I've heard and read that when we die, and we go to heaven, we won't have bodies. We'll be spirits only, but so happy that we won't need bodies or objects.

  • In School we were taught that when we go to Heaven, we can have everything we want. Now, that's not possible at all if we're only spirits, and there is no physical world (i.e. an Earth)
  • Doesn't the Bible talk about God's Kingdom, White horses and gates and pearls? I mean, what good is all of that if we can't touch/interact with it (remember, we won't have bodies)?

So this leads me to ask, does the Catholic church teach that we will have physical bodies in heaven?


3 Answers 3


Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honour since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day

(emphasis mine)

Cathecism of the Catholic Church Paragraph 322 states that our bodies will be raised on the last day, so after that we will have bodies in heaven.

Is that physical? I read CCC 990 as saying yes

990 The term "flesh" refers to man in his state of weakness and mortality The "resurrection of the flesh" (the literal formulation of the Apostles' Creed) means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our "mortal body" will come to life again.

  • The question isn't about whether we will have bodies (the quote you provide shows the Catholic church believes we will), but whether we will have physical bodies. This is (conceivably, anyway) a different concept. St. Paul talks about us having 'spiritual bodies', for example, as opposed to 'natural bodies' at 1 Cor. 15:42-44. Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 19:51
  • Good point. Added a new quote. My understanding of body is physical so that didn't occur to me.
    – Belinda
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 15:06

The Catechism has this:

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him." [1 Cor 2:9]

Thus the Catholic Church makes no claim about a physical body. We will be "perfectly incorporated into Christ"; as indicated by 1 Cor 15:50–53...

I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. [RSVCE]

Our mortal nature is changed to an immortal, imperishable nature. As no-one knows what that will be like [1 Cor 2:9] we can't say whether it will be a physical body or not. What is certain, however, is that it will be nothing like what we can understand now.

  • 1
    the resurrection of the body is a fundamental article of faith.
    – user13992
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 23:38

Yes. That's what Final Judgment is. There's two Judgments, at the moment of death you are instantly judged and soul is sent to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory, this is called general or particular Judgment. The Second Coming is also called the Final Judgment, when the Just will get a glorified body and the Damned a monstrous body. The glorified body has four attributes: impassibility, subtlety, clarity, and agility. This is why the Catholic Church condemned cremation, because it denies the truth of the resurrection of the body. Also the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven and Jesus Christ has a body in Heaven. It's also in the Nicene Creed, "the Resurrection of the Dead"

  • 1
    Can you provide references?
    – Belinda
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 14:29

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