The Pope revealed that he’d be willing to baptize Martians, if the Martians asked him to.
Stephen Colbert covered the latest sacrilege from the far-too-human-appearing new pontiff. Here’s the exact quote:
All humor aside, it is an interesting comment, packed with far more meaning, as Elizabeth Dias of TIME points out:
Pope Francis brought up Martians as he was preaching about a specific New Testament story: early Christians were wondering if Jews and Gentiles could associate, and God gave the Apostle Peter a vision that salvation extended beyond the deepest cultural divides. It was a moment of internal crisis for the early church. “That was unthinkable,” Francis explained. And, to show just how unthinkable it was, he added: “If—for example—tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here…Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them…And one says, ‘But I want to be baptized!’ What would happen?”
The Catholic church has a long way to go on a number of issues, from the sexual abuse of children to its hurtful polices on gays and women. But change often comes, begins, in small steps. And Pope Francis keeps taking those steps. Considering how hateful the Catholic church has been over the millenia, this is change we should welcome.
I’m not quite ready to name Francis an honorary amicus Theodora just yet, but I am becoming increasingly Pope-curious. So far he’s a heck of a lot better than most who have come before him. And that kind of change is welcome.