Since I am submitting this write-up in response to whizkid's I request the other readers to bear with me. There are three reasons why I found whizkid's write-up interesting. First is because he's trying to share his views on reincarnation, second is the fact that he's an ordained Catholic priest (and of course he's a Roman Catholic) and finally, he's trying to reconcile a Buddhist belief and a Christian doctrine. Now I'm not trying to attack anyone's belief here; I just want to express certain things that popped on my mind while reading whizkid's work.

    Why Reincarnation contradicts with Roman Catholic doctrine:

  • Roman Catholicism teaches that each person is made up of matter and form, body and soul; one body for each soul. I think the principle of homeostasis by Thomas Aquinas explains this; I'm not sure. I don't see how reincarnation fits into this teaching.

  • Roman Catholicism teaches that when a person dies his soul experiences particular judgment and goes to either heaven, hell, or purgatory depending on what state he died in; in the Day of The Lord that person's punishment or reward will be increased or decreased as a result of other factors. If a soul departs the earthly plane right after death (assuming it doesn't become a ghost) how can it then continue residing in another body?

  • Roman Catholicism teaches that purgatory exists and it is a state where the souls of the departed faithful are given the chance to expiate their sins in preparation for beatific vision and heavenly bliss; what's the purpose of purgatory if the soul can continue its existence in another lifetime on earth?

  • According to the Apostle's Creed, which the Roman Catholic Magesterium accepts, there will be a resurrection of the body in the Last Day. Which of its bodies should a reincarnated soul take with it to eternity?

Again, I don't want to attack whizkid, and we don't even have to believe these Roman Catholic teachings. Yet it fascinates me how a priest has opened his mind to consider a belief that goes against his Roman Catholic (or even Christian) principles. Of course it is truly the values that counts, and doctrines are just there to support the faith. And I believe whizkid deserves some credit for taking the risk of joining the priesthood despite the factors around him.

Before I end this write-up I would like to analyze biblical passages often used to justify reincarnation.

  • The Man Born Blind (from The Gospel According to John, Chapter 9) - "...he sinned," The apostle who said this was most likely aware of Jewish religion and was probably pertaining to the sin handed down from Adam, not the sins the man commited in his previous life.
  • Jesus and Abraham, (John 8:58) - "...before Abraham came to be, I AM." I think this more an indication of Jesus' trancending through time and space, in his eternal nature as the Second Person of the triune God; being beyond the limits of history, Jesus existed as a living being, though not yet incarnated, even before the days of Abraham.
  • Nicodemus, (John Chapter 3) - "How can a person one grown old be born again?" The Greek word anothen means both "from above" and "again." It could be that while Jesus meant "...no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above," Nicodemus misunderstood it as "...born again."
  • The Prophet Elijah, (Mark Chapter 9) - "But I tell you that Elijah has come..." Most likely this is a reference to The Baptist, not the actual Elijah.

I am not claiming that all these things I put here are correct and factual; I have been know to make mistakes. Anyone is free to add to this write-up.

    Sources:
  • Cathecism by the Catholic Church
  • New American Bible