If Aliens existed, would they have souls?

I have a question. I read an article recently in which Guy Consolmagno (the vatican’s astronomer) said he thought Aliens had souls and that he would baptize them. Is the Pope’s Astronomer correct (theologically speaking)?

Below is the article for more details.


Soul is life, so if there were aliens, they would by definition have souls.


If God wills it, there are aliens with souls.

They may or may not. If they are able to build space ships I would think they were made in Gods image with souls.

Assuming there is life elsewhere in the Universe, maybe we should consider the possibility that they did not FALL, like Adam and Eve.

It is an interesting concept… maybe there are beings who are closer to God than we are…

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t it thought that with the sin of Adam and Eve “all of creation fell”? If the fall didn’t just effect humans, but animals, etc. wouldn’t that “all of creation” include aliens as well?? And then if so would they suddenly have been fallen without knowing why? With Christ’s redemptive sacrifice and grace through the sacraments, how would they be restored without baptism?

I’m not saying it is therefore impossible (for there to be aliens), but just raising some interesting questions that would arise from such a thought…

It’s an interesting thought. I see though God interacting with his people on earth intentionally. To save people. To spread the good news to everyone. To teach us.

I’d have no reason to think he would not do that with other planets. It’s certainly an interesting thought.

Could be…

But if we are not the only “ones” in the Universe how can we know what God’s relationship is with the “others”???

Perhaps we can ask them, when we meet them . :smiley:

As GEddie notes, every living being has a principle of life, including animals and even plants, and this may rightly be called a “soul.” But assuming you mean immortal and rational souls, akin to what we have, that would simply depend on whether God willed to create them rational beings or mere animals. (Would plants on other planets count as “aliens”?)

It would certainly be possible for innocent beings to exist in a fallen universe without themselves being fallen–but as Farley4334 notes, they would be affected adversely in some way. Our Lady was conceived without original sin, but as a consequence of the fall she suffered in this world–though not without joy and merit. I don’t think Adam’s sin would be transmitted to aliens, because by definition the aliens would be a different line of beings with a different moral track record.

It is highly unlikely, however, that aliens exist, given all the precise conditions for organic life, which as far as we know are only met on this planet.

. (Would plants on other planets count as “aliens”?)


They would have a “vegetative soul.”

And if they had a mind, they would also have a rational, or human-class soul.

The boundaries of life are somewhat jumbled even in our world. We have minded bodies because we are animals. Animals move, so they need guidance systems, which developed to the human mind. Plants on Earth have no brain or mind because they do not move.

But at the same time, sponges are animals and do not move, either.

It is conceivable that under a brighter sun, plants might have movement and mind.


It is highly unlikely, however, that aliens exist, given all the precise conditions for organic life, which as far as we know are only met on this planet.

And even if they exist, the enormous distances make contact vanishingly unlikely.


Do you use “mind” in each of these sentences in the same sense? If so, it seems to imply that all animals have rational souls, and that this is the fruit of development. But man alone (as far as we know) is a “rational” animal (reasoning, self-aware, capable of love, etc.), although there are analogous traits in animals (problem solving, protective instincts, etc.).

I distinguish between brain (organic aspect) and mind (spiritual aspect). The mind belongs to the soul and is directly infused by God, therefore not the fruit of development, whereas the brain may possibly be a product of evolution (cf. Humani Generis 36).

This quote from the article tells us we are wasting our time discussing this:

***Guy Consolmagno, who is one of the pope’s astronomers, said he would be “delighted” if intelligent life was found among the stars. “But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it – when you add them up it’s probably not a practical question.”

Yeah, I was a wee bit sloppy there.

It was too early in the morning for my head and mind. :):):slight_smile:

The “guidance system” for moving the animal body or our soma is of course, the physical brain. But the brain is, of course, necessary to hold the human mind, which I would agree is spiritual.

So I should probably have said “…developed to hold the human mind.”

My oops.


Thank you for posting this.

I had begun to believe that the entire Vatican had gone gaga over the prospect of **ET ** coming true. The Church and its sinners have so many better things to think about!


I think this is very true.
I also would like to add two points: (1) Given the Church’s teaching on how Original Sin is transmitted (via generation), it follows that aliens could not in principle have OS like humans do even though it is true that they may be effected like the Blessed Mother was.

(2) Since aliens would not have OS, at least not from Adam (perhaps they would have OS of their own from their first member IF God chose to create these aliens in a similar situation as He created humans, i.e. with a first member, procreation, and original justice, etc.). Because of this, I think it would be theologically incorrect to baptize the aliens.

If they could build space (really star) ships and ask to be baptisted, I would lean toword baptisting them.

An aside, back in the the late 1050’s (or early 1960’s) Poul Anderson had a navel out called The High Crusade were we from Earth get out there and find the decentances of an English village and severel other speices, all Catholic. :irish1::shamrock2::blushing:

From what I’ve read about this issue, the only alien life that exists on other planets is non sentinent life (single celled organisms and plants.) Besides human life, the only other life that has souls is sentinent animals (cats and birds and dogs are sentinent, they are aware of who they are and their surroundings.)

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