Diane asked:

There's currently books on the market such as Heaven is Real that talk about experiences in the after life. What's the Chruch's take on those?


Bishop James Conley replied:

"I know that book is very popular. I run into people who have read that book. I have not read it myself. I probably should because so many people are familiar with it. I think these kinds of experiences, I'm very open to these experiences because I believe in the other world. I think people do break through to the other world. Now the problem is you have to be very careful because also there can be very active imaginations and people can see things that maybe aren't from God.

The fact is that we believe that there is this thin veil between this world and what [John Henry] Newman called the invisible world. The invisible world breaks through and we've all experienced that in our lives. those who come to the frontiers of that next world and have these near death experiences... I think that's very real. To sensationalize it is a little bit of a dangerous thing. To tell your story is a good thing. I presume this person is just relaying what they experienced ... I think in a way it also falls in that category of private revelation. We have to be careful about what people experience. We can believe it or we don't have to ... The Church is not going to confirm these things, because it's impossible to confirm..."


Patrick Coffin added:

"I think they're a sign of hope that our secularized culture will make a book like that such a run away best seller. It goes to the hunger the people have for something more than just Starbucks and my next paycheck."


Copyrights:

Catholic Answers, "Ask the Bishop" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

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Show air date: September 27 2013

Name of show: Ask the Bishop

Guest comments by: Bishop James Conley

Question appeared in show: 6:35


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