What to do about the "he/she's in heaven now" heresy?


I’ve heard many people mention when someone they know dies, “they are in a better place now” or “he/she’s an angel in heaven now.” This is so disturbing to me, who are we to play God and say that this person is in heaven or hell? As far as I know, these people have not been canonized saints yet, so we should put this in God’s hands, not say that these people are in heaven.

This heresy has become very apparent for me now, since one of my friends passed away recently in a car accident, and she was only 17.

How can I stop people from spreading this heresy without sounding like a complete jerk?


Personally, I do not find it offensive and I too have lost loved ones. It is comforting to think that our loved ones are in God’s care now and Yes we do not know who is or is not in Heaven, or Hell or still in Purgutory. However, I think one should accept anothers attempt at consoling or expressing their sympathy for what it is…a sincere effort to express their sorrow for anothers loss, it is an act of kindness.


Very well put. :thumbsup:


I too agree with Canne. Remember what Jesus himself told the thief next to him on the cross “this day, you will be with me in Paradise…” So since we cannot measure time after we die, it is very possibly that any Purgatory they needed to serve lasted for just a few seconds in earth time…(compared to time in Purgatory), only the purification they needed. You should read Saint Maria Faustina’s book “Mercy in my Soul” you will find ccomfort in reading what she was shown.

You can also say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day at 3 pm with the rest of the world that is catching on to this powerful prayer for the poor souls in Purgatory.

Don’t be so quick to judge on the heresy thing. Grief is very deep.

God bless you


This has absolutely nothing to do with purgatory. The issue is that we don’t know what happens to the soul.


Someone doesn’t have to be Canonized a Saint to be called one either. There are many Saints that haven’t formally been canonized from what my understanding is. We don’t know how many Saints there are in heaven actually but we do know that there are probably more than have been formally canonized, right?


I always say, “Their soul is in God’s hands now.” This comforts those who are grieving, while acknowledging that God alone knows the state of that person’s soul.



A little prayer is also good to say–may the Lord grant them eternal rest. Or something to that effect. That way, you give consolation and love without passing judgment.


It bothers me a bit too but it is a bad time to try to correct them. They are already hurting. They may not hear what you say due to their grief. They may think you are saying that the person is in hell if you try to tell them that they might not necessarily be in heaven. This will not comfort them but will most likely cause a permanent rift in your relationship with them.

I think the other mistake here is saying that the person is now an angel. People do not become angels after death, no matter where they go. Angels are a different order of being than humans. You could say that the Saints are the family of God and angels serve them in heaven just as they help us here on earth, if they take offense on being told that their loved one is not an angel.

Definitely, offer comfort and tell them you are offering prayers for the soul of the departed. I like “Their soul is in God’s hands now.”


There’s pretty much no way to do #1 without being #2. What skin is it off your nose if a mourner is offered a pious platitude?

I mean, yes, it’s technically incorrect and all that blather, but the people in question probably aren’t philosophers or theologians, or at least are not acting in such a capacity. Leave them be.

Also, this looks like scraping the bottom of the barrel for things to get worked up over :confused: Abortion? Soooo 2003. Sanctity of marriage? Passe. Liturgical abuses? Over it. Aunt Mabel’s in a better place now? Bring out yer pitchforks!


It is not a heresy to say that someone who has died is in heaven.
At best, it is an expression of hope and of confidence in God’s mercy.


I think it is more wishful thinking. We would hope our loved ones are indeed in Heaven. I’d leave it alone.



Hamburglar, of course what bothers you, bothers you. Its uncomfortable and its only natural to want to do something about it. But I agree with the others here. There is a time and place for everything - when someone is in mourning and being offered comfort, that isn’t the time to enforce doctrine. Doing so will only make you seem cold-hearted.


Good one, Mirdath.


You can’t.

Drop it.


So what it is none of your business anyway. If that’s the caliber of what you think heresy is, all heretics are gonna go to heaven. :slight_smile:



we certainly understand this question,we must always offer our condolances with charity, however, it is sad that at many funerals the departed loved one seems to be canonized. this may be sweet, but, in such a mindset we can be depriving the departed of many needed prayers. those attending a funeral mass must be encouraged to pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased.

God bless,



OH YES it does…are you saying that when a person dies their soul either goes straight to heaven or to hell? If so, you need to catch up on your knowledge of Purgaory, or YOU will be guilty of heresy also…

Not being mean here…of course at a funeral is not the time to explain to the family or loved ones all about Purgatory…my point is, say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the deceased on your own (if everyone else there is other than Catholic) and let Jesus’ Mercy take over…


What to do about it? Nothing.

You don’t know that he/she isn’t in heaven any more than the other person knows that he/she isn’t. The Almighty could choose to bend the “rules”. :thumbsup:

And aren’t we all part of the communion of Saints? :slight_smile:


When my grandfather died, my sister’s friend who was eight year old, sent my mom a card that said, “don’t worry–he is in heaven, probably.”

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