Rome - It's part of moves to atone for the Extraterrestrial Schizm that's rocked the Church since the year dot:
God's covenant with non-Earthlings embraces the appointment on an ET pontiff to suck seed (sick) Papa Ratzi - as decreed by the Virgin to three lowly shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.
Commenting on the development today Vatican astronomer Monsignor Machiavelli Lucrezia-Borgia welcomed the news 'so long as the next Holy Father isn't female, gay or a bisexual dwarf'.
Alien lifeforms are already suspected among the membership of the Vatican's Provisional Wing Opus Dei where secret deals with scientologists, fundamentalist polygamists and assorted Branch Davidians are the stuff of legend. (You sure? 'Ed').
And dwindling Vatican coffers mean brand new lifeforms must be recruited given global bankruptcy in paedo whitewash lawsuits.
The church may also reconsider a Second Vatican Council resolution for the current Pontiff to mate with a 'Borg Queen' of the alien persuasion to guarantee the papal succession doesn't got to pot.
Sister Frances Mary of The Sacrificial Virgin Convent will be pulling pints until closing time.