Counterpoint: Extraterrestrials May Well Be Out There by Father David Swantek , National Catholic Register correspondent
"...The recent gatherings at the Vatican engaged the topic of astrobiology from primarily a scientific perspective of physicists, biologists and astronomers. Pope John Paul II reminds us that both science and religion “bear enormous responsibility for the human condition.”
...Now, whether the universe is teeming with intelligent life-forms or not is for the sciences to discover; theological consideration of this question, however, allows religion a place at the conversation table with the sciences. It also gives our Church a place to speak with a generation raised on science fiction.
Why else do theologians take up this question?
The issues it raises can be helpful tools for better understanding and appreciating our own faith: What does the Incarnation mean? Could there be multiple incarnations? Fallen/unfallen species? Do we assume sin is the universal condition of the universe? Could Jesus’ coming down from heaven, “for us men and our salvation,” apply to peoples other than human beings?
How free is God? Did he have to create us? Did he have to save us?
What would it mean for another intelligent species to encounter a Christian? Would we/could we evangelize them?
These are enormous and consequential questions — questions to be considered cautiously, thoroughly and prayerfully. Yes, answers to these questions may be as elusive as an accurate prediction of the next Super Bowl, but they are questions that can still bear fruit.
Whether we will ever meet another extraterrestrial in this life — in the eschaton — or not at all, we had better know who we are in God’s plan and his universe as we push further into the stars."