Since day one, everyone has taken notice that Pope Francis, the newest head of the Roman Catholic Church, does things a little bit differently than his predecessors. His latest pronouncement, however, might be the most outlandish of all the unusual things he’s said in his still-young tenure as pontiff. As strange as this may sound, the Pope recently stated that he’s open to the idea of baptizing aliens, should such an unlikely situation arise at any time in the future. Someone has probably already started writing a sci-fi novel where this happens.
During a daily mass on Monday, Pope Francis stated that everyone has the right to be baptized, should they desire it. And when he said anyone, he meant anyone. He said that they cannot “close the door” on any individual, even “green men, with a long nose and big ears, like children draw.”
If that was all he had to say on the matter, it probably would have been passed over as on offhand comment intended to illustrate his more welcoming stance and his interpretation that Christians cannot, in good conscience, turn their backs on anyone. But he kept talking about aliens, which is admittedly pretty awesome. He continued by saying, “If tomorrow, for example, an expedition of Martians arrives and some of them come to us … and if one of them says: ‘Me, I want to be baptized!’, what would happen?”
Such a statement isn’t completely out of character, and obviously no one is going to think this means he believes that extraterrestrials are either among us or that they are on their way shortly. In his time as Pope, since his confirmation in March of 2013, he’s become known for using similar humor in order to get his points across.
The alien quip isn’t the only thing he’s done that has caught the public eye. In addition to being more open and accepting of homosexuality, the Argentina-born pontiff has also shunned the traditional Pope Mobile, hung out with a little kid that climbed on stage with him during a service, and vowed to make the Roman Catholic Church less Vatican-centric. In general, he just seems like a way more down to earth dude than anyone who has served in his position up to this point. Or at least he’s as humble and down to earth as you can be and still remain the infallible voice of God and the last word for 1.2 billion Catholics. Hell, he even worked as a bouncer in his youth. That’s not necessarily the work history that you expect our of your run-of-the-mill Pope.