Generally speaking, Western culture shuns, fears and hides from death whenever possible. It is shrouded in mystery, and in fact, in secrecy to some extent. We don't like to discuss it at all, but when we must, we use euphemisms for it. We shield our children from it, we don't let them attend funerals...
'Near death experience' or NDE research remains a key divide between religion and science - can consciousness function independently of the human body, and therefore, survive bodily death? Could this then prove the existence of a 'soul', and confirm ghosts, plus other paranormal or spiritual phenomena?
The pope has some solace for those unable to make the trip to Brazil for World Youth Day next week - an occasion that by attending helps the soul in purgatory. By making use of social media and the internet to watch these events, and read speeches made there the user with a genuine spiritual heart (there is the catch) may obtain an indulgence.
One ought always to be on one's guard about those who assert that to think in a certain way is to commit a sin. This is the immoral and bullying trick that religion plays. Couched in cosy rhetoric and increasingly vague threats is the assumption that, in dissenting, you are subjecting yourself to an eternity of howling pain and misery.