UFOLOGY AND THEOLOGICAL CLARIFICATIONS
by Monsignor Corrado Balducci - Pescara, June 8th. 2001
Over the last 150 years it have appeared sequentially and
with an increasing spreading and frequency rate, two types of
manifestations and phenomena, very different between them, but
both so interesting, controversial and fascinating to divide
public opinion into two different aspects: or everything is real,
or well everything is false. These are spiritualism and ufology.
It shouldn't surprise us this approach, because it's related only
to the reactions and behaviour of the public before these two
phenomena and not to their contents, obviously quite different
between both of them!
Regarding spiritualism, this is a practice for which
there are testimonies across the centuries; in 1847, with the
sisters Fox in Hydesville (New York), it had a special remark and
spread rapidly in several countries. Very soon there was an
explanation for the phenomena connected to such practices, even by
the scientists: the souls of the disincarnated, better said of the
dead people, are the cause of this. This was called the
spiritualist hypothesis, against which theologians soon opposed to
the so called demonic hypothesis.
Only by the end of XIX century there were made the first
attempts to look for a natural explanation, and finally in 1922,
with the thick book of the French scientist Charles Richet,
"Traitè de Mètapsychique", it began officially the so called
Metapsychics, nowadays better known as Parapsychology.
When I began with my demonic and metapsychic studies back
in 1950, I found myself in a period when, since two decades ago,
it was denied the existence of spiritualist phenomena (and not
only by some scientists, but also by a very wide public opinion),
that represented at that time the most abundant cases of
The same is valid since some decades on regarding
After this premise, we reach our subject, for which I
have two very brief clarifications to expose.
- The acronym UFO (Unidentified Flying Object), is used
here in a wider sense, or even better, including also the
existence of living beings in other planets.
- The aim of my intervention is to underline that
something real must exist in the phenomena, and how this does not
contrast at all with Christian religion, being considered positive
even among theologians.
Let's divide the speech in three points:
1. Something real must exist.
2. Theological considerations on the habitability of other
3. Some testimonies favourable to it.
I - UFO: Something real must exist.
This is a statement coming out from basic considerations
based upon common sense, human rationalism and upon a normal and
possible course of our lives, considering not only individual and
social aspects, but also religious.
In fact, today there is a great amount (still increasing)
of testimonies regarding the so called flying saucers or
spaceships and the extraterrestrials; and among them there are
some coming from reliable persons, with a culture and initially
non believers. There are already hundreds of thousands of eye
witnesses in the world that state to have seen UFO's at least
once. There are so many, even in a smaller amount, the testimonies
coming from the so called contactees.
If we consider this, it seems impossible to deny at a
rational level that something real does exist! A totally sceptic
behaviour is not justified at all, because a priori seems to be
against to the elemental prudence suggested by the good sense.
It is also real that we could think rationally that so
large average of testimonies could be due to illusions,
hallucinations and to states of intense suggestion. In other cases
it could be also due to particular light effects or well to
atmospheric phenomena, such as clouds that over the mountains may
show a shape similar to the flying saucers; we could use as an
example the so called ball rays or well globular flashes of
Other times UFO's could be confused with certain types of
round-shaped aeroplanes, that were certainly built in USA since
the so called Cold War (it is also certain that Russia built some
aeroplanes of this type). This promoted in the period after World
War II, the spreading of the idea that flying saucers were nothing
else but new inventions with warring aim, obviously kept secret.
But these are always inaccurate explanations and
considerations to explain the number of testimonies and the
wideness of UFO phenomenon. The most severe and hard criticism
could reduce largely this number, but never will be able to
eliminate all of them.
We also have to remember that in several countries exist
places, organisations and associations that collect evidences and
testimonies on tape, in order to make them examine and study by
experts and scientists as necessary; after that the whole set is
catalogued in explainable and non explainable phenomena. It is not
any longer a secret the existence of the so called "Area 51" in
the United States, within a zone in the hearth of the Nevada
desert; an enormous land area that has a larger construction
underground than on the surface. In France is famous the SEPRA
association; in Italy there is the CUN, "Centro Ufologico
Nazionale" (National Ufological Centre), already on its 36th. year
of existence, and with Dr. Roberto Pinotti as President since long
ago; also in Italy there is since 4 years until now the CIFAS
("Council of International Federation of Advanced Studies")
dedicated to study the relationships between man and
extraterrestrial space, which President is still Gen. Salvatore
Regarding the existence of something real within UFO
phenomenon, I must add another consideration that was left for
last to better underline its importance. And this is, that a
generalised, systematic and total incredulity finally would weaken
and destroy the value of human testimony, with serious and
unforeseeable consequences, because that is the base of life not
only individual and social, but also religious.
In fact, testimony is a form of communication of our
faith in our partner. This is a widely spread way on daily life
(when listening news, spending, buying, etc.). Let's imagine what
could happen on individual and social life if the value of human
testimony was weaken, with the logical decrease and disappearance
of that faith many times is essential for daily life!
After this, I have extended such inconveniences to
religious life; in fact, also Christian religion is based upon
human testimony, being the Divine Revelation an historical fact.
In 1937 Jesuit theologian Herbert Thurston wrote on
purpose: "From a logical point of view, christians that accept
miracles and other episodes related on the Gospel... they cannot
reject in an obstinate way the reiterated testimonies of modern
and reliable witnesses, that relate what their eyes have seen...
All our Apologetic system is based upon the belief in the Truth
said in the Gospel" ("Church and Spiritualism"; Milan, 1937; p.p.
179). For that: "systematic demolition and discredit of human
testimonies regarding simple fact data, seem to me contrary in
principle to all belief on the historic seriousness of Gospel, and
indirectly, to every belief on Christian Revelation" (Op. Cit.
II. Theological and biblical considerations
on the habitability of other planets.
First of all a clarification: we should exclude that
angels use spaceships, due to the fact that they are merely
spiritual beings, and that they are wherever they want to be, and
in the rare cases when they show themselves, they don't have any
difficulty to assume a visible form. The very same we can say
about dead people. Holy Virgin, in the very few cases when she
could consider to be in contact with human people (very
exceptional episodes and to be confirmed in their authenticity),
continues to choose other very different ways to transmit us her
maternal affection, to manifest us her urgencies, to communicate
us her maternal claims or to give us her sweet reproaches. Even
keeping their angelic nature, we shouldn't think about the devils
at all, because they are connected in their liberty to God on
their extraordinary activity, and in that way they are disabled to
express their terrible and malefic hate regarding us. Let's
remember St. August: "If the devil by his own initiative could do
anything, even a single living being would not stay on Earth" (ML
37, 1246); let's remember also to St. Buenaventura: "Is so large
the demon's cruelty, that he would swallow us in every moment, if
Divine protection don't guard us" ("Diaeta salutis", tit. 7 c.1,
Verona 1748, p. 183).
Therefore, when speaking about extraterrestrials, we must
think in beings like us, or well and preferably in other types of
living beings, that in their spiritual part they have associated a
material one; better said, a body in a better state than the one
existing for us as humans.
There is not a scientific certainty yet about this
problem, even if this seems to be closer and closer, thanks to the
progress of science and study. Regarding the theological and
biblical aspect of this matter, we can remark three points, three
affirmations in favour from the various considerations:
1. Before all, that exist other inhabited planets is
something possible. In the Bible there are not specific allusions
to other living beings, but neither is excluded this hypothesis,
that for this stays as possible, if we think that God's
omnipotence and wisdom have no limits, being infinite.
2. Furthermore, the existence of other inhabited planets
is something credible. In fact, there is a great diversity between
angels, merely spiritual beings and us, composed by spirit and
matter; better said, soul and flesh, but a soul that cannot act if
don't use the body as an instrument; a body that makes with its
passions and capital vices conditional the soul to the point of
make human person so fragile, and more devoted to evil than to
goodness. Therefore is credible that this enormous distance
between us and the angels could be reduced by the presence of
beings that, having also a body (even if more perfect), their soul
is less conditioned on their intelligent and volitional acting.
If necessary, there is another confirmation upon the very
ancient saying of Lucrezio Caro: "Natura non facit saltus"; a very
famous phrase (that I found on the "De rerum natura") and quoted -
regarding that argument - also by some theologians.
Another consideration is taken for the aim of the
creation, or well the Glory of God, a concept that you can find
several times on the Bible. For instance, Psalm 18 begins by
saying precisely: "heavens sing the glory of God". But only human
person is able to give this glory to God in a conscious way ,
because it has intelligence and free will.
Precisely for this, several theologians say, is not only
possible but credible, that in the spaces that are distant and
inaccessible for men and his scientific instruments, do exist
other beings able to know God as their Creator, and also they give
Him this Glory, that for them and their worlds represent the aim
Jesuit Father Domenico Grasso, Professor of Theology at
the Pontifical Gregorian University wrote on purpose: "Why all the
perfection God has spread so widely in the universe should be kept
hidden without singing the glory of God? Wouldn't it be a
discordance unsuitable for God? Who writes a book knowing that it
will never be read by anyone, or well who paints a painting to
hide it from anyone's sight?".
He claims regarding the statements made by German
theologian Joseph Pohle in one of his books of 1904 (page 457):
"It seems to be accordingly with the aim of the world that
inhabitable celestial bodies are settled by creatures that
recognise the glory of God in the physical beauties of their
worlds, in the same way man does with his smaller world" ("Die
Sternewelt undihre Bewohner" - "The Stars of Universe and its
Inhabitants"; Köln 1904; pp. 457). Finally Father Grasso
concludes: "we must think in the angels to know where God receives
the glory from these worlds from, because them, that are purely
spiritual, "are not able to know the matter but indirectly, in the
same way man does with the spirit" (ib.).
3. Beyond to be something possible and credible, I would
see desirable the inhabitability of other planets. In a future,
even if very remote, these eventual inhabitants, superior to us,
could be very helpful to us, specially in our spiritual path. In a
non practical way, they could had been protecting and helping us
since long time ago.
If it is the case that they do really exist intelligent
beings on other planets, it would be easier to understand how to
conciliate their existence with the redemption of Christ. As St.
Paul says (cfr. Col. 1, 16-17), a real fact is that Christ is the
centre and head of the creation of the universe. Therefore there
are no worlds without a reference of Him. From the Bible is
possible to assure that Christ, as Incarnated Verb, has total
influence upon all the possible inhabited planets.
I quote what said by St. Paul to the Colossians: "For by
Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on
Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and
for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things
consist... For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness
should dwell. And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by
Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made
peace through the blood of His cross" (Col. 1, 16-20).
The Church celebrates the last Sunday of the Liturgical
Year (before the Advent) as the Feast of Christ, King of the
universe, and in its liturgy the universality of His kingdom is
remembered, which is also expressed in the daily Mass.
III. Algunos testimonios a favor.
There exist several interesting statements on the
inhabitability of other worlds by lay scientists, theologians or
servants of God which already qualified for a process of
beatification or canonisation. Obviously I'll limit myself to
quote just some of them.
Beginning with the laymen, let me quote the great French
scientist Charles Richet (1850 - 1935), that was, among other
things, a materialist. In 1922, in his "Traitè de Mètapsychique",
he stated: "Do we have any right to claim, just because of our
limited senses and our mistaken intelligence, that man is the only
intelligent being in this immense cosmos?... That other
intellectual forces, different from us, exist, is not only
possible but extremely probable. It is even certain... It is
absurd to claim that we are the only intelligence in nature... The
existence of these beings cannot be proven, but the probability of
their existence is evident" (loc. cit., Paris 1922, pp. 787-788).
I remember 5 theologians:
1. Cardinal Nicolò Cusano (1401 - 1464), philosopher and
scientist that said: "We are not authorised to exclude that on
another star beings do exist, even if they are completely
different from us".
2. The Jesuit Father and astronomer Fr. Angelo Secchi
(1818 - 1876) wrote: "It is absurd to claim that the worlds
surrounding us are large, uninhabited deserts and that the meaning
of the universe lies just in our small, inhabited planet.".
3. The famous Dominican preacher Jacques-Marie-Louis
Monsabre (1827 - 1907) referred to the principle "Natura non facit
saltus" when he claimed that other intelligent beings besides men
and angels exist.
4. The already quoted English Jesuit Father Herbert
Thurston wrote: "Who can claim that there are no other intelligent
beings besides these 3 categories of angels, demons and men in the
Universe of God? I do not intend to confirm the possibility I
indicated in my question as a fact, but I ask: Who can be sure
about it?" (Op. Cit., pp. 3).
5. German Theologian Giuseppe Pohle: "Hypothesis of the
plurality of inhabited worlds is totally favourable to the glory
of the Lord. God creates for His glory, and any glory is possible
without intelligent beings, able to know the creation of the Lord"
I remember two persons for whom there is already going on
their process of canonisation:
1. The Salesian Father and Servant of God Don Andrea
Beltrami (1870 - 1897) who prayed also for the possible
inhabitants of other planets. Of the 16 booklets he wrote, one
seems to deal with this topic (and I say "seems" because
unfortunately I was not able to know the titles of his 16
2. The second (with whom I want to close this paper), is
the already sanctified Padre Pio, who was beatified by Pope John
Paul II on May 2, 1999 and canonised on June 16, 2002. From St.
Fr. Pio, the following dialogue is documented and officially
published by the Cappuchin Order:
Question: "Father, some claim that there are creatures of God on
other planets, too". Answer: "What else? Do you think they don't
exist and that God's omnipotence is limited to this small planet
Earth? What else? Do you think there are no other beings who love
Another question: "Father, I think the Earth is nothing
compared to other planets and stars". Answer: "Exactly! Yes, and
we Earthlings are nothing, too. The Lord certainly did not limit
His glory to this small Earth. On other planets other beings exist
who did not sin and fall as we did".
(Don Nello Castello: "Così parlò Padre Pio"; Vicenza, 1974).
Lac. Corrado Balducci
Rome, C. 7 / 6 / 2001
A special thanks to Philip Mantle and Richard Boylan.