Catholics/goblins and trolls


What is the Catholic eaching on goblins and trolls?
What should a Catholic think about such things?
I am aware of some theologians who talk about ghosts as real (they are souls in purgatory who sometimes visit earth) but I am not aware of any teachings on things like goblins and trolls.

ANSWER: I don't know of any teaching the Church has on goblins or trolls.  If such beings exist, they would be non-human creatures with intelligence, and the Church would have to figure out how they fit into the scheme of things.  The same will have to happen when and if we discover alien beings on other planets who show intelligence.  CS Lewis, the british author and theologian, wrote a trilogy in which he considered these issues in the light of his Christian faith.  As for what a Catholic should think about such things, I guess you could choose to believe they exist since there is no evidence to the contrary.  I personally don't believe they exist.

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QUESTION: So they would simply be animals (like a wolf is an animal) if they really existed? So they wouldn't be anything like demons?
The thing is: people attribute powers to such beings (even the wolf is said to have powers in certain indegenous traditions). What would the church respond to that? Should one just look at animals from a biological aspect? But I would think that even bioligists see animals as having some sort of power (wolves or horses are special).

The Church generally makes "dogmatic" statements when there is a lot of controversy over a subject.  That's why it defined the Trinity and the fact that Jesus was one person with two natures -- God and Man. Because we don't really have an answer to whether or not non-human beings with intelligence exist, the Church hasn't taken any sort of a position on them.  The Church hasn't said anything about non-human intelligences arising on other planets for the same reason -- there isn't a problem until there is proof of existence.  Hope this helps.  


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Donald Higby


Most any question about Catholic teachings, the structure of the Church, issues related to Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage; I also know a lot about biblical foundations for Catholic teaching, and apologetics. As a scientist and a deacon, I am conversant with the dialogue between science and religion.


Deacon, 13 years; Religion minor, Catholic University of America. Self study.

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Diaconal Formation, four years (college level courses) Catholic University of America, religion minor, philosophy minor. (AB)

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