Why Don’t Catholics Believe in the Pre-Existence of Souls?

By | September 14, 2019


Teresa, in Seattle, Washington, listening
on Sacred Heart Radio. Teresa, you are on with Jim Blackburn. Hi there, how are you? Very good, Teresa. Hi, Teresa. Hi. My question is: why don’t we believe in
the pre-existence of souls? Okay. Well, the Catholic Church teaches that God
creates the human soul at the first moment of a human being’s existence—at conception,
as we understand it. And an understanding of what the soul is might
help to answer your question. The soul is considered the form of a person,
the life of the person. So if a person is not yet alive, you know,
hasn’t come into existence yet, his soul is not going to exist yet. The soul is going to come into existence when
the person becomes alive, when the person—when that zygote is created and becomes a living
human being at that point, then the form of that, the life of that zygote is the human
soul. And so that’s created at that time. There wouldn’t be a—really, a thought
of its existence prior to its existence. It’s just not something that we find in
Catholic theology at all. So understanding what the soul is, from a
Catholic or Christian perspective, I think might help. You know, ponder that, and that might help
understand how the idea of pre-existence of the human soul…[it] just doesn’t really
make sense that it would pre-exist the life of the person.

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