Last year Father Jose Gabriel Funes, a Jesuit priest and the chief papal astronomer, noted that the search for aliens did not contradict a belief in God. With that, the floodgates appeared to have opened at the Vatican.
Over the last five days, the Vatican invited 30 of the world's leading scientists to participate in a "study week" on astrobiology that focuses on questions regarding life's origins and the existence of extraterrestrial life. What conclusions they arrived at have not been made public, but there are plans in the works to publish the findings.
At any rate, this move is further evidence that the Vatican is taking a kinder, gentler, more active role in science and technological progress. After all, theology and science don't have to be mutually exclusive. [Physorg via PopSci]