Beam me up, Benny

One of the pope’s astronomers, Guy Consolmagno, would really love there to be intelligent life on other planets. So far so rational. However he goes on to insist, without any evidence at all, that such beings would have souls and that he would be prepared to baptise them. He would only do this with their consent though, which is a welcome change, given the Catholic church’s record in such cases as that of Edgardo Mortara, who, in 1858, was baptised without his parents’ knowledge, then forcibly removed from them.

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