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“Ask a Priest: Could a Ghost Really Endorse the Catholic Faith?”
Q: I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness but left that religion more than 30 years ago and never filled that void. I have been searching for the “true religion.” The question might have been answered many years later in an unusual way. My uncle (who was not religious himself) had died under unusual circumstances, maybe a suicide. I wasn’t raised to believe in ghosts, but I do believe his ghost came to me multiple times afterward. He was always sad and crying and kept repeating to me, “I don’t want to see you die” (I wasn’t suicidal but depressed after my divorce). On one occasion I asked him about the afterlife and inquired, “What is the true religion?” Believe it or not, and this shocked me the most, he said, “The Catholics were right.” Now that scared me very much, and over time I lost contact with my uncle’s ghost. So what do I do now? Do Catholics even believe in ghosts? Was this a trickster spirit or demon, and if so, why would an evil spirit guide me to your religion? – B.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: What you describe is certainly unusual.
It is possible for God to allow someone who is deceased to communicate or even appear to someone living.
One possible way to tell if an incident is authentic is whether it communicates something in line with a truth or truths previously revealed by God. In other words, a vision allowed by God won’t contradict what God has already revealed through the Church.
If this ghost said that “The Catholics were right” — that is, that Catholicism is the true faith — then I couldn’t agree more. It has the ring of truth to it.
The devil wouldn’t try to guide you toward the Catholic faith. On the contrary, the devil spends his time trying to confuse people and pull them away from what God has revealed.
Perhaps you might want to look at the Catholic faith more closely. It has a lot to offer. It is deep and broad and all the pieces fit together.
A few helpful resources you might want to look at are:
— Youth Catechism (or YouCat). It could appeal to all ages.
— The Surprised by Truth series, by Patrick Madrid.
— Catholicism for Dummies (don’t be put off by the name; it’s an acclaimed work).
— Compendium of the Catechism online.
You might also consider joining an RCIA. This program teaches people the basic beliefs and practices of the faith, with an eye toward their entering the Church. You could contact the nearest Catholic parish and ask about its RCIA.
In the meantime, you might want to dedicate time daily to prayer, including for the soul of your uncle.
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