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UFO stupidities:

No, the Holy See did not "officially confirm" extraterrestrial contact

A story has been circulating on the Internet on various web sites, and is refreshed occasionally on various mailing list. It claims that "Vatican has confirmed that Extra-Terrestrial contacts have occurred." I do not debate here whether contacts with alien beings have occurred or not, but I give the information reducing this claim to its real content: a theologian specialized in the field on "new age beliefs" and "demonology" with no relation to Vatican did speculate on TV about the theological implication in the hypothetic event that extra-terrestrial contact might occur.

The fiction:

Since year 1998 we are being told that "Monsignore Balducci, a theologist spokesman for Vatican, has said on Italian national TV channels repeatedly in the last months that extra-terrestrial contact is a fact and that the Pope knows about it" and that there is some kind of ET commission at Vatican.

The facts:

His own present opinion about extra-terrestrial beings seems to be, in summary:

If they exist, and if we were to make contact with them, they might well be beings superior to us as of spirituality. If that reveals true, then a contact might even be desirable for us.

Mr. Balducci also feels that there is no such thing as an "ET contact commission" in Vatican and doubts that the pope or anybody at Vatican has ever dealt with UFO and ET's.

A continuing fable:

The hoax has not been broadcasted by honest and competent Ufology web sites, it has been spread repeatedly since 1998 mostly by sites liking UFO themes and spiritual, religious or new-age themes and beliefs, or sites specialized in the sensationalization of unverified information presented as true information, and by several ufologists who have not presented the correct information but exaggerrated it. It has also be quoted on countless small personal web sites devoted to UFO themes.

One noticeable editor of a well know UFO information web site has apologized in 1998 for his reproduction of this erroneous information, after he has verified it, but unfortunately the person who spread the erroneous information in 1998 does not consider it to be fraudulous and presented the item again and again.

Some comments:

Various religious institutions do not have theological difficulties with the notion that extra-terrestrial being have or might visit the Earth. Some ancient rare religions or beliefs are indeed based on the notion that extra-terrestrial intervention, acts, or help has allowed or caused mankind's development.

I find the idea that a Christian institution such as Vatican could announce anything related to the notion of an extra-terrestrial contact rather unlikely.

On February 17, 1600, the Catholic authorities have burned a man alive after holding him in custody for eight years in Vatican's prisons. Previously he already has been excommunicated by the Catholic Church, by the Calvinist reform movement, he has been mocked at Oxford, thrown out of London, forbidden to teach at Marbourg in Germany, excommunicated by the Lutherian authorities in Prague.

When his sentence was pronounced, he said to the inquisitors: "You are more afraid to sentence me to death than I am afraid of accepting my death."

One of his crimes was that he proposed that there are other stars similar to the sun, with planets revolving around them similar to the Earth, and that these numerous other worlds are certainly often populated by intelligent beings, and that some of these other world's inhabitants might very well be more advanced than humanity, both in their knowledge and in their spiritual evolution.

His name was Giordano Bruno.

In 1997, Pat Robertson, head of the Christian Coalition and television evangelist preached this 700 Club broadcast: that those who "entertain the existence of space aliens and UFOs" should be stoned to death, according to "God's word." He stated that if such things exist, they are simply demons trying to lead people away from Christ. His reasoning that if alien beings exist, then they are demons, allowed him to find the corresponding sentence for the ufologist in the, Deuteronomy 17:2-5, NKJV: "If there is found among you, within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing His covenant, who has gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun or moon or any of the hosts of heaven which I have not commanded you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and stone to death that man or woman with stones."

Hopefully he is also not the official spokesman for Vatican.

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This page was last updated on July 31, 2001.