When a podcaster spotted a priest at last week's Congressional UFO hearing, it led to an interesting conversation.
Last week saw a UAP (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena, also known as UFOs) hearing in the US Congress. It stood out for the sensational claims, made under oath, that craft of unknown, and possibly alien, origin not only have appeared in our seas and skies, but that some of these craft have crashed and are in the possession of the US government. The Defense Department has denied the existence of “crash retrieval” programs and says that it is actively working to study anomalous phenomena. Many scientists, including an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, have expressed skepticism that aliens could be regularly visiting Earth, while agreeing that UAPs should be rigorously studied.
One undeniable fact is that interest in the UAP/UFO phenomenon continues to grow – evidenced by the bipartisan nature of the hearings. It is extremely rare to see Republicans and Democrats cooperating on even the most basic policies these days, yet members of both parties asked sincere and pointed questions of the witnesses and afterwards pledged to work together to find out the truth. Does this mean that when really big questions are at stake (like “Are we alone in the universe?”), people can actually put aside their ideological differences and seek truth together? Time will tell.
Long lines of UFO enthusiasts
Hours before the hearing, a long line of UFO enthusiasts and podcasters had lined up hoping to watch the hearings in person. Many were turned away. Among those who made it into the hearing room was Martin Willis, host of Podcast UFO, which is all about “UFOs, close encounters, and people associated with the UFO phenomenon.”
Willis grabbed short interviews with several participants and attendees before and after the event. One figure in particular caught his eye, as he described on a recent podcast:
I was standing around after the hearing and I saw this priest. And so, I thought, ‘Interesting! This is an interesting person to be here,’ so I interviewed him.
A curious priest
The priest, Fr. Matthew Gray, amiably explained that he was not there in an official capacity, but simply as an Air Force priest who was curious about the topic. “Truth is truth, and truth needs to be known,” he said.
Of course, the discussion immediately turned to the Church’s position on the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Fr. Gray referenced a story about Pope John Paul II, who when asked by a little girl if aliens existed had purportedly replied, “Don’t ever forget they’re created by God and we should love them, also.”
Fr. Gray continued:
That’s the essence of Christianity. It’s the essence of our faith — to love one another and to treat each other with respect.
Fr. Gray said that he looked forward to the Church further addressing the issue of extraterrestrial life. He later added that if aliens are ever proven to exist the Church has already stated that it “would just further show God’s creativity and his goodness.”
The podcaster and the priest ended their discussion on a warm note, with Martin Willis thanking the priest for his openness and Fr. Gray inviting listeners to “stay curious.”