Is reincarnation consistent with Christianity?

The Catholic Catechism says no.

Catechism 1013 on reincarnation

Many years ago, I looked into this stuff very closely. I obtained copies of both the MacGregor and Origen books (mentioned in the article linked below), plus another that recorded what each Ecumenical Council did and another about early heresies in the Christian church.  The article linked below summarizes nicely what I found.  In short:

  • Origen did not teach reincarnation as New Agers teach it. What he did teach that they claim was suppressed for political reasons was the idea that souls might be created in Heaven and thus pre-exist their bodies.
  • This very specific teaching is what the Council at Constantinople condemned, not for political reasons, but because the Bishops concluded it was not consistent with the teachings of Jesus.

According to Catholic doctrine, we are created uniquely once and only once, as material-spiritual hybrids, each with a unique body-soul combo that belong together forever. At death, the soul leaves the body and goes to Hell, Heaven, or the mudroom of Heaven we call Purgatory, where souls dwell as amputated spirits until the End Time when Jesus taught that everyone who has died will be resurrected into their original unique, but now perfected bodies, and that the bodies of everyone who is still alive will be changed instantly from mortal to immortal.

I had a Christianizing New Age friend who tried to convince me once that Jesus’ Resurrection was proof of reincarnation. But the soul of Jesus was not reborn into a different, mortal, baby body. He rose from the dead into the same body that Mary bore and raised, but which was now perfected and immortal.  Far from being evidence of reincarnation, Jesus’ Resurrection is proof of His promise that we will be given perfected bodies at the end of time.

The article linked below includes some very interesting excerpts from early church documents on reincarnation. I particularly like this one, just cuz it’s so snarky LOL:

“[I]f one should search carefully, he will find that their doctrine is of necessity brought down to this. They tell us that one of their sages said that he, being one and the same person, was born a man, and afterward assumed the form of a woman, and flew about with the birds, and grew as a bush, and obtained the life of an aquatic creature—and he who said these things of himself did not, so far as I can judge, go far from the truth, for such doctrines as this—of saying that one should pass through many changes—are really fitting for the chatter of frogs or jackdaws or the stupidity of fishes or the insensibility of trees”  (The Making of Man by Gregory of Nyssa 28:3. A.D. 379).

Reincarnation at Catholic and Proud – September 28, 2014
http://catholicsay.com/reincarnation/

Source:
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a11.htm

3 Comments

Filed under Catholic Church, Christianity

3 responses to “Is reincarnation consistent with Christianity?

  1. . . . Gregory of Nyssa and St. Jerome were the Statler and Waldorf of the early Church. . .

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  2. Pistol Pete

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