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The astronomer of Pope Francis has said he believes there is life beyond Earth.
Brother Guy Consolmagno, president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, made the comment in the booklet Would You Baptise an Extraterrestrial?, which he wrote with astronomer Father Paul Muller.
Consolmagno, who is the keeper of the Pope's meteorite collection, said he would be happy to baptize extraterrestrial creatures if they wanted the blessing. He added the presence of extraterrestrial life, "does not disprove the existence of God".
Instead, the discovery of "tentacled horrors from the void" should lead people to question what being human means. "When we say human, human as compared to what?" he asked.
In a 2010 statement, Consolmagno said that "all entities – despite how many tentacles they might have – have a soul".
In the booklet, Consolmagno tries also to answer important questions, such as, "Should the Church send out missionaries to alien planets?", "What's going to happen when the world ends?" and "Do extraterrestrials have their own version of Jesus?"
Consolmagno's booklet follows a statement by the Pope in May 2013 in which he said he would not deny baptism to Martians, because humans do not decide who should or should not receive the Holy Spirit.
"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?" the pontiff said during morning Mass.
"When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, 'No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let's do it this way.' Who are we to close doors?" he continued.