May 15th, 2008

ozarque figure

Linguistics and science fiction; religious language...

Thanks to Cindy Brown for alerting me to an article [at ] reporting that the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes -- a Jesuit, and the director of the Vatican Observatory -- has said in an interview with LOsservatore Romano that ruling out the existence of extraterrestrial life would be "putting limits" on the creative freedom of God. The interview itself was headlined "The extraterrestrial is my brother."

I went immediately to Google to try to find a transcript of the interview, and had no luck with that, but did find another article, by Francis X. Rocca, titled "Vatican astronomer suggests aliens do not need salvation," at .

Rocca writes: "According to Funes, such creatures may never have fallen into sin, and so have no need of salvation through Christianity. 'It is not a given that they have need of redemption,' he said. 'They may have remained in full friendship with their Creator.' Asked about the possibility of redemption for sinful extraterrestrials, Funes said he was 'sure that even they, in some way, would have the possibility of enjoying the mercy of God.' "

Wow. One thoroughly astonished writer of science fiction here.

And I do understand that "The extraterrestrial is my sibling" would not have had the same ring to it.