Once “religious content” originating from outside the earth “has been verified” we will have to conduct “a re-reading [of the Gospel] inclusive of the new data…”
– Vatican Astronomer, Theologian and Full Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce in Rome [Connected With Opus Dei], Father Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti
Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti wrote about Christianity’s relation to the concept of alien extra-terrestrial life from outer space, “Extraterrestrial life,” Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science, 2008 AD.
“In the more narrowly scientific realm, the 19th century’s enthusiasm for a possible “close encounter” with other inhabitants of the solar system has been replaced by the methodical research for elementary life forms or pre-biotic material in environments similar to our solar system, not to mention the initiation of long-term programs in radio-astronomic exploration of more remote environments…”
“The theme of cosmic life is brought to today’s culture by science, not philosophy. It reaches the public mostly through the mass media, literature of different genres, and certain other artistic expressions. It suffices to think of the science-fiction novels of H.G. Wells, author of War of the Worlds (1898), which continue to inspire, even after a century, films like Star Wars (from 1977 onward) by George Lucas…”
“Thomas Paine (1737-1809), The Age of Reason (1793), a text that for the first time directly proposed a radical incompatibility between the Christian religion and the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. According to Paine, the discovery of non-terrestrial life would inevitably lead to a repudiation of religion:
‘Are we to suppose that every world in the boundless creation had an Eve, an apple, a serpent and a redeemer? In this case, the person who is irreverently called the Son of God, and sometimes God himself, would have nothing else to do than to travel from world to world, in an endless succession of death, with scarcely a momentary interval of life’ (The Age of Reason, New York 1961, p. 283)…”
Well, at least Thomas Paine admits that Jesus is “called…God himself.” One option is that perhaps extra-terrestrial aliens did not experience a fall into sin and are thus, sinless. This is something about which Catholic officials have speculated. Of course, if they are sinless then they could have been our saviors and Jesus need not have died. In fact, this is how may view the extra-terrestrial aliens and why the place their hopes, their “faith” in them.
Moreover, keep in mind that YHVH has different means of judging different beings. For example, Jesus came to seek and save those who were lost: sinners. However, the fallen non-human beings (angels, cherubim, etc.) have no chance at salvation.
“The point of departure for most theological reflections basically remains [German theologian Joseph] Pohle’s thesis: the Creator’s greatness and glory are compatible with the gift of life and of intelligent life in the cosmos, also in numerous environments other than the Earth, although we do not know what God’s plans are for these creatures.
“I believe that the theme of possible intelligent life of extraterrestrial origin, i.e., intelligent life outside the experience of unity of the human family as presented by the entire biblical message, represents one of the major speculative efforts facing Christian theology…
what the Judeo-Christian tradition professes about the existence of angels. This tradition shows that the meaning of creation is not completely based on the relationship between man and God, “but remains open to other creatures,” which, although likewise dependent on God, have a history and an economy of salvation distinct from that of humankind…”
Actually, “the relationship between Christianity and the other religions” is not “The only available analogy for our topic” but, as noted above, the best analogy is the relationship between Christianity and the other sentient beings aka demons some of whom pretend to be extra-terrestrial aliens much in the same way that, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
It is not surprising that a Catholic would refer to universalism, “salvific universality” as they believe in one way of salvation for “the faithful” and other ways of salvation for non-Catholics. Now “salvific universality” is literally going universal in that, or so it is claimed, it “remains open to other creatures.” Well, of course, if other extra-terrestrial aliens creatures need it and YHVH offers it to them then that is wonderful.
Yet, let us be vigilant of the appearance of other extra-terrestrial aliens creatures who claim to know “God” or even “Jesus” but come to straighten us out with regards to our, Christian, theology. They may preach the mystical “Jesus” who tapped into the Christ consciousness which is something we all can do, etc. (of course, this very popular New Age/Theosophy view is preempted by the New Testament which states that at His very time of birth the angels proclaimed to the shepherds, “...today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” Luke 2:11, thus, Jesus was “the Christ” from birth).
“…a believer who is respectful of the requirements of scientific reasoning would not be obliged to renounce his own faith in God simply on the basis of the reception of new, unexpected information of a religious character from extraterrestrial civilizations. In the first place, human reason itself would suggest the need to submit this new “religious content” coming from outside the Earth to an analysis of reasonableness and credibility (analogous to what we are accustomed to do when any religious content is proposed to us, on Earth); once the trustworthiness of the information has been verified, the believer should try to reconcile such new information with the truth that he or she already knows and believes on the basis of the revelation of the One and Triune God, conducting a re-reading inclusive of the new data, similar to that which would be applied in an ordinary interreligious dialogue.http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/giuseppe-tanzella-nitti-comments-christianity-and-%E2%80%9Cextraterrestrial-life%E2%80%9D