An astronomer of the Vatican has said that he would love to "baptise an alien", but admitted that the chances of encountering intelligent life forms outside the Earth, are slim.
Guy Consolmagno, 57, who was speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, also said that intelligent aliens may be living among the stars and are likely to have souls.
Dr Consolmagno, one of a team of 12 astronomers working for the Vatican, said the Catholic Church has been supporting and funding science for centuries.
A self-confessed science fiction fan, he said he was "comfortable" with the idea of alien life, and that he would baptise an alien if asked.
"Only if they asked," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
"I'd be delighted if we found life elsewhere and delighted if we found intelligent life elsewhere.
"But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it - when you add them up it's probably not a practical question.
"God is bigger than just humanity. God is also the god of angels," he added.
Dr Consolmagno, the curator of the Pope's meteorite collection, is a trained astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican's observatory. (ANI)