December 3, 2014

Meet the pope’s astronomer, who says he’d baptize an alien if given the chance

Print More
Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer and head of the Vatican Observatory Foundation -- and co-author with another Jesuit of a new book, “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” -- pondered faith, science and the fate of universe during an unseasonably warm November day in Central Park. Religion News Service photo by David Gibson

Brother Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer and head of the Vatican Observatory Foundation -- and co-author with another Jesuit of a new book, “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” -- pondered faith, science and the fate of universe during an unseasonably warm November day in Central Park. Religion News Service photo by David Gibson

NEW YORK (RNS) With Christmas just around the corner, Brother Guy Consolmagno gets a lot of questions this time of year about the star of Bethlehem that led the Magi to Jesus in the manger.

Consolmagno is an astronomer — a planetary scientist for the Vatican observatory, in fact — who specializes in asteroids and meteorites, the very sort that may well have been the famous “star” described in the Gospel of Matthew.

“It’s fun speculation,” Consolmagno said, smiling though a graying beard while sitting on a bench in Central Park on an unseasonably warm afternoon. “It’s fascinating to realize that there actually are a couple of quite plausible things it could be.

“But what’s even more interesting to me is that this story was included, of all the stories that Matthew might have included,” he said, growing animated as he does when diving into his twin vocations of science and theology. “Whether it’s something he heard from Mary, or whether it’s something he made up, why was it included?”

If those are the sort of musings you enjoy, and a level of ambiguity you can handle, then you will like the new book that Consolmagno has written with his fellow Jesuit, the Rev. Paul Mueller, who heads the Jesuit community at Castel Gandolfo, a hilltop town near Rome where the Vatican’s main telescope is located. (The other is on a mountaintop near Tucson, Ariz.)

"Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" by Guy Consolmagno, SJ and Paul Mueller, SJ. Photo courtesy of Image Books

“Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” by Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller. Photo courtesy of Image Books

Their book is titled “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” another question that Consolmagno is asked a lot in his many speeches and media appearances, and one that Pope Francis — a fellow Jesuit and a trained chemist — has posed as part of his focus on Catholic inclusivity.

Consolmagno’s short answer is “yes.“ But “only if she asks!”

While the longer answer is spelled out in the book, the two Jesuits are really aiming their lens at a bigger goal: to show how people of faith can also believe in science.

“God is reason. If you reject reason, you are rejecting God,” Consolmagno said.

Unlike many apologists, Consolmagno isn’t fixated on the so-called “New Atheists” like Richard Dawkins who wield science like a cudgel to bash religion, and believers.

“I don’t mind someone disagreeing with my views on religion,” he said. “But I’d like to have a sense of mutual respect. If you think that what a lot of people believe is nonsense, then maybe you don’t understand what it is they believe.”

But such debates are mostly a sideline for Consolmagno.

“The thing that really bothers me,” he said, “is the creeping fundamentalism among Catholics who don’t know their own faith and who are desperately trying to do the right thing and to be faithful believers, thinking that they have to sacrifice their reason to follow God. And that is exactly the opposite of what God wants.”

Preaching that old-time Catholicism of faith and reason is what Consolmagno will now be doing almost full time.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, left, and Paul Mueller, co-author a new book titled, "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" Photo courtesy of Brother Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller

Brother Guy Consolmagno, left, and Paul Mueller, co-author a new book titled, “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” Photo courtesy of Brother Guy Consolmagno and Paul Mueller

For two decades, he was curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Castel Gandolfo, one of the largest in the world, and he wrote scientific books and delivered research papers. Last month, he was given the Carl Sagan Medal, one of the most prestigious awards within planetary science.

Yet Consolmagno has always seen himself as a teacher as much as a researcher, and now he will be able to educate people even as he raises money in his new post as head of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Instead of living in Italy, he will be based in Arizona and will travel much of the year.

The goal is to make the church and the public more aware of the scientific work the Vatican does  — who even knows that the pope has an observatory, and why? It’s also to teach Catholics about their own intellectual tradition.

While Consolmagno happily describes himself as an introvert — “pretty much a nerd,” is how he also puts it — he says that it’s easier for him to talk to 2,000 people than it is to deal with individuals.

Indeed, that’s why he became a Jesuit brother rather than a priest who might have to look after a parish. Born in 1952 in a well-to-do suburb of Detroit, Consolmagno’s immigrant family placed a high value on education and faith. He loved science as a kid and, like many in those days, his imagination was fired by the space race in the 1960s and the moon landing — the kind of efforts he believes we need to invest in today.

Space travel “is the one thing that draws us all together,” he said, noting that both the Vatican and the U.S. government spend about 1 percent of their budget on astronomy-related science.

“This kind of curiosity transcends momentary human conflicts and gives us a sense of perspective,” he said.

Consolmagno continues to be a sci-fi buff, though he prefers old-school books to movies. He did, however, love the recent space epic “Interstellar,” watching it in an IMAX theater with a high school buddy and a chum from MIT. The science was pretty good, he thought, and not even central to the film: “The word religion is never mentioned because it’s everywhere. It is entirely about dealing with the transcendent.”

Consolmagno started out at Jesuit-run Boston College yet soon decided he didn’t want to be a Jesuit. “I realized I’m much better at dealing with numbers and factoids,” he says. So he transferred to MIT and was pondering academic stardom in planetary science when his Catholic conscience called again; he joined the Peace Corps, working for two years in Kenya teaching physics and astronomy.

“People in Africa are curious about the stars, too,” he said. “If you deny them the chance to go ‘Wow!’ looking at stars, you are saying they’re not fully human. They are hungry for that because human beings are hungry for that.”

When he returned to the U.S. he found a satisfying teaching job at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, yet it wasn’t enough. He wanted, needed, to “stand for something bigger than myself.”

Consolmagno had just ended a long and rocky relationship and realized he was better on his own. So his old Jesuit calling beckoned, only this time as a brother, and by 1993 he found himself a fully vowed Jesuit, in Italy, and working for the Vatican. He wasn’t teaching, but it wasn’t a bad gig, to say the least.

Now, in his new incarnation, he hopes to be able to use what spare time he has for research, especially into the asteroid Vesta, which he wrote about years ago. He’ll put the popular books on hold for a while, though he still hopes to test that hypothesis about baptizing an extraterrestrial.

But his main job is to ease the fears of fellow believers who worry that science undermines faith.

“I don’t know how it could,” he said before heading off to another interview. “Because my faith is already full of doubts. And the doubts have nothing to do with what I’ve learned is science. They have to do with what I’ve learned in myself. And in some ways the doubts are the strongest proof I have of my faith.

“If there wasn’t a God,” he said, “why would I be so worried about there not being one?”

KRE/AMB END GIBSON

  • Great article. I’ll make sure I’ll link to it and used the next time I’m battling the old canard that the Church is “anti-science”

    “Viva Cristo Rey!!”
    DHS

  • Doc Anthony

    First, the Pope set up that Kasper guy, and now Mr. Francis has set up this Consolmagno guy, who appears to be 10 times worse.

    I like science, I love watching the NASA channel on cable TV. I really do.

    But American Christianity desperately needs theologian-Christians and scientist-Christians who still believe the Bible, and who will take a public stand to SUPPORT AND AFFIRM its historical and doctrinal claims. Kasper and Consolmagno are simply the WRONG guys to be advising Mr. Francis on either theology or science.

    Let’s be honest. I urge ALL Catholics to drop their Catholicism and move to another denomination as soon as possible. Catholic Christianity is already on life-support, despite its numbers. It’s time to get Mr. Francis’s attention.

    The Catholic ship is a great ship, it has mightily pushed back against the evil Philistines in America, but now it is sinking. Time to abandon ship !!!

  • Byron

    What’s up, Doc?

    So you are encouraging Christians to divide, while confessing that Jesus gave his life to reconcile us to God?

    What you are proposing is neither biblical and more importantly, not Christ-like.

    You wild ideas didn’t come from Jesus. First, Jesus wasn’t an American and secondly he didn’t ask his followers to support and defend doctrines. He called them to love as they have been loved.

    I would encourage you to fix your eyes on Jesus, climb out of your boat, and walk toward him.

  • Pingback: pope’s astronomer says that those who believe in creation sacrifice reason | Laodicean Report()

  • Larry

    “I like science, I love watching the NASA channel on cable TV. I really do.”

    That is too funny since its coming from a creationist. A person who takes a steaming dookie on the notion of scientific research and knowledge for the sake of maintaining lies about your faith.

  • Doc Anthony

    If what you say is true Larry, then how do you account for the fact that the MRI Scanner which is used in hospitals (and also the Gene Gun, which is used in plant bio-technology), were both invented by CREATIONISTS (Dr. Raymond Damadian and Dr. John Sanford, respectively) ?

    Hmm? What say you?

  • Doc,

    The more I read your posts, the more I like you.

    You seem like a fascinating person.
    You seem smart and interested in science. I simply cannot figure out why you believe this nonsense about Creationism. You seem too smart for such drivel.

    You seem ready to open up your eyes but something is stopping you.

  • Doc Anthony

    Oh all right, Byron. I’ll retract my suggestion that all Catholics drop Catholicism and move to other denominations. It’s a bit impractical anyway.

    Even so, such a move would be an attention-getter — and right now, an attention-getter is exactly what Mr. Francis needs. No joke baby.

    Francis is surrounding himself with people like Mr. Consolmagno, people who can barely conceal their skepticism against the clear teachings of Scripture. THAT sort of business is absolutely not going to help anything on the “biblical” and “Christ-like” fronts, the two fronts that you mentioned.

    And if you are worried about “encouraging Christians to divide”, you will definitely want to contact Consolmagno on that problem, for he is surely guilty of it. You say I have “wild ideas”, but I say that YOUR guy has far worse.

    Example: For those who believe the Bible’s claim of a six 24-hour-day Creation Week, (and that’s still a lot Christians, mind you), Consolmagno said this past October that “It’s almost blasphemous theology. It’s certainly not the tradition of Catholicism and never has been and it misunderstands what the Bible is and it misunderstands what science is.”

    Now there’s a whole lot that’s wrong with that statement, but for now just notice that he calls a Biblically-supportable Christian belief “almost blasphemous.” He’s encouraging quite a bit of division right there, isn’t he? And that’s on top of him directly attacking the Bible’s credibility, reliability, historicity, and authority. That’s always going to create division.

    But also add to this brazen display of skepticism, what Consolmagno said in this very RNS article about Matthew possibly “MAKING UP” the story about the Star of Bethlehem. Shoot, even if you aren’t a creationist, you ought to at least believe Matthew was relating the historical truth instead of fiction and falsehood. But as you see, Conso is openly MESSING UP, attacking the Bible again. That’s no good.

    So my apologies to you, but this guy Consolmagno is not particularly “biblical” or “Christlike” (after all, unlike him, Jesus Christ DID believe and affirm the historical and doctrinal claims of Genesis.) Things that evolutionists and atheists deny, such as the literal historicity of Adam, Eve, the Fall, the global Noahic Flood, etc, Jesus Himself affirmed and supported.
    .
    But guys like Consolmagno, they’ll try to sell you on their gradual creeping disbelief. Trying to wreck your faith on the installment plan. Trying to make you think that Catholic (or other) Christianity is still compatible with the skepticism they’re bogged down with.

    Love ain’t quite enough Byron; you need truth to go with it. “Thy Word is truth”, Jesus said. So while I like your first line and your last line, (yes well-written), the rest of your post is incomplete and flawed. Consolmagno and his pals ain’t getting off the hook that easy. Time for Christians to take a real stand, and that includes Catholic Christians.

  • Robinoz

    Hopefully, when aliens eventually reveal themselves to all of us, they will also confirm what should be obvious to anyone older than about 10: God is a myth perpetuated by humankind to explain those things they couldn’t understand. Belief in gods stifles the intellect because the meaning and reason for everything is answered. One only has to open one’s mind to reveal the presence of gods by their absence. Religion is an anachronism holding us back and now threatening our very human survival.

  • Earold D. Gunter

    Logic and reason can never be bedfellows of religious belief. Humans who believe in a religion do so by faith, which is the antithesis of logic and reason.

    Humans who interpret their religious text literally, as Doc A advocates, are the most deluded of the religious, but at least they demonstrate a real honest commitment to their irrational beliefs. Ironically it is logic and reason that drives their well founded fear to conclude that any compromise on their literal translation is a dangerous thing.

    Humans like Consolmagno realize that a literal interpretation of their text is for the most part juxtaposed to both science, and in many cases moral behavior. They “massage” their interpretation of the text, and make excuses for its contradictions and immoral messages, which is far less honest, or committed, and is as believers like Doc A fear, the chink in the armor of irrational religious belief that will ultimately destroy it.

    I find great joy in the fact that the religious view science as a weapon to be used by non-believers to illuminate the falseness of their beliefs, they should. It demonstrates their understanding that their beliefs are incompatible with science, with reality. This incompatibility may never completely destroy all religious belief as those who hold on to litetral interpreation may never bring their heads out of the sand. However, it will elimate the stranglehold on humanity religion currently has and relagate religious belief to the historical dustbin with the other ridiculous religions of the past. Society will then consider religious belief a mental illness, perhaps accuratley so.

  • Larry

    Because he is not ever being asked to give an expert opinion on biology. You are citing to an authority of no relevance on the subject.

    Plenty of well educated people believe in stupid dishonest things. Many proponents of Intelligent Design have advanced degrees. It still didn’t make their views remotely plausible or rational when held up to the slighted scrutiny (as their “expert” testimony in The Dover Case amply demonstrated)

    Michael Shermer even wrote an entire book on the subject “Why People Believe Weird Things” He has a whole section devoted to PhD’s who espouse nonsense. Short version, they are less likely to be swayed by opposing arguments and evidence because their education and training give them tools for defending their views in public.

    Damadian too feels the need to lie about his religious faith as all Creationists. To deny faith as the basis for religious belief in favor of mythology and spurious arguments.

  • Larry

    It could be worse. If a someone tries to circumcise the aliens, it could lead to the Earth being destroyed from orbit. 🙂

  • Edward N. Haas

    Many have been the times in history when the intellectually superior (in their own eyes that is) were wrongly sure they were witnessing the decline if not outright demise of the Catholic Church. Here’s one excellent example: In 1767, Frederick II the “Great” (king of Prussia 1740-1786) wrote a letter to Voltaire in which he stated: “It will take a miracle to restore the Catholic Church. It has been struck by a terrible apoplexy; and you will have the consolation of burying it and writing its epitaph.”

    Don’t worry, Doc Anthony, neither you nor your grandkids nor their grandkids, etc., etc., etc., shall live to see your prediction come true. All that shall come true is that billions of Catholics in centuries to come will laugh at your prediction no less heartily than do we who laugh at Fred’s.

    EDWARD N. HAAS (78) – HAASWOOD, LA
    PRESIDENT: HONEY ISLAND TIMBER CO., INC. and author of Esoptrics, The Algebraic Logic Of The Mirror & only cosmological theory to explain: (1) what black holes really are (and black they are not), (2) how the relatively staid macroscopic world emerges from the chaos of the microscopic world, (3) exactly what happened in the 8 first mini bangs before the 9th and really BIG bang occurred, and (4) on and on and on. Like my full name, Esoptrics is very searchable.

  • Edward N. Haas

    In one of his multitude of books — one entitled “De Genesi ad Litteram” — St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) rejects the notion that creation truly took place in 3 of our kind of days. One of the points he makes is that, since the sun is not mentioned before the 4th “day”, the first 3 days could not be days as we understand the term, since the first 3 days could not have been days in our sense of the kind of daylight and darkness of night produced by sunrise followed by sunset. I have yet to hear any Pope or Ecumenical Council say anything negative about him for having such a view of creation. On the contrary, all I’ve ever heard said of St. Augustine of Hippo is that he is the most important and revered of the “Fathers of the Church”.

    EDWARD N. HAAS (78) – HAASWOOD, LA
    PRESIDENT: HONEY ISLAND TIMBER CO., INC.

  • Edward N. Haas

    Well, Atheist Max, I dare suspect you’re well aware that the originator of the Big Bang Theory was a Catholic priest/professor from Belgium by the name of Fr. George LeMaitre. If I’m correct in that suspicion, I strongly suspect I would be correct to imagine you also hold that Fr. Lemaitre was far from being “too smart for such drivel.” You Atheists all too often seem paragons of a level of pomposity and self-conceit more hilariously outrageous then one can usually believe possible. Apparently, far too few of you have learned what is perhaps the most ancient and widely touted of philosophical axioms: Nemo judex in causa sua. Maybe your kind will one day wake up to the realization that, in the eyes of most of the highly educated, there is no drivel more so drivel than the astonishingly ridiculous opinion you have of yourselves as giants of intellectual superiority. In reality, your self-promoting drivel makes you merely a pack of the most laughable buffoons ever to cross the stage of history.

    EDWARD N. HAAS (78) – HAASWOOD, LA

  • Edward N. Haas

    It may well be, Robinoz, that, in some people, “Belief in gods stifles the intellect”. It is also true, however, that contempt for belief in a personal God stifles the intellects of many scientists and drives them into irrational behavior toward their colleagues. Even some atheistic scientists have remarked about how true that is. Would I had time to quote a few for you. Furthermore, before you talk about “Religion is an anachronism holding us back”, you should read what some atheistic scientists say about what that “holding us back” means, namely: Religion’s too sensitive opposition to the mass slaughter of the innocent is the only thing which holds them back from eradicating at least 50%, if not 90%, of humanity in the name of “building a better world in which to grow up” (A Nazi quote from the movie “The Boy In The Stripped Pajamas”.). Here again, would I had the time to give you at least a dozen quotes from noted Atheists advocating mass slaughter as the ultimate form of truly benevolent humanitarianism.

    Finally, Robinoz, there’s the fact that this Catholic layman is the author of Esoptrics: The Algebraic Logic Of The Mirror. It’s a cosmological theory a handful of philosophers and physicists regard as the most original and beautiful of them all because of how many cosmological issues unresolved by Science are resolved by Esoptrics. Yes, it’s only a handful so far; but, be not surprised if, in the not too distant future, you find yourself saying: “I was told that’s what might happen, and I laughed it off.” Above all the issues involved, Esoptrics’ mathematically precise explanations (all simple Algebra), leave no reasonable doubt there is a personal God and creation an astonishing masterpiece of intelligent design. What, then, shall become of Atheism’s drivel charging Religion with hindering Science?

    EDWARD N. HAAS (78) – HAASWOOD, LA

  • Edward N. Haas

    Apparently, Earold D. Gunter, you, like a great many of even the most educated people, know nothing of the radical difference between Protestantism’s and Catholicism’s definitions of faith. As defined by Protestantism, faith is BLIND faith, which is to say an unshakable conviction not justified by any evidence. As defined by Catholicism (I know of no dictionary daring to tell you this.), faith means a fearless conviction the fearlessness of which is justified by testimony from a source the reliability of which is supported by various kinds of evidence. When you look up a word in a dictionary, you turn to faith as defined by Catholicism. For, you rest sure of the reliability of the dictionary’s testimony to the word’s meaning, and you do so because of how great is the cloud of witnesses testifying to its reliability either in documents or in other humans’ face to face contacts with you. Then too, you may remember experiences in which you saw for yourself that such-and-such a definition was in fact the one the people around you used. Young students take as true what their teachers say is true because of the authority with which the teachers speak as a result of documents testifying to those teachers’ expertise. In the end, every judgment rendered in every court of law boils down to which fact is called a fact by which quantity of testimony from which sources of which level of authority.

    In sum EDG: Logic and reason can never be bedfellows of BLIND faith; but, they most certainly can be and ARE bedfellow to CATHOLIC faith. Though virtually all Non-Catholics believe in a religion by BLIND faith, only infantile Catholics do so. Perhaps more to the point: All Atheists who reject religion saying all religion is based on BLIND faith are themselves basing their Atheism on a manifestly mistaken and BLIND faith that they know what they’re talking about when they speak of religious faith. You most manifestly do not know what you’re talking about, and, were not your BLIND faith in your intellectual superiority not so obstinately incorrigible and prejudiced, you would readily see that.

    EDWARD N. HAAS (78) – HAASWOOD,LA

  • Fmr Cath

    The flexible use of the word “day” to express units of time of varying length is clearly evident in the Genesis account of creation. Therein is set forth a week of six creative days followed by a seventh day of rest. The week assigned for observance by the Jews under the Law covenant given them by God was a miniature copy of that creative week. (Ex 20:8-11) In the Scriptural record the account of each of the six creative days concludes with the statement: “And there came to be evening and there came to be morning” a first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth day. (Ge 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31) The seventh day, however, does not have this ending, indicating that this period, during which God has been resting from his creative works toward the earth, continued on. At Hebrews 4:1-10 the apostle Paul indicated that God’s rest day was still continuing in his generation, and that was more than 4,000 years after that seventh-day rest period began. This makes it evident that each creative day, or work period, was at least thousands of years in length. As A Religious Encyclopaedia (Vol. I, p. 613) observes: “The days of creation were creative days, stages in the process, but not days of twenty-four hours each.”—Edited by P. Schaff, 1894.

  • Pingback: The Week in Quotes (Nov. 23 – Dec. 6) | TFN Insider()

  • I never said I was superior to anyone.
    Instead of attacking me personally, why not supply me with evidence that the creator of the Big Bang was Yahweh. Or do you argue that it was Allah?
    Or do you argue that it was Ganesha and Vishnu?
    Or was it Jesus and Yahweh and the Holy Spirit?
    Or was it Zeus and Aphrodite working together?

    In my world, what matters is evidence.

    I don’t care who came up with the Big Bang. If you don’t have evidence that a god did it – you have validated nothing.

  • Earold D. Gunter

    Edward, Please tell me, what is the “source” you write about? Also, please tell me what is some of the evidence you claim supports its reliability?

    You write “Young students take as true what their teachers say is true because of the authority with which the teachers speak as a result of documents testifying to those teachers’ expertise.”

    I would agree, but also add that our youth are students in their every waking moment. They learn not only by what they are told, but by what they observe as well. All of those who are given authority by their parents have much power to influence both the thoughts of the children, but the way the child is taught to process information. This is how religions perpetuate. Their leaders, who the parents grant authority teach our children to put aside logic and reason and believe things based on what they tell them is evidence, which really is not evidence, but just more faith based belief.

    Catholicism is not immune to faith as I have defined it. Take for example the doctrine of transubstantiation. Catholics are taught that the sacrament actually, physically transforms into the flesh and blood of christ. Really? This is absurd thinking, and can only be believed by faith. It is the very antithesis of logic and reason, which would demand evidence, such as a scientific examination of the crackers and wine.

    I do not claim intellectual superiority, and am not prejudging religion. I was once a believer and have come to realize over many years that what I was taught as a young man was not true. I learned that my beliefs were based on what I was told was evidence, and that evidence could not hold up under the scrutiny of logic and reason.

    So, Edward, (and I respect you use your real name), please, prove me wrong. Provide evidence that proves your belief.

  • Pingback: Baptizing Extraterrestrials VIDEO()

  • Mark Ingraham

    Friend Earold,

    Allow me to respond to some of the items you bring up as problems of illusions: God, Eucharist and faith. God is all that has absolute existence. Whatever else God is, God is first unconditional existence. Anything that exists is either God, or a creation of God, there can be no other source. Our own attributes of free will, intelligence, awareness necessarily existed first in God. God is an aware and intelligent being.

    Faith is not just a human estimation about God’s existence, but an actual participation in God. Jesus mentions faith (most commonly) as the means of salvation. Our participation in God is via Jesus who is God and Man. We participate in the human nature of Christ in this life, then in his divine nature in Heaven, (CCC 260,460,795,1988)

    Here’s more: Heaven is the actual person of Christ. Jesus Christ speaks of his very person being our resurrection, and he is our Heaven also. At the end of time, Christ will gather all goodness into and as himself and the corruption that is left (along with those owning it), will be called “Hell”. It is not a matter of God throwing evil persons into Hell, God proceeds with union with humanity as planned from all eternity, and all who can join God, will do so.

    Christ is now the entire body of Christ, no longer only Jesus. The body of Christ includes the Eucharist you mentioned, which is often misunderstood. The Eucharist is not the body of Jesus, it is the body of Christ. The body of Christ includes angels, humans, bread and wine, and possibly Martians in the future. The body of Christ is not only human in nature. The Eucharist wafer has two natures: bread nature, and divine nature, just as Jesus was of both human nature and divine nature. When viewed alone, the bread is just bread, but it no longer exists alone, it is a non-human member of the body of Christ, and there fore has a divine nature as well. We consider Jesus to be a single divine person even though he has a human nature, because his highest mode of operation is divine. Think of all the atoms of your body, their highest mode of operation is as your own person, these atoms are you, and not just a collection of atoms. But you are fully material and also fully spiritual.

    The Eucharist does not become God, the Eucharist is included into God, via the body of Christ. It is impossible to become God, who had no beginning, but we, bread, wine, angels, even the lion who lays down with the lamb in Heaven, may participate in the divine nature of God.

    So, you see Christianity is wonderfully and gloriously convoluted, but not impossible. By the way, all the fragments of our faith which we struggle to makes sense of God sees as a whole, and as his very person, and one day we will also.

    Some personal thoughts on the baptism of Martians: First we would have to determine that Martians have immortal souls. If they are moral beings, it is presumed that they have immortal souls. Martian baptism should be offered to all Martians, and not only those who ask for it. The body of Christ would then have an alien component in it, but this has already happened. Jesus Christ was the first alien component of the body of Christ. Yes, you read correctly, and here is the explanation:

    Recall the traditional story of the fall of Lucifer – he would not serve a human God (Jesus). Humans were OK as students (Adam and Eve had Lucifer and others as guardian angels, and they were the best), but a Human God was below the dignity of the angel of light, Lucifer. Compared to the most rudimentary angel, humans had limited awareness, and intellect, they were high maintenence, needing food, water and shelter; soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper!

    The Trinitarian Son of God, was a spirit like the angels, but a human Christ was not even of the same species as the angels…Jesus Christ was an alien species, and an alien Messiah. The Son of God continues to exist as an alien species, the Eucharist (bread and wine) are of a different species than the human species…but not really since we are all one person – that of Christ, (the body of Christ). This is what Lucifer failed to see, that hypo to the exterior is a common spirit, and that spirit is the divine spirit of God.

    Got to go, my nativity scene needs to be set up. Read my book, “Jesus”, by M. C. Ingraham, and have a great life. Bye.

  • Pingback: Snapshots 146 BC Carthago delenda est | File 770()

  • Alien Savior

    Your Alien Savior. Is typing this message.

  • Alien Savior

    Only one alien.

    He who ascended. And descended.
    Christus est lucifer

  • Chuy

    Who would abandon your family in time of need? What Catholics need is people like you, to spreading our love and gospel the same way you urge us to leave. We need to ask Catholics to help keep the ship afloat instead of abandoning our family.

  • Faye Hall

    Nonsense like that spewed by Ted Cruz and his ilk? Yeah.

  • Pingback: Tom Horn—The Secret Vatican Alien Connection | Lamb's Harbinger()

  • Pingback: Oh Look, Another Strong Delusion! Massive Mothership, “The Size of Idaho” Caught in NASA Images |()

  • Pingback: Oh Look, Another Strong Delusion! Massive Mothership, “The Size of Idaho” Caught in NASA Images | Surrey Local Business Directory()

  • Pingback: Are Events Converging in September 2015 Connected?()

  • Pingback: » Vatican Scientist Thinks Aliens May Exist — But Not An Alien Jesus()

  • Pingback: Vatican Scientist Thinks Aliens May Exist — But Not An Alien Jesus « CauseHub()

  • Leo Sprietsma

    Since Pope Pius 12’s Encyclical Dicino Affle Spiritu, and repeated in Vatican Council 2, Catholics are encouraged to interpret the Bible according to the “Literary form” that God inspired the Biblical Author to use.

    The Creation stories of Genesis are writen in a “myth” form of writing.
    In the first account. the priestly authors point was that everything that we see comes from God, and that the Sabbath Day is a “day of rest” that even God observed. Hence God created the world in 6 days, and on the seventh day, God rested.

    The “world” the authors describe is a world perceived by human senses. Not exactly a cosmology we observe with the aide of microscopes and telescopes.

    The second story is to explain the origen of sin, suffering, and death, since God is all good and his creation is good. Answer : Humans disrupt god’s plan when we disobey God’s command and sin. That is why we don’t have access to the magical “tree of life”, and so are subject to the death that…

  • Leo Sprietsma

    ….”Christianity is wonderfully and gloriously convoluted”….

    Agreed. But not quite so convoluted as you propose in your post!

  • Leo Sprietsma

    Larry
    {:>/ ] Now you make a good point!
    We are assuming a few things about possible alien anatomy. Would there be anything to circumcise? Would there be any need to baptize? Would inteligent aliens have any interest in either?

  • Pingback: Would AI and Aliens be moral in a godless universe? « Utopia or Dystopia()