simple solutions.

  38. JL says:

    Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that no one can find beats 2 and 4 on that Gloria (which I have actually had to sing before. Yikes!)?

  39. Lee says:

    Okay. I watched it. I think I’m gonna throw up.

  40. Paolo Quiesa says:

    Dear Martha, thanks for answering and giving information to my question about the denial to receive communion kneeling. I appreciate it.

    Paolo

  41. Fr Michael Winn says:

    From what I heard from a brother UGCC monastic priest while commenting on alien life in the universe: (paraphrase) If there is alien life, and UFOs, then they are traveling here, to earth, on pilgrimage, to the place where the Lord of the Universe was made incarnate, and through His Death and Resurrection restored the highest of His creatures and with them all of creation!