What Does the Church Say about Reincarnation? (Special Podcast Highlight)

In an episode of The Cale Clarke Show, a question from Gary prompted an in-depth discussion about reincarnation and its place in Catholic doctrine. Gary’s inquiry centered on whether the concept of reincarnation was once a part of Catholic belief and subsequently removed during the Council of Nicaea.

Cale Clarke, addressing the question, firmly stated that the Catholic Church has never taught reincarnation. He pointed out the misconception likely arose from misinformation about the Council of Nicaea. He delved into the concept of typology within the Christian context, emphasizing how events and figures in the Old Testament foreshadow and symbolize those in the New Testament, like Jesus Christ as the “new Adam.”

Cale elaborated that Jesus being referred to as the new Adam in the New Testament signifies fulfillment and rectification of what the first Adam failed to achieve. This typology, he explained, does not imply reincarnation but rather signifies thematic and symbolic continuity in salvation history.

Addressing the second part of Gary’s question, Cale dismissed the notion that the early Church endorsed reincarnation. He referenced various historical misunderstandings, including those propagated by actress Shirley MacLaine and other proponents of New Age beliefs. Cale clarified that these beliefs are based on misinterpretations and conflations of different historical events and councils, notably confusing the Council of Nicaea with the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 AD.

Further, he refuted the idea of reincarnation through the writings of early Church Fathers like Origen, Tertullian, and others. These figures, he noted, were explicitly critical of reincarnation, underscoring the Church’s consistent stance against it. He emphasized that their writings align with the core Christian belief in the resurrection of the body, a fundamental doctrine incompatible with reincarnation.

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Cale Clarke is the host of both The Cale Clarke Show and The Faith Explained on Relevant Radio. On The Faith Explained, Cale dives deep into Scriptures, the Catechism and Sacred Tradition to bring an in-depth look at what the Catholic Church Believes. On the Cale Clarke Show, Cale unpacks how a Catholic perspective affects the nitty-gritty of everyday life. He also looks at what's happening in the culture through a Catholic Lens.