In a document published by the Catholic Truth Society, the official publisher for the Vatican, a papal astronomer speculates that ďsooner or later, the human race will discover that there are other intelligent creatures out there in the UniverseĒ.
Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit, who is one of the Vaticanís leading astronomers, concedes that he could be wrong.
Ultimately, he says, ďWe donít know.Ē But in the new book, part of the Explanations series designed to explain Catholic teaching in everyday language, he says that part of his hunch is scientific.
With so many billions of planets, stars and galaxies, he says, ď surely, somewhere in that number, there must be other civilised, rational beingsĒ.
To back up his hunch that the aliens will have been subject to Christís saving grace, he cites the verses from Johnís Gospel known as the Good Shepherd passage.
In John x, 14-16, Jesus says: ďI am the Good Shepherd . . . I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd.Ē