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Vatican Prepares World For Alien Contact?
The Pope's chief astronomer has conceded other intelligent beings could exist in outer space.
The conclusion has been drawn by scientific experts called in by the Vatican to study the possibility of extraterrestrial life and its implications for the Church.
It has been four centuries since the Catholic Church locked up Galileo for challenging the belief that the Earth was at the centre of the universe.
The Vatican's five-day conference attracted 30 astronomers, physicists and biologists, including non-Catholics.
It was led by Jesuit priest Father Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.
Father Funes says the possibility of alien life raises "many philosophical and theological implications" but that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective.