Catholic Dictionary




The direct communication of ideas from one mind to another without words, signs, gestures, or any other ordinary means of communication thought. Extensive data and years of psychical research indicate that such manner of communicating knowledge does occur in exceptional cases or with exceptional people. When verified, the phenomenon is purely natural and the use of telepathic powers by one who possesses them cannot be called divination, nor does their use pose any special moral problems. It should be judged by the general principles applicable to any other human beings' behavior.

It is altogether another question whether in a given case of reputed telepathy any preternatural agency has been active. Instances of supposed communication of thought without verbal or other sensory means are reported in the lives of the saints. But the Church does not hold that such phenomena are positive signs of a person's sanctity. (Etym. Greek tele, at a distance + pathein, to experience.