Loading
Belief in aliens not necessarily against the faith, Vatican official says
Father Jose Gabriel Funes
Father Jose Gabriel Funes

.- Father Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, said this week there is no opposition between belief in the existence of aliens and at the same time belief in God. This position, he reminded, was held by Father Angelo Secchi, the 18th century Jesuit astronomer and director of the Observatory of the Roman College—today the Pontifical Gregorian University.

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Father Funes explained that Father Secchi was the first scientist to classify the “stars according to their spectrum” and that the existence of aliens “could not be excluded a priori.”

Father Funes said establishing contact with aliens is “very difficult” because of the “almost insurmountable obstacle of distances in the universe,” even with today’s technology.

He went on to note that the neither Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or academic officials at other institutions has made any statements on the issue, adding that “as a scientist I am always willing to update my ideas in response to the latest research. For example, regarding the issue of space and time in the universe, I believe it is finite, while others believe it is infinite.”

“There are interesting theories about this,” he continued, “such as the so-called ‘multiverse,’ but they continue to be merely speculative: the problem is in how to prove them.”

Father Funes said astronomy is an element that can contribute to dialogue between peoples, as it can help to understand that “all the people of the earth are under the same sky and gaze upon the same heavens.”

“It is obvious that today you cannot do research without collaboration. One country on its own cannot build a huge telescope: it is necessary to work with other people, and with other religions and cultures as well. Thus astronomy can be at the service of dialogue,” the Argentinean priest said.

He went on to stress that an astronomer must always have “his feet planted firmly on the ground and that “scientific research demands a culture of effort and work. In this way it can be useful for young people as well.”

Father Funes said it is widely believed today that “in order to be a scientist one must necessarily be atheist. This is not true,” he corrected.


“The Pope said it well during the Mass of the Epiphany when he pointed out that ‘many scientists—following in Galileo's footsteps renounce neither reason nor faith; instead they develop both in their reciprocal fruitfulness.’”

“I chose to be an astronomer because I believe that in the universe it is possible to encounter God. And I continue to be one with the same conviction,” he said.

Father Funes also announced that in order to mark the International Year of Astronomy, an expo on telescopes will take place October 15 at the Vatican Museums. In addition, the Pontifical Academy for Sciences will host a November 6-11 Congress on Astrobiology that will look at the search for life in the universe.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Jul
25

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Gospel
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »

Saint
Date
07/25/14
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Homily
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: