Do catholics believe previous lives exist

Merry Christmas everyone.

Just to get straight to the point. Catholics believe that their soul are heaven or hell bound after they die, if there is only two destinations for one’s soul why do so many people believe in previous lives. I have had messages and personal evidence spiritually that I have been people in previous lives - what are catholics stance on this. Are previous lives something that exists in the catholic faith?

Any answers on this would be very much appreciated.

Kind Regards

No, Catholics do not believe in previous lives. You have one chance. When you die, you either go straight to heaven, if you’re a saint, spend some time in purgatory and then go to heaven, or you go to h—. As one of our deacons likes to say, ‘aim for heaven, if you don’t make it, you’ll at least make purgatory’.



No. There are no previous lives. We are told we die once and then are judged. Our soul survives death and we will be reunited with our physical bodies at the Final Judgment.

I have read about claims that people have lived before, are born another time, and later, identify people or artifacts somehow connected to their previous life. As far as I know, there are no peer-reviewed studies regarding this.

Best regards,

One soul. One body. One life. Make the most of it!

Those who started the belief in past lives did not have Divine Revelation. As they did not have the truth as revealed by the Lord who is infinite, they, with their finite minds thought up Reincarnation.

The Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is enough for one life!

We need more evangelists to teach the truth of Divine Revelation.

With respect to reincarnation, the *Catechism of the Catholic Church *says:
1013 Death is the end of man’s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When “the single course of our earthly life” is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: “It is appointed for men to die once.” There is no “reincarnation” after death. (source)

Since there is no reincarnation, direct experience of a deceased person’s life is ruled out. I suppose if someone has actual knowledge of a deceased person’s life, then that knowledge comes indirectly either from God and his angels or from demons.

This is a good question, there has been talk about this particular subject for generations,
The Church says no, but in reality how would this work ?
I have an open mind on the subject ,

Well, reincarnation doesn’t actually make logical sense, when you think about it.

Now, if you reject the Church’s teaching that human souls are unique and want to put all souls on the same level, whether you are talking ants, dogs or humans, than you need to explain why people come back as one animal versus another. For example, if you want to say people can come back as dogs, why not cockroaches? Logically, they would come back as either. If you believe that, you need to set up a system that determines who gets to be a dog and who gets to be a cockroach. Eastern religions will give you an answer, but that involves worshiping many gods, a caste system and abandoning Jesus and Christianity altogether.

If, on the other hand, you accept the Catholic Church’s teachings that human souls are unique, then we must be reincarnated only as human beings. So, if we’re just talking about human souls reincarnating into future human beings, there is absolutely no logical way that would work because of the increase in the number of human beings on the planet. New Age types would claim that some people are ‘old souls’ and some are new. Does that make sense based on what we know about God? Would he give only some of us a ‘second chance’ to live another life in a different time? Do we account for our sins only in the life where we lived more holy, or does He average our behavior during both lifetimes? What if we were Christian in one life and atheists in the second life? Which would determine our fate, the first or the second?

We can’t believe in something simply because we like the idea. This temptation is very real and attempts to put us on equal ground with God. That is a very unfortunate trap. It would be much better to rely on what Jesus told us will happen when we die. Personally, I’d prefer one round here on earth, do my best, and then join God in heaven (if I can make it there).

I was a Buddhist in a previous life, so I used to, but I came back as a Catholic, so I don’t any more.


You may have actually solved a problem that I have been struggling with about reincarnation. Perhaps you are right, other religions have to reincarnate until they get the benefit of being born into a christian household, and only then can their souls be held accountable. This actually makes a lot of sense to me.

:clapping: Great explanation. I’ve always found the reincarnation ideas less appealing than the one soul per body teaching. I am honored to think that God deems each one of us worthy of being a unique creation from the moment of our conception and worth Jesus’s death and Resurrection for the sake of our individual salvation - and continuing as individuals throughout all eternity. But to some I suppose the reincarnation paradigm holds a certain romanticism and there’s also the “cool factor” of the paranormal in cases of the seemingly inexplicable phenomena one sees in the popular media. :twocents:

@ John Lazarus - LOL :smiley:

Actually, this is (close to) what the Cathari believed. The physical universe was evil, and only the spirit world was good. Humans were souls of light trapped in evil physical bodies by Satan, and were trapped in an endless cycle of birth-death-rebirth. Cathari believed in one sacrament, the consolamentum, after which they were freed by Jesus from that cycle. However, if between taking that sacrament and their death they committed ANY sin, they would go to hell with no hope of redemption. So they had to stay sinless to be saved. So most Cathari took the *consolamentum *on their deathbeds.

the appeal of reincarntion is that “we get a do over” -as we age most of us can get a prospective on all the mistakes and sins that we made and many would naturallylike to make it right with another go around

the Buddhists believe in reincarnation again till we “get it right” then the reincarnations stop
how you reincarnate is partially determined by karma

attractive to some -dogma to many -nothing, no such thing, to Christians

I am of course excluding Mormons

Our Lord Jesus Christ set up a Church that is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic!

It is He who makes perfect sense by the way He has designed His Body, the Church.

We have Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium (Christ appointed authority!), and Sacred Tradition with a capital “T” !

By the treasury of His Grace we are commissioned to tell others about His awesome love for them.

He shed His Precious Blood for us — One life is all that is necessary – then the judgment.

Lord Jesus Christ, Have Mercy on Us!

Teach us, heal us, fill us with your grace purchased at such a high price.

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

That is not what the Church teaches regarding those of non-Catholic faiths.

Hindus do believe in reincarnation and past lives. But most Hindus believe that we always come back as humans (returning sometimes as an animal is mainly a Buddhist belief). So reincarnation usually means returning as human.

Reincarnation does not increase number of humans by too much because we spend a lot of time elsewhere in between lives (either in hell or heaven or purgatory). Also some of us get liberated from the cycle of reincarnation if we advance spiritually in the current life. So human population just increases at a reasonable rate. All your actions in all your lives will determine when you get liberated.

Where exactly in the Bible does Jesus tell us what will happen after death and where does it say that reincarnation is not a possibility.

Actually I am curious - if the Christ returned to the world soon (I expect this to happen in a couple of years), and then he said that we do have past lives and that there is reincarnation, what would you do? Would you reject the Christ or would you reject the Church (for being wrong) or would you reject both and just become an atheist? Please let me know, thanks.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

  • Hebrews 9:27

Reincarnation says that each of us lives and dies many times.

The New Testament teaches that each person only dies once. After that one death we are judged according to our deeds in the flesh. That implies that we only live once.

One cannot be a Christian and believe otherwise.


My question was where does Jesus (not someone else) say in the Bible that reincarnation is not possible.

I guess the answer to my other question is that if the Christ returns soon (which I am sure he will in a couple of years) and says that reincarnation is a fact, you will then reject the Christ in favor of Paul and the Church? Is that correct?


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