Sacraments for Aliens


#1

It turns out that the Catholic Church has not ruled out the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Moreover, if a science fiction story features space travel then there’s a 90% chance it will involve interactions with sapient extraterrestrials.

Assuming we humans encounter extraterrestrials at some point in the future (and that the Catholic church is willing to let them join, and that at least some of them want to join), I am curious as how the sacraments will be adapted for non-humans.

For instance, how will baptism work for a sapient alien that has to spend his entire life submerged in water? What about one who can not physically come into contact with water without dying?

If a sapient alien is photosynthetic, how would he be able to celebrate the Eucharist?

If there’s a sapient alien species that reproduces via autogamy, how would the church’s rules on sex, marriage, and gender apply to them?

I know we haven’t actually found aliens in real life; these questions are mostly thought experiments.


#2

The Incarnation was for the salvation of men. The Catholic Church cannot give sacraments to non-humans. Any aliens will have their own unique salvic plan from God.


#3

If aliens are not humans, then maybe they are like cows. They should not receive Communion then.


#4

This is assuming the aliens have human level intelligence and sapience (i.e. not like cows). Moreover there are catholic priests who went on record as expressing a willingness to baptize aliens.


#5

There probably is alien life. However, the odds of intelligent alien life with a rational soul are slim to none. Look at earth. How many billions of species have we had? Yet only one with a rational soul

I get it. There are trillions of planets. But 99.99% are uninhabitable. It takes more than inhabitability to foster life. And it takes even more for a rational soul


#6

I understand the statistics; as I said, this thread was intended as a thought experiment. Because even 0.001% is still higher than absolute 0%.


#7

What’s next, confession for Slenderman?


#8

Do you know what a thought experiment is?


#9

It turns out that the Catholic Church has not ruled out the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

They should do.


#10

If aliens, who are Gods creation, too can have knowledge of God and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, If baptized in the church. They are part of the Mystical body of Christ

God created all things! All living things. All universes and Galaxies
Our telescope which was the largest in the world, till Peru’s, is called Lucifer. What a sense of humor our Jesuit scientists have…


#11

Christ saved that which He assumed… that is, human nature. The incarnation is the realization of a special and unique covenant between God and man. Christ did not assume angelic nature, only human nature. Angels don’t receive our sacraments. I don’t see why the same wouldn’t be true of other intelligent creatures created by God. If there are other intelligent species out there with eternal souls, it may be that they never fell…or if they did, perhaps God has a different covenant with them that does not involve us.


#12

What I was saying was the fact that if aliens are not humans then it goes to reason that they cannot be accorded everything that humans can and should. Sacraments are some of them. Of course they can have human level intelligence or even more. We know that computers can.

Anyway this being hypothetical, those priests’ opinions are just that – personal opinions. The Vatican would probably make a ruling, if needs be.

It does not mean aliens do not have rights and culture of their own but we do not know what they are. Perhaps they have humans as staple diet. If they are similar to humans and can be categorized closed to humans, then why not, though at the moment salvation of Jesus Christ is obviously for humans only.


#14

Is it possible to baptise an extraterrestrial? was one of the questions sent to the Vatican astronomers. They wrote a book about the different questions they got from people. F Paul Mueller is a very good speaker. I haven’t met the other author of the book.


#15

What if they already know about Jesus, they have their own church and they want to give us Sacraments? Would you take it?


#16

:sweat_smile: my sides hurt…


#17

Why assume that any alien race is “fallen” in the first place? They may not need a Saviour or sacraments.


#18

http://thebestnotes.com/booknotes/illustrated_man_bradbury/Illustrated_Man_Study_Guide12.html


#19

To find out if I sleepwalk I sprinkle talcum powder all around my bed and turn off the light. In the morning I wake up and there are no footprints because all the talcum powder is gone, aliens …or did I sleep hoover?

(Just a thought experiment.)


#20

Deacon Jeff:

Have you read these?


#21

My favorite Sci Fi explorations of this are

Orson Scott Card “Speaker for the Dead” (but one needs to read the entire trilogy)

A novella called “Dyads” from the 2nd volume of “Infinite Space, Infinite God” (and again I advise to read both of them)


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.