Interesting to note here as well that it was actually Justinian's wife Theodora that wanted to cease the belief in Reincarnation simply to avoid the reprecussions of her own actions in another life. Besides, the idea of people having more than one lifetime to save themselves did not go over well with the elite class. How then could they effectively control others? What a woman she was, sly and alluring enough to use her powerful influence to convince her husband, the Emperor and the Roman Catholic church to do her bidding and commence the process for the removal of Reincarnation from Christianity.
From the website: http://reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-pope.htm
"History records that the early Christine church believed in Reincarnation and of the souls journey back to oneness with God. This all changed by Emperial decree some 500 plus years after the death of Christ.
Emperor Justinian in 545 A.D. was able to apply the full power of Rome and his authority to stop the belief in reincarnation. He forced the ruling cardinals to draft a papal decree stating that anyone who believes that souls come from God and return to God will be punished by death. The actual decree stated:
“If anyone asserts the fabulous preexistence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema. (The Anathemas against Origen), attached to the decrees of the Fifth Ecumenical Council, A.D. 545, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2d ser., 14: 318).”
What does it mean when it says monstrous restoration? This passage is aimed straight at the teachings handed down from Yeshua (Jesus) the Christ to his disciples that mankind came from God and was destined to become one with God as he was one with God. When the Jews tried to stone him for calling himself the son of God, Jesus responded by reminding them that were all gods.
John 10:33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? 35 If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken-- 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? NIV
Later, just before Christ was crucified, he revealed in a prayer that he wanted his disciple to become one with God just as he was.
Jesus Prays for All Believers
John 17:20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. NIV
A prominent theologian named Origen wrote around 250 AD about the pre-existence of the soul. He taught that the soul’s very source was God and that the soul was traveling back to oneness with God via the lessons learned in multiple lives. He taught that Christ came to show us what we can become. For centuries this was the mainstream view of Christianity but 300 years later it became a huge issue and the belief was made illegal because Emperor Constantine believed it was dangerous to the Empire to believe in reincarnation.
In the sixth century A.D., Emperor Justinian and Pope Vigilius disagreed on whether or not the teachings of Origen should be condemned as heresy. The Pope supported the teaching as being consistent with the teachings of Jesus the Messiah. The Emperor was determined to eradicate the belief even though the Pope and the church believed in reincarnation. The fact that the doctrine of reincarnation had been a part of Christian theology for over 500 years did not sway the Emperor.
Origen's writings were considered heresy by important cardinals in the sixth century. Origen's teachings had been considered as profound spiritual wisdom for three centuries. Origen lived around 250 AD and wrote about the pre-existence of the soul and in reincarnation. He taught that the soul’s very source was God and that the soul’s was traveling back to oneness with God via Reincarnation.
Emperor Justinian wanted Origen’s writings and teachings to be condemned and destroyed but Pope Vigilius refused to sign a papal decree condemning Origen's teachings on reincarnation. As a result of his disobedience, the Emperor had the Pope arrested and put into jail. In 543, Justinian convoked the Fifth General Council of the Church and told the Pope he would sign whatever into doctrine whatever the council decided. On the way there, under guard, the Pope escaped to avoid being forced to condemn Origen’s writings. The Emperor commanded the council to continue despite the Pope’s refusal to attend.
There was a logical reason why the Emperor was opposed to the concept that all of mankind originally came from God and was returing to God via the cycle of birth and death. Justinian had been convinced by high ranking cardinals that it was not in the interest of the empire to allow Origen's writings to continue to be copied and distributed. A powerful group of Cardinal’s and Bishop’s explained that if every soul had once pre-existed with God, then Christ wasn’t anything special to have come from God. These Cardinals convinced the Emperor that if people realized they were the children of God they might begin to believe they no longer needed an Emperor, or to pay taxes, or to obey the Holy Church. But since they reasoned that only Christ had come from God but God made brand new souls at the time of conception and only the Holy Church could bring these souls to God. Without the protection of the Empire or the guidance of the church, all people would be doomed to be forever cut off from God in Hell. This doctrine was very acceptabloe to the Emperor. Once Justinian understood the political danger inherent in Origen’s teachings, the rest was simply an Emperor doing what was in his best interest.
The council, as instructed by the Emperor, produced fourteen new anathemas and the very first one condemned reincarnation and the concept that souls pre-existed with God.
"If anyone asserts the fabulous preexistence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema."
Even though these events are in the history books, modern Christianity treats the doctrine of reincarnation today as if Jesus never taught it or that the early church ever believed it. The fact that a soul comes from God and is destined to become God, as Christ is God, is the very reason why Satan rebelled.
Reincarnation is one of the Lost Doctrines of Christianity. "