5. The same Council, moreover, laid down the following strange proposition: “Our soul,” says the ecclesiastical authority referred to, “equally spiritual (i.e., of a nature equally spiritual as the nature of the angels), is associated with the body in such a manner as to form with it only one and the same person, and such is essentially its destination.” If the soul’s essential destiny is to be united to the body, this union constitutes its normal state, its aim, its end, since such is its “destination.” But the soul is immortal and the body is mortal; its union with the body takes place according to the Church, but once, and even if it were prolonged for a century, what is such a span of time in comparison with eternity? For a great number of human beings, the union of the soul and body is only of a few hours; of what use can so ephemeral a union be to the soul? If, in comparison with eternity, the longest duration of the union of soul and body is a mere nothing, can it be correct to say that its essential destination is to be united with the body? The truth is that the union of the soul and body is but an incident, a speck, in the life of the soul, and not its “essential” state.
If it were the essential destination of the soul to be united to a material body; – if, in virtue of its nature and in accordance with the aim of Providence in its creation, this union is necessary to the manifestation of its faculties – it follows that, without the body, the human soul is an incomplete being; consequently, in order for the soul to remain what it is destined to be, it must necessarily, on quitting its material body, take another body of the same nature, which leads us inevitably to the doctrine of the plurality of existences, in other words, to the doctrine of the reincarnation of the soul, forever, in a succession of material bodies. It is really strange that a Council which is considered to be one of the lights of the Church should have so completely mixed up the spiritual being with the material being that the one cannot be conceived of as existing without the other, since the “essential” condition of their creation is to be united.