“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost, in time… like tears in rain. Time… to die”. This citation from Blade Runner fits perfectly the story of sister Stefania Caterina and her ufological revelations. A controversial affair, filled with Christian longing, but which slipped, nonetheless, into new age, esoteric and ufology. A story- as we will see – without a happy ending.
But let us proceed in order. The case is born in the shadow of Medjugorie, where Father Tomislav Vlasic served as a vice-parish priest. Next to him grows up Stefania Caterina, or to be more precise, sister Stefania, who assumes over time the functions of a “visionary”, in all the acceptations this term can possibly be endowed with. She was not an empty-headed: with a degree in law, for years she has worked as an officer in public administration, until – in 1994 – she has decided to leave everything and consecrate her life to God.
The first twist in her relationship with the Church happens when, together with father Vlasic, they found the community “Queen of Peace, completely yours, for Mary and Jesus”. Sister begins to talk of her extraordinary experience, that has been accompanying her since she was a child. She says she speaks with Jesus, Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the Holy Spirit, the apostles John and Paul, and with the archangels, especially with Michael. More than that, since 1984 – according to her – she has been speaking also with the extra-terrestrials, especially with Ashtar Sheran and his wife Kalna, from Alpha Centauri. Only dialogues, however, because close encounters of the third kind, to put it into Steven Spielberg’s words, have never happened. To explain her thesis, she writes a book in which she “reveals” the existence of other humanities in the universe and their relationship with us. For sister Stefania “the whole universal Church is now busy preparing the great cosmic exodus that awaits the entire creation, i.e. pure spirits, living and dead men of every planet, all the creatures”.
But watch out! Here comes the first big misunderstanding. For, if it is true that the Church – according to the statements of father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory – has not denied a priori that there are other forms of life in the universe, it has, however, emphasized the uniqueness of Creation and of the Christ’s saving message.
In ufologic theories, on the contrary, the extra-terrestrial is presented as the Saviour, the one who protects us from above and prevents our self-destruction with his knowledge from which we are precluded. The overlap with the Christian message is very evident. But from the revelations of sister Stefania comes out also that the “other humanity”, those who live on different planets, seek to establish contacts “using telepathy, the occult and the aid of powerful mediums”. Moreover, sometimes they allegedly visit our planet, always under the close supervision of the faithful from Alpha Centauri, who, in their turn, are guided by “Ashtar Sheran, a commander of the powerful interplanetary fleet, scientist, engineer and designer of the mother spaceship”. Basically, the Alpha Centauri are a kind of non-violent and vegetarian interplanetary police… at least according to the revelations of sister Stefania.
The fleet seems be composed of the most powerful spacecraft, and chosen crews, made available by the planets faithful to God. When the time comes, they “will manifest themselves openly and in such a way as to be visible to everyone. It is part of God’s plan. Then – she says – the great interplanetary fleet will position itself above the earth, and it will be possible to observe it from every corner of our planet”.
And this is the second mistake. All this is allegedly done to glorify God; except those theories clash with the Christian doctrine”. The original sin disappears, for example, because the other species seem to have made choices that are different from those of the humans; even the diseases, such as autism, is supposedly the direct result of an initial closure of one’s soul to God. Even the baptism is left behind, because on some planets “it is more difficult to find water than it is on Earth”.
In short, those visions erase the figure of the Creator as the Saviour and do so in the name of God. Thus, takes shape a kind of ”Christian esoteric theory” in which Jesus’ message is disclosed only to a few chosen individuals. The theory is hard to believe also because the names of Ashtar Sheran and his wife Kalna are notoriously linked to esoteric, occult, and new age doctrines.
At last, Father Vlasic has been asked to renounce the community. Besides, – considering his involvement in spreading dubious doctrines, manipulating consciences, suspected mysticism, and disobedience of orders, – he has also received sanctions. The first one consisted in censoring his activity, the second one constrained him to a secular status – asked by the Father Vlasic himself – and to leave the Order of Friars Minor. Stefania Caterina was asked to leave the community as well. And so far, there are no traces of aliens in sight…
Based on World Religions and Sects (Ed. Gris)