And why not? My friend Brother Guy Consolmagno, the Jesuit astronomer and MIT grad who works at the Vatican observatory (and who surprised Stephen Colbert with his common sense about the Second Person of the Trinity) said he was "comfortable" with the idea of baptizing an alien. At the opening of the British Science Festival (somewhat overshadowed by the visit of Guy's boss to the country) Consolmagno fielded the inevitable question about aliens.
He said he was "comfortable" with the idea of alien life and asked if he would baptise an alien, he replied "Only if they asked."
"I’d be delighted if we found life elsewhere and delighted if we found intelligent life elsewhere," he said. “But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it - when you add them up it’s probably not a practical question.
“God is bigger than just humanity. God is also the god of angels." He said the characteristics synonymous with having a soul - intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions may not be unique to humans. “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has has a soul," he said.
Read the rest here.
James Martin, SJ