Pope Francis has said that if Martians arrived at the doors of the Vatican asking to be baptised he would not turn them away as humans are not to decide who should or should not receive the Holy Spirit, according to Vatican radio.
The Pope offered his message of inclusion during a morning Mass when he asked: "Who are we to close doors to anyone?"
The pontiff recited a homily dedicated to the conversion of the first pagans to Christianity and said that the Holy Spirit makes the Church go "beyond the limits, go ever forward", however "unthinkable" and "unimaginable" something appeared.
"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 baptised!' What would happen?"
"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.
"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."
Previous Vatican figures have also alluded to the symbolism of extraterrestrial beings when talking of inclusion within Christianity. Vatican scientist Guy Consolmagno said in 2010 that "any entity - no matter how many tentacles it has - has a soul".