Not that I know anything about this, but it has been my assumption that Catholics, Buddhists, Mormons and the faithful of most all other religions believe in extraterrestrials; thus the winged beings on all of those stained-glass windows. And “the Father” who art “in Heaven.” And the Three Pure Ones, the deities of the East, said to live somewhere beyond the Big Dipper. And Kuan Yin and Andromeda and those three great pyramids in Giza, simply representatives of the more subtle consciousness of three of the stars in Orion’s Belt, as any kid who just saw “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” could tell you.

Father Funes, if he is following the zeitgeist, may be a little behind the times. The Western mind has been heading to space since Buck Rogers, or maybe as Walt Whitman said, since the beginning. The “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” epics brought the high-water mark of this psychic adventure.

Mythologist Joseph Campbell said our journeys to space are a search for God but the epic journeys today are all of returning to earth. And what is kind of fascinating is that as the pop culture epic returns to earth from space, it appears to be landing in the Vatican. Skywalkers and Jedi have yielded the cultural ground to Templars and Cardinals in Dan Brown’s novels and movies like “The Da Vinci Code” and many other books and movies. The Vatican is even suggested in the blockbuster “Twilight” sequel, “New Moon.” And Fox Mulder’s guides and mentors in the recent “X Files” movie are no longer the three hippie scholars, the Lone Gunmen, well-crafted in the last episode of the TV series as the Three Magi, but a Roman Catholic priest.

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