The Vatican's chief astronomer said there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of "extraterrestrial brothers" perhaps more evolved than humans.
"In my opinion this possibility [of life on other planets] exists," said Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, a 45-year-old Jesuit priest who is head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI.
"How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere," he told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in an interview this week, explaining that the large number of galaxies with their own planets made this possible.
Asked if he was referring to beings similar to humans or even more evolved than humans, he said: "Certainly, in a universe this big you can't exclude this hypothesis."
In the interview headlined "The extraterrestrial is my brother," he said he saw no conflict between belief in such beings and faith in God.
"Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom," he said.
"Why can't we speak of a 'brother extraterrestrial'? It would still be part of creation," he said.
Singer-songwriter Lisa Lynne Mathis will be the speaker, moderator, and featured performer at a spring banquet sponsored by the American Guild of Organists and Toledo Area Ministries.
Ms. Mathis is the music director for an evangelical, contemporary evening service called Presence at the famed Riverside Church of New York City.
She also is a member of the vocal ensemble VOCE and released her first full-length solo album, "Hancock Place," in 2007.
The banquet starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Collingwood Presbyterian Church, 2108 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets are $12.50 per person, available by calling Marilyn Hazard, 419-885-5642, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A memorial service has been scheduled for the Rev. Terry Lytle, who co-founded Drive-In Ministries, Inc., that has shown Christian movies at Devils Lake, Mich., since 1951. He died April 1 at age 80.
A native of Lansing, Mr. Lytle attended Moody Bible Institute and was pastor of two Devils Lake-area churches before founding the drive-in theater ministry.
He and his wife, Olive, ran the movie ministry together for 57 years, which also included a drive-in theater in Clearwater, Fla., and the use of mobile movie trucks to show The Jesus Video and The Passion of The Christ in Asia, Africa, and Central America.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. May 24 at the Ganson Street Baptist Church, 637 West Ganson St., Jackson, Mich.
The Devils Lake Drive-In, about 60 miles northwest of Toledo, will continue to show Christian films this summer starting June 14. It is located at 740 Manitou Beach Rd., Manitou Beach, Mich.
Dottie Rambo, often called "The Queen of Southern Gospel Music," died Sunday when her tour bus went off a highway near Mount Vernon, Mo. She was 74.
Mrs. Rambo began writing songs at age 8 and won a Dove Award for her song, "I Go to the Rock," which was sung by Whitney Houston in the movie The Preacher's Wife.
Among the stars who have recorded Mrs. Rambo's songs are Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Bill Gaither.
Born Joyce Reba Luttrell, she left her home in Anton, Ky., at age 12 and married Buck Rambo at 16.
Mrs. Rambo wrote 2,500 published songs, including such well-known titles as "We Shall Behold Him," "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need," and "Behold the Lamb," and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame last year.
A celebration of Israel will be held tomorrow on the campus of the United Jewish Council of Greater Toledo, 6525 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania, starting at 1 p.m.
"Israel Day 2008" will include information and hands-on activities including "Walk the Land," "Dig the Land," "Taste the Land," and "Experience the Land."
All events are free. Information: 419-724-0365.
Michael Pabst, a Christian Science lecturer, will give a free talk on "Finding Our True Worth - Finding Fulfilling Employment" at 4 p.m. today at the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St., Maumee.
"I've found that a better understanding of our connections to God brings far-reaching and practical effects," Mr. Pabst said. "Realizing the worth we have to God has a direct impact on our health, our happiness, and our usefulness."
In his talk, Mr. Pabst will cite biblical verses as well as the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Chrsitian science.
Sister Shannon Schrein, chairperson of the department of theological studies at Lourdes College in Sylvania, has been named vice president of the College Theology Society.
Sister Shannon has been an active member of the CTS since 1984 and served as session convener and executive director of the national convention.
The College Theology Society is a professional association of college and university professors that was founded in 1953. It includes more than 900 college and university professors in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Lourdes College is a private, four-year educational institution with more than 2,200 students enrolled.
FORT WORTH - The lawmaking body of the United Methodist Church approved petitions calling for an immediate end to the war in Iraq, prayers for armed forces and veterans, and prevention of "space weaponization," the United Methodist News Service reported.
Delegates to the 2008 General Conference also approved a number of resolutions relating to war and the military, including a ban cluster bombs, an affirmation that the U.S. military should not exclude people on the basis of sexual orientation of gender identity, and a study of the "degrading effects that war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide have on the victims, the perpetrators, and those who silently stand by."
The General Conference was held April 23 to May 2 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
St. Mark Lutheran Church in East Toledo will present The Spirit in Us, a contemporary rock opera, at 7 p.m. May 24 and 11 a.m. May 25.
The musical was written by Keith Klewer, a member of St. Mark, and is told from the perspective of the first disciples whom Jesus commissioned to spread the Gospel.
The program will be presented in the church sanctuary, 611 Woodville Rd. Admission to the play is free; tickets for a swiss steak dinner preceding Saturday's performance are $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 12.
Information and reservations are available by calling the church, 419-691-3597.