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The church formulated the doctrine of purgatory at the Councils of Florence and Trent in the 15th and 16th centuries.

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He claims that the idea of ghosts as spirits that cannot pass over into the next life because of unfinished business is an outdated one that has parallels in early medieval Catholic sources. Usually in such sources the ghost has committed some offense that has not been atoned for, or committed some sin that restitution needs to be made for.

The ghost is unable to rest until that has been done. The model for these sorts of stories is the tale of the deacon Paschasius in St.

Paschasius was widely held to be a very holy and learned man, but when Bishop Germanus visits the baths, he is surprised to see the dead Paschasius acting as an attendant. Paschasius asks the bishop to pray for him, which he does with great fervor. When Germanus next returns to the baths, Paschasius is not there, presumably having entered into heaven. Souls in purgatory are one of three types of ghosts, says Kreeft. Or it could be that certain environmental factors have given rise to an experience that has been misinterpreted as a spirit.

As she turned a corner, she almost ran into her husband, Everett, who had come to check on her. Everett had been struggling with insomnia for a while, he explained. He told Marla that many times while he was sitting on the couch, something would pass between him and the television.

He had the feeling it was a woman, he said. Whatever it was, it was something. And it happened a lot. Like church leaders through time, lay Catholics have widely differing views of how to handle a haunted experience. The mission of the OCPRS is to continue debunking ghost stories, using the teachings of the early church leaders as foundational documents. Demetrius says the third-century theologian St. Hippolytus was an early skeptic, exposing ventriloquists who were claiming to speak to the dead.

John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius, St. Justin Martyr.

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For some Chicago priests, encountering ghostly presences that force them to acknowledge the possibility of belief in apparitions has been a frequent experience for decades. Chicago auxiliary bishop and former vicar general Bishop Raymond Goedert, 85, lived in the s in the rectory at the former St. Charles Borromeo Parish, which was said to be haunted by the ghost of Bishop Peter Muldoon — Only four people—the pastor, the caretaker, and one other priest in residence aside from Goedert—lived in the rectory. And yet the activity they heard in the house suggested otherwise.

Goedert says they often heard the front door slamming and would race down to see who had come in, but the door was always locked. But when Facchini escorted the seminarian out, the young man saw a portrait of Muldoon on the wall. Much of what Goedert described from his own experience at St. Charles Borromeo—moving furniture, unexplained flickering of lights—suggests a poltergeist. In the s the British Jesuit Father Herbert Thurston wrote an acclaimed essay about the church and the history of poltergeists. Thurston says exorcism and other rites of the church were not generally effective in permanently ending poltergeist disturbances.

Wayne Prist oversaw the renovation of the University of St. During his time there, while he never experienced any unusual activity himself, he heard the stories from years past: Some say dead priests came through the walls. The campus has seen more recent paranormal activity, Hennessey says, including within the last decade during a basketball tournament called the Mundelein Seminary Shootout. Each year, the school hosts teams from about 10 other Midwestern colleges and major seminaries.

Others saw lights go on and off without explanation.

An exorcist from the archdiocese was brought in to bless the rooms, and the activity ceased. Hennessey says he has witnessed strange things at Mundelein himself. It was not a graceful presence. This was creepy. One day, not long after the curling iron incident, Marla Fisher was home alone. She spoke to the spirit out loud.

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Somebody else has been living with us for several years. It was one of four homes in a development that the builder had double-mortgaged, and it was owned by the bank and managed by a leasing company that rented it out. The home was only about 10 years old, and no one had died in it. Maybe someone died in the strawberry fields. After all, they see it.

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Image: Flickr photo cc by Mikamatto. View the discussion thread. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. In this respect it occupies a niche that so far it seems to have to itself, there being no other work quite like it. It is, in short, a valuable addition to the realms of colonial studies, 'Religion in North America' the name of the series to which it belongs , the American past, and New World history in general. Donaldson, George Washington University. Scholars in the fields of ethnohistory, religious studies, literary studies, and other disciplines will all benefit from discussion and debate of Pointer's valuable work.

Introduction 1. The Sounds of Worship 2. A Language of Imitation 3. A Scene of New Ideas 4. Martyrs, Healers, and Statesmen 6. Encountering Death Epilogue. Privacy Notice Accessibility Help. Skip to services menu. Search by title, author, keyword or ISBN. Sign Up. View Larger.

21 Readers Talk About Real-Life Spooky Encounters They've Lived Through

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