The Vatican on Extraterrestrials (Part 2 of 2)

My own belief over the years concerning extraterrestrials was that there likely existed a variety of different intelligent life-forms, and I always just assumed each type had their own historical/planetary relationship with the Holy Trinity.  To restate something I said in the previous post, it never entered my mind that when we came into closer communication with them and discovered that their “history” in relation to God was somewhat or even vastly different than ours that this would affect our own salvation/creation/Bible history in some peoples’ minds – isn’t each child’s relationship to his/her parents unique and different than that of his/her siblings? – or that it would alter any of our own Catholic beliefs or doctrines.  So I was wondering why Father Morris, as we saw in the previous video, said that our potential discoveries may lead to our re-thinking, or gaining a new understanding, of such things as the doctrine of original sin. 

But now I will share with you the part of my research that really did give me a surprise.  It concerns the beliefs and teachings of Monsignor Corrado Balducci.  You can find quite a few YouTubes in which Monsignor Balducci explains his beliefs; one with English subtitles I am including here, but there are others, mainly in Italian.  In the following video, Monsignor Balducci tells us that the time is past for debates about whether or not extraterrestrial intelligent life exists; he confirms that it does:  “Nowadays there are several considerations that allow us to say with assurance that the existence of these beings is real.  We can’t have doubts.”

So far, fine, at least from my perspective.  But then Monsignor Balducci presents his thesis:  we know four kingdoms – plant, animal, human, angelic.  Three of these are natural, one is supernatural.  He says it’s a giant step between the human (with a soul, but so tied down to a physical body) and the angels (pure spirit) and that “nature takes no giant steps”.  Therefore he proposes that it would be only fitting that there is something inbetween – something with a soul but much less encumbered by the physical.  Somewhere else I had read that Monsignor Balducci referred to the intelligent extraterrestrial life as a “missing-link” between humanity and the angels.  He believes they are “higher” or more spiritually-advanced than we are because they never sinned, never separated from God and never required redemption in any way.

This is one example of where we may have to, now and in the future, be willing to open ourselves to discussing new ideas that would have a theological impact.  Our Catholic teaching never hints at anything even remotely similar to a “missing link” between humanity and the angels, to my knowledge.  In the video Balducci mentions St. Thomas, whom I know was considered the angelic Doctor because of his theology on the angels, but does anyone know if St. Thomas ever referred to a form of life between humanity and the angelic realm? I’d love to know, if he did. For myself, I would have no problem if proof were found for the existence of other intelligent life-forms that had never sinned and never required redemption, but personally I would not (at least at this time) see them as a “missing-link” between humans and the angels in the order of Creation – I would simply see them as a life-form from a different dimension with a different story than our own – beings who were created by God, who never separated themselves from God by sin, and thus embody more of His Divine Light and use more of their divinely-inspired capabilities than do the majority of humans.

We often hear the phrase “consider the source” when we’re in a position to try to discern information.  So let’s consider the source here.  Monsignor Corrado Balducci, who died in 2008, was not just a random priest expounding his personal beliefs.  According to my googling he was, over the years:

  • Roman Catholic theologian of the Vatican Curia
  • a close friend of Pope Benedict XVI
  • exorcist for the Archdiocese of Rome
  • Prelate of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
  • Prelate of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith

So here we have a man of his rank in the Vatican who apparently was expounding his beliefs in UFOs, extraterrestrial intelligent life and his hypothesis of this “missing link” since 1995, both in writing and numerous times on Italian television.  He was neither censored nor silenced by either Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI, which to my mind connotes, at the very least, their tacit approval.

One of the main reasons I want to share this information with anyone who may not have already been aware of it is to encourage you to seriously give some time to reflecting on these things.  The Vatican has been slow to come forward with its knowledge in this area, but is moving forward now to gently disseminate ideas amongst the public-at-large.  There are many out there, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, who are quick to pooh-pooh everything, to take offense, to become defensive, to refuse to be open to what will soon be revealed more fully.  There are also many out there who presume that the revelation of extraterrestrial life will deflate all Catholic doctrine and teachings, befuddle us, outrage us, defeat us in our beliefs and our faith in our own salvation history and bring the Church to her knees.  But as grassroots Catholics we have to have pondered these things, gently debated them with ourselves and others to come to new understandings, and studied the new ideas of the theologians and scientists such as those who attended the November 2009 conference on astrobiology (the secular press called it the conference on aliens) hosted by the Vatican (pdf version of the conference at this link, courtesy of Pia!) so that when confronted, most likely in the near-future, by those who tell us that these discoveries will bring down the Church, we will not be sheepish, nonplussed, speechless or blithering idiots.  Let us prepare ourselves now, mentally, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually to grasp as much as we are able of God’s wondrous and diverse creation and how our tiny role in it can remain true, just as other life-forms’ roles can be true as well.  As Monsignor Balducci stated, “Nothing is negated.”  Why can I not revel in the contemplation of a created species that never sinned, thereby bringing great joy to the Lord, as I clutch my Crucifix and thank God for our own history – “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!”

17 thoughts on “The Vatican on Extraterrestrials (Part 2 of 2)

  1. Interesting concept! As a Christian if not also as a Catholic, I’ve pondered the presence of e.t.s for these past few decades since that night about 11 years after the very first alien abduction story in the U.S. (Betty and Barney Hill — there’s a large Wikipedia article), when my cousin saw something that the Feds sent out someone from Virginia to take her testimony about–almost immediately.

    I’ve read much about it all over the years, and concluded they can only be from Good or from Evil, from the Light or from the dark. All that I’d read suggested that this life form is not from the dark; thus, I presumed they had a relationship to/with God. I guess I figured they were from an older planet/system we don’t yet know. But then decades ago, a fellow mused that they were angels. Hmm.. With what is posed here, I would say that angels, too, have never sinned and do not need redemption and have a unique relationship with God–and there are so many choirs of angels, few of which are described in Scripture. Could we be being buzzed by an order of angels? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time, and if we’re entering the finalization of eschatology as we’ve understood it, collective angels (along with personal ones) wouldn’t seem too outrageous a possibility.

    But I have enough trouble trying to figure out my mailwoman, a tiny Asian with enormous sunglasses, who stalked my husband’s van with her little Jeep to his home so as to ask him to do some carpentry work, so I will leave greater puzzles to others!

  2. And I will likely always retain my blithering idiot status albeit for a different reason–suffice it to say that one of us has even questioned the knowledge/opinion of Fr. Amorth the Unhappy Exorcist. In fairness, however, I would mention that even the Nicene Creed caused me some pondering: “..Maker of heaven and earth, and of all that is seen and unseen..” How much out there and all around us is “unseen” by mankind? We presume it refers exclusively to the spiritual realm, but does it?

    (Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve dated if not also married the Missing Link somewhere along the way. They’d say the same, yet we can’t all be right.)

    It’s baffling to me that abduction reports have often included a physical exam of humans — why? If these beings are of advanced intelligence, they’d know all about our bodies, and if angels, even moreso, no?

    Overall, ‘though, I don’t see how a Vatican confirmation of extra terrestrial life would impact negatively on our beliefs. As you say, God is not limited –I hope that’s exactly what all our Creeds clearly say!, and as I say, He made the mysterious angels, too– and not solely for humankind’s benefit, right?

  3. Pia, I’m dumbfounded, really. As I said to commentor “O” on the last post, to think almost five decades has passed since Pope John XXIII’s encounter, and who knew? All this time lost; it breaks my heart. I wish I could understand everything being said in the video. I want to know everything. Thank you very much for that link.

    C, there’s no doubt in my mind that the angels are all around us helping us, but as I said in my comment on the previous post, the angels are not the same as ETs… We have lots of angel theology, even though there is not alot in the Bible to base it on. But the ET theology is surely lacking…

  4. I have parsed the subject as best I can over the years and again recently, here. For now, I’ve concluded that there may be more intelligent life out there, but that it doesn’t impact on me or mine. (Unless they are working for our good, in which case, I can only thank God for them and hope they’ll communicate a remedy for that life-killing oil gusher in the Gulf, or that they’ll have figured out how to shut cancer away from kids especially and will share that in some way.) As for a distinction between angels and et’s, we can only go by what we know of angels so far. That doesn’t mean we know anything definitively. The Catholic Church is but the agent of the Kingdom of God, she is not the Kingdom. The Lord reveals what He wishes to reveal when He deems it best.

    Also, I’ve never until now heard a word about Bl. John XXIII and aliens. The translation will be interesting, Pia!

  5. C, those are my feelings exactly. While I am fascinated and curious (but not excessively so…it really is creepy) about this, I think it’s one of those things I need to have a wait and see attitude about. I don’t think it will have an immediate or even long term impact on how I live my faith…unless I have a close encounter of the third kind or something like that. But on the other hand, I feel that just because I don’t know or understand it, it doesn’t mean it’s not real. I can’t put limits on God’s Providence and wisdom.

    And, by the way, Gab–the Carl Sagan video was great!

  6. Well, I suppose I ought to Google some things before I comment — which I’ve just done. There are some reports about Popes and aliens (more than just John XXIII –it seems he inherited the dilemmma). One person even poses the thought that wide imminent contact may’ve been why John XXIII convoked a new Council when he did. (There are apparently good aliens and bad; the Greys are bad, the good ones are those who spoke with man about dangers of nuclear use and ruining the earth, etc. These expressed a reverence for Jesus Christ, and others among them were considered ready for conversion.) I guess Pius XII deemed the faithful nowhere near ready for the confirmed presence of et’s.

    I don’t know what to make of any of it — if Papa Benedict issues something that says, “Listen, we need to sit down and talk with some beings who will surprise your socks off,” I will reply, “Go for it, my Pope,” but otherwise, I’m mostly wondering what Gab means about being broken-hearted about this 50yr loss of communication time. There are relatives I don’t yet know, living in both Ireland and Canada. I never will know them, now — I don’t know their names, and everyone who could tell me of them is dead. Is your sense of loss in that regard, Gab, or is it something different?

  7. I’ve been reading the responses here, and thought I’d chip in. I would have no problem if alien life existed. But I see some shortcomings in the attempts to reconcile it.

    First, I don’t see real evidence that any Pope has had an encounter with aliens. One of the sources quoted in the video that Pia presented was the supermarket tabloid “The Sun”. I have to say, I used to buy that sometimes as a teen to laugh at the fantastic the articles. It’s a magazine that seems specifically for entertainment, with fantastic fictional stories. Anyway, the video draws specious conclusions from a piece of truth and its own interpretations of events. I haven’t seen any reputable evidence of the reality of a Pope’s encounter with aliens.

    Second, aren’t there problems reconciling the mix of theological explanations that have been mentioned? The Mnsgr in the video describes St. Thomas assertion that nature does not like “jumps” (paraphrased). Fine – but what he’s implying – what St. Thomas is getting at – is that there is a relation between things. In other words, plants are not alien to animals, etc. This makes it hard to accept that one of the forms of life would be outside the realm of encounter for so long – would be alien. What a person would need in order to reconcile alien existence, is exactly something that accounts for a jump in nature (as Gabrielle is trying to do with the notion of separate stories). It has to account for why the Church and most of humanity has always recognized the other 4 lifeforms, but not the alien. Why have they been left out of the relationship for so long?

    The Msgr claims that such beings would be in a condition that corresponds to life outside of original sin and not needing redemption. He is relying on a collection of individual eye-witness accounts (NASA and the USAF have publicly stated that there has never been a documented encounter with anything that indicates alien life or civilization in their history.) Yet, most of the ET witnesses describe good and bad aliens. We hear of people who have things done to them that does not respect their free will. This doesn’t reconcile, because if we accept the witness accounts regarding the existence of aliens, then we must give credibility to their assertions about alien characteristics. If they are believable about contact, they are believable about other details. But of course, if a creature is without sin and is in complete union with God, it does only as God speaks and wills. This leaves the Msgr’s theory very much lacking, and puts his other claims in doubt (such as the notion that we must accept alien existence).

    When God came to us, He first created a single woman who was immaculate, who had Life, Divine Life, inside of her. Saints have written about her that in the midst of darkness and death, she was the only light, the only one who had Divine Life in her. But it is *impossible* to be without sin – God did the impossible in one single case, and by that, everyone else received Divine Life. Mary’s Immaculate Conception is a miracle. Through her and this miracle, everyone else received Divine Life.

    This reveals God – He always does things the same way, He never changes. He always starts with a special singularity – an impossible – and by that one, the many are reached.

    It is very believable to me that what follows is the case:

    Life is not possible anywhere else, because it is *impossible*. Like the Immaculate Conception that occurs only in Mary, the existence of life itself is a singular miracle, which occurs only on earth. When we say, “Well, earth has life, the good God who loves life must have created life somewhere else in the vast universe, too”, it is analagous to saying, “Well, Mary was immaculately conceived – the good God who loves life must have created immaculate conceptions somewhere else in the human race, too.” When we naturally think that God would have life on other planets, we fail to consider that His plan might be to accomplish it through us, that it’s *our* life that He wants there.

    So, the idea would be that, by mother earth, the one planet in the universe that has life, all the other planets will receive life – and human life at that. As the other planets become complete with human life (in His image and likeness), God will be glorified by this fulfillment of the striving to growth of human life in His Name. Of course all this will take some time!!

    If and when we actually do have credible evidence of aliens, then, myself, I’ll reconsider in the light of new science. Other approaches would be alien to me (I couldn’t resist, sorry).

    Jerome

  8. Well, as I said in the post, I won’t be getting into debates about believing or not believing, or getting into the reams of documentation that exist. I just wanted to help people become aware of the Vatican’s current public position and activities. I do think it’s important to ponder though (so I will reiterate it here) that Balducci did hold extremely high positions and was very close to the two last Popes, spoke out publicly, wrote on the subject, appeared many times on television and was never censored or silenced in any way by the Vatican. Although they could have done it decades ago, at least the Vatican is trying to get the message out now, so it’s my opinion that they are hoping for dissemination of this information, discussion and reflection among grassroots Catholics and people of all religions (or none) before it is forced upon them by outside events.

  9. Oh, sorry C, I meant to add (about being broken-hearted) – what I meant really was about the loss of time in terms of scientific/theological discussion that could have been taking place if the Vatican had been more open about it all these past decades – that if they had come out much earlier with even a small statement about the possibility and some theological explanations then perhaps people like “O” who commented earlier could have received some support from within the Church. The concept of knowledge being hidden by the “elite” I find abhorrent. We are all living here together, after all.

  10. Well, I do consider the source, too, Jerome, and am not saying Popes have indeed met with aliens –but if the Federal government set up an office to wade through all the close encounter (and more) reports, even from mere citizens, I’m inclined to not attribute everything to “weather balloons” — especially if it’s a global phenomenon. And it is.

    Something definitely got shut down somewhere in the distant part of these 40 years. It couldn’t be ruled out; it could only be shut down. Why ask why –there will be no answer, other than “weather balloons.”

    I understand, Gab. I guess I’m used to any of the seemingly “elite” withholding things from their *lessers.* God doesn’t do that, ‘though, and that makes up for all elitism.

  11. I want to apologize for posting that video about Pope John XXIII. I translated it, and found a few discrepancies in the story so I did a bit more investigating. My doubts regarded the mention of the Pope’s secretary (s). I knew that his personal secretary was Msgr. Loris Capovilla, and I thought it was strange that they didn’t mention his name. Also, in the second part, there is an interview with a bishop in South America, who is evidently not a Catholic bishop. Not that I have anything against non catholic bishops, but I thought, what does he know and how would he know what transpired?

    I found a UFO research group (a serious one) that had the same doubts. They apparently decided to phone Msgr Capovilla and were surprised that they were allowed to speak with him personally (he is very famous in Italy). He was very friendly and he thanked them for phoning and told them quite frankly that this was the first he’d ever heard about this story. So there it is. The whole thing is just a practical joke I suppose.

    Although the Vatican is seriously interested in examining the possibility of life on other planets, the close encounter of the third kind shown in the video never took place. There was a book published by a certain Pier Carpi, called The Prophecy of John XXIII, in which he claims that the Pope had several encounters with aliens, dating back to a time when he had become a member of a secret society (rosacroce) etc, etc…all a bunch of bs, obviously.

    So again, I am very sorry for having posted such an idiotic thing here !!!

  12. Don’t worry, Pia, and thank you for taking the time to translate it and check out what was niggling at you. I will leave the link up anyway, so that anyone who watches it from here will understand your last comment better. This is why I said I wish I could have understood the language, because I “wanted to know everything” they were saying! The first time I watched it, it wasn’t even the supposed encounter with an alien that bothered me; it was what they said about the Pope being involved with the Rosicrucians, because I knew this all related to the stories about the Priory de Sion which was proven a few years ago to be a hoax on a grand scale. On the other hand, I wouldn’t completely dismiss alien contact with Pope John XXIII or even Pius XII for that matter, just because this particular video may contain fraudulent information. I doubt Msgr Capovilla would have been at liberty to tell what he might know; I am trying to find out if the “Servizio Informazioni del Vaticano” really exists/existed, but haven’t found Vatican verification yet.

  13. It’s not in the least impossible that Popes have been visited by aliens; they are, after all, the holiest leaders on earth. If I were from a different planet, I’d want to speak with someone with real authority.

  14. Funny things are happening around here…Lorenzo, who knows nothing about our discourse here, has been going out with his friends every night for UFO watching and came home with some weird footage of strange lights over the adriatic last night. VERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYY STRAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNGEEEEEEEEEEE

  15. Pia, no, I’m not talking about the press office mentioned on the Vatican website. Here are links to two sites which explain what I’m referring to, but you can find this on many different ufo-oriented sites. The trouble is, of course, that I have no way of knowing whether there is any truth to any of it. But I thought it was “very interesting” to see on the second site the comment that Fr. Balducci is “out of the loop” re information.

    One

    Two

    Re Lorenzo, maybe you could encourage them to go dancing instead? 😉

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