Alien conversion? Pope Francis says he would be happy to baptize aliens from another planet if they came to the Vatican and asked for it.
Speaking during his weekly homily on Monday, Francis said that extraterrestrial life forms should be baptized just like anyone else who asks for it, because it’s not up to any human to decide who should receive the Holy Spirit.
The Wire reports Francis laid out the hypothetical situation concerning the baptism of aliens as part of a discussion of the early Church’s baptizing of Gentiles. Francis said:
If – for example – tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here… Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them… And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?”
What would happen? Those green aliens would get baptized, that’s what would happen. Francis goes on:
“When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent!… Who are we to close doors? In the early Church, even today, there is the ministry of the ostiary [usher]. And what did the ostiary do? He opened the door, received the people, allowed them to pass. But it was never the ministry of the closed door, never.”
This is not the first time that the Vatican has raised the prospect of baptising extraterrestrial beings. In 2010 Vatican scientist Guy Consolmagno said that “any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul”.