From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Catholic Theologians Disagree on

Date 04 May 1996 20:30:28


95399           Catholic Theologians Disagree on 
                 Sinfulness of Extraterrestrials 
                 by Ecumenical News International 
GENEVA--A Roman Catholic priest and theologian in Rome has called on his 
church to consider the possibility of the evangelization of 
extraterrestrial beings, according to published reports. 
     Following an announcement by two Geneva astronomers that they had 
discovered a planet in another solar system similar to ours, Piero Coda, a 
theology professor in Rome, told the Vatican, "If life were to be found on 
the planet, then it would also have been contaminated by original sin and 
would require salvation." 
     However, a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University said that 
extraterrestrial beings might not need redemption. 
     "We know that earthmen sinned, but we know nothing of beings in other 
worlds," the unnamed university professor said. 
     Early in October, Michel Mayor and Dider Queloz, two Swiss astronomers 
of the Geneva Observatory, said that they had discovered a planet about the 
size of Jupiter in the constellation Pegasus. The planet, named 51 Pegasus, 
is 40 light-years away from Earth.  Despite some similarities with Earth, 
51 Pegasus has a short year -- it orbits its sun in a mere 4.2 Earth-days. 

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