Reincarnation permitted?


#1

Can one believe in reincarnation and still be a member in good standing in the Catholic Church?

I’m curious because it seems to me that according to the CCC, one commits a sin (venial? mortal? which one) if one does not believe in certain dogmas of the Church. I assume that belief in “one life, that’s it!” is a dogma of the Church. So, belief in reincarnation would probably be a sin.

OK, now, since the Church is composed of sinners (liars, thieves, adulterers, idolaters…you know who you are…), then belief in reincarnation would not be any more (or less, I guess) of a sin than the others. I guess such belief would still require confession, but I could imagine someone thinking, “Well, if I have to keep confessing this particular sin of believing in reincarnation each month for the rest of my life, so be it!”

Any thoughts would be gladly appreciated.


#2

Catholics may not believe in reincarnation. To do so, assuming the individual is informed about Catholic beliefs (a huge assumption nowadays), is heresy. That is indeed a mortal sin. After all in this case it is a denial of the redemptive work of the cross and the resurrection of the body.

In confession there must be a purpose of amendment. To confess while intending to repeat the sin is dishonest. You can’t fool God. It would mean the individual is not properly disposed and therefore retains the sin. You have to be repentant and promise to avoid the sin in the future.


#3

In my next life I want to come back as my neighbors dog,they eat steaks once a week and get to play with great toys. :bounce: :yup: :rotfl:


#4

God created us as both matter and spirit, that is what separates us from his other immortal beings, the angels.

The soul in ontologically tied to the body, this is why we get our bodies back after the last judgment. A soul cannot inhabit a different body.

It is therefore impossible to be a faithful Catholic and believe in re-incarnation.


#5

A Catholic may not believe in reincarnation or metempsychosis. This belief usually involves a dualistic understanding of the human being, which treats the body and soul as independently existing things (or non-things, as in Buddhism). The soul is the true self, and the body is the soul’s temporary place of confinement, until the soul is purified of worldly attachments. Thus the soul or true “self” is not only distinct from the body but is so separable from the body that the soul loses nothing by being separated from the body. According to a dualistic view, when the soul is purified of worldliness, it is freed by death for the state of bliss. However, souls which are not purified are dragged, as it were, by their own “weight” and attachments, back into an available body which suits their character. This rebirth into a new body is reincarnation or metempsychosis. The character of the previous life’s action determines the type of body into which the soul is reincarnated.

Doctrines of reincarnation appreciate the truth of the immortality of the soul, but misinterpret its character. In effect, such doctrines despair of the bodily world itself playing any role in the state of beatitude. Reincarnation is regarded in such doctrines as an unfortunate necessity until the soul is perfectly purified from any wordly attachment. Christian faith holds that perfect purification is from sin, not from the bodily world as such, and the perfect overcoming of sin occurs not in being freed from our bodies at death, but only in our resurrection in the fulness of time, by God’s grace, into our own glorified bodies.


#6

[quote=SedesDomi]Can one believe in reincarnation and still be a member in good standing in the Catholic Church?

I’m curious because it seems to me that according to the CCC, one commits a sin (venial? mortal? which one) if one does not believe in certain dogmas of the Church. I assume that belief in “one life, that’s it!” is a dogma of the Church. So, belief in reincarnation would probably be a sin.

OK, now, since the Church is composed of sinners (liars, thieves, adulterers, idolaters…you know who you are…), then belief in reincarnation would not be any more (or less, I guess) of a sin than the others. I guess such belief would still require confession, but I could imagine someone thinking, “Well, if I have to keep confessing this particular sin of believing in reincarnation each month for the rest of my life, so be it!”

Any thoughts would be gladly appreciated.
[/quote]

Since God knows your heart he knows the game a person would be playing is insincere. In confession a sincere promise to not repeat the sin is made.

**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.


#7

I want to be in the smoking section that serves martinis when I die. :whacky: I pray there is a place for me in heaven! There is NO WAY that I want to come back as a flea, a tree or a monkey!


#8

If I come back as a Monkey, I hope someone FINALLY teaches me how to Rollerskate. :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

[quote=larryo]Doctrines of reincarnation appreciate the truth of the immortality of the soul, but misinterpret its character. In effect, such doctrines despair of the bodily world itself playing any role in the state of beatitude. Reincarnation is regarded in such doctrines as an unfortunate necessity until the soul is perfectly purified from any wordly attachment. Christian faith holds that perfect purification is from sin, not from the bodily world as such, and the perfect overcoming of sin occurs not in being freed from our bodies at death, but only in our resurrection in the fulness of time, by God’s grace, into our own glorified bodies.
[/quote]

This seems to be the main issue: resurrection emphasizes the idea of a glorified body. OK, but what if reincarnation is a process that occurs as a means of purifying one’s sins (a purgatory-type process, if you will), at the end of which, once purified, one gains a glorified body? Would that type of reincarnation be acceptable, a reincarnation that does not denigrate the body?


#10

[quote=SedesDomi]This seems to be the main issue: resurrection emphasizes the idea of a glorified body. OK, but what if reincarnation is a process that occurs as a means of purifying one’s sins (a purgatory-type process, if you will), at the end of which, once purified, one gains a glorified body? Would that type of reincarnation be acceptable, a reincarnation that does not denigrate the body?
[/quote]

The de fide teaching is that the dead will rise again with the same bodies as they had on earth. What intrinsicly follows from this doctrine is that the bodies of the just will be re-modelled and transfigured to the pattern of the risen Christ. (Ott pp. 490-91)

Scott


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