On Saturday, May 17, Guy Consolmagno, an astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory, spoke to graduates at Georgetown University’s commencement ceremony.
He began his speech by acknowledging that many are surprised to hear that the Vatican operates its own observatory. He explains that, by supporting an observatory, the Vatican is “reminding the world, including Catholics, that the church supports and embraces science.” He added, “We’re not afraid of the truth. We actively seek it.”
Consolmagno made headlines in 2010 when he told the Guardian, “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.” He also told the Guardian that he would gladly baptize an extraterrestrial if one requested. But during his speech at Georgetown, he announced, “There aren’t any extraterrestrials – at least none that I know of.” But he continued, “And even if we do encounter them someday, it’s going to be a long time before we can converse with them well enough to discuss the theology of the trinity or something.”
Pope Francis also recently made comments about baptizing aliens, stating that “Christians cannot ‘close the door’ to all those who seek baptism even if they are ‘green men, with a long nose and big ears, like children draw.’”
Guy Consolmagno‘s Georgetown speech begins at approximately the 16:00 mark in the video at the top of this post.