Over the last few weeks, there has been much discussion about the comments of José Gabriel Funes, the
Michael Crowe in the “Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750-1900” surveys religious literature concerning extraterrestrial life from 1860 to 1900. Crowe does not claim that his survey is systematic or exhaustive but rather focuses on influential and prominent writers. According to Crowe, a substantial fraction of Catholic writers in the 19th century supported the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Catholic authors have debated these issues for along time. Crowe traces discussion back to the early Church fathers such as Augustine who were largely opposed to the notion of extraterrestrial life. However, by the Middle Ages, pro-ET views were more acceptable in the Catholic Church.
The existence of extraterrestrial life has posed serious problems for Christian theology. For example, if Jesus was incarnated once as a human, how could other species be saved? Some writers in the 19th century rejected Christianity on this basis, arguing that extraterrestrial life exists and that extraterrestrial life could not be reconciled with Christianity. Other writers have speculated that only humans fell or that Jesus came to multiple worlds. While Laden and others imply that such speculation is a new phenomenon it has been discussed for centuries. The Church has never taken a strong position on whether belief in extraterrestrial life is compatible with Christianity.
In summary, the recent statement by the
 Crowe’s numbers do not add up. He states that there are twenty seven Catholic authors with fourteen supporting extraterrestrial life, ten opposed and four not easily classifiable. 14+10+4=28 not 27. I have not made a detailed investigation to determine where Crowe’s math is off but I think there were only 3 unclassified (he does not give a table or any similar breakdown). Pg. 457 Michael J. Crowe, “The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750 -1900”
 Crowe, pg. 6.
 The urban legend that Giordano Bruno was executed for believing in many worlds with life on them is false. While this was one of his views that the Church at the time objected to, Bruno espoused many other views which the Church considered far more problematic.