Resurrection of the Body? Q. If I am correct that there is no reincarnation, please comment on the Confiteor’s reference to the resurrection of the body?  

J.C., Metuchen, N.J.  

A. Here’s a reply from TCA columnist Father Ray Ryland, Ph.D., J.D:

The belief in reincarnation, properly known as metempsychosis, is an attempt to explain the vicissitudes of human life as results of deeds done in previous lives. Buddhism and Brahmanism hold this belief, as did pre-Christian Greek philosophers such as Plato and Protagoras. Among some modern New-Agers one also finds this notion.

The Confiteor does not refer to resurrection of the body; the resurrection of the body is one of the tenants of the Creed. The Church condemned the doctrine of reincarnation (metempsychosis) at the Councils of Lyons (1274) and Florence (1439). “It is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27).

At the moment of death comes the judgment by which a soul is consigned either to heaven, to purgatory or to hell.