Book Review: Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Catholic Faith by Paul Thigpen

“…in Rome on November 28, 1999, the pope had a brief but significant exchange with a child who was attending the event. When the little one asked him, “Holy Father, are there any aliens?” the saint did not respond, “We don’t know,” or even, “If they exist, then…”

Instead, he replied simply, “Always remember: They are children of God as we are.”

Paul Thigpen, Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Catholic Faith

Title: Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Catholic Faith: Are We Alone in the Universe with God and the Angels?
Author: Paul Thigpen
Genres: Non-fiction, History, Religion, Science
Pages: 456 (Hardcover)
Published: June 28th, 2022

My Rating: ★★★★½
Read: 9/11/2023 – 9/19/2023


I often wonder about the spiritual implications of extraterrestrial life and intelligence. When I saw this book I was so excited to see there was actual discussion on the subject. While it didn’t read exactly how I thought it was going to, it was fascinating nonetheless. 

Starting with a general history of extraterrestrial activity through myths and legends, the book leads into the modern-age interpretation of ‘aliens’. Part two of the book discusses more of the spiritual nature and how extraterrestrial life might be interpreted through the church and what it would mean for various religions around the world. 

I went in figuring it would read similarly to more science-based extraterrestrial books that cite a lot of facts and witnesses. This was more speculation-based along with various opinions on the subject from religious figures, scientists, and other well-known people throughout history. An interesting read despite how differently it played out. It deepened my interest for sure. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The faith-based discourse on the topic of extraterrestrial intelligence.
  • Quotes from saints neither denying nor confirming the existence of life on other planets (or elsewhere in space).
  • Very organized.

What I didn’t like:

  • The book didn’t go into as much detail as I had hoped and there weren’t a lot of direct quotes on this particular discussion.


I would love to see more books (and hear more discussion) on the spiritual implications of alien life in the future!

Where to buy the book:

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