Catholicism is a broad church, and it appears the Vatican is now embracing lifeforms from beyond Earth. A notice uploaded to the Holy See’s website announces that cardinals will tomorrow hold a press conference discussing how to discern between “apparitions and other supernatural phenomena”.

What would Pope Francis think? Well, one of the speakers in Friday’s alien powwow is Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, a close associate of the Pontifex. This will be the first time the Vatican has held an official event discussing extraterrestrial affairs since 1978, and attendees are set to hear how the Catholic Church is planning for future supernatural encounters. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised, though. A full decade ago, the Pope generously said that he’d baptise Martians if they asked, clarifying that he meant “green men, with a long nose and big ears, like children draw”. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Galactic Spirit?