Can someone point to an authoritative document by the Church that shows our belief on whether ghosts exist? (not the Holy Ghost).

I had thought that when you die, you go straight to judgment. However, although Church documents say that a person is judged it does not say it is immediate (at least int he sources I have).

Is it possible that for some souls, a level in Purgatory lets them have some access to our existence (perhaps to encourage us to pray for them)?

Again, anything authoritative would help (like a reference, etc).



In the time of Jesus it was believed that our soul hanged around the body for three days looking for an chance to reenter the body, and once the body started decaying the soul would move onto the underworld.

As for your question,


The Catholic dogma of human beings having an immortal soul would imply it is possible for a ‘ghost’ to exist, but the CCC repudiates anyone who tries to contact or converse with the spirits of the dead quite strongly.


Interesting, Greg! Would you say the Catholic Church does not condemn speaking to the dead (for example, prayers to saints) but only condemns listening to the dead? Is there a documented case in church history where a saint has ever answered a prayer with intelligible words? If so, how does this differ from contacting the dead?


Just to clarify, my question was not aimed at trying to start having chats with the dead. It was twofold:

  1. To see if it were possible for a person to die, but the soul for some reason to hang around. Either from a place in purgatory, or from not being judged immediately.

  2. To gauge church dogma as I discussed the work of a group of Catholic prayer warriors, who have encountered some souls that needed to let go of something here in order to go to see God. I know it sounds ludicrous, but the people involved are solid Catholics and under both review and direction of authority. Usually, they do spiritual warfare, but have had to help some people who could not let go of something in order to go see God. I assume that was beofre they were judged, because otherwise, they would know God. The souls in this case, did not try anything harmful. After being instructed or directed by the people involved, they reacted peacefully and appreciatively and left (I guess to go see God).

Hearing stories like this are always odd to comprehend, in part becuase the details you get are sketchy.

Anyway, that is the condept I am looking at.


The saints are not dead. Being bodily dead in this world does not mean being dead in the next world. They are alive in Heaven with Jesus who promised eternal life to those who believed in him or are you saying Jesus lied?


My understanding from the Catechism is that it is appropriate to pray to Saints and to Mary (who are alive in heaven in Catholic doctrine) but Catholics are not allowed to do things like ‘channel’ spirits, use mediums to contact the dead, use things like ouija boards and so on, which are associated with Spiritism/New Age and the Occult.


Outside of God, good angels, and the saints, you don’t necessarily know who you are talking to. Results are not guaranteed and you wouldn’t know if a demon responded instead of the person you tried to contact.


Thank you for answering my question, Greg. I’d like to better understand you. It seems you are saying that contacting the dead is not a sin, rather, it’s the method you use to contact the dead that might be sinful.

Why do you think it is righteous when a Catholic contacts a saint through prayer but sinful when a medium contacts a saint through some other method?


You still don’t seem to get it. Praying to a saint is not contacting the dead but contacting the living in Heaven! Those in Heaven are NOT dead!


Could that not be said of any person who dies…they are not dead per se also. Either they are in heaven, purgatory or hell. We go from one life to another life, right?


I agree but Socrates4Jesus seems to think they are dead.


With spiritism occultic practices, you can not reliably know who you are contacting. Any available demon with some free time on his hands can answer.

Prayer can help solve this problem.

Also, sometimes saints do answer.

Discernment is a big issue in conversing at all with spirits (whether people, angels, etc).

The church / Bible explicitly denounce spiritism and the occult.


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