In a statement before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on October 27, Pope Francis I endorsed the view that extraterrestrial life – which he refers to as “beings of the universe” – has evolved in ways that is consistent with the plans of “God the creator.” He explained how the Catholic Church views the Big Bang and evolution as scientific processes underpinned by “the plan of the creator.” Pope Francis has officially moved the Catholic Church away from the idea of “God the creator” as a magician or demiurge creating the universe in an act of omnipotence over six days, to a more scientific view that God works mysteriously behind the scenes planning the evolution of life on Earth and the Universe. The Pope’s statement reveals his view that intelligent extraterrestrial life has evolved in a manner that is consistent with “the plan of the creator,” thereby making it possible for extraterrestrials to act in ways that further this plan. The Pope’s statement is a surprising endorsement of the view that the activities of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the universe can be part of a universal plan by “God the creator”. Consequently, Pope Francis’s statement is preparing the Catholic world that extraterrestrial life visiting our world in UFOs may be part of “the plan of the creator.”
Pope Francis began his remarkable statement by first dismissing the simplistic idea behind creationism where God created the universe in six days and nights:
When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magician, with a wand able to make everything. But it is not so.
He instead endorsed the more evolutionary friendly view that “God the creator” mysteriously works through nature:
God and Christ walk with us and are also present in nature… the scientist must be motivated by the confidence that nature hides, in her evolutionary mechanisms, potentialities for intelligence and freedom to discover and realize, to achieve the development that is in the plan of the creator.
The Pope went on to discuss the evolution of intelligent extraterrestrial life which he referred to as “beings of the universe”:
He created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and to arrive and their fullness of being. He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality. And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the creator who gives being to all things.
The Pope’s statement explicitly endorses the view that intelligent extraterrestrial life may have evolved on many different worlds, and achieved a “fullness of being” and “autonomy” that makes them vital parts of “the plan of the creator.” This suggests that the activities of intelligent extraterrestrial life throughout the universe can be supported by the Catholic Church as consistent with the plan of “God the creator.”
It is important not to underestimate the magnitude of the Pope’s statement since it supports radical ideas of intelligent design such as extraterrestrial intervention in human history may be part of “the plan of the creator.” For example, researchers such as Zecharia Sitchin and Arthur David Horn have claimed that genetic manipulation by intelligent extraterrestrials has occurred on early earthly life forms and primates. This radical version of intelligent design is now compatible with Catholic Church teachings according to the Pope’s statement. Furthermore, the ubiquitous UFO phenomenon that suggests extraterrestrial life is visiting and interacting with our world, may also be part of the plan of “God the creator.” The Pope’s October 27 statement is evidence that the Catholic Church is preparing the world for major developments concerning the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life.