The Vatican Wants to Believe
By Bernie Quigley
- for The Hill on 11/11/09
The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe deserve serious consideration, says the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observation. Fox Mulder couldn’t have said it better. Has Father Funes been watching The X Files? The Vatican is calling in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and it implication for the Catholic Church.
Not that I know anything about this, but it has been my assumption that Catholics, Buddhists, Mormons, and the faithful of most all other religions believe in extraterrestrials, thus the winged beings on all of those stained glass windows. And “the Father” who art “in heaven.” And the Three Pure Ones, the deities of the East, said to live somewhere beyond the Big Dipper. And Kuan Yin and Andromeda and those three great pyramids in Giza, simply representatives of the more subtle consciousness of three of the stars in Orion’s Belt as any kid who just saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen could tell you.
Father Funes, if he is following the zeitgeist, may be a little behind the times. The Western mind has been heading to space since Buck Rogers or maybe as Walt Whitman said, since the beginning. The Star Wars and Star Trek epics brought the high water mark of this psychic adventure.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell said our journeys to space are a search for God but the epic journeys today are all of returning to earth. And what is kind of fascinating is that as the pop culture epic returns to earth from space, it appears to be landing in the Vatican. Sky walkers and Jedi have yielded the cultural ground to Templars and Cardinals in Dan Brown’s novels and movies like The Da Vinci Code and many other books and movies. The Vatican is even suggested in the blockbuster Twilight sequel, New Moon. And Fox Mulder’s guides and mentors in the recent X Files movie are no longer the three hippie scholars, the Lone Gunmen, well crafted in the last episode of the TV series as the Three Magi, but a Roman Catholic priest.