DAILY TELEGRAPH, London England Oct. 28, 1992 NCS Dec. 1992 pg. 15 vatican1.txt Vatican se
DAILY TELEGRAPH, London England Oct. 28, 1992
NCS Dec. 1992 pg. 15
Vatican sets evangelical sights on outer space
By Bruce Johnston
THE Roman Catholic Church is to team up with America's space
agency to look for life in outer space and so spread the Gospel
Jesuit priests who run the Vatican Observatory near Rome
say they are joining forces with the US Nasa agency to hunt for
UFOs and signs of life on planets in solar systems similar to
NASA's job will be to monitor for "alien" communication
signals; the Vatican, which has helped to build a new reflector
telescope in Tucson, Arizona, would search for planets
displaying conditions for life.
The Vatican's new telescope, which Father George Coyne,
director of the Vatican Observatory, said would be "ready for
use within the next few days, and unveiled to the public in
January", is a joint venture with the University of Arizona.
He said it was "not the most powerful in the world, but
certainly the most novel" and the most accurate.
Should intelligent alien life be found, Fr Coyne said, "the
Church would be obliged to address the question of whether extra
terrestrials might be brought within the fold and baptised".
"Why not, if we have the pleasure of meeting them?" asked
the Jesuit astronomer, who with nine other clerics runs the
Observatory in Tucson, another in Canada, and the Vatican
Fr Coyne said the Church's attitude to science had
radically changed since the Inquisition, which demanded in 1633
that Galileo should back down from his theory that the earth was
not the centre of the Universe.
He added that for the Church to suddenly find itself
meeting an extra terrestrial being could pose "complications
from a theological point".
"First of all", Fr Coyne said, "one would need to put some
questions to him, such as: 'Have you ever experienced something
similar to Adam and Eve, in other words original sin?"
And then: "Do you people also know a Jesus who has redeemed
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