In late July, the US government released a new report on “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP) – formerly known as unidentified flying objects, or UFOs – which has naturally raised the question of alien activity. After all, what could possibly be flying these UAP around if not some otherworldly, non-human being?
While the government report did not provide any conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life, it did state that the government had recovered “non-human” biotics from UAP crash sites, which has spurred the imaginations of the public, who question what the report might mean for the future.
For Catholics, however, the questions were not “What do they look like?” but rather, “Did God make them?”
Now, to answer the question, Fr. Mike Schmitz has made a brief video that covers what the Catholic Church thinks of aliens, how their existence could be explained in line with creation, and what effect an alien revelation might have on Church doctrine. The star of the wildly successful podcasts Bible in a Yearand Catechism in a Year was sporting a summer tan as he dove right into the topic, stating with a wry grin:
“The reason I’m doing this video is because I’ve gotten so many people asking me ‘Father, what do you think about aliens? Could they exist?’ and here’s the answer – might be the shortest video ever – they could,” he said with a laugh.
He went on to explain that while there is currently no proof of extraterrestrial life, it is not out of the realm of possibility, as there are “billions of billions” of stars with exponentially more planets. Then, he rolls over into the next question, “Does that change our faith?” to which he answers that it would not.
“When something is the truth, it is what is. What is the goal of science? The goal of science is the pursuit of natural truth, the truth of the natural world. So what is faith? Faith is the pursuit of truth in the supernatural world. So they’re both [in] the pursuit of truth, but here’s the thing: Truth cannot contradict truth, so there’s no way that good science and good faith could ever contradict each other … because they’re asking different questions. Science asks the question, ‘What is this and how did it come to be?’ but faith asks the question, ‘Who made this and why?’”
Fr. Schmitz goes on to explain that Catholics believe that if there is life on other planets, it too was made by God, just as we came from God and our sun came from God. He also notes that if this life is intelligent it could also have been made in God’s image:
“That’s not because God has two arms and two legs and walks upright, but because of this intellect, this will, this capacity to love, this freedom, and this ability to be icons of God in this world.”
He notes that we know that God made other beings: the angels. God is infinitely creative because he is God:
“It wouldn’t be surprising if he made angels, and then us, and then something else. It’s completely within the realm of possibility. There is no statement from the Church about this, there is no dogma about this (that I know of anyway) … but if aliens exist, then God is the source.”
Father Mike Schmitz routinely produces short videos that explore the Catholic faith in a variety of ways, from Church doctrine to how it relates to the secular world. Follow Ascension Presents on YouTube to keep up with all of Fr. Schmitz’s releases.