When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the Moon, it probably didn’t cross their mind that there was a lack of religious infrastructure and a complete dearth of priests.

However, should they have been struck by a sudden urge to convert to Catholicism and then go to confession, it seems the Catholic Church would have them covered. It turns out that from the second humans that set foot on the Moon, there has been a Moon priest, assigned to take care of the religious needs of any Moon people.

You, a reader of science websites, may wonder why there would be the need for an empty satellite to have its own bishop. The Moon Bishop – currently Bishop John Noonan – is actually the result of an obscure rule, set out in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. The rule states that any newly discovered land becomes part of the diocese that the expedition set off from.

As a result, the territory of “Moon” became the responsibility of the Diocese of Orlando, where Apollo 11 launched. The title of first Moon Bishop fell to William Donald Borders.

If you are unimpressed with this obscure law creating the position of Moon Bishop, so was the actual Pope. Bishop Borders, following the moon mission, had an audience with Pope Paul VI, in which he reportedly told him “you know, Holy Father, I am the bishop of the Moon”. The Pope was briefly baffled, before Borders went into the context.

The title, of course, doesn’t really affect the bishop’s workload. It “means nothing if there is no one to have jurisdiction over,” according to Father John Giel, chancellor for Canonical Affairs for the Diocese of Orlando.

“Since we have yet to find any life on the Moon, the story only emphasizes Bishop Border’s good and humorous nature that allowed him to be such a good first bishop for central Florida.”

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