The Pope’s Astronomer, Guy Consolmagno said he would be happy to 'baptise an alien' – but admitted that the chances of communicating with life outside the Earth was low.
The pronouncement raises the tantalising possibility that the Vatican may one day send missionaries into space to convert aliens to Christianity.
Speaking at the British Science Festival, Dr Consolmangno also dismissed Creationism and claimed that the revival of 'intelligent design’ – the controversial theory that only God can explain gaps in the theory of evolution – was 'bad theology’.
Dr Consolmango is one of a team of 12 astronomers working for the Vatican, said the Catholic Church had been supporting and funding science for centuries.
A self-confessed science fiction fan, he said he was “comfortable’ with the idea of alien life.
Asked if he would baptise an alien, he replied “Only if they asked.’