Hallo Fr Angelo,
My name is Francesco and I am 29 years old, I am a student in law. Some time ago, I discovered your site which I find really useful, well done and also constantly clarifying our doubts regarding faith. As remarked by the subject of this e-mail, I would like to ask you whether goblins exist. What does the Church think about it? I apologize for the question somewhat bizarre and surreal, if we want to say so, but this question arises because many people believe in the presence of these short-stature “spirits” with an unpleasant appearance and with red hats on their heads, haunting the abandoned houses, ready to make all kinds of mischiefs and much more; as far as I’m concerned I feel like smiling at all this. We are in 2019 and I still have to hear certain speeches; my question is just simple curiosity and if there is any “foundation” in all this .. I apologize again for the peculiar question and I wish you a good evening.
The priest’s reply
1. who spoke of goblins first was Allan Kardec, pseudonym of Leone Ippolito Denizart Rivail (1804-1869).
Kardec worked out a classification of the spirits.
According to his thought, spirits belong to different categories, and they would not be equal in power, or in intelligence, or in knowledge or in morality.
In fact, there are superior spirits, also called angels or pure spirits: they are such because of their knowledge, proximity to God, purity of sentiments and love for good.
Then, there would be evil spirits, subject to human passions, who are pleased by evil.
Finally, there would be spirits who are neither wholly good nor wholly bad: intriguing and confusing rather than sad, they seem mixed with malice and contradictions. They are the light spirits or goblins.
2. Clearly this elaboration of his is extraneous to the teaching of Christ, the only one competent in this matter which deals with those beings who are not of this visible world, but of the invisible and spiritual one.
3. One cannot agree with Kardec even for what he says about angels who are pure spirits, in contrast to evil spirits, subject to human passions and pleased with evil.
Angels are not spirits who are pure, but they are pure spirits.
The diction “spirits who are pure” connotes morality.
While the diction “pure spirits” connotes their ontological nature (about the kind of being).
4. Divine Revelation does not speak of goblins, but of the spirit of evil, that is, of demons, of devils.
They can appear in séances through images, as happened with the pythoness of Endor, whom Saul went to secretly consult.
According to Saint Augustine, the evoked spirit that appeared at the bottom of the cave was not Samuel, but the devil.
5. We must not forget that the devil has a certain power over matter, always within the divine permission.
Therefore, he can appear, he can emanate perfumes, splendors, voices …
God allows it so that man practices humility and other virtues and in order not to confuse the progress of the spiritual life with these phenomena.
6. The so-called goblins are therefore a great blunder by Kardec.
Because they are only and always demons, although in some cases they could as well be – always by divine permission – damned souls.
7. We must not forget what the Holy Spirit says and that is “Satan masquerades as an angel of light” (2Cor 11:14).
Indeed, it also disguises itself in the form of those realities that Kardec so naively calls goblins.
I wish you well, I keep you in my prayers and I bless you.
Translated by Guido Teodoro De Leo
Reviewed by Debora Celupica